Philadelphia’s Out-of-Control ‘Gun Violence’ Isn’t a Media Problem, It’s a Government Problem

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Philadelphia shooting gun violence
A Philadelphia fireman washes blood off the sidewalk at the scene of a fatal shooting on South Street in Philadelphia, Sunday, June 5, 2022. (AP Photo/Michael Perez)

By Joe Bartozzi

The Philadelphia Center for Gun Violence Reporting announced it will host a workshop in September with local television news journalists, along with “experts from impacted communities, researchers, educators and other thought leaders,” to explore if news reporting can help solve the out-of-control crime problem in the City of Brotherly Love.

By crime, they mean “gun violence.” By explore, they mean “co-opt.” By solve, they mean “push a gun control narrative.”

News media should be at the table with The Philadelphia Center for Gun Violence Reporting. The question they should be asking is why are elected politicians failing to enforce laws and locking up criminals preying on the innocent.

Crime is out of control in Philadelphia. No one can argue that. The debate is over how to solve it.

Mayor Jim Kenney and District Attorney Larry Krasner have proven they are inept or unwilling to solve the crisis. They would rather target lawful gun owners and the firearm industry instead of prosecuting criminals and locking them up. Apparently, it’s easier to scapegoat than to actually do something to help the neighborhoods that are being victimized by criminals.

Spinning Narratives

The Philadelphia Center for Gun Violence Reporting is a convenient tool to do this. They’re funded, in part, by the Philadelphia Office of Violence Prevention. That’s taxpayer dollars at work to push a political antigun narrative.

They’ve also got convenient partners that press the narrative for more gun control, including The Trace, the mouthpiece for billionaire Michael Bloomberg’s Everytown for Gun Safety gun control group. There’s also The Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Violence Solutions. That’s part of the Bloomberg School and funded by…you know.

Michael Bloomberg
(AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

The Philadelphia Center for Gun Violence Reporting focuses on partnering “credible messengers” with media to tell their stories. Victims of criminal violence deserve to be heard. They also deserve to hear what their elected officials are going to do to solve the crime crisis.

Philadelphia, it seems, is doing little aside from blaming the firearm industry. The Philadelphia Center for Gun Violence Reporting’s data shows there is no progress. Philadelphia recorded 47 shooting victims last week and 56 in the previous week. There were 1,648 shooting victims this year, up four percent over 2021, and 373 homicides this year so far, a three percent increase over last year and up 77 percent from five years ago.

Political Failures

Mayor Kenney’s answer to this abysmal failure was to tell his city, “I’m waiting for something bad to happen all the time. So I’ll be happy when I’m not here, when I’m not mayor, and I can enjoy some stuff.” Mayor Kenney made those callous remarks after two Philadelphia police officers were shot on the Fourth of July.

Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney
Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

He’s made no bones about his disdain for the Second Amendment. At the same press conference, he ripped lawful gun ownership, implying that the United States should follow Canada’s gun control example.

“I was in Canada two weeks ago and never thought about a gun,” he said. “The only people I knew who had guns in Canada were police officers.”

Philadelphia’s District Attorney Krasner was funded in his election by progressive billionaire and antigun zealot George Soros, to the tune of $1.7 million in 2017. DA Krasner raked in $2 million from Soros, through the Pennsylvania Justice and Public Safety PAC and the Philadelphia Justice and Public Safety PAC.

Krasner won reelection in 2021 with the help of a $259,000 contribution from Soros. That bought Philadelphia the notorious distinction of being named among the 10 cities with the highest murder rates.

DA Krasner de-prioritized illegal firearm possession charges early in his tenure and now blames the U.S. Supreme Court’s Bruen decision for potential illegal criminal misuse of firearms as well as “NRA lobbyists.”

That drew backlash from former Philadelphia police leadership.

“I was very disappointed there wasn’t one mention of starting to refocus and strategically target persons that are carrying guns illegally, especially previously convicted felons and persons on probation or parole, as that should be the backbone of any anti-violence program in Philadelphia,” said Joe Sullivan, the former deputy commissioner of patrol at the Philadelphia Police Department, to Fox New Digital. “But since he’s taken office, we’ve seen a significant reduction in prosecutions in general and for persons carrying guns illegally. I think that’s counterproductive for a time when the city of Philadelphia is setting records for gun-related homicides and shootings.”

Larry Krasner
Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

DA Krasner knows, or should know, that criminals aren’t buying their firearms at retail after passing an FBI National Instant Criminal Background Check System verification. They’re getting them through theft or the black market. The Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Statistics consistently shows this.

NSSF Real Solutions

The firearm industry is willing to step in even when local officials aren’t. NSSF co-created and funds the Don’t Lie for the Other Guy campaign to remind the public that attempting a straw purchase is a federal crime, now punishable by up to 15 years and a $250,000 fine. That’s a partner program with the Department of Justice (DOJ) and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).

Even that was criticized by city officials. Max Weisman, the communications director for City Councilmember Isaiah Thomas, tried to call it subtle advertising for gun sales.

The posters depict a convicted individual in an orange jumpsuit, a stark reminder that straw purchases are illegal. NSSF is undeterred by hecklers that shout from the sidelines instead of doing the hard work it takes to reduce crime. The firearm industry takes this seriously and criminal misuse of firearms is something we’ve been proud to combat with law enforcement for over 20 years.

Philadelphians are suffering from elected officials unwilling to do their jobs and lock up criminals. Victims deserve to be heard. Teaming them together with agenda-driven news outlets to push a gun control narrative doesn’t stop crime. The Philadelphia Center for Gun Violence Reporting is another example of appearing to do something when nothing is actually getting done. The question the media should be asking is when will Philadelphia start locking up criminals?

 

Joe Bartozzi is the President and CEO of the National Shooting Sports Foundation

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58 COMMENTS

  1. Gonna “study” the sh*t outta something they already know the answer to, but refuse to say out loud!! Can’t fix a problem if you won’t even admit what it is, and you already neutered the cops!!

    • The debate should also consider if either are worth catching a bullet for. 🤔

      Give me smoked brisket in Texas. Anyone coming through the door to shoot up the place won’t have much success.

      • I liked both when I lived in the NE. The sausage, pepper and onion subs on the Seaside Heights boardwalk were good too.

        The closest I get now are the Big Kahuna cheesesteaks at Jersey Mike’s.
        I cut my teeth at Jersey Mike’s in Point Pleasant NJ, the original store.
        We have JMs here in Texas.

        • “The closest I get now are the Big Kahuna cheesesteaks at Jersey Mike’s.”

          How about a Big Kahuna burger? 😉

    • Both are wonderful. No reason to go “either or”. Also love sauteed Italian sausage (and/or meatball), pepper and onion subs. Enjoy ALL of God’s gifts to the world.

      Corned beef. Smoked ribs. Char siu. Lift up thine hands in thanks to the beneficence of God. Or your local pitmaster, whichever comes first.

      • You all need to try Sicilian Sausage (little different spice palate than Italian) with Provolone, grilled to perfection with a Roasted Pueblo Green Chili, opened and laid across it on a nice soft Hoagi roll. De-Feckin-Licious.

  2. “I was in Canada two weeks ago and never thought about a gun,” he said. “The only people I knew who had guns in Canada were police officers.”

    He doesn’t see something wrong with a government having armed force at its disposal but the people disarmed and defenseless against that government armed force if the government chooses to misuse that armed force against the people?

    A defenseless/weakened populace just so happens to be a main ingredient in every genocide and dictator take over in history.

  3. ” in Canada, the only people I knew that had a gun were The Police”.
    Ignorance is my vest, denial are my plates.

  4. I’m going out on a limb and suggest that the so-called “experts” first examine the perpetrators of “Philadelphia’s Out-of-Control ‘Gun Violence’”. After the identification of the “usual suspects” for urban violent crimes these experts need to “expert” the fix that only effects the “usual suspects” and leave regular people alone.

  5. Gang members are well known for not missing the nightly news, apparently.
    Or are they pushing for more ’94 AWB shenanigans of plastering the evil “other” all over the news to drum up support in the suburbs for more restrictions?

  6. quote————DA Krasner knows, or should know, that criminals aren’t buying their firearms at retail after passing an FBI National Instant Criminal Background Check System verification. They’re getting them through theft or the black market.——–quote

    And where do the Neanderthals of the Far Right think that the black market gets their guns from????? They get them from stolen guns and face to face second hand gun sales that come from law abiding citizens that can legally sell their guns to strangers for large amounts of cash. This doe not happen in civilized countries that have Universal Background Checks and Safe Storage Laws and restrictions on the ownership of military style weapons. So do we see every street punk and gang using full auto weapons? No, and it was because of the NFA Act and later in time the Reagan restrictions on machinegun purchases. Proven facts that gun control does indeed work.

    quote———–“I was very disappointed there wasn’t one mention of starting to refocus and strategically target persons that are carrying guns illegally, especially previously convicted felons and persons on probation or parole, as that should be the backbone of any anti-violence program in Philadelphia,——-quote

    Its the same old Far Right nonsense of locking the doors to a business after its been robbed and all the employees killed. Locking up the criminal does not bring back to life the dead and the locked up criminals are replaced by new criminals faster than a cat can scratch his ass.

    Have the Neanderthals of the Far Right ever asked the questions “Why has there been such an increase in crime? Its complex but guns are a big part of it.

    1. Lack of high paying jobs.

    2. Lack of Social programs to feed, cloth , educate, house and provide medical care for poor people.

    3. A never ending supply of guns to any criminal or lunatic or far right insurrectionist hate group that wants weapons. No other Industrialized Nation on earth has such madness and gun homicides and mass murders. Vetting of all gun sales and Safe storage laws are mandatory in a civilized country that values human life, Capitalvania has proven it does not value human life.

    4. Retraining of displaced workers.

    5. Reform of our higher educational institutions which have made getting a higher education unaffordable to the average student.

    6. Failure to provide State paid for higher education which all civilized countries have had for decades. Elizabeth Warrens bill to change this was stopped by the Gangster Criminal Republicans, who are sworn enemies of every American citizen and their children.

    7. A livable wage, not a part-time minimum wage with zero benefits. All other civilized nations have had a livable wage for decades.

    8. The break down of family life leaving children to grow up on their own while parents are forced to work 2 and even 3 part time minimum wage jobs.

    9. The failure to decriminalize drug addiction. Dope gangs soon go out of business when their clients can get free drugs and free treatment from governmental programs. Europe has had a far better success in lessening drug addiction than he U.S. has. Locking people up addicted to drugs does not drive dope Ganges out of business.

    • dacian, the Dunderhead, if your crony criminals want higher paying jobs, get an education or a skill that is in demand.
      It is not up to the government to feed, cloth or house you or anyone else.
      Tell your criminal buddies not to buy their guns on the Black Market. 99% of the guns obtained for the Black Market are either stolen or illegally purchased.
      “Retraining” is not a government function, nor should it be. That is up to the individual. It’s called PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY? Have you heard of it.
      It is not the job of the “State” to provide a higher education, Again that is the RESPONBILITY of the INDIVIDUAL!
      As to the “livable wage and benefits” get an education or a skill that pays for both. Working at Micky D’s slinging burgers was never designed to a a career.
      You Leftists are responsible for the breakdown of the family unit with your social welfare programs.
      Addicts are not usually prosecuted for their addiction alone, Usually it is for another crime they also committed. When they finish their sentence, they go back to being addicts. Do the crime; do the time!

      • Walter the Beverly Hillbilly you have no conception at all what college costs these days. Any parent that had to pay for a Childs education is well aware of this.

        When I attended college it cost me often only $300 dollars a quarter and yes in those far off days of the past you could work your way through college. But not today when the average debt for a graduate can easily go over $300,000.

        Only a Hillbilly Moron like you would have made such a complete asinine post. Every line was pure idiocy.

        • Oh but I do. My son went to college and has a degree in Computer Science. You must be a really old fart to be able to pay only $300 a semester.
          If you want something, it is YOUR responsibility to pay for it. Not the Federal government nor the taxpayers. NO FREE RIDES!

      • To Walter the Beverly Hillbilly

        And I might add, you idiot, people today working even 3 part time minimum wage jobs often qualify for welfare so do not blame the welfare system because it is actually the criminal businessman that gets this welfare because instead of paying a livable wage as would be required in a civilized country he gets to pay starvation wages and then he is subsidized by the welfare system because without that government welfare he would be forced to pay a livable wage because no one could afford to work for him.

        Try again Moron you live in fantasy world. How a man of your age could have remained so ignorant all these years simply defies the imagination.

        • dacian, the Dunderhead, I see that idiocy runs in your family. It is a shame that someone might have to work three jobs to support his/her family. But you can blame your Leftist agenda which is working hard to put this country into bankruptcy. But isn’t that your real goal. that way you can rebuild the country to fit your leftist dogma and agenda. Speaking of morons, you think we are all as stupid as you.

        • Walter the Beverly Hillbilly

          The “real reason” you oppose aid to education is because its the same reason you oppose Universal Health Care and that is you are so cheap and stingy that you would rather save a penny in taxes today and then go bankrupt tomorrow when you need help, whether it be paying off college tuition or affording catastrophic health costs. Like most of the Far Right you are always you own worst enemy due mostly to cheapness, stingyness and ignorance.

        • dacian, the Dunderhead. LOL, The real reason I oppose Federal “aid” to education is because it dictates how the money is to be spent not to mention UNCONSTITUTIONAL! I oppose universal healthcare for similar reasons. I don’t want Neanderthals like you determining who gets what healthcare again, not mentioning it is UNCONSTITUTIONAL! Can you tell me where in the Constitution it provides for a Dept of Education or educational Federal Aid? How about where in the Constitution it provides for “universal healthcare”?
          As to cheap, LOL, you Leftist’ give far less to charity than Conservatives by a 2 to 1 margin. Talking about “cheapness, stinginess and ignorance?” Incidentally you misspelled “sintngyness”? Maybe some of that Education aid should have gone to the school you went to?

        • Your comment is awaiting moderation
          to Walter the Beverly Hillbilly

          “quote————dacian, the Dunderhead. LOL, The real reason I oppose Federal “aid” to education is because it dictates how the money is to be spent not to mention UNCONSTITUTIONAL——–quote

          The Constitution give rights that are not specifically spelled out or specifically banned and its also often open to interpretation by the Supreme Court. Even a High School Student is taught and understand this.

          The Ninth Amendment “The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.” In lay mans terms means that just because the constitution doesn’t explicitly say you have a right, or say that a specific thing is protected as a right, doesn’t mean it isn’t.

        • dacian, the DUNDERHEAD. Thanks for proving my point that you are a DUNDERHEAD. The only rights guaranteed by the Constitution are ENUMERATED in that hallowed document. For your EDIFICATION, I suggest that you READ (you can read?) the !0th Amendment. You know the one that says any power or authority not enumerated in the Constitution are relegate to the states or the people. Seems you Leftists just want to rewrite the Constitution without going through the Amendment process.
          God SAVE us from FOOLS and LEFTISTS.

        • James Campbell and which “golden rule” is that? Proving dacian the Dunderhead is a liar and a fool?
          Does that make you one of his fellow travelers?

    • Why worry yourself over any of it? According to you the world will end in the next year or two anyway. All of us unable to charge our EV’s, running ragged searching for bugs and scraps to eat while dodging marauding hordes of racists will mean nobody left to lock up the drug users and kiddie diddlers though I imagine in a lawless state of societal collapse the diddlers will wish they had cells to keep them safe.

    • Street punks put giggle switches on glocks all the time moron. And all the rest of your mouth vomit are flat out lies also.

    • DRUGS> I we are serious about ndrug control we MUST target the users because if the demand is there and the rewards are large enough the growers, and dealers will ALWAYS be ther, NO demand no supply chain simple as that.

      The taking of drugs is a voluntary activity freely undertaken-it is NOT a sickness . Why then should the tax paying citizen pay for re-hab.

      The alternative may well be de-criminalisation but how exactlt does THAT work?? From what evidence I’ve been able to access that has not been particularly successful in reducing the incidences of addiction and surely that’s the point of the exercise.

      • We’ve been fighting the War on Drugs for 50 years, and we’re still losing the war. During that 50 years, we’ve spent more time and money targeting the end user, yet still the problem persists. The War on Drugs is failing because it’s no different than the Prohibition of Alcohol, another massive Government Failure that illustrates how human behavior doesn’t change until the individual decides to change. Enforced Sobriety rarely works, because 8 out 9f 10 will go right back to the same behavior.

        No, if we’re going to declare War, it needs to be a real War, and that means shooting the Cartel and Producers on sight. They’ll have a hell of a time recruiting if their soldiers all end up dead.

    • Dacian, Universal Background Checks and Sage Storage Laws Do Not make a difference. “Locks only keep honest people honest,” is a maxim that proves itself every single day. It would take me all of 10 minutes to open the biggest and best Gun Safe available to the public, if that, and I’m not a criminal, just well educated on Lockworks. With the will/knowledge, the time, and the right tools, any safe can be cracked. I live in a State with onerous storage laws, and those laws haven’t reduced crime in any measurable degree, if anything, the problems gotten worse.

      Background Checks, universal or otherwise, hasn’t made a dent in crime, in spight of what the Anti-Gun crowd claims. Someone intent on creating mayhem will always find a way. The recent assassination of the former Japanese Prime Minister, illustrates that truth. In a country, where forearm possession is extremely regulated, we’re talking CommieLiberal Wet Dream Regulated, the assassin still managed to make a “Gun” and found ammo to use in it.
      A whole lot of good all those Laws, regulations and policies were, when someone was determined.
      In the meantime, the real problem is in our Criminal Justice system. Criminals no longer pay the price for their crimes. Liberals are so concerned with the Criminal’s Rights, the victims are forgotten and ignored.
      Even with the Crackdown on private sales that’s occurred in several States (including mine own), as they’ve enacted UBC’s, crime hasn’t gone down. Why? Because when one source is eliminated, criminals always find another source.

  7. What part of there is no such thing as “gun violence” don’t these people 9sic) understand? A gun last I heard is an inanimate object incapable of any action of any kind? Second, what parts of the 2nd Amendment and the Bruen decision don’t they understand?

    • The part where they don’t get a say in how you live. Same as every complaint from those in power re the constitution regardless of topic.

  8. We’re gonna promote the shit outta what we didn’t learn the first time around and that earned us an NFA

    “… does not alter the conclusion that drug and alcohol prohibition have substantially raised the homicide rate in the United States over much of the past 100 years.”

    https://www.nber.org/papers/w6950

  9. What I want to know is: How many violent crime suspects arrested with guns are holders of a PA License to Carry Firearms? What is this number as a percentage of those who do not hold such a license?

    PA is a Shall-Issue state and the requirements are simply to pass the NICS check. Apart from Philadelphia dragging its feet on the issuing process, it’s not hard to get a PA License to Carry. Accordingly, it’s not hard to distinguish legal from illegal carry. You have a license or you don’t.

    Upon publishing the data I seek, it should be obvious to what extent lawful carriers are contributing to the gun-violence problem in Philadelphia. If-and-to-the-extend lawful carriers ARE contributing then the evidence should inform the PA legislature on what criteria might be used to screen-out “those who shouldn’t have them”. If License-holders who commit violent crimes were distinguished from those who do not commit violent crimes by – e.g., having over-due library books – then that factor might be considered as an additional prerequisite to holding a carry License. (Consistent, of course, with the text, history and tradition test from Bruen.)

    • Mark I can positively answer that question. DAMN FEW if any. I know of only ONE case where a pistol permit holder here in NYS was charged with a crime involving the use of his firearm in my entire life time.

        • Sure, a man from another county was camping in a lodge in Old Forge NY. He was a pistol permit holder in his home county. He had reportedly been drinking. His son came back to the camp and he thought it was a burglar. He shot and killed the young man. He was subsequently convicted of Manslaughter 1st

        • Tragic and stupid but unsurprisingly lacking in malicious intent. Thank you still trying to find one that even begins to match the more typical unlicensed shooting and not having a lot of luck.

  10. I almost stopped reading when I got to “and other thought leaders” it took a while to stop laughing and wipe the tears to continue. FJB

  11. “I was in Canada two weeks ago and never thought about a gun,” he said. “
    No one is forcing you to live here. You are more than free to change your nationality and move to a less free country. No guns and nationalized medicine sounds like a good fit for ya. Don’t let the door hit ya where the good lord split ya.

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