It’s been a deadly summer in Philadelphia, with gang violence driving up the city’s homicides (there’ve been nearly 250 murders in the city so far this year), but local politicians are still stuck on stupid when it comes to plans to combat the violent crime. City Council President Darrel Clarke and council member Cindy Bass have introduced local legislation that would ban guns from playgrounds and recreation centers in Philadelphia, in hopes that violent criminals will pay more attention to the “no guns allowed” laws than they do with the laws forbidding murder, robbery, and shooting people.

Clarke pointed out that the state prohibits guns in courthouses, which is why City Hall, which houses municipal system and Court of Common Pleas courtrooms, is gun-free.

“What’s different in protecting witnesses, judges, and lawyers as opposed to protecting children?” Clarke said.

Bass said the reaction to the string of high-profile mass shootings across the country makes her optimistic that authorizing legislation can pass.

“Today, Sept. 26 this year, we have a better chance than we had Sept. 26 of last year and the years before that,” she said. “This is a good time to revisit the conversation, and I think that there is potential.”

Clarke’s comparison to the gun-free zone in Philadelphia City Hall is a little off target, in my opinion. Will rec centers and playgrounds be equipped with metal detectors and armed guards, like you’ll find at City Hall? Or will this be a soundbite solution, promising safety but delivering only a local ordinance likely to be ignored by the gang members responsible for the violence?

Before the council members can do anything at the local level, they’re going to have to get approval from state legislators in Harrisburg, thanks to Pennsylvania’s firearm pre-emption law that prohibits municipalities from passing gun control laws at the local level. Two Philadelphia-area legislators are already on board, but there’s no guarantee (in fact, at this point there’s no indication) that the Republican-controlled House and Senate will allow the local gun ban.

Clarke said Thursday he was “marginally optimistic” that Republicans, who control the legislature, will be more open than they have been.

“I was up there Monday talking to legislators,” he said. “I talked to some of the key Republicans. There was obviously no commitment but a willingness to listen to what is clearly, from our perspective, a no-brainer: prohibiting weapons at a rec center.”

Unfortunately, as long as Philadelphia has a District Attorney who is light on criminals but loves the idea of new gun control laws aimed at legal gun owners, and city council members intent on “doing something” instead of doing something that works, I suspect that the city’s gang violence is going to continue to wreak havoc and cause pain and misery for the victims, survivors, and their families and friends. Philadelphia can’t ban its way to safety. City officials are going to have to get serious with the small numbers of individuals who are responsible for the mayhem on the streets of Philadelphia before anything truly gets better.