In a recent article at the New York Times, the pearl-clutching over rising civilian gun ownership in Philadelphia went unexpectedly off the anti-gun rails when they talked to the city’s infamous prosecutor, Larry Krasner.
Krasner has taken a lot of heat for his
non-prosecution handling of criminals in the City of Brotherly Love, like many of his fellow “progressive” prosecutors who were supported by George Soros. The mayor, the police commissioner, the police union and Republican state lawmakers have all taken their turns publicly attacking him and his office’s policies.
But the focus of the article is the fact that gun ownership — both legal and not — has skyrocketed in the increasingly dangerous city. The number of those carrying legally has soared. As the Times notes with horror . . .
The number of firearm licenses issued in the city jumped to more than 52,000 in 2021, from around 7,400 in 2020.
But it’s those without permits that Krasner has in mind. His ideas about how police should handle those who carry illegally sound almost based.
Krasner argues that arresting and imprisoning people for the mere possession of a firearm not only doesn’t help lower crime, but makes the problem worse by taking police time and resources away from actual violent crimes. He also points out that it chases off people who investigators should be talking to when investigating violent criminals.
“You can make massive numbers of gun arrests, and you do not see significant reductions in shooting,” he told the Times. And, he’s basically right.
The city’s records show that police made no arrests in three-quarters of the 486 fatal shootings in Philly in 2021 (more than 300 so far this year). At the same time, they racked up a record number of arrests for having a gun without a permit.
Only a small fraction of the people who are arrested for carrying guns without permits are the ones actually driving the violence, Mr. Krasner said. He insisted that the city needed to focus instead on people who had already proven themselves to be dangerous, and to invest in advanced forensic technology to clear the hundreds of unsolved shootings.
“What is their theory — that rather than go vigorously after the people who actually shoot the gun,” Mr. Krasner asked, “that we should take 100 people and put them in jail, because one of them might shoot somebody?”
That could almost be a commercial for passage of constitutional carry in the Keystone State.
While I’m sure his motivations for thinking this way differ from most readers here, and I doubt he’d support an actual constitutional carry law, it shows that even so-called progressives are starting to give up on the hoary old idea that strict licensing and permitting is an effective public safety measure. And he’s far from the only progressive working in the criminal justice system to be thinking that way.
As we’ve pointed out in past stories, public defenders from blue states and Democrat-run cities and counties frequently speak out against tough or outright discriminatory enforcement of gun control laws because they not only don’t reduce violent crime, they often end up being used disproportionately against minorities.
Public defenders in New York backed the challenge of New York’s corrupt may-issue concealed carry system in NYSRPA v Bruen, for example. Also, Chicago’s public defenders have spoken out about aggressive anti-gun policing, including the ridiculous prosecution of a black man whose CCW permit had expired only weeks earlier.
Faced with rising violent crime rates — much of it the result of policies those on the left support and have implemented — many less enlightened “progressives” who don’t get to see how badly gun control fails first hand think that going even harder against guns is going to somehow produce better results.
There are obviously those who have come to see that gun control doesn’t work to reduce crime, yet have other motives for promoting civilian disarmament. But, what we see here in Krasner’s comments is that there are still some on the other side who recognize the failure of gun control laws as any kind of effective tool against violent crime.
When they acknowledge that gun control doesn’t work, it’s worth taking notice.