Currently Browsing: Pennsylvania
Jan 23, 2015
The leader of a gun control group here in Pennsylvania told a Lancaster, PA outlet that they don’t consider actual prosecutions of crimes to be a relevant factor in pushing gun control laws.
In the more than five years the law’s been on the books, not one person has been prosecuted.
“It’s just to lord it over law-abiding people and threaten them with it — which is wrong and immoral,” said Jonathan Goldstein, the NRA’s attorney on the case.
Shira Goodman, executive director of CeaseFirePA, agreed that prosecutions aren’t the point of the law.
So, if enforcement isn’t the point of passing gun control laws, then what is the goal? Is it to score a “victory” to use in fundraising for more gun control group salaries? Or is the goal to create a patchwork of such complicated laws that no one wants to bother trying to become a lawful gun owner? These are questions the paper isn’t willing to follow up on, even though it should be a little odd that a gun control group spokesperson is indicating she doesn’t care if there’s any enforcement of the laws she claims are sooooo vital to public safety.
Jan 15, 2015
Remember the headlines about Maryland police officers possibly targeting gun owners for stops?
Well, we could be looking at the similar attitude against guns and their owners coming to Pennsylvania highways. The Maryland State Police Superintendent was just appointed by Gov. Tom Wolf to be the new head of the Pennsylvania State Police.
Elections have consequences, and this is just one more reminder for those guys and gals you know who are choosing to sit home and pout rather than trying to find a coalition so that they – and their rights – aren’t under constant attack.
Jan 15, 2015
The cities are Lancaster, Pittsburgh and Philadelphia. One presumes that the timing of these suits is related to an ill-advised lawsuit launched by U.S. Shield Law. These are the three cities that have thumbed their noses at the new preemption law, and are actively working to have the law invalidated by the courts as unconstitutional. They attorney handling the case is Jonathan Goldstein, who is a good choice, and is experienced in arguing gun-related cases. In the mean time, Attorney Joshua Prince’s campaign against the many municipalities across Pennsylvania is bearing a lot of fruit. It’s practically daily a municipality agrees to rescind its law. Only Lancaster, Harrisburg, Pittsburgh and Philadelphia have, so far, been willing to put their taxpayer dollars on the line to thumb their noses at the rights of their citizens to have gun laws be uniform throughout the commonwealth.
Jan 14, 2015
The Express-Times are standing behind New Jersey and Pennsylvania’s blue law that bans hunting on Sunday, originally enforced because you should be in church. They are arguing hunters have to share the great outdoors, which they largely pay for, with other people who don’t pay for it. I am not a hunter, but it’s very important for gun rights in this country to turn around its decline. There are plenty of people on our side who are happy to throw the “fudds” off the lifeboat, but the hunting cultures nonetheless provides a lot of bodies to the gun rights movement, and it’s decline will hurt us at the end of the day. Nearly every other state in the country allows Sunday hunting. There is no reason that New Jersey and Pennsylvania should be among the last states to repeal this blue law.
Jan 13, 2015
Our current Congresscritter, Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick, jumped on board with the “must look squishy” stance after Newtown and decided to sponsor gun control in the House even when it became clear there would be no vote.
It’s not a shock at all. No one actually believes he has a spine on any issue, but that’s part of why some people vote for him. Even our biggest frustration with him isn’t so much that he puts his finger in the air to try and guess the wind direction before taking a position, but that he’s actually not very good at it from a political strategy standpoint. (Of course, he might argue that he wins elections, and that’s a valid argument.) However, in all of that, he didn’t get on board with a gun ban, even though local folks thought he would in the wake of anything controversial. So, that’s at least something positive in the less-than-ideal political reality.
Rep. Fitzpatrick also pledged to term limit himself. He’s not running in 2016, which means it’s an open seat that only very slightly leans Republican in voting habits. It’s up for grabs for either party. The first to start the process of running? A local lawmaker who pushed banning possession of semi-automatic firearms – confiscation. In his statement, State Rep. Steven Santarsiero complained the gun ban legislation proposed by Sen. Dianne Feinstein to be too moderate and pro-gun for his liking. Lovely.
This speculative field of alternative candidates who have grades doesn’t look good for gun rights, either. (Though some on that list haven’t run in an office to have an official grade or put out an official statement on the issue. And one, Jim Cawley, just announced a cushy non-profit CEO job today, so it’s safe to say he’s not interested.) Given the passion with which we oppose the policies of the officially declared candidate, this is a race we will be watching closely.
Sebastian and I have already spent dinner conversations on the subject, and we’d like to see one of the state senators from the area run. For Pennsylvanians who follow politics, we’re thinking Sens. Tommy Tomlinson or Chuck McIlhinney. One advantage to McIlhinney, beyond his previous A rating, is that it would help clear the path to liquor store privatization once Gov. Wolf is out of office. On the other hand, Tomlinson probably has the better demographic appeal. His name recognition is also spread across the most populous parts of the Congressional district. Tomlinson was last rated A-, and he did take a walk from us once on the issue of reciprocity a few years ago. As a consequence, he lost his endorsement and came back around on the major recent votes to earn back an endorsement. Tomlinson also won in 2014 after a big “war on women” attack in a Democratic area, so that’s a plus.
Does anyone else have any known open seat issues where there’s a not unreasonable chance that the seat will flip from (reasonably) pro-gun to an extreme anti-gun fringe candidate? Are you already looking around the political field for candidates to help early in the race?
Jan 8, 2015
The best Attorney General that Mike Bloomberg’s money could buy is facing possible criminal charges at the recommendation of a grand jury. According to sources, they are recommending perjury and contempt of court for her role in leaking confidential grand jury materials to the press in order to embarrass opponents.
I’ll stick by the argument that the frequently GOP-leaning voters in the middle of the state who valued their football program over their gun rights and the rule of law are the ones responsible for sending her in on a wave election.
Dec 16, 2014
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.
Dec 16, 2014
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.
Dec 8, 2014
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.
Dec 5, 2014
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.