Why is the KCMO murder rate 74 times that of OPK?

In 2023 Kansas City, Missouri, had a murder rate 74 times higher than that of Overland Park, Kansas, just across the state line.

You read that right: not 74 percent, but 74 times.

For those who may not know the area, Overland Park is the largest city in Johnson County, a county that shares a long border with Kansas City.

In raw numbers, Kansas City’s roughly 500,000 people committed 185 murders in 2023. Overland Park’s 200,000 people committed one.

That one murder involved a Chicago Man who died as a result of a gunfight at the motel where he was staying. The man was subsequently buried in Chicago. About the two killers, both injured, the media tell us nothing, which suggests they were not local either.

Kansas City set a record for murder in 2023. Under Mayor Quinton Lucas, the city has gotten used to setting records. Following 2020, a record year that saw the mayor take a knee with the George Floyd rioters, Lucas assured his constituents, “Saving young lives, black lives, and all lives has to be a central goal of what we do each day as a city.”

As the 2023 numbers show, Lucas has failed to accomplish his central goal, failed so badly in fact that one doubts the seriousness of his intent. Rather than address the core problem, he has consistently exploited the murder of his citizens to scapegoat Republicans. 

As the sympathetic Kansas City Star observed, Lucas has been “hamstrung by loose state gun laws enacted by the Republican-controlled General Assembly.”

Affirmed Lucas, “In Kansas City, we are constrained at the state and local level; we need to look to tools from our federal partners.”

The fatal shooting in February at the Kansas City Chiefs’ Super Bowl victory rally exposed the depth of the Democrats’ lethal myopia. Lucas’ response was predictable: “As long as we have access to firearms at this level of capacity, we may see incidents like this one.”

Missouri Democratic Congresswoman Cori Bush made Lucas’ blame-shifting sound judicious: “Missouri has some of the weakest gun safety laws in the U.S. – pushed for by the NRA-funded GOP,” she blustered. “Their greed is harming our communities.”

The numbers out of Overland Park make hash out of the Democrats’ reasoning.

Republicans control Kansas as well. Their gun laws are as “loose” as Missouri’s. A high percentage of Republicans own guns, and yet cities such as Overland Park have a literal fraction of Kansas City’s homicides.

Like most Democrats, Lucas and his fellow travelers absolutely refuse to address the real cause of the rampant lawlessness in the cities.

In a recent appearance on a New Jersey PBS show to discuss my book Untenable: The True Story of White Ethnic Flight from America’s Cities, I was asked which government actions have made urban living so precarious. “The most wide-ranging governmental policy, which took a long time to evolve, is the subsidization of fatherlessness,” I answered. “They have made fatherlessness attractive.”

In 2008, then-presidential candidate Barack Obama was saying much the same thing. In a particularly bold move, Obama scolded a large black congregation during a Father’s Day sermon at a Chicago church for allowing the black family to collapse. Obama leaned particularly hard on the absentee fathers, too many of whom “have abandoned their responsibilities, acting like boys instead of men.” 

Obama then cited statistic after damning statistic detailing the impact of fatherlessness on the black community. Males without fathers in the home, he said, were five times more likely to live in poverty, nine times more likely to drop out of school, and 20 times more likely to end up in prison.

No sooner did Obama scold these baby daddies than Jesse Jackson, threatened on a hot mic “to cut [Obama’s] nuts off.” Chastised, Obama quickly retreated to the fictions on which Quinton Lucas came of age: guns, racism, Republicans – white supremacy, even.

As the saying goes, silence is violence. The day before I wrote this article, four people were shot, two fatally, at a home on Kansas City’s east side. The description of the shootout by local reporter Andy Alcock belongs in a time capsule:

She tells us she is the sister of the man who died here. She tells us he lived here with his girlfriend. The two boys who were shot, she says, are teens, including the one that died. They were both the sons of his brother’s girlfriend. She also tells us the couple shared a baby who is only 7 or 8 months old, her niece. We don’t know where those children are because there are other ones who lived here in the home.

That was no way to grow up.

In a May commencement speech at nearby Benedictine College, Kansas City Chiefs star kicker Harrison Butker addressed the issue that Lucas and others lack the courage to even mention: 

Part of what plagues our society is this lie that has been told to you that men are not necessary in the home or in our communities. As men, we set the tone of the culture, and when that is absent, disorder, dysfunction, and chaos set in. This absence of men in the home is what plays a large role in the violence we see all around the nation.

“Be unapologetic in your masculinity, fighting against the cultural emasculation of men. Do hard things,” Butker implored the young men in the audience. “Never settle for what is easy.” 

Instead of endorsing Butker’s speech, Democrats across America pilloried him. Mayor Lucas’ office responded with a tweet – “reminding” folks where Butker lives – that was so potentially threatening to Butker and embarrassing to the mayor that the employee responsible for sending it was reportedly fired.

What Lucas has not done, and apparently will not do, is invite Butker to join him in addressing the young men of Kansas City. Doing hard things is not in the mayor’s wheelhouse. 

Jack Cashill’s new book, Ashli: The Untold Story of the Women of January 6, is now available for purchase.

Jack Cashill

Jack Cashill is an independent writer, documentary producer, and media consultant. Jack has written for Fortune, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, The Weekly Standard, AmericanThinker, WND, The American Spectator, the Washington Times, and serves as executive editor for Ingram’s, a regional business magazine. Jack has published fifteen books under his own name and collaborated discreetly on twenty others. He has produced a score of documentaries for regional PBS and national cable channels. Jack has a Ph.D. from Purdue University in American studies, has taught media and literature at Purdue and at Kansas City area universities, and served as a Fulbright lecturer in France. To contact, please email Jack at jackcashill@yahoo.com.