Editorial Page Editor Sandra Shea writes about her visit to the Gun Room at City Hall in today’s Philadelphia Daily News:
Within the evidence department is a 50-by-70 room that resembles a stockroom of Home Depot, if Home Depot sold weapons: Row upon row of steel shelves, bins and cabinets are stuffed with thousands and thousands of guns. The room is a dense, overgrown forest of rifles, AK-47s, AR15s, Uzis, Mossberg 12-gauge pump rifles and even a few rocket-launchers. The long guns sit on green, metal file cabinets that line the walls. The file cabinets’ 300 drawers are stuffed with all makes and models of pistols and handguns. On any given day, the room holds 7,000 to 10,000 guns – all confiscated in crimes committed in the city.
The author addresses the gun rights debate, the scope of the crisis in Philadelphia, and how so many guns end at City Hall.
Each gun tells a story, but here in the Gun Room, there are no good stories. Each is a story of failure, despair, desperation, death. Some of these stories are also pathetic. I see a few rifles rigged up with a sling of cheap plastic twine, the kind you’d use to tie a bakery box. A few are sawed off, or jury-rigged with crude, homemade parts.
She concludes by describing how standing in the presence of so many guns removes all abstractions from the scope of the threat, and then makes a suggestion on how we might share this experience.
The sight is so powerful that I challenge Mayor Nutter and Commissioner Charles Ramsey to move the Gun Room to street level. Build a glass cage and put these guns on public display. Maybe then we’ll see a new way to solve this problem.
Read the full post: Eye-opening visit to city’s Gun Room reveals scope of problem
View a gallery of photos from the Gun Room