Philly DA scapegoats the Second Amendment

Philadelphia D.A. Larry Krasner says an “absurd interpretation” of the Second Amendment is to blame for the city’s high violent crime, including the mass shooting on Monday, but his blameshifting ignores his own policies and practices, which have returned many violent offenders to the streets after charges were dropped or sweetheart deals were handed out.

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In fact, I’d say Krasner has every reason in the world to blame the Second Amendment for Philadelphia’s violent crime problem. As long as we’re talking about his anti-gun bloviations we’re not talking about his practice of dropping charges for both possessory gun offenses and more serious violent crimes.

Speaking to CNN on Wednesday, Krasner complained that there just aren’t enough laws in place for prosecutors like himself to go after criminals.

“It is time for this legislature and, frankly, legislators across the country to swear off their addiction to NRA money and to swear off their addiction to this gun fetish that is really only shared by a moderate quantity of the U.S. population,” he said.

Most citizens want “reasonable” gun regulation akin to car regulation, Krasner said.

“It’s time for people who are running for office to swear off NRA money, to swear off gun lobby money, to swear off this absurd interpretation of the Second Amendment that has been put out there by militias, much of it untrue,” he said.

“Frankly, it’s time for the Supreme Court to cut it out,” Krasner added. “This should not be a country of guns. It should be a country of people, living people.”

According to Larry Krasner, we need more gun laws on the books and Pennsylvania’s firearm preemption law is standing in the way. But also according to Larry Krasner, going after guys for merely possessing a firearm without a license (already a crime in Pennsylvania, though I don’t think it should be) is a backwards and punitive approach to reducing violence.

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“If we’re all going to focus on the questionable notion that everybody who possesses a gun is spending their time looking at data on what conviction rates are, then we’re going to miss any solution that’s actually going to be real and effective,” the district attorney said. “Yes, enforcement is a small part of the story. The big part of the story is not that. The big part of the story is this city’s chronic failure to invest in prevention that the community is crying out for. That is where we have to go.”

That was Krasner just two years ago, defending the fact that under his watch the conviction rate for illegal gun possession has dropped to just 49%. And as columnist Ben Manness documented at the Philly-centric website Broad and Liberty last year, Krasner has chosen to blame everyone from the local police to judges for putting criminals back on the street, even when his own office ends up dropping charges.

These practices by Krasner’s administration and lack of common sense discretion in the judiciary have driven activists on social media to make direct correlations to violent crime. This further calls the issue of bail reform into question, considering the skyrocketing crime in New York and Chicago — who have both officially codified radical bail reform laws. In most other jurisdictions, when a suspect appears before the bench on new charges and has other charges pending, or worse — a long, recent, record — that judge can simply hold them without bail. This simple risk-management tool has served to protect the public for over a century.

The District Attorney’s office and Pennsylvania Judiciary in Harrisburg did not respond to emailed requests for comment.

Meanwhile, in Philadelphia, the Krasner administration is celebrated for reducing the population of suspects in prison and/or on probation, despite the fact that violent crime has risen to historic proportions on his watch.

This is how defendant Dominique Perkins can freely walk the streets of Philadelphia following numerous gun, narcotics, assault, and other charges. His May 2022 gun charges were nolle prossed by the DA’s office, even though he has illegal gun charges pending from 2021. Then there’s Jeremi Redd, who has a lengthy criminal record which includes numerous armed robbery and illegal gun charges, who was just arrested on July 31, 2022, for stalking and violating a protection from abuse order — whose illegal gun case was inexplicably nolle prossed on May 26, 2022 — despite recent narcotics priors pending from 2019.

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Even if Krasner got his way and the Pennsylvania legislature repealed the state’s preemption law, Philly’s response would be to impose a host of new, non-violent possessory offenses on its populace; the very same type of laws that Krasner and his prosecutors are routinely ignoring. Again, I get why Krasner is trying to deflect attention away from his own abysmal record and on to our right to keep and bear arms, but it’s not our Second Amendment that’s absurd here. It’s his own call for more gun laws when he’s based his career on not putting people in prison for breaking the laws that are already on the books.

By the way, since Krasner’s making the rounds of the media I put in a request with his office to join me on Cam & Co to talk about his recent comments and his practices in office. I doubt I’ll even get a formal “no” from his press office, but the offer is on the table if he finds the courage to talk to a Second Amendment advocate and not just talk sh*t about us.

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