Wednesday, June 26, 2013
Pistol Packin' Momma Invades Voter Registration Office
I spotted her as she sauntered in.
Although Pennsylvania is an "open carry" state, you need a license to carry firearms if you want to transport a gun, loaded or unloaded, in a vehicle. So eventually, Mezzacappa will be arrested.
But her recent actions, both on Friday and Monday, will likely lead to much needed gun control.
Under state law, it is illegal to bring a weapon inside a courthouse or a "court-related facility." But is the Elections Office a court-related facility? Those workers might be considered "court clerks," in which case they would be covered. They might not. I can see arguments both ways. But that office, which is where the votes are counted, should be completely free of intimidation. How can that be when a candidate is in their face, packin' heat?
Let's use some common sense. Like our school children, government officials are increasingly becoming targets for mentally ill people. That risk is both substantial and real. For that reason, there needs to be a ban on all weapons at any County-owned or leased facility.
What about state preemption, you say? The County has no right to regulate firearms, you'll argue. That is a matter for the state. But I'd respond that the County, and any other local government, has every right to regulate its own property, as Philly recently did by banning all weapons inside its parks.
Some Council members are currently mulling exactly this kind of solution.
Local municipalities should probably review their ordinances and make changes as needed.
It wouldn't hurt if state legislators adopted some changes adopting an outright ban inside any municipal building or facility.