Philadelphia is a city with an estimated population of 1,581,000, and a murder problem. Philadelphia should have an annual homicide total close to 150 murders a year.
But Philadelphia has had 96 homicides in the first quarter, bespeaking a full year total of close to 490 homicides. Why?
Because Philadelphia has become another hub of drug trafficking, and that illegal trade results in another sort of illegal trade, the trafficking and sale of stolen guns. Purchased for pennies on the gun dealers dollar, and with no paper trail between the original dealer and the career criminal who was arrested with it in his possession, trafficked gun are the criminal underworld’s favorite weapons.
So much so that less than one percent of prisoners locked up for gun crimes has ever attempted to buy a gun from a legitimate source such as a dealer or an individual looking to get full value for his property.
Like the other cities on our watch list, Philadelphia’s city fathers claim the reason gun control does not work is the laws are not strict enough. But that fals to take the history of gun controls into account.
Philadelphia’s rulers should forget about restricting the law abiding’s access to firearms, and start working on adequate measures against gun thievs and gun traffickers. In the rare instances where prosecution of such individuals has been tried, it made a dramatic difference in the crime rate. A good difference form the standpoint of the law abiding.
The Graph below, taken from a University of Padua titled in part “Reversal of misfortune, the rise of crime in Europe as crime declined in the United States, shows what happened when mot of the 50 Nation-States of Europe tightened their gun laws, while more than half of American States relaxed their gun laws.
The only decline on the chart is the decline in the United States violent crime rates as state after state instituted “shall issue” Concealed Weapons Permits. Each of the representative European States, forced by the European Union to tighten gun laws all had significant increases in crime, even thout every lawfully owned gun in those countries was registered and its owner fingerprinted. And in most, prospective gun owners had to join a hunt club and get a letter of recommendation after a years membership.
But here, as always, more than 30 States cut crime significantly by relaxing gun laws. And that should be a lesson for the gun control advocates.
Reason requires we look at the experiences of the past for guidance on what will provide desired results in the future. Sanity does not include the equivalent of taking to the Interstate on a moonless night without turning on your headlights.
Yet that is what Philadelphia’s officials are essentially doing. Promoting laws that have always resulted in far higher crime rates, in a world where a gun control campaign is as bad as the law itself.