Friday, November 27, 2015


Here we go again: another gun issue, another petition.



(A brief discussion twixt Baer & Baer's editor, a.k.a. BE)

JB: Hey, boss, see we got yet another gun issue in the news and yet another petition to Congress and another gun issue likely going nowhere? Grrrr!

BE: Same old, same old. What's the latest?

JB: Nutter this morning was scheuled to meet at City Hall with some folks tied to a new effort called "National Drive to Fix Gun Checks." It was started this week by New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg who co-chairs Mayors Against Illegal Guns, which Nutter supports.

BE: Meet and do what?

JB: Talk up a petition to close a federal loophole on gun background checks that apparently make it easier for crackpots to buy firearms. Here's a piece from that high-priced Huffington Post.

BE: Where are they taking the petition?

JB: To Bob Casey's Philly office at 2000 Market Street today at noon.

BE: Because he's pro-gun?

JB: Bingo. He's the Pennsylvania political trifecta: pro-gun, pro-life, pro-labor; a receipe for re-election.

BE: And he's up next year, yes?

JB: Up and running. And even though a new Quinnipiac Poll released yesterday says nearly one-third (31 percent) of state voters don't know if he's doing a good job (largely because he's been The Invisible Man), he's likely to win re-election.

BE: Because of that trifecta thing?

JB: You betcha. And those gun petitioners, regardless of how worthy their cause, can take their petitions to any of Casey's EIGHT offices (seven in the state, one in Washington) and get the same result. You won't see him take any lead on anything having to do with any sort of new controls on guns.

BE: What about others in Congress?

JB: Same deal. Elections coming. NRA's in charge. And the loophole in question probably requires spending more money to close, which, face it, ain't happening for causes pols can agree on so won't be happening for anything controversial.

BE: So we go round and round every time there's a high-profile gun crime and nothing ever changes.

JB: Outrage, questions, petitions, arguments, all followed by status quo.

BE: But gun check loopholes don't kill people, people kill....


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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

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

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