More on the Pennsylvania House

I know this has already been discussed here recently, but enough has happened since then to justify another look. Most obvious is the tragedy in Lancaster County, PA, in which five young girls were killed, and five more wounded, three critically. It would have been reasonable to assume that no one would be so lost to honor as to try to exploit this tragedy to advance an agenda–reasonable, but wrong. Not twenty-four hours after the deranged monster committed his vile, abominable act, several Philadelphia area politicians, seemingly immune to shame, tried to use this horror to justify the passage of yet more gun laws.

Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell, to his credit, although he reaffirmed his commitment to such laws, at least had the honesty and moral courage to acknowledge that no gun laws would have done anything to prevent Roberts’ hideous deeds:

“I think we should all understand, no proposed law, none that I would think of or none that I’ve seen, could have ruled out this situation,” Rendell said.

Others, such as Representative Thomas W. Blackwell IV, of Philadelphia (where else?), lacked such restraint (and honesty). In questioning the idea of defending the Constitutionally guaranteed fundamental right of the individual to keep and bear arms, he had this to say:

“Yesterday, all those children were killed,” Blackwell said. “You’re talking about a piece of paper while children are dying? What kind of god do you serve?”

By the way, this gem was part of a discussion about a ban on so-called “assault weapons”–weapons that had nothing to do with the shootings of the school girls.

Fortunately, even in the face of this tragedy, and the cynical, callous exploitation of it by the gun rights deprivation lobby, Pennsylvanians outside of Philadelphia were well enough represented that the last day of the “committee of the whole” ended without approval of any freedom destroying gun bills.

This, of course has the gun haters in an uproar. My favorite wingnuts, the Gun Guys, are apparently so upset that they think Philadelphia should become its own state:

The NRA is entrenched at the state level, especially in a state like Philadelphia [emphasis added].

The state of Philadelphia? Sound more than a little confused, don’t they? Actually, though, for the sake of the rest of Pennsylvania, kicking Philadelphia loose doesn’t sound like such a bad idea–it would certainly improve their legislature. As an Illinois resident, I certainly wouldn’t be opposed to Chicago becoming its own state, and leaving the rest of us alone.

In the anguished wake of this unspeakable horror, the residents of most of Pennsylvania can take comfort in the fact that they are well represented by people who don’t believe that the solution to the fact that there is horrible evil in the world is to render people disarmed and helpless to face it.

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