After watching a local television station’s interview of City Attorney John Hessel, I couldn’t help but think how he and other victims of Thursday night’s shooting tragedy in Kirkwood, Mo., might have fared better with the help of concealed firearms.
Taking place both outside and inside the St. Louis suburb’s city council building, the senseless shootings by gunman Charles Lee “Cookie” Thornton left six people — including the shooter, three city officials and two city police officers — dead and two wounded.
Among the 30 or so gathered in the Kirkwood City Hall meeting room that night, only one trained and qualified person — Officer Tom Ballman — carried a firearm. Had only one other trained person carried a firearm into the meeting that night, the number of dead and wounded might have been greatly reduced. Surprisingly, Kirkwood city laws don’t entirely prevent it!
While Sec. 17-132 (a) of the Kirkwood municipal ordinances prevents ordinary citizens — including even those who’ve completed concealed-carry training and received permits to carry concealed firearms — from carrying concealed weapons into meetings of the Kirkwood City Council, it makes an exception for council members as follows:
…nothing in this subdivision shall preclude a member of the Kirkwood City Council, holding a valid concealed carry endorsement, from carrying a concealed firearm at a meeting of the City Council provided that it is not otherwise prohibited herein. Possession of a firearm in a vehicle on the premises shall not be a criminal offense so long as the firearm is not removed from the vehicle or brandished while the vehicle is on the premises.
* * *
Note: The piece above is not intended to serve as a criticism of any of the innocent victims, including Kirkwood city officials, who’ve suffered so much as a result of the shootings Thursday; rather, it’s intended to serve as an observation about the need to put firearms in the hands of trained, responsible and law-abiding citizens in keeping with the spirit of the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
* * *
To read other posts about the Kirkwood City Hall shootings, click here.
For other gun-related posts on this blog, click on one of the links below:
To learn more about concealed-carry laws and firearms training in Missouri, click here.