Wichita has more than 40 homicides this year and more than 1,000 guns stolen from cars and homes that could be used in violent crime.
The Chief of Police says he wants to take action. But he also wants to look at why it’s happening.
“Too often we see people resorting to gun violence to resolve conflict,” says Chief Gordon Ramsay. “And the shooting of the four-year-old is the typical case.”
Ramsay says he wants Wichita State, Kansas State or the University of Kansas to come up with a study to look into Wichita gun violence and why it’s happening. He says an action plan should go with a thorough study.
“Because the gun issue is so polarizing and there’s extreme opinions all over the map on this issue,” says Ramsay. “I think that’s what it’s going to take to bring people together.”
Ramsay would like to see state lawmakers look into gun laws to see what makes sense to stop what he calls senseless violence with guns.
Some leaders with the City of Wichita agree it’s time to take action. But a study makes sense as well.
“Well you know you can’t fix a problem until you know why the problem is,” says city council member, James Clendenin. “The gun violence right now is unacceptable and collaborating with lawmakers to make sure that we can do something to make sure we are keeping that (crime rate) as low as possible would be the most ideal way to do it. And I think that anybody in leadership in the city would be willing to do that.”
Ramsay says he also wants to work with the court system by looking more thoroughly at domestic violence offenders who may be a threat to use guns in crimes. He says more work is additionally needed with locking up guns so they don’t get into the wrong hands.
Chief Ramsay also says there will be time for the public to offer ideas as well on how to curb gun violence and gun crimes.