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.