KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Outgoing Kansas City Mayor Sly James is reacting after learning 335 people have been shot in Kansas City, Missouri so far in 2019.
That is more than 40 this time last year. The majority of those victims survived but we're still on track to outpace 2017 homicides, which was the deadliest year in Kansas City in nearly a quarter of a century.
The police department said it's doing what it can, but officers are currently overwhelmed with cases.
"We're going to continue to be diligent and plug through this, but it's been a rough, violent time of late," KCPD Deputy Chief Roger Lewis said.
James said he's not surprised by the news and blames Missouri lawmakers for lax gun laws.
"The Second Amendment needs to be balanced by common sense. And common sense doesn't say that any idiot who wants a gun should be able to have one," James said. "That's not common sense, that's stupidity."
Kansas City Mayor-Elect Quinton Lucas has a different approach. He says violence isn't just a police issue. He says it's up to schools, families, organizations and leaders to make sure change actually happens.
"We need to do more. This is an ongoing crisis. What I want to see is us treating it like the crisis it is," Lucas said.
James agrees that it's going to take a significant push to make the city a safe place to live.
"We have carnage on our streets. In this city we have slow motion mass murder every single year," James said.