What This Dashcam Video Says About American Freedom

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posted on April 29, 2024
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A recent dashcam video of an attempted carjacking in Philadelphia further highlights why blaming law-abiding gun owners for the actions of criminals runs against common sense and American freedom.

In the video, the driver stops behind another vehicle at a red light. After a few seconds, the reverse lights on the front vehicle come on and a man with a gun jumps out and runs toward the car with the camera. But then, when the potential victim pulls their own gun, the armed carjacker immediately flees, firing several shots, one of which hit the victim in the chest. The wounded driver does manage to get off a few shots of his own at the felons.

As this was being written, Philadelphia Police were asking for help finding the armed criminal and his driver, but locating them might not result in much positive progress. Philadelphia is one of those big cities that has been experimenting with a “no-bail” policy, so it is possible they would just turn the armed attacker back out onto the streets.

Even as scenes like this play out, many of the big-city politicians facing burgeoning violet crime seem to almost always blame guns or the Second Amendment for crime—Philadelphia Mayor Cherelle Parker (D) is no exception.

When she first took office last January, one of her first orders of business was to issue an executive order declaring Philadelphia’s current level of violent crime to be a public-safety emergency. One might think such an “emergency” would be worthy of a strong reaction like arresting violent felons, keeping them in jail until their trials, vigorously prosecuting them, and then handing them lengthy prison sentences. Instead, Parker is focusing on gun control.

As a state legislator, Parker once sponsored a misguided proposal that would have required every gun in Pennsylvania to be registered each year, with a fee of $10 per gun levied annually. Most recently, she gushed over how her city had stuck it to two gun parts makers that she said provided parts for “ghost guns.” In reality, those who reached the settlement with the city were complying with existing law and simply legally selling gun parts—just like they do in other states—that were later misused by criminals.

Of course, Philadelphia isn’t the only big city embracing dangerous, woke policies that are soft on crime and hard on law-abiding citizens. New York City is perhaps the ultimate example of these misguided tactics.

While officials in Gotham work hard to make it more difficult to get carry permits, then restrict gun possession with a never-ending list of “sensitive places” where citizens can’t carry guns for self-defense, they are, at the same time, turning violent felons back out onto the streets again and again, leading to a much more dangerous city.

The recent murder of NYPD Officer Jonathan Diller by a career violent criminal who should have been in jail is a horrifying example. Guy Rivera, who allegedly shot and killed Officer Diller, had 21 prior arrests and was on parole until last year after serving a five-year stint on a drug conviction.

As a felon, he was illegally possessing the gun he used to kill Officer Diller.

The driver of the car, whose street name is “Killa,” was arrested at the scene of the murder for having a 9 mm pistol. He had an open weapons charge from 2023, so he should also have been in jail at the time of the officer’s murder. His rap sheet shows at least 14 arrests, including for such crimes as robbery, assault, and attempted murder in a 2001 case in which he was accused of shooting a man three times.

How do anti-Second Amendment politicians react to such a travesty? By calling for more gun control, of course, even though gun laws only affect law-abiding citizens, not the criminals those politicians pretend to want to thwart.

Officer Diller is hardly the only casualty of “bail reform.” As we reported last year, this soft-on-crime sentiment by some prosecutors is having a devastating effect. One recent study estimated that these progressive “de-prosecution” tactics are directly responsible for hundreds of excess homicides every year, including 70 excess homicides a year in Baltimore, 74 excess homicides a year in Philadelphia, and 169 excess homicides a year in Chicago.

Not surprisingly, such policies are becoming increasingly unpopular among American citizens. A Gallup Poll released last November revealed that, for the first time in 20 years, the majority of Americans think the U.S. is “not tough enough” on crime. Results showed that 58% of respondents agreed with that assessment, up a whopping 17% from only two years earlier.

The poll results also revealed that well over half of Americans said the greatest priority for the U.S. criminal justice system should be strengthening law and order through more police and greater enforcement of laws.

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