The city of Philadelphia is one of many large urban centers that has seen a sizeable increase in violent crimes over the last few years. I’ve joked that it’s still the City of Brotherly Love, it’s just that the brothers are Cain and Abel.
Yet for officials there, gun control is the answer. It simply has to be.
No, it hasn’t worked out for Chicago, but they’re sure this time it’ll be different because that always works out well.
The problem is that Pennsylvania has preemption. Philadelphia can’t create its own gun control laws. They want to change that, though, and it seems a hearing and an anti-gun rally are slated to push for just that.
The March For Our Lives at the state Capitol rally marks its fifth anniversary since its inception after the 2018 shooting that killed 17 students and staff at a Parkland, Florida, high school. Hundreds are expected at the rally in Harrisburg, which coincides with similar rallies this week at state Capitols in Florida, Michigan, California and Texas.
The rally comes as Philadelphia is fighting in court for the right to impose its own gun-control policies. Also fueling the march, three police officers have been shot and killed so far this year: Christopher Fitzgerald of Temple University police, Chief Justin McIntire of Brackenridge police and Sean Sluganski of McKeesport police.
Gun violence is playing a big role in this spring’s campaign for mayor of Philadelphia, while Temple University’s president, Jason Wingard, told a panel of lawmakers Tuesday that Philadelphia’s record-high homicide rate has wrought a climate in which students, faculty, parents and staff are afraid about the future.
March For Our Lives ralliers are pushing for legislation to ban sales of “assault weapons,” close background check loopholes, require safe storage of firearms and other measures.
They have philosophical allies in newly elected Democratic Gov. Josh Shapiro and Democratic leadership in the House and Senate. Democrats say they are more optimistic about getting legislation passed now that their majority in the House has the power to bring up bills for votes.
It should be noted that all of those laws have existed in states like New York and California for years. They did nothing to stop the Buffalo shooting, nor the Monterey Bay and Half Moon Bay shootings earlier this year.
Why, it’s almost like they do nothing except inhibit law-abiding citizens.
Bet there’s a reason for that.
Anyway, there’s going to be a lot of push in Pennsylvania and, unfortunately, I suspect we’ll see some level of new gun control there. Anti-gun Democrats have laid the groundwork necessary and I strongly suspect there’s not much that will stop some of these proposals.
However, activists in the state shouldn’t roll over and just accept defeat. They can and should continue to fight, and for very good reason. Elected officials, regardless of party, aren’t immune to concern over keeping their job. If they think gun control is a losing proposition for them personally, they won’t bake it. If enough decide that, measures go nowhere.
So contact your legislators and oppose these measures.
Or, you can just enjoy living in an anti-gun state. Your call, really.