Since the shootings at Roxborough High School, in which six gang-bangers “clique beefers”¹ in a stolen SUV ambushed at least one targeted individual, wounding three others and killing an apparently innocent 14-year-old as they were leaving a football scrimmage, the cries of the people and the politicians to “do something” has been deafening. City Councilwoman Jamie Gauthier, who strongly supports the ‘progressive,’ George Soros-sponsored, police-hating defense lawyer who is now District Attorney, Larry Krasner, wants the hapless Mayor, Jim Kenney, to declare a “state of emergency.”
Following Roxborough shooting, Philly City Council members call for a more urgent response to gun violence
Members also called for hearings to study if more Philadelphia hospitals should have trauma centers capable of treating shooting victims.
by Anna Orso | Thursday, September 29, 2022
Philadelphia City Council members on Thursday renewed calls for Mayor Jim Kenney to declare a state of emergency over the city’s gun violence crisis and suggested the administration has been too slow to implement programs designed to stem the tide of shootings.
Their comments came Thursday during Council’s weekly session after a shooting outside Roxborough High School Tuesday left a 14-year-old boy dead and four others injured.
A handful of lawmakers expressed outrage over the shooting, grief for the victims and their families, and frustration that the city’s gun violence crisis has not relented. Last year was the deadliest in recorded history, and more than 400 people have been killed so far in 2022 — 23 of them were children.
“If this is not an emergency,” said Councilmember Jamie Gauthier, “I’m not sure what an emergency is.”
Surveillance video which captured the five “clique beefers” — police believe there was a sixth man, driving the SUV — jumping out of the vehicle and opening fire at their (assumed) target, and all are characterized as being “juveniles.” It is illegal to carry a weapon without a permit in Philadelphia, and carry permits are not issued to minors, so all of them were already breaking the law by carrying firearms in the first place. Someone had stolen that SUV, and the “clique” certainly knew it was stolen; it was dumped in the parking lot of the Dream Boutique Adult Entertainment Center in a low-rent section with more than one strip club in the 6000 block of Passyunk Avenue in Southwest Philadelphia.
Stolen car, and illegally armed teenagers; just what does the distinguished councilwoman think a state of emergency would change?
Gauthier, of West Philadelphia, has been pushing the administration to declare a state of emergency for two years. In September 2020, Council unanimously passed a resolution — after a shooting on a basketball court that left two dead — urging the administration to declare a citywide emergency.
Kenney has resisted those calls, and did so again this week. He said last year that such a declaration would not unlock new funding for the city and “could have an unintended consequence and cause more fear in our communities.”
The mayor has said his administration’s public-safety plan is focused on policing in hot spots, confiscating illegal guns, and scaling up programming for at-risk young people. The city has a more than $200 million anti-violence spending plan for initiatives outside the police department.
Which will, of course, do nothing. But the obvious question is: if the city already has a $200+ million anti-violence spending plan, why isn’t it already working, or, if it hasn’t been started yet, why hasn’t it? In a city like Philadelphia, it’s probably because not all of the grifters have signed up for their share of the loot.
Kevin Lessard, a spokesperson for the Mayor’s Office, said the administration “continues to address this issue from every possible angle we can to make our neighborhoods safer,” including this week signing an executive order to ban guns from city parks and recreation centers.
How odd that 14-year-old Makie Jones (allegedly) using a “ghost gun”, with an extended magazine, to kill Tiffany Fletcher outside the Mill Creek Recreation Center, as she was struck by a stray bullet from a brief gun battle with other “clique beefers” didn’t realize that it was the wrong thing to do, that he shouldn’t have been carrying an illegal weapon, and that he shouldn’t be shooting at whomever his ‘enemies’ were.
But during a news conference Wednesday, Kenney said state laws that preclude the city from being able to pass stricter gun-control measures hinder progress.
“It’s not an excuse, it’s just a fact of life,” he said. “As long as guns are flowing into this city and this state the way they are, it’s going to be a heavy lift.”
As we have reported previously, Pennsylvania’s firearms control laws are pretty much uniform across the Commonwealth; state law prohibits municipalities from imposing restrictions which are stricter than those provided for under state law. In 2020, there were 1,009 murders in the Keystone State, 499, or 49.45%, of which occurred in Philadelphia. According to the 2020 Census, Pennsylvania’s population was 13,002,700 while Philadelphia’s alone was 1,603,797, just 12.33% of Pennsylvania’s totals.
It got worse last year: with 562 homicides in Philly, out of 1027 total for Pennsylvania, 54.72% of all homicides in the Keystone State occurred in Philadelphia. Allegheny County, where Pittsburgh is located, was second, with 123 killings, 11.98% of the state’s total, but only 9.52% of Pennsylvania’s population.
The other 65 counties, with 78.11% of the state’s total population, had 33.30% of total murders.
So what would stricter gun laws passed in Philadelphia actually do? The bad guys are already breaking the law, and only a fool would believe that goons willing to kill other people, for real or imagined slights, are going to be deterred by a gun control law.
Have you ever been to Philadelphia? Other than the Delaware River, the city’s borders are really just imaginary lines on a map, and you’d never know that you crossed into Philadelphia from one of the neighboring counties if you didn’t see the sign on the street telling you that you had. Philadelphia outlawing guns completely would not stop the bad guys from bringing them across from Conshohocken or Hatboro, couldn’t stop the frequently abysmally slow traffic along the Schuylkill Expressway, with guns in the trunk, and turning off onto Girard Avenue. In the dilapidated houses near the Philadelphia Zoo, who would even notice?
If Pennsylvania banned firearms throughout the Commonwealth, it’s still a short ride up Interstate 95 from Delaware and Maryland and Virginia. Would the state police stop every car entering the Commonwealth and search it for weapons?
You’d think that Mayor Kenney would understand that, but apparently he doesn’t.
One thing is certain: with the low homicide rate outside of Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, the problem is not the gun laws. If the problem was the gun laws, then Jim Thorpe and Bloomsburg and State College should be seeing murders are about the same rates as the cities, but that isn’t what has happened.
The problem is the cities themselves, and the people who live in them. Mayor Kenney, District Attorney Krasner, and Miss Gauthier, like so many others on the left, want to blame gun laws, and really, they want to blame anything other than what is really the problem, the culture in our cities which both enables and encourages teenaged and twenty-something boys, primarily black teenaged and twenty-something boys, to think the gangsta life is something to emulate, something to seek out to prove what tough men they are. The Democrats don’t want to put any blame on the (frequently single) mothers and (often absent) fathers for not rearing their children right, but the urban culture which says that it’s perfectly OK for women to screw around and destigmatizes unmarried motherhood is a culture which enables the very things which produce broken children. The left can’t blame a population which votes for not putting criminals behind bars, and not telling the police what they know.
That will be denounced as sexist, but I really don’t care: it’s still the truth. Every society on earth of which we have any social knowledge developed marriage as a societal norm to contain human sexuality in a responsible form, one in which children could be supported and reared; it is only in the enlightened ‘wisdom’ of the late 20th and early 21st centuries that we have discarded this as so much garbage.
¹ – We were reliably informed by The Philadelphia Inquirer that there are no gangs in the city, just “cliques of young men affiliated with certain neighborhoods and families,” who sometimes had “beefs” with other cliques, so we must replace the term “gang-bangers” with “cliques of young men” or “clique beefers”.
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