Currently Browsing: Philadelphia
Jan 25, 2013
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.
Jan 15, 2013
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.
Nov 16, 2012
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?
Nov 15, 2012
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.
Nov 9, 2012
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.
Nov 6, 2012
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?
Oct 22, 2012
Folks might remember a little bit back in the summer, the City of Philadelphia published the names of people who had appealed their denial of concealed carry permits. I had looked into some of the background of these individuals, and found some of the denials rather questionable. A reporter for the Philadelphia Daily News has taken up the story, and talked to some of the people involved here, including an Licenses and Inspections spokeswoman who had to have given the quote of the day by saying, “We touch a lot of people’s lives in a lot of intimate ways.”
It does appear that there are going to be lawsuits over this disclosure, and we’re happy for that. Kudos to William Bender of the Daily News for taking up the story. Gun owners don’t really demand the media be pro-gun, and I wouldn’t classify this article as advocacy. It’s a good example of reporting on an potential unlawful abuse of authority by those in power, and that’s something I believe is in the public interest for journalists to pursue regardless of the subject matter at hand.
Oct 3, 2012
Dissent was patriotic, until it no longer fit the party line. That’s the message in one Philadelphia classroom this year.
During a casual dress day, a student who support Mitt decided to wear a shirt that expressed her support – a fully protected right of the student in any public school. However, she was informed by her teacher that her school was “a Democratic school.” She was also threatened with having her shirt destroyed while she wore it. She was ordered to remove the shirt while having it compared to support the KKK. Then, the teacher tried to kick the student out of the public school classroom for daring to have a dissenting opinion from the supposedly officially “Democratic school.”
Philadelphia taxpayers will be happy to hear that they not only have to pay this teacher, but now they have to pay another teacher to come in teach the class because even the school district doesn’t believe the student could possibly feel comfortable in the classroom anymore.
The article doesn’t note a teacher’s name, but I think the parents would be fully within their rights to name the teacher who threatened their daughter. Put it out there for all to see. This isn’t a case of one inappropriate statement, these were threats and attempts at retaliation against a public school student just for having a different political opinion – something that has nothing to do with math class.
Sep 24, 2012
Given that we’re losing World War II vets at a prodigious rate, I’m surprised to see a local story about an SS fugitive here in Philadelphia. If they want to see this guy brought to justice, the system better move faster than it normally does, because this guy isn’t going to be far behind. Of course, I don’t know what all the hoopla is about. If you listen to our opponents in the gun control movement, since the Nazi government was duly elected, all good citizens were required to abide by its edicts. Did they really expect this guy to join an insurrection? It’s a well known fact that insurrection is, like, the worst thing in the world.
Sep 23, 2012
A flight attendant at Philadelphia International left a .38 Airweight in her purse, and was caught at the security checkpoint. The firearm was confiscated, and promptly discharged negligently by a Philadelphia Police Officer when he attempted to unload the gun. You have to work pretty hard to ND a revolver. I’d really like to know how that happened.
But it does go to show, there is no magic gun handling ability cops possess, which is what our opponents want to claim. Cops, just like any other group of people, have some people who are sharp and competent, and some people who are morons. You can try to train them, but often times you just end up with a trained moron, which isn’t that much more useful than one you haven’t trained. This woman will likely lose her License to Carry, and probably won’t get her gun back. I’m fairly sure the officer in question is still carrying firearms on the streets.