The Truth About Philly Po-Po’s Gun Room

 

Yesterday’s philly.com published Eye-opening visit to city’s Gun Room reveals scope of problem. And what problem might that be? Wait. Don’t tell me. Gun control? Yup. Daily News Editor Page Editor Sandra Shea reckons there are too many guns. And Daily News Editor Page Editor Sandra Shea has the evidence to prove it: “On any given day, the room holds 7,000 to 10,000 guns – all confiscated in crimes commited [sic] in the city. The volume is shocking. In a room with this many guns – dull, ugly man-made objects that exist only to extinguish life – there’s just one thing to think about: death. No, that’s not exactly right: The volume is so overwhelming that I’m not really thinking at all.” Roger that. But wait! There’s more! Sandra really gets into it . . .

It’s my lizard brain that’s processing this sight – that ancient, preverbal part of the brain that is incapable of higher reasoning, only survival. I think it’s telling me to get out of there. There is nothing these guns are good for but death. I wonder how anyone carries a gun without it being a constant, metallic reminder of mortality.

Then again, maybe that’s the point.

Well exactly! Law-abiding American citizens exercising their Constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms carry a gun because they appreciate the fragility of life, and take personal responsibility for protecting it. Their own, their loves ones’ and, perhaps, other innocents’.

Legally speaking, a law-abiding citizen can only shoot someone who poses an imminent, credible threat of death or grievous bodily harm. The armed self-defender can only shoot to stop the threat. Not kill. (A fortunate by-product.)

That means guns are good for deterring death and, target shooting. If you think about it (hard work but worth it) guns are kinda peaceful. If left to their own devices, firearms tend to just sit there. Which isn’t as exciting as the idea that . . .

Each gun tells a story, but here in the Gun Room, there are no good stories. Each is a story of failure, despair, desperation, death. Some of these stories are also pathetic. I see a few rifles rigged up with a sling of cheap plastic twine, the kind you’d use to tie a bakery box. A few are sawed off, or jury-rigged with crude, homemade parts.

You want to talk about ascribing malevolent intentions to inanimate objects? Ms. Shea goes there. And then goes there some more.

Gun people, especially the NRA and its many members, take pains to defend the honor of guns, imbuing them with holiness and patriotism. In their hands, guns – which they insist they buy for safety, sport or collecting – are honorable things, and by extension, they themselves are honorable. They say that guns don’t kill people. They say that there is no such thing as “illegal guns,” only the unlawful people who own them. (By the way, many of the crime guns in the Gun Room have legal owners.) [NB: author's parenthetical aside added to the text in later editions. See: below.] They say that there are enough gun laws, that they just need to be enforced. I have never agreed with these statements, but now I feel even more strongly. They are lies.

If gun lovers really believed that guns are honorable, why aren’t they more protective of this honor? Why are they so silent when criminals and murderers and snipers and insane gunmen shoot up temples and theaters, compromising the honor of guns? Why isn’t the NRA horrified and outraged, more supportive of reasonable controls, more insistent that guns should be in the hands of only those who deserve them?

Is that a trick question? Even if it isn’t, it seems Ms. Shea forgot to ask the the guns’ keepers for a bit of background on their history. Earlier today, a reader named Jonathan Goldstein wrote to philly.com to raise an inconvenient truth.

I’M GLAD Sandra Shea visited the gun room at City Hall (Daily News, Sept. 5). Unfortunately, she wasn’t given accurate information about what she saw.

Not all of the 7,000-10,000 guns she saw were “confiscated in crimes committed in the city.” Many of those guns were seized from law-abiding citizens who were never charged with a crime.

I have clients who are security guards duly licensed under Act 235 and citizens who simply carry pursuant to a duly issued concealed-carry license who have had their firearms taken during otherwise-routine police stops. For many, their only offense was lawfully carrying a gun while being a member of a racial minority, lawfully carrying a firearm in a bad neighborhood or simply running afoul of some police officer’s skewed – and illegal – sense of who should not get his firearm back after a police encounter.

The officers who take these firearms, and the police supervisors who encourage it with the full knowledge of the police commissioner, know that most firearms cost less than $1,000 and that it will take many times that amount in legal fees to effect a return of a firearm through the courts. They take property with impunity, knowing most victims won’t challenge the illegal seizure.

Why not go back and ask the Philadelphia Police Department to give totals of just how many of those guns Ms. Shea saw were seized from people actually charged with a crime? You’ll find the numbers truly shocking.

Now that I’d like to know. The self-righteous anti-Second Amendment poetry and condescending ignorant indignation I could do without. As could we all.

avatar

About Robert Farago

Robert Farago is the Publisher of The Truth About Guns (TTAG). He started the site to explore the ethics, morality, business, politics, culture, technology, practice, strategy, dangers and fun of guns.

49 Responses to The Truth About Philly Po-Po’s Gun Room

  1. avatarMoonshine7102 says:

    Would Ms. Shea be shocked to know that there are twice as many gun laws as guns she saw that day?

    Would Ms. Shea be further shocked to know that, in spite of those 20,000+ gun laws, criminals still commit crimes with guns?

  2. avatarRIGHT! says:

    dull, ugly man-made objects that exist only to extinguish life – there’s just one thing to think about: death. No, that’s not exactly right: The volume is so overwhelming that I’m not really thinking at all.”

    Sounds like an abortion clinic

    • avatarNot Too Eloquent says:

      Ms. Shea would reply: “Hey!! No Fair!!!!”.

      How right you are, RIGHT!

      • avatarRIGHT! says:

        .Of course My Opinion would count for nothing because MY Genitalia is on the Outside

        • avatarWill says:

          Because your genitalia is exposed without the aid of surgery, it is a liability to any argument you may give on the matter when it comes to “rights” of the female, or when using any of those “rights” for comparisons such as this. (Don’t get me started on what I think of SOME of these women’s lib/equality/rights vocalists and their real goals.)

          Every one needs to nut-up and take responsibility for their own actions and failures. I don’t care if they are majority or minority, blaming the other gender, another race/ethnicity, or anything or anybody else, for your own problems is a cop-out, a sign of the weak and irresponsible.

          Same goes with these anti-gun people, who want to make the rest of us just as weak. Or in some cases, so they can be much stronger than everyone else and force their will upon all they can.

    • avatarBStacks says:

      BOOM! +1000

  3. avatarMark says:

    It is a tragety to see all those firearms warehoused. Those in good condition should be cleaned and put into the hands of interested citizens who cannot otherwise afford the means to protect themselves.

  4. avatarSilver says:

    “…I’m not really thinking at all.”

    Boy, don’t you wish all antis could be so honest?

    She pretty much wraps up the MO of antis. Pure unfounded emotion without a shred of logical or factual thought. Disdain for freedom and a sick urge to control all others.

    She must get REALLY sick when she drives along a highway or visits a car lot, seeing all those cold, lifeless cars that have killed more people than civilian guns could ever hope to.

    • avatarAnon in CT says:

      Pure unfounded emotion without a shred of logical or factual thought. Disdain for freedom and a sick urge to control all others.

      So the perfect Obama voter, in other words.

      • avatarTotenglocke says:

        Or Romney voter. But then again, aren’t Obama and Romney just the same policies wrapped in a different skin color?

  5. avatarMr. Lion says:

    It’s my lizard brain that’s processing this sight…

    Well, at least she’s honest.

  6. avatarJean Paul says:

    I am really starting to hate these delusional liberal hoplophobes. I know I shouldn’t, but I do wish that every one of these people get mugged by an assailant armed with a knife or truncheon. Let them feel helpless against a physically superior opponent.

    My mom is 65, barely 5 feet tall, and lives alone. Yes, there’s a .38 in her nightstand. Yes, she has a CCW and I take her to the range monthly. Mom carries her .38 because my dad died and she has to walk around the world as a tiny older woman by herself. Gun grabbers/hoplophobes don’t take her case into consideration.

    I’m 5’7″ 185# and lift weights. I’m stronger than the average person who doesn’t lift weights, but I’m not going to get into a street fight with some 20 year old street thug who grew up fighting. I carry a gun because no matter how badass you think you are, there is always someone more badass, with less scruples about inflicting bodily harm on his fellow man. But according to the hoplophobes, it would be better for me to be assaulted by 3 or 4 street hooligans than to carry a 9mm to defend myself.

    I live in Florida—God’s waiting room. Remember the shooting in the internet cafe? That was 100 miles from me. Plenty of senior citizens(OFWGs) carry concealed. If they didn’t, they would walk around as unarmed, physically inferior, victims. What about them, hoplophobes?

    I really think either these people live in a sheltered world, or are so committed to their delusional fantasy that they are willing to sacrifice people for their political demagoguery.

    • avatarWade says:

      I agree, I think these are trying to sacrifice OUR freedoms to maintain their delusional fantasy world without violence. They are just too detached from reality.
      I’ve heard the anti gun argument; “America isn’t the wild west anymore”. They obviously haven’t lived on the Texas-Mexico border in the past 5 years, with the illegals, traffickers, and oilfield crime. It really is worse than the wild west down there.

      • avatarSKSlover says:

        the “wild” west was actualy more peaceful than most cities.. because if everyone has a gun, people are gonna be a bit more careful when starting problems.

  7. avatarSanchanim says:

    Yup she summed it up when she said she wasn’t thinking.
    I am surprised the guns didn’t jump off the shelves and attack her right there!
    It is like taking someone who has arachnophobia and putting them in a room full of spiders. A hoplophobe in a room full of guns is no different. The outcome is the same.
    Usually involves a lot of screaming and tears about getting her out of there.
    Why not have her go to a gun show, or better yet go to the NRA kids summer camp. Dare I say learn to shoot. Then write a column. At least she would be slightly informed afterwards.

  8. avatarRalph says:

    It’s my lizard brain that’s processing this sight

    That’s not hard to do when the lizard brain is all you have.

  9. avatarjwm says:

    and again racism. a lot of those guns were seized not because of illegal acts by their owners but because of the race of their owners. racism endorsed and advanced by the “liberal” gun grabbers. immoral and dishonest people trying to foist their ideas off on us.

  10. avatarCinSC says:

    “Each gun tells a story, but here in the Gun Room, there are no good stories. Each is a story of failure, despair, desperation, death. Some of these stories are also pathetic.”

    She sounds like she might make a good auto mechanic. She could just walk by the cars and listen to them tell her what the problems are. Stories of neglect, abuse, of old, tired batteries, overdue oil changes and fouled spark plugs.

    • avatarWill says:

      Oh My… She’s a Gun Whisperer…. The guns just speak to her telling her their story, unbidden…. that explains why she hates them. They just won’t shut up around her.

  11. That is an evidence room? OMG! Trash bins, milk crates and boxes on the floor is their method of storing EVIDENCE? I wonder where all the ‘assault weapons’ are that the antis want to ban.

    • avatarBill F says:

      “I wonder where all the ‘assault weapons’ are that the antis want to ban.”

      Probably in the Super Max evidence room. They can’t be trusted to mingle with the general population guns.

      • avatarWill says:

        Yeah, they just might convince the non-black gun populace to switch sides and become as violent as they are, killing anything that moves, without human intervention. That’s it… they’re in solitary, so they can’t just do that very act of inciting unspeakable violence against their creators: humans.

    • avatarbontai Joe says:

      I was kinda stunned by the haphazzard way these guns are stored, seeing as they are evidence. How would a person find one for a trial in a mess like that?

  12. avatarRoll says:

    I like the pic above, I’d love to be alone in that gun room.

  13. avatarAccur81 says:

    I hate seeing those cold, lifeless, death-dealing guns waiting for destruction. Why not clean them up, sell them to taxpayers at a fair price, and do something worthwhile with the cash?

    Why not donate them to a Boy Scout camp?

    Why not send them to a police academy for training purposes?

    Why not donate them to a Hunter’s Safety class?

    Because guns are evil, and are incapable of being used in a positive or productive manner. Bullshit.

  14. I also noticed in the pictures at the link, Philly’s finest are using mail bins for evidence storage. Isn’t that a violation of federal law? Perhaps someone in the area should give the local Postmaster a call.

    • avatarSammy says:

      If you mean the blue bins they are our recycle bins (which I can on longer get from the city) that are gracing room 515 in city hall. Don’t forget Philadelphia is like Chicago East. Blue enough to cause the other 80% of the state that is red, to turn purple.

  15. avatarChris says:

    Anyone else find it a little funny that a lot of the people that are Anti-Gun because “Guns Kill People”, have no issue with killing unborn children?

    Just curious.

  16. avatarAnthony says:

    These poor lost souls should be rehabilitated and released back into the wild so they can live a natural life. Why should they be judged differently just because they look different then everybody else?

  17. avatarDrama says:

    It’s true. Gun’s are good for nothing but violence.

    And…

    movies are good for nothing but wasting time.
    mountains are good for nothing but getting in the way of airplanes.
    art is good for nothing except providing snobs jobs at museums and galleries.
    alcohol is good for nothing but getting drunk and violent.

    This logic is quite handy at cutting through a lot of red tape quick.

  18. avatarDaveL says:

    Each gun tells a story, but here in the Gun Room, there are no good stories. Each is a story of failure, despair, desperation, death. Some of these stories are also pathetic.

    That’s because it’s a room where they keep the guns of criminals. Go into the rooms where they keep the actual criminals and you’ll find much the same thing.

    Walk into my local sportsman’s club and you’ll also see guns lined up. They have different stories. Stories about competition and achievement. Stories about family, and friends. Stories about tradition and self-reliance.

  19. avatarJwhite says:

    I couldn’t continue reading… A typical n00b walks into a gun store. UNless you grew up with guns, or have been a round them for some time, you’re going to be a little on edge. Kinda like when you go to the range and hand a girl a gun.. They do that “Oh my god it’s scary and it’s in my hand” lean.. You get used to it, as do the ladies, and thats the end of that… I cant stand stupid people like her. Women writing gun articles is pretty typical.. “Oh a woman went to the gun store!?” Instant read for men, and then they are spoon fed this anti-gun bull crap by some moron who has no idea what she’s doing/talking about. Sadly, the male reading the article is probably incapable of thinking for himself considering he’s reading such fine material as GQ… Seriously? You want some eye liner with that bro? Maybe a scarf? How about some eye shadow? Oh I dont care if you wear makeup, I’m just saying, doing so might make you look ad queer as a three dollar bill with a GQ in your hand. GQ is one of those magazines that “is wrong with society”

  20. avatarAharon says:

    All those guns are not necessarily guns used by criminals. A friend’s friend committed suicide by gun and the police took all his guns (@10) and refused to return them to his widow. Any man who has merely been accused of domestic violence often has guns taken away. I’ve read about one man on vacation out east who was arrested because he had a club in his car for self-defense. Guess what? To avoid jail he pleaded guilty to having an illegal weapon and lost his gun rights. There are any number of reasons people have to turn in their guns that had nothing to do with them being used in some sort of crime.

    • avatarDaveL says:

      I’ve read about one man on vacation out east who was arrested because he had a club in his car for self-defense.

      Er… I don’t suppose this club had a 90-degree bend in it, with a hexagonal recess at one end? How many states have laws against clubs? That’s just crazy.

  21. avatarSlowburn says:

    Every gun tells a story? That bein’ the case, maybe this not-exactly-a-gun-virgin, lizard-brain could do us the favor of just one more cameo appearance to the City of Brotherly Love’s gun dungeon and this time take along a gun whisperer.
    Once past the sound of good metal rustin’ might be real interesting know the history on a few of those man made, uh, life-extinguishing (?) objects.
    While she’s at it, she can have the photog snap a few digi-clicks of those rocket-launchers she said were in there.
    ( Must of completely missed the assault machine gun and grenade bins. )
    A real drama queen for sure. Talk about depressing, this is Philadelphia? THE PHILADELPHIA? Independence Hall? Ben Franklin? The Liberty Bell?
    Say it ain’t so.

    • avatarSammy says:

      As a resident, I can sadly report that the birthplace of our nation is becoming an incubator of national fascism.
      .

      • avatarOld Ben turning in grave says:

        Second that. If Philly is not quite as bad as Chicago or New York, it’s only because PA law is holding them back. They still ignore state law frequently.

  22. avatarRob says:

    Simply disgusting story, a waste of time read. So biased that it wreaks of democratic sentiment. She’s obviously a supporter of the idiot chief in charge- the narcissist Barockness Monster. Please, if there is a God, wreak the havoc on these idiots that they deserve, and that may very well be the plan if this idiot in charge wins again in November,,,,,,,Please God, Help us all!

  23. avatarE. Zach Lee-Wright says:

    I assume the Philadelphia police check the serial numbers of seized weapons against the database of firearms reported as stolen. But do they return stolen weapons to the rightful owners or do they require unreasonable measures (such as asking for original receipts) to decrease the weapons returned? Or do they even notify the owners?

    In Tennessee confiscated guns not involved in murders are returned to owners or sold at auction.

  24. avatarSammy says:

    I had an .45 confiscated by the PPD because of a b/s situation. The item in question cost 506.00, but I spent 1,500.00 to get my gun back. I know I could have bought 3 of them for the same money but I was not going to let the seizure go unchallenged. I am not a well off man but I was so pissed off I could not sleep. I also have other guns so the need was not the subject. The abuse of power is among the most mortal of sins and must be resisted.

  25. avatarpeter says:

    My uncle was once accused of unsafe storage of weapons by a police officer.

    No charges were pressed, however the block of kitchen knives was never returned.

  26. avatarTheDabbo says:

    I would say that her lizard brain was right in telling her to leave, but not because of the eeeevvviill guns. That room is a pretty clear contradiction of at least the first 2 cardinal rules of gun safety. Those muzzles are all over the place, and frankly, anyone who puts weapons away like that can’t be trusted to make sure they’re actually unloaded. No way in HELL I would stay in that room. Another fail by Philly PD.

Leave a Reply

Please use your real name instead of you company name or keyword spam.