NRA: Assault Rifles Don’t Kill Cops, Criminals Do

DAILY NEWS: Even with one of Liczbinski’s three alleged assailants still on the lam and the police sergeant – who would have turned 40 today – not yet laid to rest, a political war of words erupted yesterday over the gun that killed him. Mayor Nutter, facing his first real crisis since taking office in January, lashed out at the National Rifle Association for its effort to block a city law that would have outlawed many assault weapons. That included the SKS semiautomatic [pictured, left] allegedly fired by alleged killer Howard Cain, who was slain by police shortly after. “There’s no legitimate argument by the NRA,” Nutter said at a City Hall news conference, referring to a court order blocking the city-only gun law signed by the new mayor just last month. “They need to get in the real world where the rest of us live,” he said. “They owe an apology to the family [pictured, lower right] for their staunch opposition over many, many years blocking legislative support for these kinds of matters.”

The NRA’s top official, formerly a Delaware police captain, fired a sharp verbal volley back, saying that gun laws wouldn’t have saved Liczbinski and that the real issue here was granting freedom to Cain, a serial felon. NRA President John Sigler said that it was sad “for Mayor Nutter to seize this opportunity to move his own political career. . . . He should instead use his political muscle to ensure that judges keep these people in jail.” The debate showed how, in just 48 hours, a violent cop-killing quickly became a kind of a Rorschach test for the gridlocked debate of how to reduce out-of-control crime in Philadelphia. MORE

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