This is one for the “How Not to Win Column”:
HARRISBURG — A sign waved at a gun supporters’ rally Tuesday outraged lawmakers who interpreted it as suggesting the lynching of a Philadelphia legislator and said they would report the incident to police as a death threat.
Two men stunned onlookers by raising the banner criticizing Democratic Rep. Angel Cruz, sponsor of a bill that would create a registry of gun owners and require people to pay a yearly $10 fee for each gun or face state police confiscation of their weapons. Cruz should be “hung from the tree of liberty for treasonous acts against the Constitution,” the sign read.
Are you friggin kidding me?Â Look, I’m against the gun registration as much as anyone, and I’d like nothing more than to see Cruz pay a political price for it.Â But let’s get real here.Â The proper remedy for a politician going against their political oath is to throw them out of office, not to suggest they ought to be hanged.Â This just makes us look insane.
The sign was “over the top,” Cruz said, but he said attendees had a right to express their opinions. He said people outside of Philadelphia don’t understand what it’s like in a city where “five or six killings” happen a day.
In the rest of Pennsylvania, “they don’t hunt human beings like they do in Philadelphia,” said Cruz, whose bill is before the House Judiciary Committee.
Imagine that.Â Lots of guns, and we don’t kill each other. Â Maybe Philadelphia has a criminal problem rather than a gun problem?
Republican Rep. Daryl Metcalfe, of Cranberry, a strong supporter of gun owners’ rights who helped organize the rally, said the sign contained “horrible statements” that had no place in a conversation about politics and policy. The people involved did not represent the event organizers, he said.
Geez guys, you even pissed off Daryl Metcalfe! Â He’s one of the staunchest supporters of gun rights in the legislature.
“The overwhelming majority of gun owners are not criminals. …They are not madmen, and they shouldn’t be treated as such. They’re hunters and sportsmen,” said Rep. Jesse White, a Democrat who represents portions of Washington, Beaver and Allegheny counties.
He’s right.Â It’s a pity a few bozos had to suggest otherwise.