Philadelphia bans guns at rec centers

AP Photo/Matt Rourke

The city of Philadelphia has a problem, one plaguing most major cities these days. Violent crime is soaring out of control and politicians are desperate to at least look like they’re doing something about it.


Mayor Jim Kenney has made his feelings about guns known, and he most definitely isn’t a fan of our Second Amendment rights by any means.

And his latest move is going to make that even clearer.

Guns are not allowed to be carried at indoor or outdoor recreation facilities in Philadelphia under an executive order signed by Mayor Jim Kenney Tuesday.

Recreation Commissioner Kathryn Ott Lovell said the move comes after the death of Tiffany Fletcher, a recreation department employee killed during a shootout at Mill Creek Playground earlier this month.

“We can’t say this often enough, young people are always welcome in our parks and playgrounds, guns are not.”

I, for one, would like to congratulate Mayor Kenney on his latest move.

After all, it’s an amazing thing to make such a pronouncement with such authority on a decision that would have changed absolutely nothing had it been in place before Fletcher’s murder.

I mean, come on, folks. Those who are going to get into shootouts at public parks aren’t exactly going to suddenly decide they won’t carry a gun to one because of a law. That’s literally never happened in the history of man.


Fletcher was caught n a gunfight between two teenagers–people too young to lawfully buy a handgun, it should be noted, which tells you a lot about the character of folks we’re talking about here–which means that these weren’t fine, upstanding citizens. Her murder is beyond awful and an absolute tragedy.

However, banning the lawful carry of guns in certain places doesn’t actually stop people from carrying guns. If teenagers are going to carry unlawfully anyway, why would they see the gun-free sign at the park and suddenly rethink all of their life choices?

They won’t.

They’ll just keep doing what they were doing.

What Kenney has done, though, is made it so the law-abiding folks with carry permits in Philadelphia can’t have a gun in those places.

It should also be noted that the same day Kenney made this announcement, one person was killed and four others injured after a high school football scrimmage. Is Kenney’s answer to ban guns on the streets of Philadelphia?

Of course, there are other considerations that need to be made. For example, Pennsylvania has preemption. That means Kenney can’t just decide to make guns illegal in places unless state law allows it. The above-linked article makes no mention of state law, which suggests that there’s no provision for such regulations.


If so, this is likely to be short-lived, as it should be.

Look, no one wants to see innocent people being murdered in the crossfire. No one at all. But you don’t prevent that by stopping the people who won’t be doing that by barring the people who would try to stop such things.

Then again, Kenney can’t grasp the idea that guns are neither good nor evil. They’re just a tool. It’s the hand holding it that’s the problem.

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