The world of gun control is like Sponge Bob’s Opposites Day, only never ending. For example, gun control advocates would have citizens believe that restricting law-abiding Americans’ ability to exercise their Constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms makes them safer. In fact unconstitutional infringement on the Second Amendment makes Americans more vulnerable to violent crime—as documented by John Lott’s irrefutable not to say exhaustive book More Guns, Less Crime. Now check this: “Pennsylvania lawmakers quietly disarmed the state House of Representatives’ 16 guards after learning that one had a violent criminal history,” philly.com opines. “It seems the legislators are more than willing to restrict who can carry a gun when it comes to their personal safety. Too bad the general public isn’t given the same consideration.” Hang on . . .

Let’s get the specifics on dismissed PA House guard Brian Marhon’s [above] “violent criminal history” [via post-gazette.com].

Court records show he faced simple assault charges in 1994, to which he pleaded guilty; DUI charges in 2003 and 2004, to which he also pleaded guilty; and aggravated assault, simple assault and harassment charges in 2008, after which he pleaded guilty to simple assault and harassment. In all cases, records show he received probation.

Mr. Frederick called Mr. Marhon “an exemplary employee.”

Mr. Frederick said he was aware of Mr. Marhon’s 1994 incident and the DUI charges, but said they were misdemeanors and did not disqualify him for the job. As for Mr. Marhon’s 2004 charges, Mr. Frederick said he thought they were related to a civil issue.

Asked to describe how prospective guards are vetted, Mr. Frederick said that, starting in 2006, all uniformed House officers underwent fingerprint and FBI background checks. Before that, guards underwent a state criminal background check, psychological testing, drug testing and a physical. There were no periodic follow-up checks.

I’ve looked into PA gun laws. As far as I can tell, the fact that none of the charges against Marhon constituted a felony or resulted in a custodial sentence means that he was good to stow. No Boy Scout and perhaps best freed to find other work. But he was not legally prohibited from carrying his state-issued .357.

Which raises two questions. First, was Marhon hired on the basis of political favors or personal merit? Gee, a House guard. That’s a tough one. Second, why fire ALL the House of Reps’ 16 Guards because of one bad apple? Gun control? Really?

No. Not really. Back to philly.com:

In fact, the Capitol Complex is protected by [an unspecified number of] trained Capitol Police officers, making guards in both chambers superfluous, especially in a time of cost cuts.

Cost cutting? Doubt it. Can you say “turf war”? “Payback”?

“We are the first line of defense,” said Dave DeLellis, president of the Fraternal Order of Police, Lodge 85, which represents Capitol Police officers and which has raised concerns in the past about House guards carrying weapons. “That is part of the core function we provide in the Capitol, and we consider ourselves to be the best at it.”

So it’s worse than it seems. The disarmament jealously trumpeted by the paper’s editorial writer(s) isn’t really about gun control at all. Surprised? I didn’t think so.

And here’s the kicker. philly.com is so blinded by their bias they can’t see the unintentional humor they provide in their conclusion. Thankfully, more and more Americans can. Easily.

If legislators can see the risk of having armed criminals in their midst, they should see the fear of guns that haunts many communities. Or has their love affair with the gun lobby made them blind?

As the old [non-Biblical] English expression tells us, there are none so blind as those who will not see.

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10 Responses to Philly.com: Where’s MY Gun Control?

  1. Harrisburg needs to get their own shit together and pay the city’s bills, they bankrupted themselves over an incinerator project.
    As to this guy and his record, if the rules were followed then they could be looking at a lawsuit from him for wrongful termination. The other 15 for sure.
    Lastly, this kind or reporting is to be expected from Philly.com.

  2. This looks to be more of a turf war than anything else. How would you like to bet the Police push for a pay raise next fiscal period, you know because now they are over worked and all.

  3. Nice to know that journalists know there is something called “unconstitutional infringement of rights”, which I never even heard of. Makes me even happier that it’s from someone in the city where I live. You can keep you’re hope and change, I’ll make my own.

  4. Depending on who we’re fighting against, the fight for gun rights is always either a fight against evil, ignorance, stupidity, or all three. This guy covers the last two and I don’t doubt the slightest nudge would push him into the first.

  5. You nailed it with “turf war”. If PA House leaders want to eliminate their special guard staff, then go ahead and do it, and don’t stop there, eliminate the unarmed Senate guard staff at the same time. But do it because they are redundant and unnecessary, not by playing these chicken shit games.

    Don’t know if Philly.com gave the reason for arming the guards in the first place, but it was because they passed themselves a fat pay raise in the middle of the night and were about to be tarred and feathered. A good number of them didn’t survive (politically) the next election.

    They are a worthless, bloated, blight on the citizens of Pennsylvania. Largest, most expensive full time legislature in the US.

  6. “If legislators can see the risk of having armed criminals in their midst …”

    So armed criminals in the midst of legislators is a big deal that warrants extreme action. But armed criminals in the midst of the peons people, their answer is, “Let’s put up as many barriers as possible to discourage the people from being able to defend themselves.”

  7. They are worried about a criminal working as a guard? I worry more about the criminals working in the PA house and senate as REPRESENTITIVES. Former Republican House Speaker John Perzel, and one-time Democratic House leaders Bill DeWeese and Mike Veon have all since been convicted on political corruption charges. And if I had the time to check further, I’m sure I could find some more names. I live in PA, and politics here isn’t as bad as say Illinois, but it seems we are trying to catch up.

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