The city of Philadelphia has been pushing to overturn preemption for a while now, as has Pittsburgh. They don’t like that they can’t pass their own gun control laws.
What’s more, there are those who seem to think they should.
However, things aren’t that simple. Take a recent story out of Philly. On Wednesday, three SWAT officers were shot while trying to apprehend a suspect.
Three members of a Philadelphia SWAT team were shot while serving a warrant Wednesday morning, according to police, who again pleaded for an end to the city’s gun violence.
It appears all the injured officers will be OK, Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney said.
This shooting occurred just after 6 a.m. as SWAT officers tried to serve a warrant on a person who was wanted for an August homicide and was suspected of participating in multiple armed robberies, Philadelphia Police First Deputy Commissioner John Stanford said at a news conference.
Stanford called the level of gun violence in Philadelphia “ridiculous,” adding, “it’s enough.”
“There’s not a day that goes by that we don’t either have a child that is shot, or multiple people shot, because there are too many people out here carrying guns and they don’t have consequences,” he said. “Some people need to be in jail.”
Well, first of all, it’s not that there are too many people carrying guns. It’s that the wrong sort is carrying them and doing so in a city that’s hostile to law-abiding gun owners, but I digress.
What people need to understand here is that this was a man already wanted for homicide and multiple armed robberies who then tried to murder heavily armed police officers.
Do you really think local gun control is going to stop someone like that?
This is someone who was determined to murder members of the police’s elite response team who are heavily armed and wearing body armor. I’m pretty sure someone willing to do that is also willing to talk to their neighborhood black-market gun dealer.
While preemption doesn’t necessarily stop someone like this–why would it?–it also doesn’t actually empower them, either. There’s little chance this is someone who could and did purchase a firearm lawfully, after all. I seriously doubt this was the first time he saw law enforcement coming to arrest him, which means he was probably a felon and ineligible to purchase a firearm.
It wasn’t gun control laws that failed here.
What failed was the fact that places like Philadelphia are too focused on the fact that they’re not able to pass a certain type of law that they’re ignoring the thousands of things they could actually do. We know that violent crime is linked to poverty and education, for example. Why not start there and work out from that point? There’s no preemption law stopping them from doing that and let’s be honest, such measures are well within the politics of the city.
It’s not like they’re concerned about spending taxpayer money on such things.
And it’s not like there aren’t proven strategies that Philadelphia could at least try.
Any of those, had they been implemented in the past, might well have kept those three officers from being shot.
Instead, Philadelphia is beating its head against a wall demanding the ability to pass gun control laws we already know won’t actually work.
I can’t help but conclude that officials in Philadelphia don’t care about solving the issue so much as making political points for their preferred party. Either that or they’re literally too stupid to be allowed near public office.
Then again, this is one of those cases where I should probably embrace the healing power of “and.”