Residents echo Kansas City’s mayor growing frustration with gun violence

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Two weeks ago, Teaonna McDaniel’s 18-year-old brother, Antonio James, was shot and killed while sitting in his sister’s car near 59th and Swope Parkway in Kansas City.

As of Monday night, police had not arrested Jones’ killer or determined a motive for the young, honor student’s tragic death.

"It’s just ridiculous and frustrating. Innocent people with so much potential are dying. People are getting robbed. The crimes keep happening,” McDaniel said.

She's not the only one who's frustrated.

“The problem is that people want a quick fix to a chronic problem. There are no quick solutions to all this,” Mayor Sly James said during a news conference Monday.

James is also sick of the wave of shootings and homicides currently plaguing the city. The mayor is now calling for state lawmakers to create more gun laws he says would make it tougher for more criminals to get their hands on guns.

"I want to see permits. I want to see training. I want to see a longer period for background checks. I also want to see an ordinance that says if you have a gun stolen or lost, you have to report it to the police,” James said.

Karen Slaughter is the president of the Key Coalition Neighborhood Group near 27th and Prospect. The area is one of the city’s well-known hot spots for violent crimes. Slaughter agrees with James that Missouri needs tougher gun laws.

"I wholeheartedly agree with him. We need more rational gun laws,” she said.

"I just don’t think more gun laws right now is the answer. I don’t think it helps just because you can go buy a gun right now. Anybody can buy a gun on off the street,” McDaniel added.

In the meantime, McDaniel and Slaughter do share a common message for the Kansas City Police Department. Both women would like to see more officers walking around their neighborhoods on a regular basis, in hopes of curbing or stopping the gun violence.

"Just more communication also. If the police officers and detectives find out anything on crimes like my brother’s murder, please, immediately let us know. Let us know that you care about our family,” McDaniel said.

"It’s through that interaction that we’re able to pass on to them all of the information about the concerns that we have,” Slaughter said.

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