Jake Dima on August 15, 2019
Democratic Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney called for gun control within hours of a prolonged active shooter situation, which left several uniformed police officers injured Wednesday.
A gunman opened fire on officers attempting to execute a drug warrant. An hours-long standoff ensued while two officers remained trapped in a building, officials said. Gunfire wounded six cops.
“Our officers need help. They need help with gun control,” Kenney said Wednesday during a press conference. “They need help with keeping these weapons out of these people’s hands.”
Police Commissioner Richard Ross Jr. identified 36-year-old Maurice Hill as the suspect.
"They don't deserve to be shot at by a guy for four hours with an unlimited supply of weapons and an unlimited supply of bullets. It's disgusting and we've got to do something about it." — @PhillyMayor Jim Kenney says of police shooting.
Latest: https://t.co/DtbqPnggnd pic.twitter.com/s3lNxjLUcl
— NBC10 Philadelphia (@NBCPhiladelphia) August 15, 2019
“Our officers deserve to be protected and they don’t deserve to be shot at by a guy for hours with an unlimited supply of weapons and an unlimited supply of bullets,” Kenney said during the standoff. “It’s disgusting and we got to do something about it. … We need to do something about it quickly.”
A retired policeman and director of legislative affairs for the International Union of Police Associations, Dennis Slocumb, did not echo Kenney’s call.
“I don’t think gun control helps the [police] community. Gun control means passing laws that restrict guns. Criminals – by definition – don’t care what laws you pass,” Slocumb told the Daily Caller News Foundation. “If they did, they wouldn’t be criminals.”
“Making laws has never stopped criminals – ever, whether you’re talking about burglary or methamphetamine or drunk driving,” he continued in a phone interview.
Hill has a criminal history with multiple illegal firearm felonies, according to court records, The New York Times reported.
The Philadelphia shooter should never have been allowed to be on the streets. He had a long and very dangerous criminal record. Looked like he was having a good time after his capture, and after wounding so many police. Long sentence – must get much tougher on street crime!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 15, 2019
Slocumb said if restrictions were placed on firearms, criminals would still find ways to inflict harm on innocent people.
“For God’s sake they’ll blow things up with fertilizer or go on stabbing sprees or use their vehicles to plow down pedestrians,” he said. “The fault isn’t the vehicle. It’s the person using it.”
The retired officer from a farming community also added gun owners aren’t the nation’s issue.
“I live in a farming community – hell everybody I know has guns. They’re shooting groundhogs and they’re capable of defending their family,” he said. “They’re not causing any problems. It’s gang bangers and these mentally ill people that are getting guns that they shouldn’t have in the first place.”
He also values his right to bear arms.
“I have carried a gun since 1968, and I continue to carry one. Thank God I’ve never had to do anything with it, but I’m not going to be sitting hiding under a chair if somebody tries to harm me or my family,” he said.