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Shameless example of disregarding law
Philadelphia Inquirer ^ | Apr. 22, 2008 | Daniel Pehrson

Posted on 04/24/2008 8:51:41 AM PDT by neverdem

It's time for Philadelphia leaders to understand that lawlessness by the city government is one of the many factors contributing to the city's culture of crime and violence. The lack of respect city officials have shown for the laws of Pennsylvania by passing illegal gun-control ordinances sets a tone for residents that honoring the rule of law is optional in this city. When the City Council passed and Mayor Nutter signed a package of gun-control bills that limits the ability of law-abiding citizens to purchase and possess firearms, they brazenly declared themselves independent from the laws of the commonwealth. It didn't take long for the first suburb, Lower Chichester, to follow by unlawfully passing its own arbitrary gun-control laws.

Yet, what baffles me the most is that these leaders wonder where criminals get the idea that laws don't apply to them! Don't they see the example they set so publicly? The willful defiance has made headlines for weeks, reminding residents that the Council, mayor and police commissioner consider themselves to be above state law. Why shouldn't average citizens be as well?

District Attorney Lynne Abraham understands the rule of law, as do many police officers, who have voiced opposition to enforcing these measures they know to be illegal. They have reason to be concerned. If they knowingly enforce laws that have been previously declared illegal, they may be found liable in lawsuits. Those are lawsuits that they don't want to battle and the city can't afford to fight.

However, not to be stopped by the city attorneys, who actually have to stand in front of judges and argue the validity of the laws, Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey is encouraging the Council and mayor to ignore the legal advice against enforcing the ordinances. He was recently quoted arguing in favor of the illegal measures that "as far as I am concerned, the laws are valid, and we will act as if this whole conversation with the D.A. just didn't take place."

When the chief law-enforcement officer so shamelessly encourages city leaders to pretend they didn't hear legal advice from other officials, advice that could save thousands in taxpayer funds for litigation, it's time to question if he really has the best interest of the city in mind.

Lawful gun owners are not the problem, and our city leaders know it. They are in a better position than most to see the justice system turning criminals out to the streets, rather than putting them in prison. To solve the crime problems in Philadelphia and in other communities, leaders must be willing to embrace the rule of law, not blatantly sacrifice it for political points.

Until our elected officials learn to abide by the law, we gun owners will have to set an example. In what is only the first of many steps, gun-owner groups have filed for a temporary restraining order to prevent enforcement of the Philadelphia gun-control ordinances. Those of us who live in the city will continue to lawfully keep and bear our arms, waiting on the city to follow our lead in respecting the laws and constitution of the commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

Daniel Pehrson (dpehrson@pafoa.org) is president of the Pennsylvania Firearms Owners Association.


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Crime/Corruption; Editorial; Politics/Elections; US: District of Columbia; US: Pennsylvania
KEYWORDS: banglist; filthydelphia; guncontrol; michaelnutter; nutter; philadelphia

1 posted on 04/24/2008 8:52:01 AM PDT by neverdem
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To: neverdem
When government is above the law, people think its unjust and lawless. Philadelphia's crime problem is exacerbated by its public officials sending the wrong message to the city's inhabitants.

"Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached." - Manuel II Palelologus

2 posted on 04/24/2008 8:55:45 AM PDT by goldstategop (In Memory Of A Dearly Beloved Friend Who Lives In My Heart Forever)
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To: neverdem

I was quite glad when that moron Ramsey left the Washington DC area. I was VERY very tired of seeing and hearing him spout his garbage on the local news stations every other day or so.

If you want to know how good a police chief he is, just look at the incredibly low crime rates he left behind in DC when he moved to Philly (har, har).

What a loser.


3 posted on 04/24/2008 8:56:24 AM PDT by WayneS (Respect the 2nd Amendment; Repeal the 16th)
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To: neverdem
Yet, what baffles me the most is that these leaders wonder where criminals get the idea that laws don't apply to them!

Total freaking morons, a waste of oxygen. Who elected these idiots?

4 posted on 04/24/2008 9:12:16 AM PDT by P8riot (I carry a gun because I can't carry a cop.)
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To: neverdem

I wish people would stop confusing local law with federal law.


5 posted on 04/24/2008 9:12:38 AM PDT by Mr. K (Some days even my lucky rocketship underpants don't help)
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To: Temple Owl

ping


6 posted on 04/24/2008 9:14:10 AM PDT by Tribune7 (How is inflicting pain and death on an innocent, helpless human being for profit, moral?)
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To: Mr. K; Born Conservative; airborne; smoothsailing; Dr. Scarpetta; martin_fierro; Coop; Tribune7; ...
I wish people would stop confusing local law with federal law.

What federal law is involved? IIRC, this is a matter of city versus state, i.e. whether Philadelphia's or Pennsylvania's law takes precedence. Somebody correct me if I'm wrong.

7 posted on 04/24/2008 9:32:49 AM PDT by neverdem (I'm praying for a Divine Intervention.)
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To: goldstategop

I read an interview of a lady who lived under the communists in the USSR. When asked how 5% of the population was able to control the other 95% she just said “they had all the guns”.


8 posted on 04/24/2008 9:36:40 AM PDT by smoketree (the insanity, the lunacy these days)
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To: smoketree

I saw a local newscast a few years ago where a reporterette went out into the streets of Philly looking to buy a gun. It too almost no time for her to find a dude who popped open his trunk and showed her an arsenal to choose from. The gun dealer said something to the effect that “gun control” was a real laugher.


9 posted on 04/24/2008 9:43:14 AM PDT by Lancey Howard
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To: goldstategop

“Yet, what baffles me the most is that these leaders wonder where criminals get the idea that laws don’t apply to them! Don’t they see the example they set so publicly? The willful defiance has made headlines for weeks, reminding residents that the Council, mayor and police commissioner consider themselves to be above state law. Why shouldn’t average citizens be as well?... When government is above the law, people think its unjust and lawless.”

Sounds like a good concept to me, but who really believes it? I noticed how quickly people agreed that the President doesn’t have to obey the law so long as he claims it is necessary for the War on Terror. There’s always a good reason not to follow the law or the constitution. It takes men with strong backbones to stand up and demand that it be done.


10 posted on 04/24/2008 9:44:19 AM PDT by onguard
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To: onguard
"I noticed how quickly people agreed that the President doesn’t have to obey the law so long as he claims it is necessary for the War on Terror."

What law is the President breaking in the WOT?? If you are referring to waterboarding, there was nothing illegal about waterboarding when it was performed on the three scumbag terrorist.
11 posted on 04/24/2008 9:53:59 AM PDT by Old Teufel Hunden
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To: neverdem

You are correct. PA pre-empts local gov’t from passing gun control bills.


12 posted on 04/24/2008 10:05:55 AM PDT by SoothingDave
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To: SoothingDave
You are correct. PA pre-empts local gov’t from passing gun control bills.

therefore the state police should be rounding em up, their votes/signatures are evidence of a crime...

If I were to openly break ANY law in this fashion, they wouldnt hesitate for a second...

ropes and lamposts are desperately needed around the country...

LFOD...

13 posted on 04/24/2008 10:19:51 AM PDT by Gilbo_3 (Choose Liberty over slavery... the gulag awaits ANY compromise with evil...LiveFReeOr Die...)
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To: Gilbo_3

Their actions are void, but I don’t know if they are criminal, as the statutes are defined. Someone should sue them for attmpeting to deprive others of their civil rights under the color of law.


14 posted on 04/24/2008 10:22:08 AM PDT by SoothingDave
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To: neverdem; All

The referenced Philadelphia Inquirer article is why the 14th A. now makes a HUGE difference with respect to how the 2nd A. is interpreted. Regardless that DC (DC v. Heller) cannot make laws that infringe on gun rights, if it weren’t for the 14th A., Philadelphia could do so. This is because the Founders decided that federal BoR did not apply to the states. And the 14th A. not only changed the scope of the 2nd A. to include the states, but 14th A. lawmakers also clarified that the 2nd A. protects personal rights.


15 posted on 04/24/2008 12:07:20 PM PDT by Amendment10
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To: goldstategop

It’s time for the people to act.


16 posted on 04/24/2008 12:47:01 PM PDT by wastedyears (The US Military is what goes Bump in the night.)
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To: SoothingDave
youre prolly correct, the only thing not illegal anymore is to blatantly propose and sign law after publicly stating that what youre doing defies superior legislative bodies...

sadly the fine print probly also forbids civil suits from standing...

Again...more tree-less rope...

17 posted on 04/24/2008 12:52:49 PM PDT by Gilbo_3 (Choose Liberty over slavery... the gulag awaits ANY compromise with evil...LiveFReeOr Die...)
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To: Amendment10
if it weren’t for the 14th A., Philadelphia could do so.

Not the issue here. No local gov't can make a gun law. That's the PA state law.

18 posted on 04/24/2008 1:31:54 PM PDT by SoothingDave
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To: SoothingDave
Not the issue here. No local gov't can make a gun law. That's the PA state law.

Mea culpa.

I'm not familiar with the law in question, but I'm going to take your word for it. That's a good point and thanks for clarifying that there is such a state law.

19 posted on 04/24/2008 3:14:43 PM PDT by Amendment10
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To: Amendment10

It’s called “pre-emption” and it’s what the NRA has been busy passing in many states while Washington does nothing.


20 posted on 04/24/2008 4:58:42 PM PDT by SoothingDave
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To: SoothingDave; Amendment10
It helps that the PA Constitution is written in very plain English:
21 posted on 04/24/2008 5:50:42 PM PDT by brityank (The more I learn about the Constitution, the more I realise this Government is UNconstitutional !!)
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To: brityank; All

Thank you for posting Sec. 21.


22 posted on 04/24/2008 6:16:17 PM PDT by Amendment10
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To: neverdem
Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey is encouraging the Council and mayor to ignore the legal advice against enforcing the ordinances. He was recently quoted arguing in favor of the illegal measures that "as far as I am concerned, the laws are valid, and we will act as if this whole conversation with the D.A. just didn't take place."

Since he's sworn to enforce the laws, he can't claim not to know them. Accordingly, Chief Ransey deserves the full penalty of the law for his crimes.

United States Code Title 18, U.S. Criminal Code
PartI, Chapter 13, §ection 241
Conspiracy against rights:


If two or more persons conspire to injure, oppress, threaten, or intimidate any person in any State, Territory, Commonwealth, Possession, or District in the free exercise or enjoyment of any right or privilege secured to him by the Constitution or laws of the United States, or because of his having so exercised the same; or

If two or more persons go in disguise on the highway, or on the premises of another, with intent to prevent or hinder his free exercise or enjoyment of any right or privilege so secured—

They shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both; and if death results from the acts committed in violation of this section or if such acts include kidnapping or an attempt to kidnap, aggravated sexual abuse or an attempt to commit aggravated sexual abuse, or an attempt to kill, they shall be fined under this title or imprisoned for any term of years or for life, or both, or may be sentenced to death.

23 posted on 04/25/2008 5:56:00 AM PDT by archy (Et Thybrim multo spumantem sanguine cerno. [from Virgil's *Aeneid*.])
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To: archy

Those laws are only good for prosecuting typical white devils.

They can’t be used against a brother!


24 posted on 04/25/2008 9:14:15 AM PDT by neverdem (I'm praying for a Divine Intervention.)
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To: archy
Nice catch. I've been citing that Federal Law for a couple of years now.

But from my research I can't find a single instance of it ever having been invoked against a public official. Not one.

L

25 posted on 04/25/2008 9:18:01 AM PDT by Lurker (Pimping my blog: http://lurkerslair-lurker.blogspot.com/)
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To: Lurker
Nice catch. I've been citing that Federal Law for a couple of years now.

But from my research I can't find a single instance of it ever having been invoked against a public official. Not one.

L

Prosecutions under 18 S 242 are more common, since the penalties thereby include not only jail time and fines, but a possible federal death penalty. Several examples of 18/242 federal prosecutions can be found, most notably including the convictions of the cops involved in the Rodney King beating incident, and several following:

FORMER DALLAS TRANSIT POLICE OFFICER PLEADS GUILTY TO FEDERAL CIVIL RIGHTS VIOLATION

FORMER SOUTH CAROLINA DEPUTY SHERIFF PLEADS GUILTY TO CIVIL RIGHTS VIOLATION

CHICAGO POLICE OFFICER INDICTED FOR ALLEGEDLY VIOLATING FEDERAL CIVIL RIGHTS OF MAN BEATEN WHILE HANDCUFFED IN WHEELCHAIR

And do not fret if a case has not been brought for a recent depredation: federal charges can and have been brought for violations of civil rights as long as 40 years after the fact.

26 posted on 04/25/2008 9:47:09 AM PDT by archy (Et Thybrim multo spumantem sanguine cerno. [from Virgil's *Aeneid*.])
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To: neverdem; archy

Thanks for the ping. Thanks for posts/links. BTTT!


27 posted on 04/27/2008 6:28:24 AM PDT by PGalt
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