Blaming Guns

Three teens are dead in Philadelphia (17 homicides in the first 12 days of 2012), and Mayor Michael Nutter is making headlines for strong words against the parents. He ranted that late on a Tuesday night, kids should have been in bed, getting ready for bed, or doing homework. They shouldn’t be driving around looking for fights and other trouble. A little shocked by his rant? Well, you won’t be shocked to know that the next thing he blamed was the lack of gun laws. But, that’s not actually the problem with why the shooter was on the streets:

Meanwhile, Eyewitness News has learned the suspect in the shooting, Axel Barreto, has a lengthy criminal record, including at least seven arrests since 2000, mostly for drugs. But on Saint Patrick’s Day 2004, court records show Barreto was arrested for illegally possessing a gun, but those weapons charges didn’t stick. …

They found him in possession of marijuana but also with a gun, which was illegal because he was already a convicted felon according to Tasha Jamerson, a spokeswoman for District Attorney Seth Williams.

Barreto was charged with five gun-related crimes, including trying to scrape off the serial number on the gun, but the charges were dropped six months later. His defense attorney at the time, Anthony Stefanski, says the judge ruled that police illegally searched Barreto that day without cause, so prosecutors were left with no evidence and little choice but to drop the charges. (emphasis added)

This guy committed at least five gun-related crimes in one incident. That’s not an indication of too few laws on the books. The reason this guy is on the street isn’t because the charges were too light, it’s because the police didn’t follow the law. There’s no gun law that will help Philadelphia if they conduct illegal searches so that all of the evidence of the search has to be thrown out in court. Hell, even an outright ban on possession by any civilian under any circumstance wouldn’t have put this guy behind bars since they found the gun in an illegal search.

12 thoughts on “Blaming Guns”

  1. We have lots if bad cops here, but we have even more bad judges. Don’t immediately buy it was an illegal search because the judge said so. Last year, I read a defendant’s signed, witnessed confession – for aggravated assault – into the court record. Judge found him not guilty.

    1. True. So, regardless, the problem is in the system somewhere. The laws were on the books to put this kid away for a long while, but someone in Philly system either made a mistake or willfully let him walk.

  2. Nutter is living up to his name saying gun laws are too lax, but even had this mutt been charged/convicted for his 04 crime, he might well have been back on the street, armed and doing the same thing. That’s what criminals do, idiot. when will you figure that out, Mr. Mayor?

    Be a parent and keep your kids out of the line of fire, first.

  3. Three dead scumbags, and a fourth scumbag in prison forever. Not a single innocent person hurt. Tell me again why anybody should have a problem with this? Looks like a win-win to me…..

    1. Yes, there is that. I am often jaded by the willingness of many of us to make disparaging remarks like this about criminals. I am deeply saddened that three “scumbags” were murdered, and a fourth has completely destroyed his life by doing things that will result in his justly rotting away in a cell for most of his life. It’s actually a lose-lose situation.

      But as insensitive as your comment is, the fact remains: these four teenagers have brought this upon themselves, by choosing to follow the path of violence and criminality. If only they had never gone down that path! If only they had turned from that path before this dreadful day! But no, they chose to live the by the sword, and since violence begets violence, and those who live by the sword, die by the sword, four lives were lost because of their choices.

      And the funny thing is, banning guns, or even swords, wouldn’t have prevented this tragedy: After all, the references to swords here is merely a metaphor for those who choose to live a life of violence, and whether by gun, or sword, or fist, or bat, or even rope, they would have come to such an end eventually…and had they met their end at the hands of someone who doesn’t live the life of the sword, but is nonetheless determined to make sure that violence begets violence, I would also mourn the fact that an innocent person now has to carry the scars of killing another human being, even if that human being is a scumbag who had it coming to him!

  4. Unfortunately when you have Voter Registration statistics like these below of almost 79% Democrats in the City of Brotherly Shove…what can you do? These types of Mayors will keep getting elected/reelected and its not a city where you can get a “pro-gun” mayor installed.

    And thus, 14 of the 17 City Council members are also these types of “anti-gun” liberals with the newest Chairman of Philly City Council, Darrel Clarke, being one of the worst. He is the main sponsor of the Philly laws that trump the PA Constitution in regards to conceal-carry in Philadelphia:

    1. Thankfully we have state preemption, so there’s only so much Philly can do to harass gun owners. Yeah they’ve passed illegal gun laws, but I doubt they’ll actually be able to charge and convict anyone of them without being slapped by the AG. If I recall, even their own DA said that the laws wouldn’t be legal.

      1. I think in the very beginning when this stupid Philly law was passed, Philly DA Seth Williams may have mentioned that the law would not be legal. But according to this article, it seems as though the Philly DA has changed his mind:

        “City Council and Mayor Michael Nutter, who signed the bill into law, said they were trying to close the so-called “Florida Loophole,” which they maintain takes away the city’s ability to better control who is issued a carry license. Florida’s permits are available through the mail, although that state’s requirements for a license are actually stricter than Pennsylvania’s, contrary to what’s been portrayed in local media. (Florida requires some type of firearms training before it issues a carry license unlike Pennsylvania, which requires no training, for example).

        Despite lingering questions over its legality, the “Florida Loophole” ordinance was passed, and Lt. Francis Healy, a Philadelphia Police Department lawyer, said officers have been instructed to arrest those Philadelphians found to be carrying concealed weapons with an out-of-state license. The district attorney has also said he will prosecute those violating the law, according to Healy.”

  5. Well, my PA permit expires in a couple of weeks and I haven’t even begun the renewal process. My Florida permit is good for another year. I will carry with my FL permit until my PA one is renewed. If I’m arrested, I will make a ton of money from the lawsuit :).

    1. Within the first 60 days or so of expiration, the PA LTCF is still in limbo. I don’t remember the *exact* details, but they’re almost certainly in Title 18, section 6109 of PA’s consolidated statutes.

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