Philly mayor: Pennsylvania is "backwards" due to guns

AP Photo/Matt Rourke

When we talk about the urban/rural divide, it’s natural to see at least some degree of tension. After all, the needs of the city and the needs of the country aren’t always the same thing. This leads to conflicting ideas on how a state should be governed.

Philadelphia’s mayor, however, told us what he thinks of the rest of Pennsylvania, simply because they don’t want gun control.

Criticizing the state’s gun laws, Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney on Wednesday called Pennsylvania a “backward state” and said its Legislature for the most part doesn’t care about its citizens.

Kenney made the comments in response to an NBC10/Telemundo 62 question about his support of stricter gun laws and a shooting that happened at a school in the predawn hours of Wednesday morning.

“We’re not gonna get gun control in Pennsylvania. This is a backward state whose Legislature for the most part doesn’t care about the health and welfare of its citizens,” Kenney said.

Pennsylvania has a Democratic governor in Tom Wolf, but Republicans hold majorities in both the state Senate and House. Wolf has used his veto pen to block looser gun laws advanced by the Republican-controlled Legislature, but he is term-limited, with his final term coming to an end this year.

There you have it, folks. Kenney just told us all not just what he thinks of not just the rest of Pennsylvania, but all gun rights supporters as a whole.

He said the quiet part out loud.

Understand, he’s not saying anything that millions of his fellow anti-gunners don’t believe as well. If pressed, many would admit it. With some, it doesn’t take that much pressure, either.

Yet he’s also wrong that people in Pennsylvania don’t care about the “health and welfare of its citizens.” They obviously do. The difference is that they see things differently, rightly believing that gun control only empowers criminals while inhibiting the actions of law-abiding people and their ability to protect themselves.

It’s fine to disagree, even if I believe you’re wrong, but to claim that because I don’t support your preferred policies, it means I don’t actually care is infuriating, and for damn good reason, too.

But Kenney isn’t unusual, as I said. He’s merely voicing what many of his allies think of people like you and me. It’s “backward” to want your rights unmolested. It’s “backward” to recognize that police cannot–not won’t, but can’t–protect you. It’s “backward” to understand that guns are equalizers against bigger, stronger, more aggressive attackers.

In other words, you’re a backward hick because you won’t bow down and lick the boot of the anti-gun lobby and accept their claims at face value, either in Pennsylvania or elsewhere.

This is what they think of us.

As a southerner, I’m used to it. I’ve been getting it my whole life, regardless of any other factors at play. That doesn’t mean that it doesn’t get me riled up when someone like Kenney says it about anyone who refuses to do as they’re told.

Frankly, if valuing my rights and refusing to give them up because someone tells me to is backward, then why would I want to be any other way?