Talk about firing a random shot! For reasons known only to its warped minds, the NRA -- via its hyperactive Twitter feed -- sent off this stray, poorly aimed potshot this afternoon:
Philadelphia accounts for a disproportionate share of Pennsylvania’s crime.
— NRA (@NRA) February 27, 2013
The point being...exactly what? Is the National Rifle Association angry that Mayor Nutter and Philadelphia Police Chief Charles Ramsey have been high-profile supporters of the kinds of sensible gun-safety laws that the NRA opposes? Or is it just an emotional appeal to NRA members that violent crime is not so much a gun thing as a big-city thing -- in other words, a blatant, "para-racial" appeal to the idea that gun violence should be associated with places with large numbers of non-whites?
Anyone who lives or works in Philadelphia or rides its subways knows that Philadelphia is a living, breathing argument for sane gun laws -- including the kind of background checks that are supported by about 90 percent of Americans but opposed by the fringe far-right extremists who control the NRA. In fact, I was on the Market Street line when the NRA sent out its borderline offensive tweet, so my friend Joel Mathis from Philly Post beat me to the punch.
As he correctly notes, most other violent crime has been dropping in Philadelphia but murders -- 80 percent of which are commited with a gun -- have ben the rise. So perhaps if it were not so easy for folks to get their hands on guns here, the murder rate would fall off with these other crimes. Yes, I'd be the first to admit that solving urban crime is more vexing than stopping suburban mass shootings -- where banning high capacity magazines would really make a difference. But where the hell has the NRA been all these years -- suddenly now they're concern trolling Philly's crime rate?
In other words, the NRA is illogical and sending its patrons"dog whistles" about the evil of "urban" life. Sad and pathetic, but not exactly breaking news at this point.