The mayor of Pittsburgh may be bound and determined to ignore state law and ram through gun control laws, but the city council is taking a bit more of a cautious approach.
In particular, it agreed to hold a fact-finding meeting to get all the information before making a final decision. However, even that was controversial.
An as-yet-unscheduled “fact-finding” meeting on Pittsburgh’s gun control bills will be added to city council’s calendar, in addition to an already scheduled public hearing.
Perhaps fitting for the controversial issue, even the proposal to hold an extra meeting spurred disagreement.
Councilwoman Darlene Harris called for the post-agenda meeting at Wednesday’s council meeting. Councilwoman Theresa Kail-Smith seconded the motion.
“I’m going to attempt to get neutral people,” Ms. Harris said at the council table.
“Neutral people? What do you mean neutral?” asked the Rev. Ricky Burgess, who as Finance Committee chair presides over Wednesday’s standing committee meetings.
“We want to get facts,” Ms. Kail-Smith said.
Ms. Harris and Ms. Kail-Smith last month pulled their names from sponsorship of the gun bills, which aim to ban assault-style weapons and certain gun accessories and ammunition within city limits as well as establish a process for courts to remove weapons from the possession of people who pose an “extreme risk” to themselves or others. The other seven council members’ names remain on the bills.
Harris is charged with scheduling the speakers, though she commented that she didn’t want “radicals,” which is amusing because there are people who think that anyone who supports the Second Amendment is radical.
I sincerely hope they’re reminded that the state has a preemption law on the books and any effort to pass a gun control law will be met with a legal challenge.
That means all of this expense will be for nothing. All that will happen is that Mayor Bill Peduto will signal to his party that he’s a loyal soldier and willing to pass gun regulations, all the while creating an inconvenience for the law-abiding gun owners of Pittsburgh.
Look, what happened at the Tree of Life Synagogue was awful. Awful in ways I can’t describe, nor would I even want to.
But that doesn’t give anyone the grounds to infringe on the rights of others. While I despise the anti-semitic ideology that led to the shooting, why would I or any other freedom-loving American condone infringing on people’s rights to keep and bear arms based on what this one anti-Semite did?
I can’t and I won’t.
Unfortunately, far too many people seem to think that the right to keep and bear arms should be given second-class status. It makes them uncomfortable. It scares them. Because of that, they want everyone’s right to be kept in check, to be limited and restricted.
I give the city council credit for trying to get all the information before voting, but too many minds are already made up for me to trust that any good will come of it.