Quisling ‘Republicans’ in Pennsylvania

This story has already been covered at War on Guns, but it’s infuriating enough to deserve another look.

Nine Philadelphia-area Republicans signaled last week they would break ranks with their caucus today and support handgun-control legislation when the state House of Representatives resumes debate on a controversial proposal.

The measure, which would require reporting handguns that are lost or stolen, has been vigorously pushed by Democrats in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh as a “common sense” restriction that would reduce gun violence.

Ah, yes–the increasingly popular notion of imposing legal obligations on victims of crime. Brilliant–and even Republicans can get behind it.

Some of those Republicans even openly admit that such laws will do nothing to reduce violent crime–but why let that stop them?

Nine local Republicans also said they would vote for the proposal. Some said they would do so in response to their constituents, who polls show overwhelmingly support the measure. Others said they were not convinced the reporting requirement would work but thought something must be done.

It won’t work, but we have to do something–why not this?

Many Philadelphia-area Republicans, however, said lawmakers had to do something about crimes involving guns, even if the legislation was imperfect.

“There is interest in gun-control legislation that has the reporting requirement because gun violence has affected the people that I represent,” said Rep. Kate Harper (R., Montgomery).

Rep. John Perzel (R., Phila.) said he would vote for the measure but doubted its usefulness.

“I don’t know if it will get any illegal guns off the streets,” Perzel said. “I don’t believe it will have any effect.”

Well that certainly explains your “yes” vote.

Rep. John Taylor (R., Phila.) said he, too, was a “yes” vote, but he said he was concerned about the potential consequences for law-abiding citizens who fail to report their weapons and who could face criminal charges.

“There is enough sentiment out there that this will really impact regular Joes and that the crackhead going to make straw purchases isn’t going to be affected in the least.”

Concerned about the consequences, but not sufficiently concerned to protect your constituents from this abomination, I see.

But, Taylor added, “We have a big enough problem in Philly that I’ll try anything.”

Ah–back to the “It won’t work (and does a number on rights), but we have to do something–anything–to at least appear to the voters as if we’re on top of violent crime.

As War on Guns points out (and has done so before), such laws can only be enforced against people who can legally own guns (that would be us regular, peaceable citizens), because the Fifth Amendment would protect a felon from a requirement to incriminate himself by reporting the loss or theft of a gun that he owned illegally.

I’ve said before what I will do if such a law passes in Illinois (a depressingly very real possibility): the day it goes into effect, I’ll report every piece of ordnance I own as lost. After that, every time I buy a gun, I’ll report it as lost, as well. If a few tens of thousands of gun owners do that, maybe even the geniuses who support such measures will start to figure out how useless they are.

P.S., and utterly unrelated (except for the involvement of gun rights/gun laws)–from War on Guns, I’ve discovered that I’m famous. OK–that’s obviously an enormous exaggeration, but it’s still kind of rarefied air for a lowly, insignificant (and somewhat intermittent, lately) blogger like me.

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6 Responses to “Quisling ‘Republicans’ in Pennsylvania”

  1. straightarrow Says:

    if you do, make damn sure none of the “stolen” guns can be found on any property under your control.

    Let them waste their money looking.

    Who knows? As often as Only Ones lose and misplace their own ordnance you may end up with additional pieces.

  2. straightarrow Says:

    Wonder if they’d report it?

  3. 45superman Says:

    if you do, make damn sure none of the “stolen” guns can be found on any property under your control.

    I think I would report them as lost, rather than stolen (overturned canoe in the Mississippi maybe? Let them wonder how I, as a paraplegic, managed to go canoing)–that way, I can’t be charged with filing a false crime report.

  4. Anonymous Says:

    What, in your opinion, is the reposnibile thing to do if you lose a gun or think it has been stolen?

    I am not saying I support the law, and I don’t own a weapon.

  5. 45superman Says:

    What, in your opinion, is the reposnibile thing to do if you lose a gun or think it has been stolen?

    Reporting a stolen or lost weapon is generally the sensible thing to do (if you don’t mind letting the government know that you’re a gun owner), but people doing “the responsible thing” because it makes sense is quite different from being compelled by law to do so.

    Besides, such a law would mean that someone who doesn’t check the contents of his gun safe daily (or every three days–whatever the “promptly” means in this case) is risking becoming a criminal, without even knowing it.

    I also categorically reject any law that targets only people without felony records (because people with such records cannot legally own firearms, so a requirement for them to report losing one is an obvious violation of their Fifth Amendment protection from self-incrimination).

    Finally, I would love to hear how reporting a gun stolen would increase the chances of it being recovered–it’s not as if the police would put out an APB for the stolen gun, or have much chance of finding it if they did.

  6. Anonymous Says:

    It appears to me that supporters of this type of bill believe it would have the effect of making gun owners more accountable for their weapons.

    In particular, someone who buys a weapon and then gives it to someone else would have to answer for that weapon.

    Then again, if my goal is to give the weapon to a felon; it appears that I should give it to him and then report it lost, to avoid penalty if the weapon is discovered.

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