The Ignorance is Astounding

I normally don’t default to the “fisking” format, but some news articles just shout out for it, because they are just filed with garbage. This Philadelphia Weekly article by Joel Mathis is one of those. Let’s get started.

Attorney General Tom Corbett is the top law enforcement officer in the state, and he wants to be your next governor. But he doesn’t necessarily care about life and death in Philadelphia.

Really? Because, you see, Philadelphia wasn’t doing crap about straw buyers until Tom Corbett went in and formed a task force to tackle the problem. He mentions that later in the article, but why not start out on a sensationalist note just in case people stop reading.

That’s the only conclusion to draw from the Republican’s decision to add his name to a list of 33 state attorneys general who are urging the U.S. Supreme Court to strike down municipal handgun restrictions across the country—depriving Philly and other big cities of a potential tool to clamp down on the gun violence that plagues them.

The brief General Corbett signed on to urged the US Supreme Court to take the case. It was not an amicus brief favoring a particular outcome. I have little doubt that Tom Corbett supports incorporation, because outside of Philadelphia newsrooms and City Hall, this is simply not controversial.

This case also will not “strike down municipal handgun restrictions around the country,” the question at hand is Chicago’s ban on handguns, and whether the Second Amendment applied to the states like most of our other rights in the Bill of Rights. It will take further lawsuits to strike down any other municipal ordinances.

Even so, in June, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court struck down Philadelphia’s bans on assault weapons and the “straw purchase” of handguns, asserting that only the legislature—and not the cities—has the authority to pass gun laws. The court left several other provisions in place, however, allowing Philly to require that lost handguns be reported to police and prohibit gun ownership by people subject to “protections from abuse” orders.

The court didn’t really “leave them in place,” it said NRA did not have standing to bring suits on these ordinances because they lacked standing. Philadelphia can pass whatever bogus ordinance it wants, but until someone is prosecuted under it, it’s not a matter for the courts. Since Philadelphia was going to enforce it’s assault weapons ban and gun rationing scheme against NRA members, so they had standing on that.

Though the case focuses on Chicago’s laws, the ruling will affect every city dealing with gun violence—and potentially put an end to Philly’s hopes that the General Assembly might one day allow us to properly deal with the situation here. The brief bearing Corbett’s signature is full of references to the Revolutionary War, the Founding Fathers and the underpinnings of Anglo-American political philosophy—but it completely ignores the problems faced by 21st century Americans.

21st Century Americans don’t have a need to defend themselves and their homes from violent criminals? That’s a rather bold statement, don’t you think? Wait, no, that’s a rather extreme position, don’t you think? In the recent Rassmussen poll, 69% of Americans don’t believe local governments have the power to ban handguns. 71% Believe the Second Amendment is an individual right. 63% agreed with the Heller ruling. Perhaps it is because print media has taken such extremist positions on these topics that circulation numbers are falling so rapidly.

That sounds right, but Tom Corbett disagrees. Philadelphians shouldn’t be surprised by his stance. We should, however, be disappointed and offended that he so easily disregards the violence that affects our city. And we should remember it next year when we vote for a new governor.

I am disappointed and offended that Joel Mathis would write such an unapologetic hit piece on a guy who’s actually done quite a bit to lock up people who supply criminals with guns in Philadelphia, because he does not support an extremist position held by only a minority of Americans.

4 thoughts on “The Ignorance is Astounding”

  1. May not agree with you about the effectiveness of Open Carry, but this was rightly deserving of the smack down you delivered.

    Good post.

  2. One side of me wonders if Corbett doesn’t even know that the “gun safety law” at issue in McDonald is an outright ban, with few if any implications for the viability of lesser restrictions. The other thinks maybe he does know, and is being deliberately disingenuous about what he himself supports in Philly (not to mention extremely naive to think Harrisburg would ever give them that authority, anyway).

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