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Dr. Oz informs us in a TV ad that his father “taught me how to handle my first gun.”

And, in another commercial, it was David McCormick’s mother who taught him about firearms.

But these advertisements conjure the question: “What does parental involvement have to do with the second amendment (which is what these commercials were about)?”

The obvious answer is that these Republicans would like us to believe that, by linking guns to close relatives, any attack on the second amendment would therefore be an attack on the family.

What is so cynical about these commercials is that they belittle the devastation done to actual families by allowing all types of guns to be proliferate with very little government oversight.

This has been as true for the families of the victims of the shooting at the Stoneman-Douglas High School in Parkland, Fl. in 2018,

and it has been as true for the families of the victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Ct. in 2012,

as it is for the families of victims shot down daily in cities like Philadelphia, where only a very small portion are shown below.

Both Oz and McCormick also make other points in their commercials. McCormick tells us “I approve this message to protect the second amendment because that's what guarantees the rest.” Yet, from my vantage point, the Second Amendment has done very little recently to protect free speech and to prevent the banning of books in school districts throughout Pennsylvania.

Dr. Oz’s remarks are even more troubling. His commercial tells us that “the Second Amendment … [is] about our constitutional right to protect ourselves from intruders, or an overly intrusive government.” Oz’s statement implies that we have a constitutional right to commandeer a school board when we disagree with their decision to say, ban books. And all this time I was under the mistaken assumption that if we disagree with our elected officials, we handle such disagreements with elections.

Of course, Oz’s remarks could also justify the violence that took place on January 6, 2021.

Oz and McCormick are two of the three front-runners in the Republican primary next Tuesday. But Kathy Barnette, who has been rising in the polls, presents herself as being the most extreme of the candidates.

In appealing to the electorate’s emotions with regard to the Second Amendment, Republicans have lost all sense of reason. Consider:

Ghost guns: Republicans argue that these assemble-it-yourself firearms should not be regulated as guns since they are only parts. But if they are not really guns, where is the Second Amendment justification for having them?

Straw purchasers: These people legally purchase firearms and then sell them to folks who cannot lawfully own them. Many of these guns are later used in felonies. When traced back to the original buyers, they claim the guns were lost. Many lawmakers want lost guns reported. Republicans claim “Foul”, however, under the Second Amendment. But the Second Amendment gives citizens the right to bear arms, not lose them.

Red Flag laws: Since Adam Lanza, the shooter in the Sandy Hook massacre, suffered from a number of developmental, social, and psychological issues, Republicans began to advocate for better mental health services. But when advocacy groups began to advocate for Red Flag laws, which would allow family and/or police to remove firearms from people presenting a clear and present danger to themselves or others, Republicans balked. What logic prevails in a state like Pennsylvania where a dangerous person can be involuntarily committed, but is still allowed to own and brandish a gun?

So, here’s the deal. Progressive gun reform legislation can never be passed in Pennsylvania as long as we have a Republican dominated legislature, because GOP chairs will never allow such legislation to be debated in committee. We need to change the composition of the legislature, and you can actually begin that task this weekend.

Come out this weekend to canvass for Melissa Cerrato - who has an excellent chance of unseating Republican Todd Stephens – this Saturday, May 14, at 10:30 AM. We will also be canvassing for the re-election of progressive Dem., Senator Maria Collett. Sign up here.


In Philadelphia, there has been a move afoot to unseat progressive Democrats. A Greater Philadelphia and Excellent Schools PA, two “non-profits” run by charter school advocates Mark Gleason (former head of Philadelphia School Partnership) and Jeffrey Yass (the richest man in Pennsylvania), respectively, have been pouring out money to unseat representatives Elizabeth Fiedler (HD 184), Rich Krajewski (HD 188), and Chris Rabb (HD 200). Come out to the Lovett Library, 6945 Germantown Ave (Germantown & Sedgwick) this Saturday, May 14, at 12 Noon, to help canvass for Chris.



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