In a corner of her house in Sparta in southwest Missouri, Jymie Jimerson has set up a kind of shrine. It has Native American art representing her Cherokee heritage alongside Willie Nelson albums, books and photos in remembrance of her late husband. On one side is a copy of Willie’s mid-’70s LP, “Red Headed Stranger.” “When Steve was young, he had red hair and a red beard, so he always really identified with Willie’s Red Headed Stranger,” Jimerson says. “I try to keep it up there as a reminder of better days.”
Westport has seen a major uptick in gun violence this year. According to stats collected by the Westport Regional Business League, there were 16 gun-related weapons offenses in the district in 2016. In 2017, there were 65 — and that's only through Oct. 31. A Missouri law that took effect in January allows people to carry guns without a permit in nearly every public space, so there’s not much business owners or police can do to keep guns out.