We can understand why U.S. Rep. William Lacy Clay of St. Louis County filed legislation that would allow local governments to enact stricter gun laws without the approval of the General Assembly.
Clay is angered and frustrated over the lack of action at the federal and state levels in enacting gun control laws. It could be said he is trying to move the power on gun control laws to the last resort. There is no immediate hope the legislation will move quickly through Congress. Even if enacted there is no guarantee local governments will enact strict gun control laws either.
But at least Clay is trying to do something! He said he was tired of the violence and excuses in his district.
Of note is that Rep. Clay announced his legislation at St. Louis Children’s Hospital, which is said to treat more gunshot wounds than almost any other children’s hospital in the country. Clay also said he was tired of the inaction of the Missouri General Assembly, which he said is too frightened or just unable to do anything about gun violence.
So far this year, more than 40 children have been treated for critical or fatal wounds at the St. Louis Children’s Hospital. Many others have been treated at other hospitals.
The mayor of St. Louis, Lyda Krewson, said if the city had the authority to enact gun controls, her top priority would be to require a permit to carry a gun, which would reverse a vote by the General Assembly in 2016 that ended the state’s concealed carry permits.
Cities in 43 states, including Missouri, are prohibited from enacting their own gun laws by state statute.
Clay admitted to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that his legislation would not be a “cure-all.” He said his legislation is but a “sliver” of what is needed but it would be another “tool.”
One would think with the number of deaths and gunshot wounds people would be more aroused than they are about gun violence, especially if a person lives in Clay’s district.