- The Washington Times - Tuesday, December 18, 2018

The Democratic mayor of Pittsburgh, William Peduto, has reacted to a recent Tree of Life Synagogue killing spree that left 11 dead by proposing bans on certain firearms, bump stocks and magazines that he deems high capacity.

He also wants the power to issue “extreme risk protection orders” to give courts the right to confiscate firearms from those deemed by police or family members to pose a “significant danger,” according to the draft of his proposed legislation.

And all the legal gun owners in America should go: You first, Mr. Mayor.

You first give up your armed security detail, your office guards, your hired protection forces — and then maybe, just maybe, your proposal won’t sound quite so hypocritical.

The proposal will, however, still break Second Amendment rights. No matter how “common sense” these newest anti-gun proposals are being sold, they’re still clear violations of the Second Amendment. That’s already been established, more than once.

“The ordinances that the city of Pittsburgh [are] contemplating are illegal, and the city should know this because we beat them in 1994, and we’re going to beat them again,” said Kim Stolfer, the president of Firearms Owners Against Crime, in WTAE.com.

And Amy Hunter, an NRA Institute for Legislative Action spokesperson, added this: “The draft ordinances, if enacted as written, would infringe fundamental rights, violate state law and cost taxpayers dearly because the Pennsylvania Supreme Court has already twice invalidated similar ordinances.”

Court? Democrats don’t need no stinkin’ court — they have emotions on their side, right?

The ordinances are Democrats’ way of pretending like they’re doing something to fight crime, without having to actually do something to fight crime.

They’re feel-good, pat-on-the-back, self-congratulatory measures that are nonetheless worthless. Yet this is where the Democrats stand in the fight on crime. Rather than tackle the true issues — the single-parent and no-parent homes that lead to gang warfare; the removal of all-things-God from schools and society that lead to a morally adrift culture; the failure to recognize and uphold clear rights versus wrongs, or absolute truths and common human standards; or even the reluctance to take a bipartisan look at mental health to curb violence in that regard — the left prefers to strip those who’ve done nothing wrong of their rights to protect themselves and their family.

Moreover, they do it as if they’re God’s gift.

“I think it has been very clear over the last several years that there needs to be more that is done at the local level,” Peduto said, WTAE.com reported, “and that requires the changes of laws at a state and federal level that empowers us to protect the people that we call our neighbors.”

Once again: You first, Mr. Mayor.

The government has no right to take what doesn’t belong to it in the first place. The Second Amendment, after all, is not a government-granted allowance. It’s a God-given right — it’s an individual’s right — as are all the amendments that make up the Bill of Rights. Yes, even in Pittsburgh.

Much as Peduto and his fellow Democrats like to pretend, the right to bear arms is not theirs to give or take.

• Cheryl Chumley can be reached at cchumley@washingtontimes.com or on Twitter, @ckchumley.

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