AP Photo/Matt Rourke
Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto and the City Council have been a little quiet lately. It was enough to make me hope they’d stopped this ridiculous campaign against guns in their city.
After all, Pennsylvania has a preemption law. That means local governments can’t create gun laws. It’s illegal to do so.
Yet Peduto persisted.
Then, nothing. Silence.
I wondered if Peduto had a fit of sanity and opted to let the issue fade into the background. There was never any chance of him reversing his position, but maybe he’d pretend it didn’t happen. You know, kind of like all those liberal pundits pretending they never claimed Trump would be removed from office after the Mueller Report was released.
Anyway, it seems that Peduto was doing no such thing. Instead, they’ll be voting Wednesday morning on the measure.
Pittsburgh City councilmembers will vote Wednesday morning on a series of controversial gun control bills.
The vote comes exactly five months since a gunman walked into a Squirrel Hill synagogue and killed 11 people.
It’s something several council members are pushing for, but gun rights advocates are saying it’s unconstitutional.
Some semi-automatic weapons, ammunition and accessories could be one step closer to being banned in Pittsburgh when the first of three bills is called for a vote.
What the news report ignores is the preemption law within the state.
In other words, Peduto and the city council will be breaking the law. They don’t seem to get the irony here. They’re ignoring laws they don’t want like to pass laws that criminals will turn around and ignore.
The only people who will be impacted, the only people who respond in any way, will be law-abiding citizens. You know, the people who have done nothing wrong?
If there’s any sanity, the city council will vote against the proposals, and it will die an ignoble death, as it should. But I don’t think it will.
Look, I understand the need to do something following the Tree of Life shooting. I really do. As a politician, Peduto probably feels like he has to at least try to do something if he wants to keep his office. I get it.
But, on the same token, he’s talking about breaking state law to “do something.”
At the end of the day, if this passes, there need to be some repercussions from the state. If there isn’t, then it’s a signal to local communities that they can ignore state law whenever convenient. I fully expect some rural community to counter by breaking state law and then wait for the state to try to hammer them. Then they’ll counter by pointing out just how Pittsburgh is doing the same thing.
Equal protection, folks. It’s a thing.
Some might ask how is this different from pro-gun sanctuary counties in places like New Mexico? Well, the big difference is in those places no one is using their office to break the law. Instead, they’re saying they won’t enforce aspects of that law. Police and prosecutors routinely have some degree of discretion when dealing with people who break the rules, after all. They’re just telling people upfront they’ll use it with these laws.
Peduto and company are talking about actively breaking the law. That’s very different.
We’ll have to wait and see how things shake out at some point Wednesday. Don’t expect sanity, though.