Currently Browsing: Philadelphia

Only The Police Are Responsible Enough to Have Guns

An M16 is missing from a Philadelphia Police locker:

“Obviously, this is very, very serious,” Ramsey said. “And believe me, we will get to the bottom of it, one way or another, I guarantee that.”

You’d think a critical mass of plutonium had gone missing or something. I mean, not that it’s not a problem, but I won’t lose any sleep over a missing M16, at least not anymore than who might be buying pressure cookers.

I’d also note that I hope that the weapon pictured in the story is not typical of the condition of the firearms in the PPD arsenal. If so, ugh.

Philadelphia Crapping on Preemption Yet Again

They are banning guns in parks and city owned public property. Obviously, this is illegal under Pennsylvania’s preemption law, but since there’s no cost to violating preemption, they routinely do it. Unfortunately, this also shows how little regard Philadelphia has for its police officers, who would be open to civil rights suits for enforcing this ordinance, given that preemption is well-established in the Courts. Any officer enforcing this law is open to being personally sued, and that suit can reach up the chain of command all the way to Nutter. Pennsylvania has a bill pending that would give teeth to the preemption statute, but so far it hasn’t moved.

So Many Lies…

The district he represents will never be competitive, but I would still like to think that the constituents of Rep. Chakah Fattah’s district deserve better than being lied to about what the laws are surrounding gun sales in Pennsylvania.

It’s just such flagrant disrespect, especially to a crowd of seemingly older folks who he probably views as too passive to actually challenge his fact-challenged anti-gun rant.

The Usefulness of Gun Control

Anti-gun lawmakers from Philadelphia are speaking out on Pennsylvania’s new concealed carry reciprocity restrictions. What are they saying?

  • “I don’t think it’s going to drastically affect violence in Philadelphia.” – Rep. Kevin Boyle (D-rated by NRA)
  • “It’s not the people with legitimate guns, it’s the people with the street guns who are destroying the neighborhood.” – Rep. James Clay (refused to answer NRA member questions during his election)
  • “We have to be realistic. This isn’t a panacea that’s going to solve all of our problems.” – Rep. Brendan Boyle (D+ rating from NRA)

In other words, this served absolutely no purpose even though many of the Philadelphia lawmakers previously claimed that “closing the Florida Loophole” would absolutely make a huge difference to solving Philadelphia’s crime rates. Now that they have it, these lawmakers are calling for more laws and restrictions.

Taking Away the Supply of Guns

Several top anti-gun leaders have seemingly conceded that they cannot get away with pushing bills to go door-to-door to round up all the guns. It doesn’t mean they don’t want to, it just means that they acknowledge there’s too much public acceptance of allowing people to own the firearms they legally purchased. So, their next goal is to end our ability to purchase the guns in the first place. Sen. Dianne Feinstein said, “The purpose [of her bill] is to dry up the supply of these weapons over time.”

We already know that Cerberus has essentially been forced to put Freedom Group up for sale due to threats from those in charge of investing California’s pension funds. Philadelphia is pulling its investments out of gun companies and investment funds that invest in gun companies unless they meet key conditions. What kinds of conditions? Gun companies must:

  • Promote gun control, including new hurdles for lawful gun and ammunition purchasers;
  • Give support (assuming financial since there’s no other that would make sense here) to cities to fund new record keeping options that would supposedly be used to share criminal records with NICS;
  • Conduct a background check on every single firearm and ammunition transfer – all the way down the line;
  • Stop producing their most popular products;
  • Dedicate any research budget for new product development to so-called “smart” guns;
  • Use any remaining product development budget to create an ammunition registry;
  • Harass every customer at every sale about the history of firearms training;
  • Redesign all existing products to include, at minimum, 4 serial numbers;
  • Fund gun buyback programs; and
  • Stop support of gun shows.

That’s just the highlights. Essentially, the demand from Philadelphia’s pension board is that gun companies should just shut themselves down before they can qualify for investments. Some of this stuff isn’t even possible given the distribution methods of the industry, but that isn’t stopping the big cities from making these demands.

Today’s headline is that Rahm Emmanuel is going after banks that allow gun manufacturers to do business with them, this is in addition to getting the city of Chicago to pull money out of gun companies and related funds.

They don’t just want a little gun control. They want to destroy the entire gun culture by making it so that even the law-abiding cannot easily find or buy firearms, and even if we pass them down, our children or grandchildren won’t have anywhere to turn to get them fixed or be able to buy new versions. Feinstein’s plan isn’t about drying up the supply of firearms. It’s about drying up the entire gun culture.

The Real Problems of School Security

Remember when the media said that NRA was nuts for suggesting that schools consider a wide-ranging security plan, not only for school shooters, but for other security threats that weren’t as obvious? Yeah, most of us do.

Well, shortly after dinner, my phone started going nuts with alert to look up the local Amber Alert. I Googled it as a good little citizen, and it just goes to show that the schools don’t take security seriously at all. A 5-year-old was kidnapped from her own classroom and the school didn’t even bother to report her missing.

According to what has been released in the last few hours, a woman described as wearing “Muslim-style clothing” walked into a school before 9am–minutes after the girl was dropped off–told the staff she was a mother, didn’t show ID, scribbled a line that was not a name onto a log sheet, walked into a classroom to tell the teacher that she signed a kid out and the teacher handed the student over, which, needless to say, is not “protocol.” The teacher just allowed her to walk out with the little girl without being questioned or stopped. Neither the teacher nor school officials bothered to follow their own procedures to find out if this was a person who even had permission to pick up the girl. They didn’t report the odd circumstance. They just let the kidnapper get away for hours without any report of what kind of vehicle she might be in, what direction she headed, or whether there were accomplices.

It was only when the girl’s daycare program that picks her up from school noticed that she wasn’t present and called her mom to verify that she was legitimately absent that anyone took notice. By that time, it was almost 3pm. The kidnapper had a 6 hour head start, and all because the school staff member was too lazy to question why a stranger who never had to show any ID just walked into a classroom and demanded to take a little girl.

These people aren’t serious about the safety of other people’s children. The child was dropped off just minutes before, and not a single staff member thought it would be odd that someone would turn around and pick them up within 5 minutes. The staff just believed a nice little title from the stranger that she was “mom” even though they couldn’t see her face or recognize her if they had known her since she purposefully covered everything except her eyes. The teacher just believed the stranger that she signed a kid out and handed the child right over. They simply didn’t care enough to give a second thought to that child and the very clearly odd circumstances in front of them.

If you have the means, you might want to take more seriously the Buffy the Vampire Slayer quote channeled by Glenn Reynolds and consider that home schooling is “not just for scary religious people any more.” At least then you’ll know that the person supervising your children actually cares enough to consider real security.

Training: It’s What’s For Dinner

Philadelphia Daily News reporter William Bender has yet another example of the Philadelphia Police not being properly trained in what the law is, as they harass yet another person open carrying legally. After the Fiorino settlement, the PPD promised to step up training for its officers on the carry laws in Pennsylvania. Apparently whatever they are doing isn’t enough to help. Is it going to take a big civil rights judgement to finally fix this?

It Failed to Meet Our Goals, So Let’s Do It Again!

One of the running jokes I’ve always heard about the left is that when they see one of their favorite programs utterly and completely fails to fix whatever problem they identified, they say that they just need to do the exact thing again – only harder! I don’t think I’ve ever seen that joke so plainly stated like I did today in this post from a Philly site.

It used to be that cities responded to [wildly swinging rents] with hard rent control, actually preventing price increases, but now virtually all economists on both the left and the right think rent control is a horrible policy that leads to housing shortages. Rent control was great at halting price increases for the small number of people lucky enough to get rent controlled apartments, but for the majority of people it meant higher market rents in all the other buildings.

See, we have the concession that the idea to control the problem was a total and utter failure that actually made the problems they were trying to solve much worse and invited new problems. So what’s the solution they want to see? A newly branded rent control program that’s slightly softer and given a new name – rent stabilization.

The immediate impacts that I can see in the specific policies they cite, even as a person who knows next to nothing about real estate or property management other than having rented with several different property owners, are that buildings would never be improved because rents could not increase beyond a set percentage to pay for it, building owners would have a harder time selling buildings because of mandatory longer term leases that would have to be honored by the next owner, and landlords would be less likely to take risks on renters who don’t come with a perfect background because of a mandatory guarantee right to renew from tenants.

Calling a “bullshit policy” a “manure-infested idea” doesn’t change the fact that it will ultimately hurt people seeking nice and reasonable accommodations that fit their budgets.

I realize that this is way off topic for this blog, but it was just too funny not to share.

Philadelphia to be Sued

The lawsuit against the City of Philadelphia for publishing gun owner details in violation of state law is moving forward:

Attorney Joshua Prince filed a motion this week in Common Pleas Court, requesting that the suit be sealed to avoid revealing the names of his five clients – and potentially hundreds of others if the case is granted class-action status.

In August, the city’s Department of Licenses and Inspections introduced a revamped website, featuring a map that allowed users to view the names and addresses of some gun owners in the city, and the specific reasons why they wanted a permit to carry a concealed weapon.

When the information was initially posted, Mayor Michael Nutter actually defended the posted information by saying that once gun owners appealed their license denials, they lost any right to privacy provided by state law and that the information could be obtained like any other public record. However, now Nutter’s office isn’t willing to make such an argument.

In fact, Prince actually went to test the theory by sending someone to the office that published the information with a written request earlier this fall. Not surprisingly, the request was denied because now the City acknowledges that it isn’t public information at all. So, Mr. Nutter, was your spokesman lying then or are your city workers lying now? I guess we’ll find out what the courts think soon.

What is Philadelphia Hiding?

Folks on the left tell us that actual voter fraud is not nearly the problem that Republicans imagine. I would tend to agree that it’s likely not extremely widespread, but I’ve seen enough close elections in my lifetime that it’s not something I am willing to risk. However, I have to question just how widespread it might be when I see Philadelphia election officials fighting oversight at every turn.

Hours before polls opened today, the Philadelphia election officials booted 75 Republican poll watchers from multiple polling places. The GOP has minority inspectors who were told by election officials that “no Republicans will be allowed in the polling place” at all today. There are some reports that the ban on Republicans in polling places got violent and that GOP inspectors were assaulted. The election officials who refused Republicans entry had to be ordered by the courts not to ban people based on their party affiliation.

Meanwhile, these same election officials set up voting machines right in front of a giant Obama mural promoting his 2008 campaign messages. Somehow, it escaped their notice. Yeah… And it took a court order to get it covered after it had been on display for hours.

This is a city that has unbelievably bloated voter rolls that they know contain dead people and others not eligible to vote. Clean elections advocates admit that their voter registration rolls are ripe for fraud because of how many invalid folks they have on them.

About two of every three residents of Pennsylvania’s largest city are registered to vote – more than 1 million of the city’s 1.5 million residents – and that doesn’t sit well with Zack Stalberg of the Committee of Seventy, a Philadelphia-based nonprofit that works for fair and open elections.

Stalberg said the city has not done enough to trim its voter rolls to remove inactive voters, dead voters and former voters who have moved out of the city. Bloated voting rolls increase the chance for fraud to take place, he said, and in a one-party town like the City of Brotherly Love that can be a particular concern.

“The numbers have been out of whack for some time now,” Stalberg told PA Independent. “It just defies logic to think that two out of every three people living in the city can be registered to vote.”

Yet, the city’s elected officials opposed voter identification measures at every turn. They have even opposed the education efforts to let people know about voter identification laws that will be in effect for the very next election. At some point one has to wonder, what exactly are they afraid Republicans will see in Philadelphia?

« Previous Entries Next Entries »