Citizens dying as politicians bowing to NRA
On the same day that two gunmen killed five people and critically injured three others in Wilkinsburg, Allegheny County, the state Supreme Court conducted a hearing on one of many idiotic Pennsylvania gun laws that serve the interests of the gun lobby rather than public safety.
In Wilkinsburg, the gunmen conducted a planned ambush.
One fired into a crowd of people at a backyard party, anticipating that they would flee to the house.
When they did so, the second killer fired into the group as it backed up at the kitchen door, using a semiautomatic assault-style rife to fire at least 25 shots in less than a minute.
One of the victims was pregnant, so under Pennsylvania law, the killers will be charged with six counts of murder when they are caught.
Hours earlier at the Supreme Court, justices heard arguments in a case that illustrates how craven lawmakers have helped to convert parts of the commonwealth into free-fire zones.
In 2014, state lawmakers representing gun activists introduced a bill that was so bad it could not survive on its own merits.
It granted legal standing to gun activists from anywhere to sue municipal governments that enact gun-control measures in the interest of public safety.
Prior to the bill, dozens of Pennsylvania municipalities had enacted ordinances requiring the reporting of lost or stolen guns and limiting sales to one gun per person per month, to prevent the sale of weapons to criminals.
Several of those local laws had been upheld in state courts, which ruled that the gun activists who sued against them did not have legal standing.
The bill’s sponsors waited until the waning moments of the 2014 legislative session and attached it to an unrelated bill regarding penalties for scrap metal theft.
Doing so spared the narrow-interest legislation the trouble of hearings and debates – you know, democracy.
It plainly violates the state constitution to combine unrelated bills, so the Commonwealth Court overturned the law last year. That prompted the appeal to the Supreme Court.
The Wilkinsburg killers used the military-style weapon for its designed purpose – killing people.
Unless Pennsylvania lawmakers stop pandering to the gun lobby and get serious about helping Pennsylvania communities improve public safety, the law itself will continue to be an accessory to murder.