Symbolism over Substance

Northeast News
August 17, 2016

Last Friday night in the 5700 block of Park Avenue, two children were senselessly gunned down and a third teenager remains hospitalized after a drive by shooting ratcheted the murder count up to 67 for the year. That’s the highest in the last five years. But wait, wasn’t the Mayor’s blue ribbon panel, led by Council Lady Jolie Justus, supposed to put a stop to these types of random acts of violence?

What about the huge spike in armed street robberies in the city’s entertainment districts that nobody is talking about? That seems to be a dirty little secret too. In the month of July alone, there were 87 assaults and robberies in Downtown. That’s roughly three a day in an area largely populated by affluent hipsters who scoff at the very notion they’re targets of opportunity for young thugs. In the Midtown and Plaza areas, that number stands at 66 for the month of July; or over two per day for victims who are once again targets of opportunity. The sad fact is that violent crime is trending up and the Mayor’s own hand-picked blue ribbon panel has uttered nary a word about how to address it. This dog said it before and we’ll say it again: this commission is nothing more than a feel-good resume bullet for its members, who are more concerned with the chairperson’s possible mayoral run than they are about the quality of life in Kansas City’s urban core.

This dog has a suggestion. If this commission was intent on making violent crime drop, they’d discuss restoring the funding to the police department or maybe having the County Prosecutor’s office actually prosecute criminals, instead of plea bargaining violent cases down to misdemeanors and then rolling career criminals back onto the streets on a regular basis. How about a recommendation from this blue ribbon panel on using the plethora of gun laws already on the books at both the local and federal level that largely get ignored in favor of political posturing? But as is always the case with liberals in charge, symbolism takes precedence over substance. Sadly, until that paradigm changes, violent crime in this cow-town will continue to increase.

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