The Buzz

Sly James is `bothered’ by split with Chris Koster on guns


Last week at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, Kansas City Mayor Sly James railed against the proliferation of guns in America’s big cities and demanded action from lawmakers.

It’s a war cry James has made repeatedly in recent months.

So question, Mr. Mayor: How can you support the expected Democratic nominee for Missouri governor this year?

After all, Chris Koster, the two-term attorney general, is a big NRA guy who said recently he would have signed the bill removing training requirements for concealed carry of a firearm.

Said James: It’s not easy, but it boils down to this: The mayor can work with Koster, but Republicans won’t even listen to his argument.

Bottom line: He’ll back Koster in the fall, although their disagreements on guns bothers him.

“The options are not good,” James said. “We (Koster and I) don’t agree on a couple of things. Big things. Big things that are important to me...Unfortunately, we’ve got a lot of people on the Republican side who would be even worse.

“Chris will at least listen and can be influenced by people talking to him about issues as they come up. That’s what I plan to do. I plan to be in his ear. And I want to hold him accountable just like anybody else.

“I want him to know when these issues come up that there is another argument to be made on guns...and he needs to be listening, and he needs to be a governor for common sense and not political ideology. So it’s going to take some work. But I believe we can work with Chris.

“Chris is a pragmatist. and I think a pretty decent politician. and I think that he will listen and we can work with him.

“We’ve got to work with somebody, and I’d rather work with him than any other Republican candidates, that’s for sure.”