This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Friday, July 8, 2022:
Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney let slip what he would do if he were dictator: “If I had the ability to take care of guns, I would.” This faux pas occurred during the mayor’s rant that followed the shooting of two PPD officers on Monday night:
It was a chilled back day … beautiful weather.
But we live in America where we have the Second Amendment, and we have the Supreme Court of the United States telling everybody they can carry a gun wherever they want.
I was in Canada two weeks ago and never thought about a gun. The only people I knew who had guns in Canada were police officers.
That’s the way it should be here.
As a result, continued the mayor:
There’s a lot of goofballs out there with guns and they can get them anytime they want, so this is what we have to live with.
What Philadelphians have to live with — a 25-percent increase in gun violence in just the last two years — is a direct result of policies he and the city council have instituted. Those policies include no traffic stops for minor offenses such as expired license tags or inspection stickers or burned-out taillights. These apparently were somehow racist, and something had to be done.
As a result, law enforcement was deprived of a valuable tool that oftentimes turned up illegal weapons during a routine traffic stop.
If Mayor Kenney were serious about reducing gun violence by removing firearms from criminals, he would listen to former Deputy Police Commissioner Joseph Sullivan. Sullivan was relieved of his duties in 2015 after serving the city for 38 years as he “wasn’t needed any longer.”
In Philadelphia at one point … 80% of the illegal guns they took off the street were the result of car stops. Legal vehicle investigations [were] a critical part of … gun violence strategy.
But after the city council, at the behest of council member Isaiah Thomas, passed a bill in October 2020 called the Driving Equality Bill, gun violence began to escalate. The bill decriminalized nearly a dozen traffic violations as data the council relied on appeared to show that Philadelphia police were pulling over a “disproportionate” number of black drivers for minor traffic infractions.
The new law prohibited law enforcement officials from performing a traffic stop unless the violation presented an “imminent and articulable risk of bodily injury to specific person or damage to private or public property.”
It prevented police from performing traffic stops for violations involving the vehicle’s registration, a broken brake light or headlight, illegally tinted windows, or “lack of inspection.” It also barred police from performing stops related to failure to follow traffic signals, stop signs or other traffic lights.
Accordingly, those involved in illegal gun trafficking were all but guaranteed free and unrestricted entry into the city.
The measure was considered to be an experiment. As Jerry Ratcliffe, a former police officer and now a criminology professor at Temple University, expressed it at the time: “This really is an experiment. If we go through with this … it could go either way.”
The results are in. The experiment is over. It failed.
Alan Gottlieb, chairman of the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms (CCRKBA) told his members:
The same politicians tying the hands of police and preventing them from putting a crimp in gun trafficking are constantly demanding more laws to restrict law-abiding gun owners. It’s as though liberal city politicians are on the side of criminals rather than cops and honest citizens.
[Philadelphia Mayor] Jim Kenney is a perfect example of the liberal urban political mindset. He complained there are “a lot of goofballs out there with guns and they can get them anytime they want.”
His administration made that a lot easier with these ridiculous reforms that prevent police from actually intercepting gun traffickers and discovering guns possessed by people who shouldn’t have them, during routine traffic stops.
It is because of such policies, and soft-on-criminal prosecutors, that the nation is seeing criminals operate with impunity.
When criminals know they’re not going to be vigorously prosecuted, they are simply emboldened to continue committing crimes that often turn violent.
Then what happens? Law-abiding gun owners take the heat from self-righteous politicians for crimes they didn’t commit.
If he had the power, Philadelphia Democrat Mayor Jim Kenney said he would solve the crime problem in the City of Brotherly Love by removing firearms from law-abiding citizens while leaving criminals free to bring in firearms without interference by law enforcement.