The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Robin L. Quillon

April 17, 2011

Despite Rendell, gun bill getting its due

— As promised by state legislators, the “castle doctrine” bill was reintroduced, and on Tuesday, it passed the House with a 164-37 vote. It now goes to the Senate, where it should be passed immediately!

Although the “castle doctrine” bill passed last year with an overwhelming majority, “Frenchy” Rendell vetoed it.

This frightened, liberal former governor is a staunch advocate of retreating. But can you blame him? He comes from the surrender city of Philadelphia, where mayors and other politicians place the rights of thugs above that of law-abiding citizens.

Remember, never again can we allow a mayor of Philadelphia to become governor, because once in office, he or she will impose surrender policies on the rest of the state.   

This legislation is good for law-abiding citizens and bad for hooligans. It expands the state’s “castle doctrine,” eliminating a requirement that a person retreat or find a safe place before resorting to deadly force outside the home.

This bill also limits civil liabilities in some cases for people who act within the law. If they are sued by the alleged assailant and prevail in court, they would be entitled to an award of legal fees and costs, as well as compensation for lost income. This is a tiny step in the direction of tort reform, but not nearly enough to quiet down ambulance-chasing lawyers and their loud hit song: “There is no fee unless we get money for you.”

Among the frightened Democrats opposing this bill is Philly Rep. Louise Bishop. She made this ignorant statement: “Guns kill, that’s what they were made to do, that’s what they do. So we are asking for powers to kill, not maim, to kill anyone that we feel is threatening us.”

I doubt whether she could tell the difference between a handgun and a handbag. Because if she could, she would know that people, not guns, kill people.

Joining her in opposing this bill is another frightened Democrat, Rep. Michael Gerber of Montgomery County.

He says this bill could be exploited by criminals who see it as “an out” for illegal violence.

Huh? Is there such a thing as “legal” violence by criminals? Does Gerber really think thugs are analyzing this bill for loopholes?

That silly statement deserves a “Come on, man!”

He also said, “We are encouraging people to use deadly force in circumstances where we (political speak for government) don’t want them using deadly force.”

I will give him credit; he is true to the Democrat motto of government controlling all aspects of our lives, even when protecting ourselves or our families.

Both statements are nothing more than pandering to anti-gun nuts.

I believe Republican Rep. Bryan Cutler of Peach Bottom, Lancaster County, clearly understands the importance of this bill. He said: “This legislation is not only pro-Second Amendment, but it is also a positive for families and law-abiding citizens. For too long our laws have favored the rights of criminals over the rights of people who obey the law … a citizen should not have to retreat from his own home to protect the rights of someone who has forcibly or illegally entered it.”

Well stated.

After the bill clears the Senate, Gov. Tom Corbett will sign the legislation that “Frenchy” Rendell should have signed last year.   

 

Robin L. Quillon is the publisher of The Tribune-Democrat. He can be reached at rquillon@tribdem.com.

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