Kim Jones’ murder last week on the edge of Main Campus in broad daylight not only brings shock and heartache to the community, but also brings up the important issue of gun laws in Philadelphia.
Jones, 56, was a child-advocacy worker and the mother of two children. She was standing at the bus stop at 12th and Jefferson streets by her house when she was shot in the back of the head. Police say she was stalked.
The gunman is still on the loose, which means there’s no way of knowing at this point in the investigation if the gun used in the cold and calculated murder was registered or not or if he was in stable enough condition to be carrying it at all.
It’s important to note that just two days before Jones was murdered, the NRA filed a lawsuit against the cities of Philadelphia, Lancaster and Pittburgh, citing that several of its ordinances violate the state’s current gun laws, which therefore violates the Second Amendment.
Previously, the NRA wasn’t able to file such a case unless it could prove personal harm. However, a new state law – which was passed with the help of the organization – allows the NRA to continue with the suit without doing so, according to PBS.
Some of the ordinances that are being challenged call for Philadelphians to report lost or stolen firearms, prohibit guns from city-owned institutions and to refuse possession to people who may be a harm to themselves or others, the AP reported.
And though Jones’ murder was tragic, it’s unfortunately not unusual. In 2013, there were more than 200 firearm-related murders in Philadelphia, according to police reports. With these numbers in mind, it is frankly irresponsible for the NRA to challenge ordinances that are meant to protect citizens from gun violence.
The NRA should understand that Philadelphia is not violating a person’s constitutional right, but is rather guaranteeing a person’s right to live.
Pennsylvania has a strict preemption doctrine in firearms matters for a very good reason. We know from hard experience that municipalities will attack the state constitutional right to keep and bear arms (Pa. Const., Art 1, Sect 21) to mask their failure to maintain law and order. For example, prior to right to-carry reform, which brought Philadelphia into the state shall-issue firearms license system, almost none but the politically connected could get a license to carry, while now anyone who is not legally a prohibited person can have one by right.
This is as it should be, for quite to the opposite of what is advanced as a justification for special gun laws here, we need our guns much more than country folk. We are the ones with the dangerous animals around. Violent crime. such the tragic incident told of above, or the recent home invasion multiple murders in Mayfair are not a reason to give up our guns, they are why we have them.