Council moves to stop city shooting galleries

Finally, I won one.

Well, not the first and not the only, but against my fears that Woke would triumph, Philadelphia City Council overwhelmingly rejected the insanity of so-called “supervised injection sites.”

The site of the shooting gallery that was stopped dead by South Philadelphians

Well-intentioned but clueless advocates started calling them that when the first euphemism, “safe injection sites” was ridiculed by me and others — including then Attorney General Josh Shapiro — because it was a lie. There is no “safe” way to inject illegal drugs.

Council voted 13-1 to ban what is now called (by the Inquirer, which supports the state-sanctioned shooting galleries) “supervised drug consumption sites.” Oh, consumption. Like taking a Tylenol.

Here’s a rule of thumb, folks. When someone has a controversial pet project, and they have to keep changing the name of it (like “defund the police”), you know they are in trouble.

Our embarrassingly Woke Mayor Jim Kenney supported the shooting gallery program, proposed by the Safehouse nonprofit, and the bill goes to his desk, where my guess is he will veto it. That would be just for show, because 13 votes is enough to override his veto. But he likes futile gestures, like trying to write gun laws in Philly that violate the state and U.S. constitutions. 
Woke Democrats wildly warn about “attacks on democracy” as they busily try to dismantle the Constitution.

I believe I was the only Inquirer staffer to oppose the insanity of enabling drug-addicted zombies to continue their suicidal behavior. 

Why did I oppose it? For one thing, running a drug house — no matter how nice the curtains you try to hang on it — is against the law. 

Second, keeping people on drugs does them no favor. They need rehab, not more drugs that can kill them. 
Would you help someone get their first drug fix? Of course not. So why help them get their 500th fix? The humane thing is to get them to kick the habit.

For another thing, no neighborhood wants a magnet to draw drug addicts — and associated crime — to their streets. 

The bill, in fact, doesn’t outright ban the shooting galleries, but stipulates that anyone trying to open an operation would first have to get neighborhood approval. And no neighborhood would want one.

Well, maybe there’s one. Absent Council member Jamie Gauthier, of the 3rd District in West Philadelphia, did not cast a vote, but said in a statement that neighbors should be allowed to decide.

She may think her neighbors would vote yes. I believe they would vote “no.”

The sole “yes” vote was cast by Kendra Brooks of the far left Working Families Party, or Woking Families Party, as some call it. She is elected At-Large and got her seat by knocking off a Republican.

You may remember that this insanity began in 2020 when Safehouse tried to sneak a “safe injection site” into South Philly near Broad and Snyder.

The neighbors found out, went batshit, and stopped the shooting gallery in its tracks.

Since then, the state senate voted 41-9 to ban the shooting galleries statewide.

The progressives don’t know it yet, but they have lost.

It’s over.

Now let’s do the sensible thing: Arrest and imprison drug dealers, and get addicts into rehab.

Let this victory lead to sensible policy. 

28 thoughts on “Council moves to stop city shooting galleries”

  1. Many civic advocates have spent an excessive amount of volunteer time fighting this dumbass idea. At least in 9 of the 10 Council Districts, shooting galleries will not be ‘of right’ and able to move into a community overnight. We are also pursuing state and federal action as additional security measures for our residents. Thanks to the Dechert law firm which is handling the federal case pro bono, we won in the Third Circuit Court of Appeals, and now need the Biden administration DOJ to stand with us to uphold that ruling. Thanks to all who assisted in fighting this. We urge proper action to help those addicted to drugs. Oh, and Closing the $&*()_^&* Border will help a lot!!!! Barbara Capozzi

    1. Explain to me how to close the entire southern border and how much would it cost. BTW, the lunatic fringe Trumpicans🤡 want to bomb Mexico and sink Chinese freighters going to Mexico. They’re delusional.

  2. Whomever came up with the “defund the police” moniker, and I STRONGLY suspect it was a Republican, missed the entire point of what that is about. Nobody wanted less officers on the street. What reasoned people want to do is to stop the police from spending tons of money on tanks and armored vehicles and “army-like” munitions and instead spend it on mental health training and other things that will help the officers do their jobs better. Anyone saying anything different is simply wrong. As for the shooting galleries, they were a bad idea from the start and I agree with everything Stu says on that subject.

    1. Mental health training dosen’t help much when you are staring dow a group with tech 9’s or another Move Compound, or some other group trying to kill Police. You suspect a Republican? Kenney? Pelosi? Newsome? Krasner? All great Police backers, NOT, Oh, NOT Republicans.

      1. True, on the other hand a swat team isn’t the best way to help a person to get to the mental hospital. We ask police to do many things without giving them the tools they need. Besides catching bad guys and crowd control, they mediate neighbor and domestic disputes, do hostage negotiation, and bring in people for mental health reasons. This wouldn’t mean defunding them, it would mean providing more resources.

        I had the very hard experience of needing to have the police take a friend, who I found living on the street (and exhibiting multiple personalities) to be involuntarily committed. I got a community health organization to find her a free apartment, but we couldn’t convince her to take it, so, they advised, the only thing that could be done was call the police. She was only 5’1″ but she fought the cops like hell, kicking them in the shins, punching them, and running away. Eventually they had to call for backup–it took six cops to get her to the hospital.

        Several years later, a friendly, good-natured neighbor of ours (for instance, he’d take in our mail/packages while were on vacation) who we’d known for 20 years totally lost it. He became convinced that we were “psychically attacking” him, and he got very nasty–calling us at all hours of the night–and sometimes knocking on our door at 2 a.m.– to tell us to “cut it out” and let him sleep, and throwing in some antisemitic slurs for good measure. (He thought we were using evil Jewish rituals to attack him.) It was very disturbing.

        However, he was a 6’5″ Black man, who was a personal trainer by trade, and was very imposing even though he was in his mid-70s–he looked like he was in his 50s. I consulted with psychiatrists and community organizations to see what I could do. I could call the cops.

        But remembering my earlier experience, I was afraid what would happen if there was a confrontation with a very big guy instead of a very petite woman. Either he or the cops could get hurt. Also, there had been recent items in the news about the cops being called to help with a family member in mental crisis, with the person they were called to help ending up dead. I didn’t want to risk that.

        Ultimately, I started the process of getting a court-ordered medical examination (which is hard to do if you are not a doctor or family member) hoping he would voluntarily show up in court for the opportunity to make his case against us as the bad guys, and figure “why not see a doctor?” as he insisted there was nothing wrong with him. But whatever caused his sudden break appears to have been physical–some people I talked to had speculated it could be tumor–and he was found dead at his home.

        If there was a “mental health unit” which some departments now have, I would have called the cops, and that could have saved my wife and me months of very unpleasant harassment, and maybe saved his life. So count me in as supporting expanded specialized training for cops, especially in mental health.

          1. Exactly. As I said in my first paragraph: “This wouldn’t mean defunding them, it would mean providing more resources.”

    2. Most people who said defund rhe police did want what you said BUT there were several groups like blm Philadelphia that wanted a complete dismantling / disbanding of the Philadelphia police dept and have ” neighborhood patrols ” take over what ppd usually do . Its on their website as one of their 10 demands

      1. “Most people who said defund the police did want what [Freeze] said.” That’s true, and when I heard it explained for the first time, I thought it was dumbest slogan ever conceived.
        If it takes two paragraphs to explain a slogan, you’re doing it wrong, particularly when, taken literally, it describes a bad policy. I can see why Freeze would speculate that it was a right-wing plant–because it worked like one! Couldn’t have picked a worse rallying cry. You could stay up all night brain-storming and still be unable to come up with one that would put a more negative spin on the message. It was even worse than that, of course, because some factions did mean it literally, so even after it was explained, one couldn’t know which meaning was intended. Probably the worst political “branding” and bad messaging I’ve ever seen.

    3. You suspect “defund the police” author was a REPUBLICAN? I can’t post pictures here. Go to Google, type in “defund the police” then “images” and tell me how Republicans you see.

      1. But Republicans did come up with “Defund the FBI”–which just goes to show you that no part of the political spectrum has a monopoly on stupidity.

          1. Well, I don’t know if I’d call the federal government localized. The GOP’s far and away front-runner for the nomination, Trump, has called for defunding both the FBI and the Department of Justice.

            Ramaswamy wants to shut it down entirely.

            Sure, Sen. Grassley literally called the idea “stupid”–but Trump is the de facto leader of the party and lost no support for calling for it.
            Doesn’t that mean that the majority of the GOP is in favor of defunding the FBI?

            (Biden, on the other hand, never called for defunding the police or the FBI.)

          2. I believe that NEITHER most Dems nor most Republicans want to defund the police, but the outliers sure want it.
            To be COMPLETELY fair, I can understand why Trump has a grump on the FBI. Texts between FBI lovers shouldn’t was personal, as it may have been for others, and the years-long Russia inquiry (inspired by Hilary) damaged Trump.
            Not saying it should not have been done, just looking at it from his POV, and you know I am no fan.

          3. Well then, to be completely fair, you have to cut many of the “defund the police” folks an equal break. Even the super-conservative (fire workers who strike!) Sen. Tim Scott recounts that he’s been stopped 18 times for “driving while black” and therefore supports police reform.

            I don’t know a black person that hasn’t been. And, if you add the intermittent revelations of racist texts messages in police depts, the video of the Floyd murder etc, you have plenty of folks who have at least equal gripes in order yell “defund!” from their POV.

          4. When I explained why, that did not constitute agreement.
            And that some cops are guilty of bad behavior is no more reason to defund the police than to close banks because some bankers are crooks.
            The solution is to punish the bad guys.

  3. I know from personal experience – very heart breaking personal experience that enabling a drug addiction doesn’t help the addict. It only prolongs the curse. The only way out it to break the addiction. Government sponsored shooting galleries is, in my opinion, promotes the enslavement to narcotics addiction and it is enslavement.

  4. Stu , i believe gautier has a carve out for her w philly district in the bill so if someone wanted to put one in her district they wouldn’t need community approval.
    Am i correct ?.

  5. There should be firing ranges where criminals could practice their aim. Makes as much sense as ‘safe injection sites.’

    1. Ha! Great idea. Every year numerous innocent bystanders get severely injured or even killed by criminals who are lousy shots. We really can’t stop people from murdering each other, but we can make murder safer! Helping criminals hit only the person they are aiming at will improve our community.

      I can’t decide whether we should call our organization something catchy like “”Association for Safer Shootings” (“ASS”) or more hi-falutin like “Stray Ordinance Bystander Mitigation Federation” (SOB-MF). In either case, I think you are onto something at least as sensible as they drug houses.

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