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Currently Browsing: Pennsylvania

Senator Bob Casey Pushing Gun Control

Senator Bob Casey is pushing for more gun control, including gun bans, I might add, in this Philadelphia Inquirer op-ed. There aren’t many comments right now, so I would encourage everyone to go comment. Please let the Senator know what a flip-flopping liar he really is, and make sure the public knows. This guy ran in 2006 as a moderate, with an NRA A rating. He turned out to be a far-left liberal who supports gun bans. Bob Casey completely lied about being pro-gun. People don’t like politicians who are liars, so I think it’s important that everyone know what he is.

Interesting Development in PA Spree Killer Case

I noticed last night the media reported the spree killer attempted a carjacking in Doylestown, which is the seat of my county. What the media didn’t report is that he may have made the error of bringing a knife to a gunfight, and gotten himself shot at by the guy he tried to carjack. They don’t report whether he was hit, but I would bet not. Not the wisest thing to do, to try to carjack people in a state where about one in every 6 adults has an LTC.

UPDATE: I’m told local news sources are reporting the incident may not have happened. I’m still going on the last police statement on the matter, bad spelling and all.

UPDATE: The spree killer has been found dead near his home. He shot himself. So the guy who did the Doylestown carjacking wasn’t him. Now, if it turns out that the guy who claims to have fought off a carjacker was making a false report, trying to be the hero, you can bet your first born the media will be sure to spread that far and wide.

Enhanced Preemption “State Sanctioned Terrorism”

According to Doylestown Borough Council President Det Ansinn, the new enhanced preemption bill recently signed into law by Governor Corbett is “state sanction terrorism.” There’s something to be said for upsetting the right people. CeaseFirePA is similarly incensed, given how hard they worked to convince municipalities to pass these illegal ordinances in the first place. Mr. Ansinn notes in his own comments:

 

 

 

It’s no secret that I own firearms. I also have a concealed carry permit. I grew up with guns.

With that understanding, a law that removes local control and empowers outsiders to litigate, at the cost of the local taxpayers, is batshit crazy.

HB80/Act 192 is offensive pandering to a single industry. It’s going to make lawyers rich and strips your communities of the right to make their own decisions.

The old, “I’m a gun owner, but” line. We accept plenty of context where local governments have no control, especially where Constitutional Rights are concerned. For instance, local governments can’t close down abortion clinics. They can’t limit freedom of speech only to residents. They have to issue permits for public demonstrations in a manner that’s compatible with federal court rulings. They can’t prohibit licensed drivers in Pennsylvania from driving on their own roads, or impose requirements that are incompatible with state law on the matter.

It’s exceedingly difficult to have discussions where your opponents lack an understanding of  how the law already works, and are unable to draw on other contexts to support their arguments. The fact is that Doylestown never had any ability to ban guns in parks. Those ordinances are already illegal, and have been from the moment Pennsylvania passed preemption (some time ago, if I recall). If Doylestown chose to try to enforce their ordinances, if the person charged fought the charge in court, they would win. But they would be on the hook to pay their attorneys fees to have the charges dismissed. HB80 changes that, and gives standing to challenge the law without having to first be charged under it. It is a fundamentally just law.

If it hadn’t been for local communities flouting the existing law, HB80 would have been entirely unnecessary.

PA Attorney General Won’t Defend Gun Law

Simply because she doesn’t like it, Attorney General Kathleen Kane announced she’s refusing to defend the preemption law that passed the Pennsylvania General Assembly earlier this year. The law is being challenged with a lawsuit by a senator who didn’t support it.

While Kane’s office pretends that it’s no big deal to kick it over the Governor’s office to defend, she does so knowing that the legal team will change next year. Governor-elect Tom Wolf isn’t willing to say he’ll defend it, merely that his team will review it only after they take office. In other words, don’t expect anything from him.

In regards to both offices, these elections were largely lost because many voters value Penn State football over their gun rights. I guess those voters didn’t learn the first time that elections have consequences, and now we’re all going to suffer for it.

The only possible good news is that it may take a while for this to get any kind of court date. Until it is actually thrown out, it’s still the law. Because of that, as the article notes, attorneys representing municipalities with gun control ordinances on the books are still encouraging them to repeal quickly. Since Pennsylvania doesn’t seem to be much of a priority for the big bucks of gun control these days, maybe the cities won’t bring them back.

Enhanced Preemption Law Paying Dividends

Despite the legal challenge against the new enhanced preemption law, the law is already paying off. Norristown council has revoked its lost and stolen ordinance.

In light of the recent amendments to the Pennsylvania Uniform Firearms Act, which grant an expansive right of legal standing to individuals and membership organizations to challenge a local gun control ordinance,” the ordinance said, “which further provide for exorbitant damages that can be shifted to the municipality if unsuccessful in defending its ordinance, council has determined that it is in the best interests of the municipality to remove any regulation of lost or stolen firearms.”

It’s amazing how these municipalities were so confident in the legality of these ordinances when they were being passed over objections that they were illegal, are now are suddenly not so confident with the near certainly they will be sued and held accountable.

Good News for PA Republicans & Gun Owners

The Senate GOP has dumped Dominic Pileggi (RINO, Delaware) as Senate Majority Leader in favor of Center County Republican Jake Corman. If there’s any one person who I think deserves the blame for losing the Governor’s mansion, it’s Pileggi. He, along with a handful of other Southeast Republicans, blocked the Corbett Administration from accomplishing anything, including liquor privatization, which was wildly popular with voters, even voters in the Southeast.

If we end up losing on the germaneness issue with enhanced preemption, likewise, you can blame Pileggi and Stu Greenleaf (RINO, Montgomery), who held up the bill long enough that a floor amendment to an existing bill was the only path forward. Maybe now we can see some progress from the GOP Senate, just in time to have everything blocked by soon-to-be-governor Tom Wolf.

The Inevitable Lawsuit Against Preemption Enhancement

I had mentioned before there were issues with germaneness with the preemption enhancement bill, so it’s not surprising to see that a lawsuit has been filed to challenge the law on that issue. Note that having to take this more risky route to pass preemption enhancement wouldn’t have been necessary if it weren’t for intransigence in the part of the GOP leadership of the Senate.

It’s worth noting that there has not been a single prosecution under the numerous “Lost and Stolen” laws that have been illegally passed by municipalities around the Commonwealth, including Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. This is despite the leaders of these cities telling us these laws were critical crime fighting measures. None of this is surprising. The City of Philadelphia hardly ever prosecutes gun violations. They are typically add on crimes that get plead away, or in most cases, the cities just refuse to prosecute. Any city leader in Pennsylvania claiming to need these laws need to explain why they aren’t using the ones they already have. How are more going to help? And maybe since you aren’t using the existing ones, we ought to take those away too.

Details Matter – Legislative Whoopsie

Via Josh Prince, we find out that Pennsylvania’s new preemption law isn’t really law…yet. It turns out that someone sent the wrong version of the bill to the Governor.

Josh noted on Facebook that it does mean a new effective date, but the law will still become law.

Maybe Tom Corbett could find a liquor privatization bill that the Senate seemingly forgot to send him to sign before he leaves, too.

Good News for PA Voters

This is just a reminder that if Tom Wolf wins, as expected, it is now legal to drink your sorrows away at the local bar. However, you may need to stay closer to sober in order to save your bucks to pay those higher taxes he’s promising everyone.

Regardless of the sorrows you may need to drown, the linked story is an interesting history on liquor sales in Pennsylvania on Election Day. They also note that South Carolina was the last state to legalize the sale of alcohol on Election Day while Alaska and Massachusetts still allow local towns to enact bans.

I think it’s also funny that they feel the need to remind people that you can’t trade liquor for votes. The story also notes that as recently as last year, there have been problems with this with an Arkansas lawmaker who traded vodka and chicken dinners for votes.

A Democratic congressional candidate out in Western Pennsylvania posted photos of herself and volunteers with candy that they were giving out to their voters today. I wonder if there’s a law on that?

Off I Go to Hold My Nose

I’ve been happy with Corbett on the gun issue. If you look at his record, it’s about the only constituency he managed to please. On every other issue, I’m disappointed. He hasn’t really done anything to fix the state’s long term financial problems. The People of Wisconsin will be happy that Scott Walker made some hard decisions now. Even New Jersey is probably marginally better off for having Chris Christie. But Pennsylvania is probably doomed to a serious pension crisis in the not so distant future. Because of the intransigence of the Senate GOP leadership, we couldn’t even get liquor privatization done. But I will hold my nose and cast the vote for Corbett, pretty much solely on the gun issue. He signed enhanced castle doctrine and signed enhanced preemption. He came out after Sandy Hook and put the kibosh on gun control in Pennsylvania, which enabled us to focus federally. Every one of our neighboring states except Ohio and West Virginia suffered attacks and setbacks at the state level, and it was West Virginia’s senator trying to screw us federally. As Republicans go in this state, Corbett has been pretty good on guns. I can’t imagine Tom Ridge holding so firm after something like Sandy Hook.

I’m also very concerned Tom Wolf will be the Jerry Brown of Pennsylvania. At some point, fellow citizens, we need to stick it to the GOP leadership in this state. Pennsylvania has a moderate political tradition of centrist Democrats (except in the cities) and squishy Republicans, so it’s going to be a long road. Wolf wants to fix the state’s finances with more taxes, notably a progressive tax (which is unconstitutional, PA mandates a flat income tax). As a commenter mentioned earlier this morning, this place is going to start looking an awful lot like New York if the state GOP doesn’t start standing for something other than its own power and self-interest. If Wolf wins, the best case scenario is total gridlock, and all that while the clock will be ticking on the state’s pension problems.

In local races, my State Representative, Frank Farry, has been pretty solid on Second Amendment issues, so he gets my vote without question. Robert “Tommy” Tomlinson, my State Senator, went without an endorsement for a while because he tried to screw us on Florida reciprocity. This year he’s got an endorsement again, because he voted with us on Castle Doctrine and enhanced preemption. I’ll vote for him, since his Democratic challenger, Kim Rose, didn’t even see fit to return a questionnaire.

I’m still deciding whether or not I’m going to hold my nose for Mike Fitzpatrick. He took an endorsement from Bloomberg’s outfit, and was one of the few Republicans to support the house equivalent of Manchin-Toomey. If I do, this will be the last year. If Fitzpatrick doesn’t step down in 2016, like he’s promised to do, and fails to draw a successful primary challenger, I’m done with voting for Fitzpatrick as long as he’s going to suck up to guys like Bloomberg. If I do end up pushing the button for Fitz, it’s not really for him so much as to keep the seat in GOP hands in the hopes he steps down like he promised, or draws a reasonable primary challenger. If that seat flips to the Dems, it’s going to be a hell of a lot harder to get it back, which would suck if the GOP actually managed to find an acceptable candidate for 2016.

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