PA Senate: Protect pigeons not people

Never let it be said that Harrisburg lacks a sense of irony:

“Pa. Senate votes to ban pigeon shoots” by PETER JACKSON, AP,, 10/15/14:

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) – Guns were a hot topic Wednesday in the Pennsylvania Senate, which voted to back a ban on pigeon shoots and for a bill to give groups like the National Rifle Association legal standing to sue municipalities over local gun laws.

Senators favored outlawing pigeon shoots by a 3-1 margin and sent the measure back to the House for consideration.

The shoots, which involve launching the birds from spring-loaded boxes to be shot at close range, were derided by senators who called it inhumane and a throwback to “another age.”…

Photo from at philly.com091514-pigeon-shooting-600

That bill, HB 1750, passed the Senate on Oct. 15 by a vote of 36-12.

The same day, the Senate voted 32-16 to add the Alloway amendment, expanding HB 80 from a bill about sale of metals into one that penalizes municipalities for restricting the sale of guns and ammunition.

HB 80 by a passed the next day by a vote of 34-14. Henceforth, any local gun-restricting ordinance can be taken to court by organizations such as the NRA; a municipality will not only have to defend the case but also pay damages and the NRA’s or other plaintiff’s expenses. So much for the pretense that the conservatives who dominate in Harrisburg are against “big government.”

So the majority of the PA Senate put itself in the interesting position of prioritizing the protection of pigeons over the protection of people.

A week later, though, the PA House refused to take up the pigeon bill, thus letting it, like the pigeons, expire. See “NRA claims 11th hour victory in battle over live pigeon shoots” by Amy Worden, Philadelphia Inquirer, 10/22/14. By then, though, the House had approved the Senate version of HB 80, which the current Governor will no doubt sign before his day of reckoning with the voters on Nov. 4.

So, chalk up two more for victories the NRA and its message: Pigeons, people, whatever.

photo from “151 Victims of Mass Shootings in 2012: Here Are Their Stories,” Mother Jones, 12/19/12





PS How did Senators representing Chesco vote?

HB 1750: Dinniman (D), Erickson (R), Pileggi (R), Rafferty (R) for

HB 80 Alloway amendment and final bill: Erickson (R), Pileggi (R), Rafferty (R) for; Dinniman (D) against

About politicswestchesterview

Nathaniel regards himself as a progressive Democrat who sees a serious need to involve more Americans in the political process if we are to rise to Ben Franklin's challenge "A republic, madam, if you can keep it," after a passerby asked him what form of government the founders had chosen. This blog gives my views and background information on the local, state, and national political scenes. My career in higher education was mainly in the areas of international studies, foreign languages, and student advising, most recently at Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, from which I retired in 2006. I have lived in West Chester since 1986.
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