I notice that Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell is supporting more restrictive gun legislation (that's news?). The murder of Philadelphia Police Officer Chuck Cassidy apparently inspired Rendell to
advocate . . . the same kinds of things he has advocated all along.
Visibly moved by the funeral Wednesday for slain Philadelphia Police Officer Chuck Cassidy, Gov. Rendell yesterday called for tougher penalties for shooting at a police officers and pledged to renew his fight for three gun-control laws stalled in the Legislature.Alright, I have a big problem with this, even before we get to the "fight for three 'gun-control' laws" part. Whenever I see calls for "tougher penalties for shooting at a police officers [sic]," I get the impression that we are expected to believe that the lives of police officers are implicitly more valuable than the lives of us "Average Joes." That's a concept I utterly reject.
I am not at all "anti-cop," and I would be 100% behind a drive for stiffer penalties for assault with lethal force (on anyone, cops included), but to say that such assaults are less offensive when perpetrated against school teachers, carpenters, or blues harmonica players, than they are when perpetrated against police officers is to epitomize the "Only Ones" mentality.
Rendell proposed raising the sentence to 20 years for anyone who shoots at a police officer, and said he'd raise money for an intensive public information campaign so criminals know the rules have changed.The fantasy of a "no ifs, ands or buts" approach to criminal justice, in the (in)famously porous Philadelphia "justice" system would be laughable, were the reality not so disgusting.
"We want to get out onto the street a clear message," Rendell said. "Even if you shoot at [a police officer] and miss, you are going to jail for 20 years, no ifs, ands or buts. No guilty pleas can save you, no judge can save you. . . . You do not shoot at police officers."
O'Brien backed the idea, saying, "We ask our men and women in blue to take these risks. When they walk into a Dunkin' Donuts and someone shoots them, it's because they're wearing that uniform. We can't tolerate that in this society."
Pennsylvania House Speaker O'Brien, in saying that cops are being shot because they are cops, might be trying to argue that the enhanced penalties for shooting at cops is not because he thinks that their lives are inherently more valuable than everyone else's, but because they are at greater risk. If that is his argument, it's a weak one. The fact that more people might see a benefit in shooting an officer than in shooting a truck driver does not make shooting the truck driver any less evil.
The three "gun control" laws mentioned earlier are the usual suspects:
The proposed laws would require gun owners to report lost or stolen weapons, limit handgun sales to one per person per month, and enable municipalities to enact their own gun laws.So, we have the "criminalize the crime victim" law, the gun rationing law, and the "allow us to be as brilliantly successful in combating violent crime as Chicago and Washington DC have" law.
Oh--look who else supports these laws:
One NRA member, influential Philadelphia Democratic state Sen. Vince Fumo, said through a spokesman yesterday that he'd support Rendell's bills if they reached the Senate.I'd call Fumo a traitor, but if LaPierre himself advocates maintaining schools as victim disarmament zones, and actively helps write a massive expansion of the NICS program, I suppose the NRA has little room to fault Fumo.
About that proposed law to require a gun owner to report the loss or theft of a gun--I'm no attorney, and am in no position to give legal advice, but if such a law ever passes here in Illinois (it has been proposed, by the way), I know what I'm going to do. The very day it goes into effect, I am going to tell the police that I went canoeing on the Mississippi river, with all my guns in the boat, and that the canoe capsized, and all my guns were lost.
None of the "report lost or stolen gun" laws I've seen required the gun owner to report finding the guns again, so as long as I don't file an insurance claim, I don't see how I can be charged with anything, even if it is eventually discovered that I have the guns. Never mind that I'm paraplegic, and can't really imagine how I'd get in and out of a canoe, and never mind that in the event of a capsizing, I would most likely drown--I'm still clinging to the naive idea that one is innocent until proven guilty. If, by then, I have one hundred guns (a man can dream, can't he?), I'll say I took twenty trips, and capsized every time.
If they insist on passing freedom-destroying laws for no purpose other than to . . . destroy freedom, they'll have to deal with said laws being treated with the contempt they deserve.