Wolf plans executive order on gun violence, as Philadelphia reels from shooting | Thursday Morning Coffee
Good morning, fellow seekers.
John is taking a well-deserved vacation, which means it’s up to me — Associate Editor Sarah Anne Hughes — to get your morning going with an abbreviated version of the Coffee.
Don’t worry: He’ll be back Tuesday.
On Wednesday, a man in a North Philadelphia neighborhood opened fire on police attempting to serve a warrant, WHYY and Billy Penn report. Six officers were shot; all have been released from local hospitals.
The incident provided a grim backdrop to the announcement Wednesday that Gov. Tom Wolf will sign a “sweeping” executive order “to better target the public health crisis of gun violence.”
“We simply are not doing enough to stop people from dying and to give communities the peace of mind that they deserve,” Wolf said in a statement. “This order will make sure the executive branch is doing more and focusing on gun violence as both a public safety problem and public health crisis.”
In a release, Wolf’s office said the initiatives and reforms will include:
- “New oversight and data sharing
- “Reducing community gun violence
- “Combating mass shootings
- “Addressing the rising number of gun-related domestic incidents and self-inflicted shootings, including suicides by gun”
Wolf also renewed his call for the Legislature to pass universal background checks and a red flag law that would allow courts to temporarily seize firearms from a person deemed a risk to himself or others.
Democratic lawmakers from Philadelphia reacted to the shooting with calls for action.
Until we change our laws, the violence, fear and deaths will continue. Our neighbors deserve better. And so do our children. https://t.co/vCIZepRj3L
— Rep. Elizabeth Fiedler (@RepFiedler) August 15, 2019
Even now, after hours, the lives of our first responders are in jeopardy. Thoughts and prayers are not enough. We must take tangible steps against automatic military grade weapons NOW. #NorthPhilly https://t.co/B3V0QuKDFz https://t.co/wJ5vUAGbvF
— Senator Sharif Street (@SenSharifStreet) August 15, 2019
“There are far too many guns on our streets,” Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta, vice chair of the House’s Philly delegation, said in a statement, “and today’s incident is one more sober reminder of it.”
Late Wednesday night, Wolf’s office announced it was postponing Thursday’s planned signing.
“Tonight is another reminder of the selfless sacrifice of our law enforcement officers and first responders. We are praying for a peaceful resolution and the full recovery of all those injured,” Wolf said in a statement. “We must remain committed to combatting violence and getting dangerous weapons out of our communities.”
- Staff reporter Elizabeth Hardison has an explainer that’s bound to wake you up: The debate over charter school funding has reached a “crisis point.”
- In less a month, Pennsylvania has certified 3,000 people with anxiety for medical marijuana.
- Guns will be on the agenda during state Senate hearings set for Sept. 24 and 25.
- One-time LG hopeful Jeff Bartos is taking a position in Republican party leadership.
- John’s new column: Not banning weapons of war? That’s an assault on common sense
- On our Commentary page: Terry Madonna and Michael L. Young ask, “Is Trump our ‘new normal’ in American politics? And what does it mean long-term?”; Jonathan C. Rothermel, a history professor at Mansfield University, calls for Iran to release Princeton University doctoral student Xiyue Wang.
PublicSource runs down “five threats to the livelihoods of low-wage workers in Pennsylvania.”
Making a potential comeback? License plate stickers, PennLive reports.
The state Department of Human Services announced Wednesday that it will close two care facilities for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The Post-Gazette has more.
The Lily asks three women from Philadelphia about what life after prison is like.
“When your paycheck depends on the weather, you take this seriously,” Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding tells farmers during Ag Progress Days, the Centre Daily Times reports.
Gov. Tom Wolf will rally in favor of the Affordable Care Act with U.S. Sen. Bob Casey at the Capitol.
What Goes On
Rep. Liz Hanbidge will lead a House Democratic Policy Committee hearing on “reducing home and community-based services waiver waitlist” in Lansdale.
Since the death of the great poet and lyricist David Berman last week, I’ve been listening to Silver Jews’ albums non-stop. For the uninitiated, here’s “People” from 1998’s “American Water.”
And now you’re up to date.
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Sarah Anne Hughes