06 December 2007

State Lawmakers From Philly Walk Out Over Stalled Gun Reg Proposals

This is interesting, and disturbing, from Pennsylvania. Prosecutors and police in Philadelphia have done more to reduce the incidences of so-called "gun violence," by way of refusing to throw out firearms specifications when plea-bargaining with criminals there. It has gotten to the point that the bad guys will throw their guns out of a car when they know they are going to be arrested on drugs or other charges -- because they know the gun charges will not be dropped. It is a fascinating trend, and one that other cities should adopt. I suggested it to our city council here in Columbus, and the reply was generally, "that would cost us more, because officers would be off the street and testifying in court, or worse we would have to pay them overtime to appear in court if it were their day off." Hmmmm . . . sound like anyone here is serious about reducing the "gun violence?"

So it works in Philadelphia. And yet, state lawmakers from the Philadelphia area walked out of their legislative assembly in Harrisburg yesterday to protest inaction on three overtly anti-gun bills that are currently stalled. Why? Because they aren't getting their way. This is the perfect example of the saying "gun control is not about crime, it's about control." They can't stand it that other measures are having an impact on crime. And they promised certain donors, I am sure, that they would have no trouble getting these irrational measures pushed through and made into law. Even a rare personal appearance by Gov. Ed Rendell could not move these misguided pieces of legislation.

As I have written on these pages, Philadelphia (and all the other incredibly high-crime urban areas) don't have a gun problem, they have a drug problem. Failing schools and a high drop-out rate are just a few of the reasons. The the absence of a strong moral compass, kids may drift to gangs. Who deal in drugs. Deal with those "real" problems and Philadelphia's misstated "gun problem" goes away.

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