Mayor Sly James had a favorite word Monday for people misbehaving badly: idiots.
And while name-calling isn’t always productive, you could sense the frustration in James’ attitude as he delivered hismostly upbeat State of the City speech
at Park Hill High School.
In each instance he used the term, Kansas City’s mayor was right on.
• In the first case, he was talking about a (probably doomed) Missouri General Assembly bill that would “require universal background checks before a gun can be purchased, and the mandatory reporting of lost or stolen handguns.”
The mayor added, in a nod to over-the-top Second Amendment boosters and NRA gun lovers:
“Nothing we propose limits the rights of reasonable, law-abiding citizens from owning guns, but we just might keep some idiot with an illegal gun from gunning down three-year-olds in their homes.”
• In the second case, he was talking about how the work of the Kansas City No Violence Alliance could help reduce crime in the urban core, thanks to the help of a federal grant.
“Dedicating these resources to the Prospect Corridor will help return that area to the family-centered, vibrant place I remember from my childhood. KC NoVA is working and it’s the right strategy for dealing with criminals and criminal behavior, but it will take time to combat a problem that has taken decades to get to this level.
“But it certainly would help if we could take illegal guns out of the hands of idiots.”
• Finally, the mayor talked about the recent problems that young kids have caused while milling about on the Country Club Plaza and, last week, fighting at the Kansas City Zoo, an incident that included reported shots of gunfire.
“We need parents, churches, nonprofits, and anyone who cares about the future our city, to step up to help us stop the senseless acts perpetrated by a small minority of idiots we’ve seen on the Plaza, last week at the zoo, and up north where for no apparent reason, cars were randomly vandalized in neighborhoods.
“The city is not a babysitter. But under my watch, we will act in partnership with others to be a catalyst for community support for our young people.”