Ending the theater and working to adopt meaningful solutions to gun violence [editorial] | Our opinion

Ending the theater and working to adopt meaningful solutions to gun violence [editorial] |  Our opinion

THE PROBLEM: Last week, Governor Tom Wolf vetoed Pennsylvania Senate Bill 565, Republican-led legislation that his office said would have allowed anyone to carry concealed weapons without background checks or permits. Wolf also promised to veto Bill 448 State Senate, which passed the Senate and is currently in the House. This bill would strengthen the state’s current law that prohibits municipalities from passing their own gun regulations, in part by allowing people to challenge local restrictions in court and seek damages. “Wolf has said tackling what he says is a gun violence crisis largely affecting minority communities, but the Republican-controlled legislature has rejected nearly all of his proposals,” Wolf has said a priority. The Associated Press reported on December 2.

The only thing that seems to keep up with the painful level of gun violence in America is the shocking inability of our officials to do anything meaningful about it.

In the meantime, the terrible news keeps coming, and that’s all we can do to keep ourselves from going numb.

One of the last mass shooting incidents occurred on November 30. A 15-year-old boy has been charged as an adult with murder and terrorism over a shooting that killed four of his classmates and injured several others, including a teacher, at Oxford High School in suburb of Detroit, Michigan. His parents were charged with four counts of manslaughter.

Gun violence weighs on us more and more, but too many Democrats and Republicans inundate us with signals of virtue, empty promises and even nonsense.

The nonsense came in the form of statements this week by Philadelphia Democratic Attorney Larry Krasner, who “rebuffed the idea that the city is in the throes of a violent crime crisis, despite a record number of homicides in what has become the deadliest year. in its history “, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported on Monday.

“We don’t have a crisis of anarchy, we don’t have a crisis of crime, we don’t have a crisis of violence,” Krasner said on Monday.

Philadelphia has recorded a record 524 homicides this year through Wednesday, according to the city police department. The city is set to eclipse last year’s total of 2,245 shootings, further noted the investigator.

So, yes, it’s a crisis.

Krasner’s downplaying of those numbers is an affront to the families of all these homicide victims and to anyone who has lived through the horror and trauma of a Philadelphia shooting.

Although it took too long, Krasner was right to retract his callous statements on Thursday, although he did so without actually apologizing.

“I know some inarticulate things I said earlier this week offended some people,” Krasner said in a statement. “The message conveyed by the sound bites of the media is not at all what I meant.”

He was still wrong. The media is in no way responsible for Krasner’s putting his foot in his mouth on Monday and hurting families who have already suffered unfathomable loss.

We agree with former Democratic Mayor of Philadelphia Michael Nutter, who wrote this answer to Krasner in an op-ed in the Inquirer on Tuesday: “Words matter. Words have an impact, and trigger, and hurt. … Krasner should also use his words to send a message to the shooters, murderers and criminals in this city by pledging to actually prosecute them, rather than pampering them, making excuses, reducing or dropping the charges. He should undertake to lock them up for carrying illegal weapons or for having shot people.

Nutter also questioned whether Krasner had the “courage” to carry out his duties.

Courage is something we would like to see from Republicans in Harrisburg, who are always more focused on far-right pimping than on passing reasonable gun safety reforms.

One of the state’s old Republicans pro-gun laws had direct effect here; Law 192, which was in effect for a short time in 2015, paved the way for the National Rifle Association to sue the City of Lancaster over an ordinance requiring gun owners to report lost guns or stolen from the police.

A majority of Pennsylvanians want to see gun safety reforms. A June survey of Pennsylvania voters by Franklin & Marshall College found that 56% of those polled said they were either strongly (42%) or somewhat (14%) “in favor of creating more. of Laws Regulating the Possession of Firearms in Pennsylvania ”. Pennlive.com reported.

Many law enforcement officials are also in favor of gun safety measures, including stricter and more widespread background checks, which would make the streets and their jobs safer.

“We support the Second Amendment, but none of our individual rights (…) are totally unlimited,” we wrote in a May editorial. “Historically, there have always been common sense limits to carrying weapons. Given the state of gun violence in the United States, we should advance gun safety reforms that protect the public while imposing minimal – but justifiable – burdens on legitimate gun owners. . “

Yet state Republicans have focused on measures that not only to augment the proliferation of guns in public, but Wolf secures the veto, making their passage a complete waste of time with so much crucial work to do in Harrisburg.

Why? Appeal to extremists and dishonestly attempt to portray Wolf as an obstructionist.

“This is political theater, and they are performing it in front of their base of supporters,” Senatorial Minority Leader Jay Costa, D-Allegheny, told the AP.

We are tired of theatricality.

Republicans who signal virtue to the NRA and extremists.

Democrats who would try to enlighten us on the gun violence happening in their municipalities.

We have had enough of the points of the finger, the points marked, the failure of the parties to work together on issues that are close to our hearts.

We want safe schools for children.

We want to go to Park City Center without thinking about where we will hide if we hear gunshots.

We want lawmakers who, instead of blaming gun violence on others, do their job as lawmakers, enact common sense gun laws to reduce the scourge of gun violence that ‘they sought to promote through, among other things, Senate Bill 565.

Maria D. Ervin