Sen. Hegeman’s Weekly Column, for the Week of Dec. 16: How to Address Crime in Missouri

A growing number of people want to see action taken against what is seen as a rise in crime in our state. It seems any time there is a shooting in a major city in America, the first things we hear afterward are calls for stricter gun control. Unfortunately, a simple “one size fits all” solution is not the answer.

Missouri is a perfect example of the diversity that makes this country so great. The bulk of our state is rural, with plenty of small towns and acres of farm land. On the other end of the spectrum are the major metropolitan areas that sit on either end of the state. There are approximately as many people living in the Kansas City, St. Louis and Springfield metro areas as there are in the rest of the state. Herein lies the challenge. What may work for a bigger city does not necessarily translate well in small-town Missouri.

What really sits at the core of these mass shootings? Is it a lack of gun legislation? Do these shootings only happen in gun-free zones? How many laws are needed before criminals stop acting as criminals? We can, and have, discussed these questions for hours at a time. It is part of the job as a Missouri senator. Rest assured, whatever ideas are presented during the upcoming legislative session, I will be in the thick of it, doing everything I can to fight for the citizens of the great northwest portion of our state.

As always, please feel free to call, email or write with your ideas or concerns. My Capitol office number is (573) 751-1415, my email is and my mailing address is Room 332, State Capitol Building, Jefferson City, MO 65101.