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Sigh, again.

Philadelphia. It's important to politicians to be *seen* as doing something, even if the gesture is, in the main, meaningless. Philadelphia is having a very bad spate of violence. 21 murders in 8 days is a Bad Thing.

Within the past eight days there have been 21 homicides in Philadelphia, including three in the late-night and early morning hours after the prosecutor made her appeal Monday.

The referenced appeal is to the witnesses, to come forward and help the police get the murderers, with a promise of protection. Well and good. Her job is exactly that, and she's in crisis mode.

Now the Mayor has to fly top-cover. And he's resorting to the usual stuff, most of which is pointless and doesn't address the issue.

Street has declared the violence throughout the city a crisis and as a result has ordered the full review of police department policies and has suggested a full moratorium on the issuing of gun permits.

In addition, Street has requested a meeting with Governor Ed Rendell to talk about possible new gun legislation.

So, we're going to prevent people who are willing to go through the legal hoops to procure a weapon from having that option... while the people who give a flying flip about legal hoops are *most likely* the ones doing the killing.

Yes, Mr. Mayor - let's make a symbolic yet pointless gesture that doesn't address the problem - but does give a nice soundbite impression of "doing something, anything" about the problem at hand.

It would appear from the article that most of the killings are drug-related. And the Philly PD is having real trouble getting cooperation from locals.

Law enforcement officials have been on a campaign to persuade city residents to cooperate more with police since last year’s killing of Faheem Thomas-Childs, a 10-year-old boy struck by a stray bullet outside at his North Philadelphia school. The shooting happened in front of dozens of people, but few witnesses have spoken up. “We know that people know who killed Faheem Thomas-Childs. We know that people know. We need them to come forward,” Abraham said. Nearly all progress made in that investigation has come from the work of the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, not from the public, she said.

Just a thought, Mr. Mayor, Governor Rendell: Perhaps the issue isn't the guns, per se. Rather than further restrict the activities of lawful citizens, why don't we look at what motivates the murderers? Hint: The thought process *isn't* "Gee, I have this nice new Glock I bought from the guy behind that abandoned building - I think I will now go kill someone with it at random."...

Nor is it more like "Farking bassid is trying to muscle in on my turf, I"m gonna kill the bassid. I will now go to the police and get a permit, then go to a nice gun store and purchase a gun, and then go kill that farking bassid!"

Nope, it's more like, "Farking bassid is trying to muscle in on my turf, I"m gonna kill the bassid. I'll use a gun, but hell, a knife will do..."

Note - the primary motivation is not the weapon. Most spikes in gun violence in the last hundred years in this country are attributable to one thing. Prohibition of some sort - or renewed emphasis on enforcement of a prohibition - creating a vacuum of supply and demand that criminals fill. *That* is your issue, sir. Attack the drug war, you'll have some success. Attacking guns and lawful owners doesn't do a damn thing - but it looks good, doesn't it?

The whole story is here.

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21 homicides in Philadelphia in the past 8 days. We must ask the administration to pull out of Philly, now! What will a prolonged presence in Philly get us besides lackluster baseball? No more blood for cheesesteaks! Read More

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Mayor Street's most-probable course of action, based on observation of past performance, will be to issue reprimands to the police. There's also incipient nastiness going on down the road from me. Fortunately, the decent folks among the local citizenry are becoming fed up with it and helping the cops locate the arms caches.