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How do you feel about gun violence in Kansas City? KCUR wants to hear from you

People at the March For Our Lives Rally hold signs calling for gun control.
Bek Shackelford-Nwanganga
KCUR 89.3
People at the March For Our Lives Rally in June 2022 hold signs calling for gun control.

KCUR's community engagement team is holding listening sessions and interviews across Kansas City, as part of a year-long initiative to learn how diverse Kansas Citians feel about guns and the rising rates of gun violence, and to hopefully find solutions to the issue.

According to Kansas City Police, the city is on track to break last year's record of firearm-related homicides, which totaled at 155.

KCUR's community engagement team is holding listening sessions across the Kansas City metro to learn how residents feel about guns.

"Nobody wants to see more people die by gun violence — everybody agrees on that. It's just how we get there," KCUR community engagement editorLaura Ziegler told KCUR's Up To Date Wednesday.

Ziegler appeared with KCUR community engagement reporter Zach Perez. Ziegler said their hope for the project is to ideally find common ground across Kansas City's diverse — and politically polarized — communities.

"We're trying to achieve some solutions-oriented content that may help people understand the nuance and complicated nature of this debate," she said.

"Oftentimes, we think of groups on either end of the [gun debate] spectrum as monoliths, but really it is a spectrum," Perez said.

Ziegler and Perez have recently published pieces based on the conversations they've heard during the listening sessions, including one piece about young Kansas Citians arming themselves against the rise of far-right violence.

Text with KCUR

What do you think about the state of gun culture and gun violence in the Kansas City metro? Are you interested in finding out more about KCUR's community engagement efforts?

You can reach out to Laura Ziegler and Zach Perez, or message KCUR's texting service at (816) 601-4777 to share your thoughts and learn more.

Have questions or show ideas? Text with Up To Date!

Sign up for texts from the Up To Date team to suggest show ideas and weigh in on important issues facing Kansas City. Text UTD to 816-601-4777 to join the conversation. Get more information here.

Stay Connected
When I host Up To Date each morning at 9, my aim is to engage the community in conversations about the Kansas City area’s challenges, hopes and opportunities. I try to ask the questions that listeners want answered about the day’s most pressing issues and provide a place for residents to engage directly with newsmakers. Reach me at steve@kcur.org or on Twitter @stevekraske.
As KCUR’s Community Engagement Producer, I help welcome our audiences into the newsroom, and bring our journalism out into the communities we serve. Many people feel overlooked or misperceived by the media, and KCUR needs to do everything we can to cover and empower the diverse communities that make up the Kansas City metro — especially the ones who don’t know us in the first place. My work takes the form of reporting stories, holding community events, and bringing what I’ve learned back to Up To Date and the rest of KCUR.

What should KCUR be talking about? Who should we be talking to? Let me know. You can email me at zjperez@kcur.org or message me on Twitter at @zach_pepez.

As a producer for Up To Date, I create sound-rich talk show segments about the individuals and communities that call Kansas City home. Whether it’s a poet, a business owner or a local lawmaker, I seek out diverse voices to help break down the biggest stories of the day. After listening to the show, I want Up To Date listeners to feel informed and empowered to make decisions in their daily lives. You can reach me at claudiab@kcur.org
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