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Saturday essay: Constitutions

| Saturday, June 2, 2007

If Gov. Ed Rendell is right about the supposed lack of gun control in the state -- he blames the National Rifle Association, alleging it controls the General Assembly -- then why are there any gun laws in Pennsylvania?

He went off half-cocked, but Mr. Rendell probably was more disingenuous than delusional. The former Philadelphia mayor made his inane remarks at a news conference with Pennsylvania mayors and lawmakers. It's the type of liberal crowd that tries to limit the right to buy arms and defines violence perpetrated by criminals as "gun violence."

Surely, the congenital gun-grabbers gobbled up Rendell's rhetorical red meat -- fast food from Fast Eddie.

Responses by wrongly accused legislators predictably were defensive and completely off target. Republicans and Democrats in both chambers told the Trib they listen to their constituents, not the NRA.

The proper response would be to say they oppose more so-called gun-control restrictions because they swore to uphold and protect the Pennsylvania Constitution. Article 1, Section 21, says, "The right of the citizens to bear arms in defense of themselves and the State shall not be questioned."

The only question is why supporters of the right to bear arms don't defend themselves with their best weapon -- the state Constitution -- whenever they're targeted by a Philadelphia blunderbuss.

-- Dimitri Vassilaros

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