City's gun room: More to the story

Posted: September 07, 2012

I'M GLAD Sandra Shea visited the gun room at City Hall ( Daily News, Sept. 5). Unfortunately, she wasn't given accurate information about what she saw.

Not all of the 7,000-10,000 guns she saw were "confiscated in crimes committed in the city." Many of those guns were seized from law-abiding citizens who were never charged with a crime.

I have clients who are security guards duly licensed under Act 235 and citizens who simply carry pursuant to a duly issued concealed-carry license who have had their firearms taken during otherwise-routine police stops. For many, their only offense was lawfully carrying a gun while being a member of a racial minority, lawfully carrying a firearm in a bad neighborhood or simply running afoul of some police officer's skewed - and illegal - sense of who should not get his firearm back after a police encounter.

The officers who take these firearms, and the police supervisors who encourage it with the full knowledge of the police commissioner, know that most firearms cost less than $1,000 and that it will take many times that amount in legal fees to effect a return of a firearm through the courts. They take property with impunity, knowing most victims won't challenge the illegal seizure.

Why not go back and ask the Philadelphia Police Department to give totals of just how many of those guns Ms. Shea saw were seized from people actually charged with a crime? You'll find the numbers truly shocking.

Jonathan Goldstein


The city owes him that

Really? A Philadelphia police officer gets murdered going home from work and the city still hasn't decided if it is paying his funeral costs? He was in casual clothes like most of us wear daily, but he was still a police officer.

If a gunman walks into a store and an off-duty police officer is present, that officer is going to take action to right the situation, so how can there be any debate by the city he was still a cop? Anybody who knows a police officer knows they are always on duty, uniform or not, 24/7, 365 days a year.

Thank you, officers, for still going out there every day, even though you get no respect from the city. You protect us civilians. I just want to say, be careful out there.

Mark Gittel


A man and his money

I read on the Internet that Romney was actually born in Switzerland and that is why he keeps his money there.

David Morton


More on Birdwatching

Re: "Is S. Philly Birdwatching really illegal?" (Bykofsky, Sept. 4).

This kind of attitude from the Eagles is what bothers so many longtime fans - fans from the Jerry Wolman era to the present. The Eagles are not the U.S. military engaged in classified training. If the Birds want privacy, they should do a better job of using the property under lease to block onlookers.

But don't give us lines of garbage like the team's claim about an "agreement" the Eagles have with neighbors. I'd like to see a copy of that "agreement" signed by all the neighbors to whom he's referring.

As for distractions: On public property, the public has the right to peaceably assemble and, well, look through the fence at what the Eagles do on property owned by the city and rented by the team.

The Eagles are big business. But they're not the government.

And it's sad that a police officer was either so ill-informed about the Constitution or smart enough to know that Jeff Lurie would be screaming at the mayor that the officer forced a fan to "move along."

Really just ticks me off.

Andy Reid's become as paranoid as the late Redskins and Rams coach George Allen. That's in no way a compliment.

Marc Garber

Marietta, Ga. (formerly of Margate)

Vouchers don't solve it

While I agree with Dom Giordano ("Criminal Parents?" Sept. 5) that the mother who used a false address to enroll her daughter in a suburban school district should not face criminal charges, I question his conclusion that money is not the issue here. Of course it is. Cuts in state funding have resulted in the very conditions that Dom claims make city schools "substandard."

Many Philadelphia schools have lost arts education, libraries, even school nurses, while class sizes are increasing. They also have to deal with an aging infrastructure. Suburban school districts with a better tax base can make up the differences more easily and offer their students what the Philadelphia School District cannot. Dom's illogical non-solution is to drain even more education funding from city schools by way of state vouchers - even if they don't exactly cover the cost of tuition or guarantee a seat.

Gloria C. Endres


Water, water nowhere

Big contracts for Sixers' players and not even one bottle of water for the Sixers' basketball day campers, who are ages 7-13. The camp was held at Community College (which is air-conditioned) from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Who could play ball most of the day without water? The price of the one-week camp doesn't come cheap. The kids bring their own lunch. That's understandable because of different diets. But water, which everybody drinks and needs?

Not one Sixer greeted the kids. World B. Free was the only one who visited the camp.

Yvonne McCray


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