Friday, March 25, 2005

What little they can do...

Rendell and Street are fresh from their summit on gun violence, trying to find solutions in a state with a proven history of unwillingness to pass restrictive legislation. So they can dream of reasonable measures, such as one-per-month limits on purchases, but really they must find ways to work around the edges to improve matters in the cities. They would love to see the expansion of successful anti-violence programs into North Philly, where recent violence has been highest, but there doesn't appear to be any new funding source to support that. It looks like Rendell can redirect a few state troopers into better enforcement of existing restrictions on illegal guns. And maybe get a few legislators to consider making it a crime not to report a gun stolen (so that this can't be the excuse made by those who buy legitimate guns and then resell them). But honestly, despite the headline, there's nothing here to make me think that either of these executives are in any position to "go after guns."

Tom Ferrick points out that Philadelphia isn't allowed to pass local gun measures -- it tried that once and had its privileges taken away. But he doesn't have any real suggestions either. It all seems a bit bleak, especially in light of recent cuts in the total police force. I guess it's back to social services to try to intervene in troubled neighborhoods, but none of those groups are particularly flush with resources these days...


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