When Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto announced his intention to ignore state law, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf was right there beside him. Calling Gov. Wolf an enabler wouldn’t exactly be out of line. If Peduto lands in jail over this–which needs to happen–Wolf probably needs to be right there with him. After all, he’s clearly part of Peduto’s thinking on this.
As if that wasn’t enough, the Democrat is now calling for statewide gun control in the wake of the Pittsburgh fiasco.
With family members of gun violence victims by his side, Gov. Tom Wolf renewed his call Tuesday for lawmakers to toughen Pennsylvania’s gun laws, now three months after a truck driver walked into a Pittsburgh synagogue and fatally shot 11 people.
The anti-gun violence rally with Wolf comes at the start of the Republican-controlled Legislature’s new two-year session, and as a top Republican lawmaker suggested that agreement might be found on mental health interventions, rather than gun control.
The shooting in the Tree of Life synagogue is deemed to be the deadliest attack on Jews in U.S. history, and anti-violence advocates cannot recall a deadlier modern-day mass shooting in Pennsylvania.
Wolf, a Democrat, has long supported a wide range of gun-control and anti-violence measures, and told the rally crowd in the Capitol’s Rotunda that gun violence is unacceptable as an everyday part of American life. Pennsylvania’s lawmakers and Congress must act, he said.
“It is not just synagogues in Pittsburgh that are at risk,” Wolf said. “It’s churches in Lancaster, it’s mosques in Allentown, it’s schools in Erie, it’s movie theaters in Johnstown, it’s concert halls in Philadelphia, colleges in Scranton and even streets in Harrisburg.”
Among the bills already under consideration in Pennsylvania are the usual suspects, namely universal background checks, red flag laws, and an “assault weapon” ban.
However, Wolf had better hope his sentiment’s shared beyond his party if he wants these ideas, plus any others, to have more than a snowball’s chance in hell of reaching his desk. Republicans control both chambers of the Pennsylvania General Assembly. While members of the GOP have stepped in it by supporting red flag laws in many places, still others have shot the measures down. That’s the only one I see having a great chance of passage.
That won’t stop Wolf from asking for it, nor will he try to stop Peduto from breaking state law in order to pass what Wolf can’t get through at the state level. Nor will it stop the Attorney General Josh Shapiro–a man who received campaign donations from Michael Bloomberg–from ignoring the blatant violation of state law.
Then again, who knows. How many Republicans may be feeling the heat right about now? How many are being torched by constituents? I’m assuming mostly party-line votes here, so I could be wrong on any or all of these measures. If you’re in Pennsylvania, it behooves you to step up and call your state legislators and let them know how you feel.