When it comes to the Pennsylvania battle over preemption, much of the attention lately has been focused on Pittsburg. After all, that’s the city that offered a middle finger to the state and passed their own assault weapon ban despite the state’s preemption.
However, Pittsburgh isn’t the only major city in the state that is chaffing at their inability to pass useless gun control laws that wouldn’t do a damn thing but restrict the rights of law-abiding citizens. Oh no. It seems Philadelphia isn’t happy with their inability to pass gun control laws themselves.
Now, they’re suing to try and change the situation.
The City of Philadelphia is suing Pennsylvania so it can enact stronger gun safety laws and curb the epidemic of violence roiling the city.
Wow. Just one sentence in and the bias is crystal clear.
Anyway, moving on…
In the lawsuit, Philadelphia is asking a judge to invalidate a set of regulations under the Pennsylvania Uniform Firearms Act, so it and other municipalities are free to pass their own measures aimed at curbing gun violence.
Brought on behalf of Philly and Pittsburgh residents who have been directly impacted by gun violence, the suit was filed Wednesday in Commonwealth Court.
City officials gathered at Germantown’s Happy Hollow Recreation Center to announce the action, a location chosen “due to historical rates of gun violence in the area,” said Patricia Gillett, spokesperson for Council President Darrell Clarke.
“The simple reality is what we’re asking for from the commonwealth is completely reasonable,” Clarke said on Wednesday.
Except, it’s not.
Preemption puts every community at the same standard so citizens traveling throughout the state don’t run afoul of a local gun control law that doesn’t exist five feet away.
Further, Philadelphia’s problems don’t stem from a lack of gun control. If anything, they stem from an incompetent government that can’t seem to handle their business. At least, that’s what it looks like based on other factors.
Seriously, violence is a complex problem, but as we’ve seen elsewhere, gun control isn’t required to solve the issue. New York, for example, had the toughest gun control laws in the nation when it because a violent hellhole, yet without enacting any additional gun laws, they became one of the safest big cities in the nation.
Guns aren’t the problem.
Instead, Philadelphia would do better by looking at how they police the city and placing reform efforts there. It’s not the street-level officers who are the problem, nor the next couple or three levels above them, but how the top brass view policing. That’s who needs to rethink their efforts and start making moves that will have a longer lasting impact on the city and reduce crime.
As for the lawsuit, that’s not likely to go anywhere. Preemption has survived legal challenges before and I suspect they’ll survive yet again. This is really more about being seen to do something than actually doing something.
After all, the political theater is easy. Actually doing something, though? That’s hard.