Gov. Mike Parson's less-than-ambitious special session on violent crime finally fizzled out Wednesday.
Of the seven items on the session's agenda, lawmakers approved just two: setting up a pre-trial witness protection fund (yet to be funded) and relaxing the residency requirement for St. Louis' public safety employees.
In the scheme of things, these two items will be lucky to take a nibble out of crime.
Frankly, even if lawmakers approved all seven proposals, it wouldn't have gone far to address violent crime.
One proposal would have required courts to determine if juveniles should be tried as adults for certain weapons charges. (There's already a process that works to certify juvenile offenders as adults.)
Other requests the governor made to lawmakers would have:
Allowed certain otherwise inadmissible statements by witnesses to be admissible in court under certain circumstances.
Criminalize knowingly encouraging, aiding or causing a child younger than 17 years old to engage in a weapons offense.
Increase the penalty for a person who knowingly sells or delivers a firearm to a child.
Grant the state attorney general concurrent jurisdiction over St. Louis homicide cases.
This last politically charged item was viewed by some as an attack on St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kimberly M. Gardner. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported the Missouri Association of Prosecuting Attorneys called the proposal "awful," "absurd" and "unrealistic."
As we reported Thursday, after the session ended, Parson said: "Look, you're not going to hit a home run every time in this building. We're very content with what we got. Anything we can do to help law enforcement, to help victims in this state, to fight violent crime is a win — no matter how small or how big it is."
But was it worth the cost, estimated at more than $200,000?
Violent crime is a growing problem in Missouri that still needs to be addressed. When the 2021 session starts in January, we hope lawmakers are willing to consider measures that will truly impact the problem.
One solution we have advocated and will continue to advocate: Ensuring guns are only in the hands of responsible gun owners. Start by updating background checks to include closing the "gun-show loophole" that lets people avoid background checks by purchasing guns at gun shows.
Such laws aren't abridgments to Second Amendment rights. They're just common sense.