GUNCRAZY: How The NRA Bought The 2nd Amendment

  WASHINGTON POST: For more than three decades, the NRA has sponsored legal seminars, funded legal research and encouraged law review articles that advocate an individual’s right to possess guns, according to the organization’s reports. The result has been a profound shift in legal thinking on the Second Amendment. And the issue of individual gun-possession rights, once almost entirely ignored, has moved into the center of constitutional debate and study. For proponents of stricter gun control, the NRA’s encouragement of favorable legal scholarship has been a mark of its strategic, patient advocacy. “I think this was one of the most […]

KILLADELPHIA: 18,043 People Shot Since 2001 In The 215

  PHILLY MAG: Between January 1, 2001, and May 29th of this year, 18,043 people were shot in Philadelphia. That equates to about one shooting every six hours. In that same time period, there were 3,852 murders—a new body yielded up for disposal nearly every day. The entire length of the conflict in Afghanistan hasn’t produced as many dead Americans as we’ve picked up off our city’s streets. Unfortunately, political debate over urban violence reduces to opposites: On the left, politicians blame economic factors, bad schools and ineffective, even racist law enforcement; to the right, conservatives preach personal responsibility, citing […]

KILLADELPHIA: ‘Stop Snitching’ Killed Officer Moses Walker Jr.

INQUIRER: The night of Feb. 12, six months before he allegedly gunned down Police Officer Moses Walker Jr., Rafael Jones was arrested and charged with sticking a handgun into the chest of a man walking to a Germantown bus stop and stealing his designer jacket, Nike sneakers, and $65. The victim, identified in court papers as E.J., 26, ran barefoot two blocks to his girlfriend’s apartment to call police, who quickly arrested Jones, still on probation for a previous gun offense. In the months that followed, E.J. made a fateful decision. He failed to testify. Despite extensive efforts by prosecutors […]

GUNCRAZY: Where Pennsyltucky Meets Killadelphia

Photo by JOE KAZCMAREK DEENEY: The black market for guns itself remains mercurial, shifting and changing and hard for researchers to accurately quantify. It’s amazing how little we know at this late stage about the illegal gun market in America.  Johns Hopkins’ Webster says that straw purchasers—legal buyers who then turn the guns over to drug dealers or stick-up artists (a federal felony)—play a role. Yet drug dealers in Baltimore (as elsewhere in the US) can also go to gun shows in nearby Virginia to take advantage of the circuit’s freewheeling, unregulated cash-and-carry policies, but according to Webster, the extent […]

GUNCRAZY: The Banality Of Evil*

Illustration by ALEX FINE “I wanted to draw something more to do with Holmes’ mental illness and less to do with Batman so I came up with this image.  It just struck me how normal he looked as a teen and how — with the way the gun lawa are currently structured — seemingly normal people can buy assault weapons and kill you any time they feel like it. And, according to the latest Gallup Poll, we like it this way”. — ALEX FINE THE NUMBER OF AMERICANS KILLED BY GUNFIRE SINCE 9/11: 281,757 [SOURCE: Politifact] THE NUMBER OF AMERICANS […]

GUNCRAZY: It’s Always Gunny In Killadelphia

Photo by GTXTOM INQUIRER: The day started out stellar but was marred by three shootings, one by police, about 9:20 p.m. blocks from the celebration. Police grazed a 16-year-old male in the chest after he wounded at least one person, possibly two, then aimed his gun at officers near 17th and JFK Boulevard, police said. Authorities believe that the teenager had fired on a 17-year-old male and struck him in the leg. They believe the alleged shooter next shot a 19-year-old man in the left leg. “The officer saw him shoot the other person, and he ordered him to drop […]

KILLADELPHIA: Dead Men Tell No Tales

Sparks Street, Olney, Monday night, by JOE KACZMAREK DAILY NEWS: IN A CITY where justice frequently is thwarted by a no-snitching culture, Rodney Ramseur did what others are too scared or too heartless to do: He spoke up and told what he allegedly saw, fingering a former friend at a court hearing last week as the gunman who shot a neighbor in 2010. But Monday night, someone gunned down Ramseur and his girlfriend as they sat in a springtime drizzle on the porch of his Olney home. Now, police are probing whether a retaliation-minded murderer targeted Ramseur for his role […]


DAILY BEAST: Thirty-two murders that have taken place in Philadelphia since the start of 2012. This recent rash of homicides comes quickly on the heels of a year when Mayor Michael Nutter and Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey were touting a steep reduction in violent crime, with homicides down 22 percent, robberies down 23 percent, and overall violent crime down 16 percent in 2011 from their 2007 highs.  The Mayor blames the homicide spike on a steady flow of illegal handguns into the city as groups like the NRA stymie his attempts to pass local gun-control laws. Richard Berk, a statistician […]

KILLADELPHIA: Brutes Bash Temple Grad’s Brains Out On The Steps Of The Second Bank Of America

INQUIRER: Just before 2:25 a.m. Saturday, Kless and two female friends were walking on Chestnut Street near Fourth Street when he tried to hail a cab. The bars had just let out, and the three had just left Lucy’s Hat Shop Restaurant & Lounge a few blocks away. The cab’s rooftop lights were on, signaling it was available, but there were passengers inside, and the taxi didn’t stop. Police said Kless yelled, “Turn off your f-ing lights. A maroon Mazda with four men inside drove up behind the cab as traffic likely slowed briefly. The people in the Mazda may […]

KILLADELPHIA: Is The Police Department Cooking The Books On The City’s Annual Murder Rate?

[Photo via] GOP mayoral candidate Karen Brown made a startling accusation today on Radio Times, claiming the murder rate is in fact much higher than the figures cited by Mayor Nutter. Seizing on Nutter’s remarks during his inauguration that if he did not reduce the murder rate by at least 30% he should not be re-elected (in fact, he did call for a reduction of the murder rate by 30% to 50% in the next three to five years, but never said he shouldn’t be re-elected if he doesn’t) Brown claims that the Philadelphia Police Department has been using […]

GUNCRAZY: Off-Duty Cop Kills One, Wounds Two, Over Water Battle; Infant And Adolescents Shot

INQUIRER: An off-duty Philadelphia police officer allegedly shot and killed a man and wounded two other people in South Philadelphia on Sunday night after what witnesses said was an argument over a playful water battle. The encounter happened around 6:30 on the 1800 block of Hoffman Street, according to police spokesman Lt. Frank Vanore. MORE RELATED: Around 8 p.m. Jesus, still holding the baby, began walking across the street toward her home. Suddenly, two young men opened fire at each other, police said. The baby was caught in the cross fire and was hit in the right armpit. She was […]

KILLADELPHIA: It’s Always Gunny In Philadelphia

DAILY NEWS: Pennsylvania residents who are denied a license to carry a concealed weapon, or have theirs revoked, have found a loophole that allows them to get a license from another state that must be honored here. “They could be disapproved here and they could apply in Florida and we are not notified,” said Philadelphia Police Lt. Lisa King, commander of the Gun Permit Unit. “So if we are not giving them a permit to carry, how is Florida allowed to override our decision?” District Attorney Seth Williams said that the loophole defeats local efforts to keep streets safe. Police […]

KILLADELPHIA: Dead Men Tell No Tales

INQUIRER: Martin Thomas looked at the flier and blanched. “Don’t stand next to this man. You might get shot.” The threat was scribbled on a copy of his signed statement to police, implicating a man in a murder. Thomas, then 20, had revealed a buried cache of weapons and named one of the gunmen who killed a man at 22d and Somerset on a summer night. Now, there were his words to detectives, posted on the wall of a Chinese restaurant in North Philadelphia for all to see. Panicked, Thomas fled, flagged down a police car, and told the officers […]