The mayor of St. Louis thinks it’s essential that the city bans AR-15s and other so-called assault weapons. That’s running into some preemption issues.
After all, Missouri doesn’t give local governments a lot of leeway on gun laws.
Yet, not that long ago, the city did what it could. It banned the open carry of firearms.
Now, there’s not a huge history of criminals openly carrying firearms in modern times. They tend to favor concealable firearms because, well, they don’t want anyone to see them coming.
But St. Louis passed the law. And what did they get for it? Absolutely nothing, apparently.
Gun violence in St. Louis seems undeterred in recent weeks, especially in the face of a toothless ordinance pushed by Alderwoman Cara Spencer (Ward 8).
Since Spencer’s Board Bill 29 passed on July 20, 2023, the City has experienced an increase in gun violence. The literal day after Spencer’s bill passed at the Board of Aldermen, two teenagers were shot and injured on the same block in LaSalle Park at different times of the day. Both of these shootings took place in Spencer’s ward.
A few weeks ago, a woman was shot in the southside neighborhood of Mt. Pleasant – in Spencer’s ward. Only a few days later in Spencer’s ward, gunshots were reported outside of Ball Park Village after a fight inside the Shark Bar spilled outside. On a recent weekend, four young people were shot in two separate incidents downtown, although outside of Spencer’s ward but inside a neighborhood that overlaps with hers.
Yeah, the piece quoted is targeting one particular alderwoman, but the overall point is very obvious. The law accomplished nothing. I don’t care who introduced it, who sponsored it, or who voted for it. It didn’t do anything positive for the city.
What’s more, it looks like violent crime went up after its passage.
Admittedly, that’s about a month during the summer, so it’s not indicative of much, but if the law were going to accomplish anything, you’d expect to see some kind of positive sign that the law did some good.
I’m not shocked that it didn’t, though, and I suspect the mayor isn’t shocked either. She knows gun laws won’t accomplish anything.
But actually accomplishing something isn’t the point, is it?
What matters is that officials in St. Louis look like they’re taking the problem seriously and that they can convince people they’re trying to do something. It doesn’t really matter if that something actually works or not because if it doesn’t, they can just do another something and keep kicking the can down the road for as long as they need to.
Gun control isn’t a solution, it’s a delaying tactic for politicians to foist their problems on the next generation.
The problem is that what’s cited above isn’t unusual for gun control. We’ve seen violent crime increase after passing gun control before. Just look at the homicide rate’s increase after Congress passed the Gun Control Act back in 1968. It wasn’t a downward trend, though, I can tell you that.
So St. Louis needs to knock this stuff off. They’re not helping and they may well be hurting, even without any constitutional concerns.