Even with President Joe Biden’s call to action on gun laws – the political will to change gun laws is not apparent at the federal level.
It’s much the same at the state level – leading to more anti-violence rallies planned throughout the weekend in the Kansas City metro.
“I have a lot of friends who are teachers – they’re scared for their students. They’re scared for themselves,” Rep. Linda Featherston (D-Overland Park) said.
A Democrat – she needs a Republican ally to help move legislation forward. That means any legislation – not just bills related to gun. That is because Republicans have a supermajority in the legislature.
But Featherston says she is motivated – along with her constituents – reflecting on the mass shooting in Texas and a recent “Code Red” call at her local grade school.
“And so the one kid comes to his lesson and says, ‘Oh, there was a Code Red and my friend and I were out in the hallway doing iPad drills and we had headphones on and he didn’t hear – he didn’t hear the code red so I had to like shake him and get his attention so we could get back into the classroom,'” Featherston relayed.
“And he was quite upset by the whole thing. His mom said it was really hard on him that day,” Featherston said.
“My colleague Jo Ella Hoye has a 4th grader. You can’t look at that 4th grader without thinking ‘Oh my god, it could have been him. It could have been my daughter. My daughter’s classroom is at the end of the school. If someone they got it on that end, she’d be gone,” Featherston said.
Bishop John Birmingham Junior is organizing another Stop the Violence Prayer Rally for Saturday at 11 a.m. at Emanuel Cleaver II Blvd and The Paseo. He has held similar rallies in the past after other tragedies.
“How can an 18-year-old kid get ahold of an assault weapon when we can’t get formulas for our babies. The gun laws need to be changed,” Birmingham said.
He says more people are calling him now than ever.
“‘Bishop, what’s going on… in our country? that in our country that somebody can walk into an elementary school in our country and slaughter 19 children – our future, our hope – and kill two teachers?’ And they were crying as they were talking to me,” Birmingham said.