Pennsylvania’s Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf on Friday became the latest state executive to invoke the Rahm Emanuel Rule: “You never want a serious crisis to go to waste.”
After six Philadelphia police officers were shot this week by a known crack dealer while being taunted by onlookers, Wolf rushed to enact new gun restrictions that would punish and scapegoat law-abiding citizens rather than condemn the culture of anti-police rhetoric and violence.
“Too many Pennsylvanians have died from gun violence,” Wolf said while being cheered by fellow Democrats during an emotional signing ceremony for his executive fiat, reported the Philadelphia Inquirer.
“Too many have lost loved ones to gun violence,” Wolf continued. “Too many live every day in fear of being shot on the sidewalk, in their neighborhood, at a grocery store, at school or at a concert,” he said, completely ignoring the fact that police had been ambushed in the line of duty.
All of the wounded officers reportedly have been released from the hospital.
According to the Inquirer, Wolf’s new order “requires state agencies to collect more data about gun violence, instructs state police to boost their monitoring of hate groups and white supremacists, and increases efforts to help local police departments respond to threats of mass shootings.”
But far from being a “white supremacist,” the alleged shooter whose attack prompted the action, Maurice Hill, is an African–American man with a history of violence whom police knew to be the leader of a crack-cocaine trafficking organization.
Other governors, such as Virginia’s Ralph Northam, have likewise sought recently to exploit their own states’ tragedies in order to pursue a far-left agenda, following the marching orders famously espoused by President Barack Obama’s first chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel.
Emanuel uttered his now-notorious remarks to The Wall Street Journal in late 2008, while fielding a question about the incoming administration’s plans to address the onset of the Great Recession.
But the saying—also credited to earlier figures like Winston Churchill—has most frequently become the mantra during the Left’s response to mass shootings, natural disasters and other cataclysmic headlines that briefly consume the news cycle.
Rather than seek to promote healing in the wake of such events, liberals embrace the “availability cascade” theory promoted by another Obama adviser, Chicago law professor Cass Sunstein, to push for increasingly radical policy changes.
One of the partisan Democrats flanking Wolf during his Friday signing ceremony was state Sen. Anthony Williams, who falsely claimed that the governor was taking “the politics out of whether you have the right to have a gun or not.”
As in Virginia, where Northam failed to enact a massive gun-grab following a shooting at a Virginia Beach municipal building—in which “gun-free” policies prevented the assailant from being stopped immediately by law-enforcement on the premises—Pennsylvania Democrats also would struggle to create consensus with the state’s Republican-controlled legislature.
Instead, Wolf sought to circumvent political solutions by making unilateral regulatory changes through executive order.
Even so, grandstanding leftist politicians in Harrisburg still called on GOP legislators to cooperate with them in supporting extreme measures like universal background checks.
The Inquirer said that Republicans in the state, much like President Donald Trump, have signaled support for red-flag legislation, which may have succeeded in disarming a violent drug-dealer like Hill, although even that seems unlikely.
“We understand that we cannot take action that will criminalize the millions of Pennsylvanians who responsibly and legally own firearms,” said Senate GOP spokeswoman Jennifer Kocher.
But that didn’t stop their political adversaries from preying on the raw emotions of the moment to repeat cliched left-wing talking points.
With tears streaming down his face and his vocal pitch elevated, according to the Inquirer, state Rep. Jordan Harris sobbed on Friday, “We have to do something, something to address the pain and the carnage that far too many of our citizens are dealing with.”