Today is the day in PA

This probably won’t come as news to any regular readers of gun blogs, but today, the Pennsylvania House Judiciary Committee meets, with several restrictive gun laws on the agenda. Virulently anti-gun Governor Ed Rendell will speak to the committee in support of the bills.

Here are the bills
of which I speak:

The package includes legislation, House Bill 22, for a one-gun-a-month policy. Rep. John Myers (D-Philadelphia) is sponsoring the bill, which would disallow a law-abiding Pennsylvanian to purchase more than one handgun in 30 days.

“To some extent, we need to create a public policy saying we want to cut down on the availability of guns,” Rep. Myers told The Bulletin. “I really can’t even imagine where I would store 12 guns in my house in a year.”

“Cut down the availability of” a legal product? So basically, you mean make it an illegal product, right (not that such an approach works for reducing availability–see “War on Drugs”). By the way, notice that the article says that such a law “would disallow a law-abiding Pennsylvanian to purchase more than one handgun in 30 days.” Whether intentional or not, I applaud the article’s author, Bradley Vasoli, for his perception–such legislation prevents the law-abiding citizens (exactly the ones we don’t need to worry about) from buying multiple handguns in a month, but will have no effect on the felons who buy their guns on the street.

House Bill 18, sponsored by Rep. Dwight Evans (D-Philadelphia), would strengthen the ability of municipalities to enact gun-control measures that could supersede state law. Gun-rights supporters, who tend to regard Pennsylvania law as tolerant of firearms ownership, believe this would weaken residents’ ability to protect themselves and confuse gun owners who travel from one jurisdiction to another.

Yeah–some folks just can’t seem to see the wisdom in allowing communities to pass laws that make mockery of fundamental human liberties.

A third measure, House Bill 29, would criminalize the failure to report a handgun missing or stolen within 24 hours of its disappearance. The National Rifle Association and other gun-rights advocates believe this measure will only harm Pennsylvania residents who have not acted maliciously.

“My bill would tell people that they must be responsible to report their guns lost or stolen,” the bill’s sponsor Rep. Jewell Williams (D-Philadelphia) said. Gun owners “should be thankful” for it, he said, because it will extricate them from liability for paying a victim’s medical bills or punitive damages if their gun was used by another individual.

Yep–that’s my favorite part–“Gun owners ‘should be thankful‘ for” being held responsible for what criminals do with the guns they steal from peaceable gun owners.

The Philly Daily News editorial board seems to take a view somewhat different from mine.

WHAT WILL it take to bring our Harrisburg lawmakers to their senses, to break them out of the National Rifle Association’s hypnotic trance and pass the handgun laws we so desperately need?

A splash of cold water to their faces? A sustained high-decibel scream? A sharp snap of the fingers?

You could try those things, I guess–seems a bit puerile to me, but I suppose it’s about par for course.

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One Response to “Today is the day in PA”

  1. Rick Taylor Says:

    Oh, for the love of Mike… Does no one see the futility of outlawing guns? The genii is out of the bottle people and has been for a long time. People are going to kill one another from now until the end of time. Because they have guns? No, because they are ruled by their passions and animal desires. If you take guns away, completely, the you will notice a sharp increase in the number of people bludgeoned to death by big sticks. Archery sales will sky rocket. Take that stuff away and people will just resort to beatings and strangulation. You can’t stop it, you can’t even make it signifigantly more difficult, so seriously legalize silencers…I’m a light sleeper.

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