Saturday, August 23, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

PA's annual gun day

Tuesday brings an annual pro-gun rally to the state Capitol, and the state's top conservative lawmaker will bask in the praise of fellow gun-lovers.

PA's annual gun day

 In this photo released by the White House, President Barack Obama shoots clay targets on the range at Camp David, Md., Saturday, Aug. 4, 2012. The White House released a photo of Obama firing a gun, two days before he heads to Minnesota to discuss gun control. In a recent interview with The New Republic magazine, Obama said yes when asked if he has ever fired a gun. He said "we do skeet shooting all the time," except for his daughters, at Camp David. (AP Photo/The White House, Pete Souza)
In this photo released by the White House, President Barack Obama shoots clay targets on the range at Camp David, Md., Saturday, Aug. 4, 2012. The White House released a photo of Obama firing a gun, two days before he heads to Minnesota to discuss gun control. In a recent interview with The New Republic magazine, Obama said yes when asked if he has ever fired a gun. He said "we do skeet shooting all the time," except for his daughters, at Camp David. (AP Photo/The White House, Pete Souza)

And now, as demonstration that Pennsylvania remains Pennsylvania, comes the state's annual "PA Second Amendment Action Day" at the Capitol.

On Tuesday morning, hundreds will gather as they do each year to affirm allegiance to the right to bear arms, an event organized by the state's arguably number one conservative lawmaker, Rep. Daryl Metcalfe, R-Butler County.

This year's event comes less than a week after a majority of U.S. senators supported but (because of Senate rules) failed to adopt a measure expanding criminal background checks for gun purchases.

Among speakers scheduled Tuesday is Larry Pratt, executive director of Gun Owners of America and author of the book "Armed People Victorious" which is NOT about the gun lobby victory in the Senate but, I imagine, that victory will get a mention.

Other speakers scheduled include state Reps. Matt Gabler, R-Clearfield County; John McGinnis, R-Blair County; Harry Readshaw, D-Allegeny County, and state Sen. Elder Vogel, R-Beaver County.

The event is held on the Capitol steps and serves each year as a reminder that any effort to get any gun control measure through the Legislature faces insurmountable odds in the form of strong bipartisan opposition.

This year it coincides with efforts to match the attempt at the federal level to expand background checks.

State Rep. Dan Frankel, D-Allegheny County, for example, is pushing legislation to close a state law "loophole" allowing the purchase of assault weapons and long rifles from non-licensed sellers without background checks.

The measure is supported by state Atty. Gen. Kathleen Kane, the International Association of Chiefs of Police and was introduced earlier this month by Bucks County Democratic Rep. Steve Santarsiero.

If history is a guide -- and in Pennsylvania is usually is -- the measure has less chance of passage than the measure proposed in Congress. And PA's annual gun day is a reminder of that reality.

 

 

John Baer Daily News Political Columnist
About this blog
John Baer has been covering politics and government for the Daily News since 1987. The National Journal in 2002 called Baer one of the country's top 10 political journalists outside Washington, saying Baer has, "the ability to take the skin off a politician without making it hurt too much." E-mail John at baerj@phillynews.com.

John is the author of the book "On The Front Lines of Pennsylvania Politics: Twenty-Five Years of Keystone Reporting" (The History Press, 2012). Reach John at baerj@phillynews.com.

John Baer Daily News Political Columnist
Also on Philly.com
Stay Connected