Anti-gun politicians including Senators Kamala Harris and Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney are being criticized for exploiting Wednesday’s shooting and subsequent standoff between Philly police and an armed suspect as more evidence for the need for additional restrictions on Second Amendment rights.
But as it turns out, the suspect in this case, identified as 36-year-old Maurice Hill, might easily be used to exemplify the abject failure of gun control laws. According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, “Hill’s history in the adult criminal justice system began in 2001 when he was 18 and was arrested with a gun that had an altered serial number.”
He has racked up about a dozen arrests, spent time in prison for such beefs as drug dealing, illegal firearms possession and aggravated assault. He’s been convicted of prison escape, resisting arrest and fleeing from police, but the newspaper said “he beat criminal charges on everything from kidnapping to attempted murder.”
Instead of admitting that stringent gun control laws apparently failed to keep a gun out of Hill’s hands, Harris took heat for her remarks to CNN while the shooting was still happening, according to rival Fox News.
The Guardian noted that Mayor Kenney wasted no time after stepping up t a microphone to declare, “Our officers need help. They need help with gun control. They need help with keeping these weapons out of these people’s hands. This government, both on federal and state level, don’t want to do anything about getting these guns off the streets and getting them out of the hands of criminals.”
Six officers were wounded in the confrontation, which became an hours-long standoff. All have reportedly been treated and none of the wounds was life-threatening.
It started when Philadelphia police tried to serve a warrant. As the Inquirer noted, “his record would indicate, he does not like to go to prison.”
Maybe that’s because he’s spent so much time there. He drew a 55-month sentence back in 2010, and he was jailed in 2008 after pleading guilty to possession of a Smith & Wesson .357 Magnum revolver and a Taurus PT .45 semi-auto pistol.
“His prior felony convictions should have barred him from owning those weapons,” the Inquirer report noted.
Convicted of perjury in 2013, he was sentenced to seven years’ probation. It’s only been six years since that conviction.
So, what’s a fellow with this background doing on the streets, much less with a firearm? That’s a question anti-gunners answer only by demanding more restrictions on law-abiding citizens, rights activists complain. The issue was even mentioned in a tweet from President Donald Trump.
Meanwhile, Harris and fellow anti-gun Democrat Sen. Elizabeth Warren are both in hot water over statements that black teenager Michael Brown, who was killed by a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri five years ago, was “murdered.”
Fox News noted that Washington Post Fact Checker Glenn Kessler had awarded both senators, who are also running for their party’s presidential nomination, four “Pinocchios” over their claims, which is tantamount to calling someone a liar. As Fox reported, Harris and Warren both mentioned Brown’s shooting in tweets last week.
“Michael Brown’s murder forever changed Ferguson and America,” Harris tweeted, according to the Fox report. “His tragic death sparked a desperately needed conversation and a nationwide movement. We must fight for stronger accountability and racial equity in our justice system.”
Meanwhile, Warren reportedly tweeted this message: “5 years ago Michael Brown was murdered by a white police officer in Ferguson, Missouri. Michael was unarmed yet he was shot 6 times. I stand with activists and organizers who continue the fight for justice for Michael. We must confront systemic racism and police violence head on.”
This happened on the anniversary of Brown’s death. Fox News noted, “But the fact-checkers said the evidence in the case contradicts the comments by Harris and Warren: Three months after the shooting, a grand jury decided not to indict Wilson. And in March of 2015, a report released by President Barack Obama’s Department of Justice found that Officer Darren Wilson most likely had reason to fear for his life and did not break the law when shooting Brown.
“In awarding the Pinocchios (sic), the Washington Post’s Kessler wrote: ‘Harris and Warren have ignored the findings of the Justice Department to accuse Wilson of murder, even though the Justice Department found no credible evidence to support that claim,’” Fox added.