The title of this Philadelphia Daily News article, "A gun dealer's history of violence," might understandably lead one to believe that the article is about . . . well, a gun dealer. A bit of reading quickly reveals, though, that Rodney Phath is no more a "gun dealer" than a gang banger selling crack is a pharmacist, and that Phath is about as likely to obtain a Federal Firearms License (FFL), as he is to win the Nobel Peace Prize. To the Philly Daily News, though, the fact that he sold some guns on the Philadelphia streets makes him a "gun dealer."
In February, 24-year-old Rodney Phath was allegedly peddling assault rifles and the drug Ecstasy on Mifflin Street near 19th in South Philadelphia.Note the obligatory mention of the "high-powered assault rifle" of the type used to kill Sgt. Liczbinski. That's not what I plan to focus on today, though--this is:
One of the rifles was an SKS, the same type of high-powered gun that killed police Sgt. Stephen Liczbinski on May 3.
After Phath was arrested for weapons offenses, conspiracy and possession on Feb. 11, Bail Commissioner James O'Brien set bail at $25,000. Phath posted bail the next day and was free to go.And this.
In September 2006, he was arrested again for attempted murder, simple assault, aggravated assault and related offenses for allegedly shooting a former roommate after an argument, according to court records.Beginning to notice a pattern here? Oh, and let's not forget this:
When police arrested Phath, they confiscated a 9 mm semiautomatic handgun, a .380 pistol, a .22-caliber semiautomatic rifle and a .25-caliber rifle from his home.
The charges were withdrawn or dismissed, court records show.
A month later, Phath was re-arrested on the aggravated-assault and weapons charges. The charges were eventually once again dismissed, according to court records, which didn't indicate the reason.I won't count his 2004 arrest, for carrying a loaded BB gun in his car (you can get arrested for having a loaded BB gun?).
After Phath's posting of bail in February, he was still free to commit more crimes--a situation of which he, of course, took advantage. He was recently arrested again, after an armed home invasion/robbery. Philly's penchant for refusing to lock up violent criminals, allowing those experienced thugs to go on to commit more mayhem, has been discussed before, and as far as I'm concerned, makes the "justice" system an accomplice to every murder committed in Philly by violent, uncontrolled beasts who should have been locked up for their previous acts of savagery.
Mayor Nutter is so bent on "getting guns off the streets" that he is willing to break the law to do it--would it be inappropriate to suggest that perhaps he instead focus on getting the criminals off the streets?