A wave of homicides in Philadelphia should not be used as an excuse for Mayor John Street to advocate clamping down on the self-defense rights of thousands of law-abiding citizens, the Second Amendment Foundation (SAF) said today.

“When the Philadelphia Daily News asked Mayor Street whether the homicides were related to the 28,000 legally-issued concealed carry licenses in the city, he sidestepped the question,” noted SAF Founder Alan M. Gottlieb. “Instead, he argues that there are just too many handguns in the city.

“That’s a bogus response to a legitimate question,” Gottlieb said, “and it lies at the very heart of the gun control debate. It’s typically not law-abiding citizens who gun people down on the street in drug deals, or who are the killers in drive-by shootings or acts of domestic violence. Yet anti-gunners like Mayor Street are quick to argue that the only way to stop the criminal misuse of firearms is to punish people who aren’t even remotely responsible for the crimes.”

Gottlieb concurred with State Rep. Dwight Evans, a Philadelphia Democrat, who told a newspaper that, “It’s not like you’re going to pass a bill and this is going to go away.”

“Evans is right,” Gottlieb observed. “If Mayor Street thinks he’s going to suddenly make street violence disappear by denying law-abiding citizens their right to self-defense, he’s sadly mistaken. This is not a problem that can be easily solved by eliminating the means of personal protection for thousands of Philadelphia residents, turning those people against you in the process. Gun owners are typically the most ardent supporters of law enforcement efforts to crack down on crime.

“Tired rhetoric about ‘too many guns on the streets’ is not going to prevent a single crime in Philadelphia or anywhere else,” Gottlieb concluded. “Absent the city’s ability to round up the perpetrators and hold them accountable, Mayor Street’s approach is to shift responsibility to legally-armed citizens who had nothing to do with any of these crimes. That’s not simply wrong, it is dangerous.”

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