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Thread: Philly seeks more gun control, sues state over preemption

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    Regular Member IanB's Avatar
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    Saw this on ABC news tonight so I recorded it and put it on Youtube. See the story at the link below:

    http://vaguninfo.com/videos/philly_gun_control.htm

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    Sigh. Well, if Rendell has anything to do with it...

    But I'm sure the criminals are happy.

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    Maybe someone should tell the Philly politicians that their high murder rate is directly related to their drug infested neighborhoods! Get rid of the drugs and watch the murder rate go down.

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    Steve in PA wrote:
    Maybe someone should tell the Philly politicians that their high murder rate is directly related to their drug infested neighborhoods! Get rid of the drugs and watch the murder rate go down.
    Actually, that's probably the worst possible thing to do. By taking out a drug supply, the demand will just go up, increasing prices and thus desperation, causing more violence. And by taking out drug dealers, there will just be a power vacuum, once again causing more violence as other try to take over that power position (see Iraq).

    Maybe try to legalize the drugs so that they are no longer underground, and in turn eliminate the need for the "criminal" element. If one can walk down to the corner store to buy some drugs, just like buying some cigarettes or alcohol, the transaction would be significantly safer than buying them in a back alley where one has to worry about getting shot if the deal goes bad, etc. And then, all the space in prison currently being taken up by non-violent drug offenders could be used to lock up the violent criminals, rather than releasing them onto the streets to repeat themselves.

    But hey, it's easier to blame "drugs" as the source of crime, ironically just like a large population in the country finds it easier to blame guns as the source of crime.

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    imperialism2024 wrote:
    Steve in PA wrote:
    Maybe someone should tell the Philly politicians that their high murder rate is directly related to their drug infested neighborhoods! Get rid of the drugs and watch the murder rate go down.
    Actually, that's probably the worst possible thing to do. By taking out a drug supply, the demand will just go up, increasing prices and thus desperation, causing more violence. And by taking out drug dealers, there will just be a power vacuum, once again causing more violence as other try to take over that power position (see Iraq).

    Maybe try to legalize the drugs so that they are no longer underground, and in turn eliminate the need for the "criminal" element. If one can walk down to the corner store to buy some drugs, just like buying some cigarettes or alcohol, the transaction would be significantly safer than buying them in a back alley where one has to worry about getting shot if the deal goes bad, etc. And then, all the space in prison currently being taken up by non-violent drug offenders could be used to lock up the violent criminals, rather than releasing them onto the streets to repeat themselves.

    But hey, it's easier to blame "drugs" as the source of crime, ironically just like a large population in the country finds it easier to blame guns as the source of crime.

    ummmm WHAT??!! So in other words.. there's nothing we can do just legalize it all??? I don't think so. Push the drugs out of the town, have less junkies in the town, need for drugs drops. Could be wrong.. but better than doing nothing at all.


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    Falcon118 wrote:

    ummmm WHAT??!! So in other words.. there's nothing we can do just legalize it all??? I don't think so. Push the drugs out of the town, have less junkies in the town, need for drugs drops. Could be wrong.. but better than doing nothing at all.
    Then if you get drugs out of the town, more dealers from NYC and other places will come in to sell their drugs. People will still want drugs, just like people still wanted alcohol during Prohibition. By making them harder to get, it just pushes things further and further underground. Think about it, though: when was the last time pharmacies had turf wars? When you make an underground business legitimate, you turn the competition legitimate as well.

    I understand that most members of this board are very conservative, and I risk getting flamed for saying it, but the fight to legalize drugs isn't too different from the fight to get back our rights to keep and bear arms. Just like the anti-gun folk spread lies and exaggerations about guns to keep them restricted, the anti-drug folk spread lies and exaggerations about drugs to keep them restricted as well. Granted, there are some nastier drugs out there (i.e. heroin, coke), yet those make up just a very small part of the national drug market. The large majority consists of drugs that are less addictive than alcohol (i.e. marijuana, LSD).

    Anyhow, I kind of alluded before to my solution for solving violent crime: harsher prison sentences. Don't put criminals, especially violent criminals, back on the street to commit more crimes. I apologize to the bleeding-heart liberals, but if someone kills someone else without provocation, they should be spending 30, 40 years behind bars, not the 7 years (or less) followed by probation. Violent rape? That's good for a few decades. Furthermore, "probation" should not be used as a substitute for prison. If the penal system isn't sure whether someone is fit for release or not, WHY RELEASE HIM? Until a violent criminal is fully rehabilitated, he should stay locked up, in my opinion. Instead of getting let out early for good behavior, how about taking the prison term and adding on if the criminal is doing anything except for "behaving well"? And finally, get rid of that sex offender registry. If someone is mentally unhealthy enough to require surveillance, that person shouldn't be out on the streets. Period.

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    I've got no desire to flame.. just kinda shocked as the "Legalize it" answer seemed to come from nowhere. I just dont see where recognizing illegal behaviour, (the prohibition included), could possibly be a good thing. Alcohol can be dangerious in quantity, however someone that drinks in moderation, and doest drive while they drink, usually poses no danger. However, legalization of drugs, some of which can kill the first time they are used, just doesnt make sense either. I'm not saying I have the answer to the question, but I can see where a bad answer is worse than the no answer we have now.

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    Falcon118 wrote:
    I've got no desire to flame.. just kinda shocked as the "Legalize it" answer seemed to come from nowhere. I just dont see where recognizing illegal behaviour, (the prohibition included), could possibly be a good thing. Alcohol can be dangerious in quantity, however someone that drinks in moderation, and doest drive while they drink, usually poses no danger. However, legalization of drugs, some of which can kill the first time they are used, just doesnt make sense either. I'm not saying I have the answer to the question, but I can see where a bad answer is worse than the no answer we have now.
    Thanks for not flaming. I can understand the widespread misconceptions about drugs, led by the media, and the belief that drugs are more dangerous than they really are. Sure, there is the rare death from first-time drug use, just like there is the rare death from first-time alcohol and tobacco use, not to mention caffeine and other stimulants. But when one uses drugs in moderation, and doesn't operate heavy machinery, he also poses no danger. Drugs just get attacked by the media and the government because it's easy to pass drug "crime" as real crime, making it look like the police are doing something to make the community safer. But think about it: would it be more effective to use police officers to establish a police presence in dangerous neighborhoods (among other uses), or to have them instead be used to hunt down and arrest people who are sitting around, mellowed out, just not by the government-sanctioned method? However, after a rash of homocides, most people are pacified by a major drug bust, as it gives the appearance that the police are effectively combatting crime, even though they are not combatting the violent crime that most people are worried by. The amount of money wasted by all levels of government on combatting drug "crime" could be used much more effectively to fight real crime, or even for healthful living social programs so that people will not have to turn to any intoxicant, legal or illegal.

    Anyhow, in regards to your comment about sanctioning illegal behavior, I wouldn't really consider it so much that as just recognizing that said behavior should not be illegal as it isn't hurting anyone. But aside from all issues of individual rights and such, I believe that drug legalization would be one of the most effective steps to reduce crime, more than leaving them in the current state.

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    Philly is the pimple on the ass of Penna. And it pains me to say so, as I am from the area and remain a huge Eagles and Flyers fan.

    I agree to some degree about ending the "war on drugs", but as it's kind of off-topic on this forum I try to keep my wacko-libertarian views focused on firearms, here. In any case, Philly cannot end a federal prohibition, anyway. But they can stop demanding that their citizens be disarmed in the face of drug gang violence, and they could stop being a corrupt socialist pesthole, as well. There are a lot of factors that decide whther a particular city has more crime or less, and gun ownership or carry policy is only one partof the equation. The Phila. city leaders are not interested in good policy, though. Only in demagoguing and stuffing their pockets.

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    Tomahawk wrote:
    I agree to some degree about ending the "war on drugs", but as it's kind of off-topic on this forum I try to keep my wacko-libertarian views focused on firearms, here. In any case,...
    My sentiments exactly. There of course IS merit to the prohibition aspect of the WOD. In the end I could care less about drug laws as they do no more good than gun laws. Drugs, guns, have nothing to do with what PEOPLE do with them.
    But like you, I'm here to discuss what MY guns do for ME though


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    Typical big city nonsense. "We want to be different from the state, but we still want state money". Preemption is a good thing. It protects residents and non-residents alike by ensuring uniformity throughout the state. I hope preemption remains the law in the Commonwealth of PA.

    ProguninTN

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    I think the issue is more at the no real consequences for criminal action level. Criminals are right back on the street. Years ago I would arrest someone and they would be back on the street before my shift was over. Or they get early release or multiple probations. Recividism is high. Look at the murderers - over 90% (can't find the cite right now) have a criminal record.

    There is also the 'no snitching' mindset in many parts of the community. Criminals are running free on the streets becasue no one will turn them in - becasue if they do nothing happens and they are at risk becasu ehtey 'snitched'

    I liken this to Iraq. The towns don't get cleaned up until the population turns on the insurgents and cooperates with the authorities to get the bad guys off the streets.

    The people in the city need to take back control of their streets.

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    Did anyone else also get in the clip how self-defense is not even acknowledged as a legitimate reason for less restrictive gun laws. It seems to paint the issue as a situation where a bunch of hicks want their guns to hunt, and someone just forgot to take their rights away.

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    Get people out of the projects, stop welfare there, make people get jobs, they'll be to tired, and out of time to go shooting each other over drugs.

    Or another idea, when you arrest someone keep them locked up, no plea bargains.

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    +1 from over here

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    I don't think the drug laws have done any good for anyone except the police. The war on drugs fuels police forces. They can seize property. The can execute no knock warrents. They can search people way easier. More people in prison= more police jobs. This effects my gun rights very directly. The consequenses of the war on drugs have bled into the honest person's life in a million different places. In the end we have more junkies than ever, a flourishing violent drug trade, and fewer rights than we started with. Besides the right issue I don't know how the cost figures. If you didn't try and stop people from using drugs there would be more medical costs, more trashy neighborhoods etc. Due to the nature of these chemicals they make responsible use very unlikely. I'm all for legalization if I don't have to pick up the price tag from peoples use. I suspect it will be just like alcohol. People regularily show up to work and operate machinery drunk, why wouldn't they do it high?

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    Just submitted a letter to the editor of the Morning Call regarding their story about this madness. I made sure to correct the "facts" they were reporting...

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    "Morning Call"?

    Link?

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    nakedshoplifter wrote:
    "Morning Call"?

    Link?
    Oops, sorry. Regional newspaper. I responded mainly to the paragraph I bolded.

    http://www.mcall.com/news/nationworl...,4003615.story

    Philly council members plan suit to get authority to pass gun laws Like many states, Pennsylvania Legislature doesn't permit city rules. By Patrick Walters
    Of The Associated Press
    July 11, 2007

    Two City Council members plan to sue the state Legislature for keeping Philadelphia from passing its own, more restrictive, gun laws, claiming that the city's surging murder rate is partly a ''state-created danger.''

    Councilwoman Donna Reed Miller said the Legislature has tied the city's hands by refusing to give it authority to pass laws that would limit gun purchases to one a month and institute reporting requirements for lost or stolen guns.

    Miller and Councilman Darrell Clarke plan to file the city-funded lawsuit in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas today, naming the House and Senate as defendants.

    ''It's a state-created danger because our hands are tied,'' Miller said. ''And it's the state that can help to diffuse this danger.''

    The city recorded 406 homicides last year, the most in nearly a decade, and is on pace to surpass that total in 2007. An overwhelming majority of the homicides involve handguns, many of them stolen and unregistered, according to police.

    Mayor John F. Street has urged residents to lobby state lawmakers to pass bills that would allow the city to require lost or stolen guns to be reported; limit gun purchases to one a month; require trigger locks, and increase penalties for illegal possession of weapons.

    While still holding out hope for tougher state gun laws, Clarke decided to pursue the lawsuit after he saw many proposals going nowhere.

    ''I hope that our lawsuit ends up being pointless because the Legislature says 'You know what, we have to figure out a way to stem the tide of violence,'`'' he said.

    Opponents in the Legislature argue that allowing the city to pass its own gun laws would not actually reduce violent crime. They also say that only the state should be allowed to pass such laws.

    Like many other states, Pennsylvania does not let municipalities set their own gun laws. The state has no waiting period before buying a gun, other than a background check, and does not allow police to restrict who can get a license to carry a concealed weapon.

    Erik Arneson, spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi, R-Delaware, declined to comment specifically on the lawsuit. But Arneson said he thought it would be more productive to work with the General Assembly on legislation than to spend time and money on a lawsuit.

    A spokesman for House Majority Leader Bill DeWeese, D-Greene, declined comment.

    Chuck Ardo, a spokesman for Gov. Ed Rendell, said the governor declined to comment on pending litigation but is ''a strong proponent of allowing municipalities to enact their own gun laws.''

    The city has been patient with the Legislature, Miller said, and the lawsuit is a last resort.
    Copyright © 2007, The Morning Call


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    More of their War on Handguns:

    http://www.mcall.com/news/nationworl...,7455180.story

    themorningcall.com
    Lawsuit: Philadelphia should be able to pass its own gun laws City-funded suit says Legislature neglected its responsibility.
    July 12, 2007

    State lawmakers neglected their responsibility and the state Supreme Court erred in refusing to allow the city to have tougher gun laws, two City Council members argue in a lawsuit against the Legislature.

    The city-funded suit, filed Wednesday in Philadelphia court, seeks a ruling that would allow the city to enact its own laws to limit gun purchases to one a month, institute reporting requirements for lost or stolen guns and ban assault weapons, among other things.

    City Council members Darrell Clarke and Donna Reed Miller argue that the Legislature neglected its responsibility by failing to pass tougher gun laws. They also say the state Supreme Court erred in a 1996 ruling in which it determined that gun regulation is ''exclusively a matter of statewide concern.''

    ''The uses and dangers of guns vary geographically,'' the suit says. ''This is especially true in Pennsylvania, where in some regions guns are common for hunting animals while in urban areas they are used for killing humans.''

    Philadelphia recorded 406 homicides last year, the most in nearly a decade, and is on pace to surpass that total in 2007. An overwhelming majority of the homicides involve handguns, many of them stolen and unregistered, according to police.
    Copyright © 2007, The Morning Call

    My emphasis added. So, looking at the bolded text, no one is enforcing the current gun laws, so we need to make more, and they will magically self-enforce. And as for the italicized... well... what can you really say to that? Apparently the only legitimate purpose for handguns is hunting, according to these city council members. So congratulations to everyone who has ever carried a handgun in a city: you are doing it because you want to kill humans.



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    Morning Call? Sounds like a daily habit, something you do right after you get out of bed...

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    I agree, before these drug laws got passed you didn't have all the drug related violence and gangs. The war on drugs has accomplished absolutely nothing, but it has resulted in serious violations of civil liberties in an attempt to enforce the law. Have we as a nation learned anything from Prohibition? You cannot legislate morality!!! As a libertarian I strongly oppose the government trying to protect people from themselves. Personally I think taking drugs is stupid, butit is not thegovernment's function to play the father figure in our lives.

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    Today I got a call from the newspaper, and apparently they're going to run my letter within the next few days. TBH I forget entirely what I said, as I wrote it in the heat of the moment after reading the article, but I'll post it when it's published.

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    Read in the Philly Metro a few days back that somebody's planning to sue the state for exemption from preemption. But I thought they'd already passed laws, and that the test was going to be when someone violates them.


    So, bumping this to the top - anybody know the status of the laws philly passed?

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