A mass shooting in Philly: Lead or get out of the way | Monday Morning Coffee

As the nation watches, three people are dead, 11 are wounded. Is it a crisis now?

June 6, 2022 7:17 am

‘We can’t continue to let people continue to kill people,’ Maureen Long, of Philadelphia, told NBC-10 after Saturday’s mass shooting on South Street (Screen Capture).

Good Monday Morning, Fellow Seekers.

Three people were killed and 11 more were wounded after a mass shooting late Saturday night on Philadelphia’s South Street, a beloved strip of bars, restaurants and shops that is a magnet for tourists and locals alike.

According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, multiple shooters began firing into the crowd around 11:30 p.m. One witness, who was standing outside the Theatre of Living Arts, a storied concert venue on South between Third and Fourth Streets, told the Inquirer he thought the shooting was never going to stop.

Eric Rosso, of the progressive muckraking site Pennsylvania Spotlighttweeted that he “had a uniquely American moment where I ran from my first mass shooting last night after getting out of a show at the TLA.”

Maureen Long, who was in bed when she heard the eruption of gunfire, told NBC-10 in Philadelphia that she was “furious — not just for my neighborhood, for the whole country.

“If I hear one more time, ‘thoughts and prayers’ bull***t …” the visibly angry Long told the station in an interview that should be required viewing for policymakers. ” … What are we gonna do? We’re so politically divided. All right, you want to disagree about the economy? Or, you know, immigration, whatever? We cannot disagree about this. We have to do something. I don’t care what your political leanings are. We can’t continue to let people continue to kill people.”

The shooting in Philadelphia, one of many that occur with depressing regularity in Pennsylvania’s largest city, came days after four people were killed at a medical facility in Tulsa, Okla. The shooter in that instance died. And that mass murder came after depraved killers slaughtered innocents in Buffalo and Uvalde, Texas.

According to NPR, mass shootings nationwide over the weekend left at least 15 people dead and more than 60 wounded. Contemplate the enormity of that number for a moment.

UVALDE, TEXAS – MAY 25: A child crosses under caution tape at Robb Elementary School on May 25, 2022 in Uvalde, Texas. According to reports, during the mass shooting, 19 students and 2 adults were killed, with the gunman fatally shot by law enforcement. (Photo by Brandon Bell/Getty Images)

As I write this, Democrats in the U.S. House are pushing a package of eight bills that has attracted scant Republican support.

In the Senate, U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., who represented the families of Sandy Hook when he served in the lower chamber, is working on compromise legislation will not include the assault weapons ban that President Joe Biden has called on lawmakers to pass, Newsday reported Sunday.

Meanwhile, Pennsylvania’s Republican-controlled Legislature, which returns to session this week for the start of budget season, hasn’t even bothered to pretend that it’s going to do something — even after Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf, surrounded by advocates, issued yet another call to action late last month.

“I am heartbroken. I am angry. But I refuse to give up on calling on our lawmakers to enact common sense legislation that protects Pennsylvanians,” Wolf said.

In a Sunday statement, Adam Garber, of CeaseFirePA, called Saturday’s carnage “entirely predictable, because it’s been happening slowly across Philadelphia, and so many other cities, for the last two years. It will only end when elected officials in Harrisburg take action. When they say that no one needs an extended magazine to hunt. That no one needs an assault weapon for safety.”

In his statement, Garber painted a picture of a Pennsylvania, free of gun violence, where the commonwealth’s residents are “free to party with friends on the weekend. To worship together in peace. To learn without psychologically-damaging active shooter drills.”

But right now, “we are not free, because we as a nation live in constant fear. That will only change when our elected officials act,” he continued. “And that will only happen when every Pennsylvanian joins together to demand action. We can’t turn back time, no matter how hard we wish we could. But, we can end the violence by taking action today.”

BUFFALO, NEW YORK – MAY 15: People gather outside of Tops market on May 15, 2022 in Buffalo, New York. Yesterday a gunman opened fire at the store, killing ten people and wounding another three. Suspect Payton Gendron was taken into custody and charged with first degree murder. U.S. Attorney Merrick Garland released a statement, saying the US Department of Justice is investigating the shooting “as a hate crime and an act of racially-motivated violent extremism”. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

It’s a noble sentiment. And Garber’s right. So is Wolf. And so is every advocate, survivor, and bereaved family member who has been calling for action after every act of violence since Columbine. 

And none of it matters a damn. And none of it will ever matter because Republicans, cowering before the National Rifle Association, and fearing primaries from their right, have made a bargain that would shame Faust.

They are willing to accept the routine slaughter of children, of the classroom teaches and aides who instruct them, of people out for a good time on a Saturday night, of elderly Black Americans shopping in a grocery store, of people just trying to live their lives in our cities and towns in exchange for clinging to power, and preserving a twisted interpretation of constitutional language crafted in an age of flintlock weapons.

The message for Pennsylvania lawmakers and members of Congress this Monday morning as they return to work is a simple one.

Lead or get out of the way.

Hundreds of protestors rally in Harrisburg on Saturday, May 14, 2022, to promote abortion access. (Capital-Star photo by Marley Parish)

Our Stuff.
More than half of Americans say abortion should be legal in all or most casesCassie Miller reports in this week’s edition of The Numbers Racket.

Starting June 9, the Pennsylvania Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs will have the authority to impose fines on unlicensed recovery houses in the commonwealth that receive public funding, Cassie Miller also reports.

Former hedge fund CEO Dave McCormick has conceded in the Republican U.S. Senate race in Pennsylvania, clearing the way for celebrity heart surgeon Mehmet Oz to face Lt. Gov. John Fetterman in the November general election, Marley Parish reports.

Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fetterman — also the Democratic U.S. Senate nominee — who suffered a stroke last month also had a previously undisclosed heart condition that prompted doctors to implant a pacemaker with a defibrillator into his heart, Marley Parish also reports.

In suburban Pittsburgh, residents and advocates recently urged state lawmakers to take action against fracking, our partners at Pittsburgh City Paper report.

Our partners at the Philadelphia Gay News introduce you to Kevin Hyne, a Philly lawyer who found his higher calling by starting an org to combat addiction stigma.

As many celebrate Pride month, LGBTQ Pennsylvanians are continuing the fight for protections from discriminationJustin Sweitzer, of our partners at City & State Pa. reports.

On our Commentary Page this morning: Democrats need to become anti-monopolists again, public affairs professional Justin Stofferahn writes in an op-Ed first published by our sibling site, the Minnesota Reformer. And change won’t appear overnight in many states if the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. WadeUniversity of South Florida public health law expert Katherine Drabiak writes.

En la Estrella-Capital:  Los proyectos ferroviarios de pasajeros y carga en 32 estados, incluyendo a Pa., obtienen millones del Departamento de Transporte de EEUU.  ¿Qué propuestas de control de armas considerará la Cámara de Representantes de los Estados Unidos? Aquí está la lista.

(Photo via Getty Images/Colorado Newsline.)

The Inquirer runs down the latest on Saturday night’s shooting on South Street.

Amid a search for solutions, businesses reopened, and people returned to South Street on Sunday, WHYY-FM reports.

Mass shootings across the state and nation over the weekend left dozens killed or woundedNPR reports (via WITF-FM).

Western Pennsylvania U.S. Reps. Mike Doyle, D-18th District; Conor Lamb, D-17th District, and Mike Kelly, R-16th District, have requested a total of $108 million in funding for community projects in 2023, the Post-Gazette reports.

PennLive runs down how the state has updated its hiring practices to attract more qualified workers.

The York Daily Record examines the NRA’s spending on Pennsylvania’s congressional delegation (paywall).

Farmland in Lancaster County is expensive, and that’s impacting how local farmers are starting and/or expanding their operations, LancasterOnline reports (paywall).

The Citizens’ Voice looks at how supply chain issues are affecting local wineries.

A local physician talks to the Morning Call about the dangers posed by the monkeypox virus.

Today is the anniversary of D-Day. There are fewer veterans alive to tell its storyGoErie reports.

PoliticsPA pays tribute to the late state Rep. Peter J. Daley, D-Washington, who died last week, aged 71.

Voters head to the polls on Tuesday for primary elections in California, Iowa, Mississippi, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico and South Dakota. Roll Call runs down what you need to know about this Super Tuesday.

Here’s your #Harrisburg Instagram of the Day:

What Goes On
The Senate comes in at 1 p.m. today. The House returns on Tuesday at 12 p.m.

What Goes On (Nakedly Political Edition)
The Senate Republican Campaign Committee holds its annual ‘Hoopla‘ at FNB Field in Harrisburg tonight at 5:30 p.m. Admission runs $500 to $5,000. Because, of course.

As of this writing, Gov. Tom Wolf has no public schedule.

Heavy Rotation
In addition to being a hilariously accurate laceration of the music industry, ‘Josie & the Pussycats’ had an amazing soundtrack, filled to the brim with power-pop gems. Here’s the wonderful ‘Spin Around.’

Monday’s Gratuitous Baseball Link
The Cleveland Guardians won their series against the Baltimore Orioles on Sunday, sealing it with a 3-2 win at Camden Yards.

And now you’re up to date.

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John L. Micek

A three-decade veteran of the news business, John L. Micek is the Pennsylvania Capital-Star's former Editor-in-Chief.