AP Photo/Matt Rourke
It’s now official. They’ve gone and done it.
The Pittsburgh City Council has gone and passed a gun control bill despite the state’s preemption law still being on the books.
Pittsburgh City Council on Wednesday tentatively approved three gun-control bills that would ban the use of assault-style weapons and accessories in public places in the wake of October’s Tree of Life massacre in Squirrel Hill.
The measures, approved 6-3, also would allow the courts to remove firearms from those who pose an “extreme risk” to themselves or others.
Voting in favor, council President Bruce Kraus called the vote a matter of “moral courage.”
I’m just curious how Kraus will feel when people completely ignore the new laws as a matter of “moral courage.” Think he’ll be understanding?
I mean, if he and his buddies can ignore the law and claim “moral courage,” then so can Pittsburgh gun owners who refuse to comply with this farce.
Honestly, I’m not surprised it passed. It shouldn’t have, but it was going to. Even if there were people on the city council who personally opposed it (which I kind of doubt), at least some of them were going to vote for it anyway. There’s still pain following the Tree of Life massacre, so of course, most were going to side with it. Their political lives depended on it.
None of those who voted against the measure did so because the proposals were stupid.
Council members Anthony Coghill, Darlene Harris and Theresa Kail-Smith voted “no,” expressing concerns about a state preemption law prohibiting municipalities from regulating firearms at the local level.
“This is something that the state should be voting on, not council,” Ms. Harris said after the meeting. “If we do a resolution and ask the state to do this, that’s different.”
Now, I don’t know these council members, so I have no idea if this is a sincerely-held belief or using the preemption law as cover to oppose the bills they would have opposed anyway — not a clue.
Still, it’s a shame there was no one on the council to tell Peduto and company that this wasn’t just illegal, but idiotic.
Bad people are still going to do bad things. None of this will change any of that.
What will happen is people will use the new red flag law to punish others for whatever reason. It’s nothing more than legalized “swatting.” People will get hurt. They’ll be treated like dangerous criminals. The result? None of it will stop the next massacre.
The Tree of Life killer was a racist psychopath, but would anyone in his circle of relationships have notified the authorities? How many red flags make sense in hindsight but not at the time?
Not that it matters to the anti-gunners that make up Pittsburgh’s local government. For them, the Tree of Life shooting was just a pretext. They can claim it’s about that all they want, but for most of them? It’s nothing of the sort.
Luckily, now comes the inevitable legal challenges, which will likely kill the law, which means nothing happened except getting people worked up.