City health commission calls for fighting violence as a disease

Taking the position that violence is a preventable contagious disease, the Kansas City Health Commission on Friday approved recommendations to fight it.

Their resolution ā€“ the result of months of input from citizen experts ā€“ now goes to the city council.

While many recommendations could be suggested, said city health director Rex Archer, they decided to focus on five:

-Lobby the state to eliminate laws that allow people to keep weapons in passenger compartments of cars without a permit.

-Increase funding for anti-violence programs such as the Kansas City No Violence Alliance. NoVA targets violent offenders for prison but also provides social services to help them get out of crime.

– Increase funding for evidence based violence prevention programs like Aim 4 Peace.

-Encourage firearm injury prevention and safety education programs. Archer recently reported that the number of accidental shootings in Kansas City doubled from 2002 to 2010, going from 9.7 per 100,000 people to 19.5 per 100,000.

– Remove city restrictions that prevent ex-offenders from working at jobs that involve handling liquor, such as bartenders, waiters or even grocery sackers.

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