With more than a month to go, Philadelphia has already reached last year’s homicide total of 499 murders, and the city will likely set a new record for murders over the Thanksgiving holiday. On Wednesday, the city’s gutless mayor Mayor Jim Kenney pointed the finger at gun makers, gun owners, and Republican lawmakers for the city’s record-high homicide rate, without ever once talking about the criminals pulling the trigger and the city’s D.A. who’s prosecuting far fewer violent crimes.
“I’m personally heartbroken and outraged that we lost 500 Philadelphians, including many of our children and teenagers to needless violence this year,” Kenney said. “I never stop thinking about the victims and their families and the incredible loss these senseless death leave behind.”
Kenney, a Democrat, called for tighter gun laws to combat the scourge of gun deaths and crimes. The second-term mayor said the Philadelphia Police Department is expected to remove over 6,000 crime guns this year; a 40% increase in two years.
“The volume of guns that are in circulation in our communities is at a record-high,” Kenney said. “[Crime guns] join a sea of illegal and legal guns that are accessible in the heat of the moment, turning what could have stayed an argument into a homicide.”
Kenney recapped his administration’s efforts to strong-arm the Pennsylvania legislature into allowing the city to enact tougher gun regulation, including a 2020 lawsuit to “regulate guns in the city.” He pointed to the stricter gun laws in nearby New Jersey and east coast cities like Boston and New York that he claims have helped reduce gun deaths.
Kenney closed his remarks by turning his ire towards the Republican-controlled state legislature, accusing them of profiting from gun sales and not caring how many people die.
“There are people making money selling these guns, making these guns and the legislature don’t care, they don’t care how many people get killed. It’s ridiculous.” Kenney quipped.
What’s ridiculous is Kenney’s argument. Massachusetts has a higher violent crime rate than the Constitutional Carry states of New Hampshire, Vermont, and Maine, while New York is currently experiencing sky-high homicide rates as well. In fact, Rochester, New York is also going to have the grim achievement of a record number of homicides, even with most of the gun control laws that Kenney’s demanding for Philly are already in place in New York.
It’s also shameless for Kenney to try to blame Republicans for the violence in Philadelphia, considering the city is a one-party town dominated by he and his fellow Democrats. Did Kenney have any cross words for District Attorney Larry Krasner, who’s prosecuting fewer violent felonies than his predecessors even as violence itself increases? Nope, not one. Did he chide Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw for taking a hands-off approach to “lower level” crimes during the first few months of the pandemic? Of course not.
And most importantly, did Jim Kenney say anything at all about the actual criminals who are responsible for the loss of life in Philadelphia? No he did not. Did the mayor talk about the culture of illicit gun ownership and violent crime that Philadelphia’s political class has helped to foster over the past decades? Not one word.
At his press conference today, Jim Kenney declared that Philadelphians “deserve better.” Indeed they do, but as long as they keep electing gutless cowards like Kenney and soft-on-crime D.A.’s like Larry Krasner, as long as they continue to blame legal gun owners for the actions of violent criminals, and as long as they inculcate a culture of irresponsible gun ownership instead of promoting the safe, responsible, and legal gun ownership that is the right of all American citizens, the voters in Philadelphia shouldn’t expect anything to change for the better. Instead, things are likely to get even worse.