U.S.A. –-(AmmoLand.com)- Philadelphia calls itself the “City of Brotherly Love,” but homicides hit a record last year, according to NPR, which said the city is “maintaining that pace so far this year.”
Perhaps this explains why, according to a report in the Philadelphia Inquirer, “The number of handguns purchased in the city more than doubled to nearly 50,000 in the two-year period ending in 2021.”
“Just 22,000 were bought during the years 2018 and 2019,” the newspaper reported. “Permits to carry guns on the streets have grown even faster, soaring to 52,000 last year, up from 7,500 in 2020, according to state police figures.
The Inquirer is also reporting—or perhaps lamenting—about the rise in justifiable homicides being reported in the city. The newspaper tracked figures back to 2017, when there were eight justifiable fatal shootings, while last year, there were 20. While that may not represent a significant number, it’s been enough to get the attention of the newspaper, and perhaps the criminal element.
With a body count on the rise, it should be no wonder why more citizens are arming themselves against violent crime. The Inquirer reported specifically on three recent self-defense shootings in which no charges were filed against the armed private citizens who fought back. In one case, a South Philadelphia man went outside one evening to smoke when a would-be robber riding a bicycle came up, brandished a gun and demanded money. The smoker pulled his legally-carried sidearm and shot the robber dead.
In a second case, when an armed, masked robber “burst into” a Dollar General store in North Philly demanding money, the assistant manager drew his own gun and shot the thug in the head. As it turned out, the suspect’s gun was fake and the assistant manager was subsequently fired for having a gun on the job.
The third incident involved the attempted robbery of a man playing video poker in a Max Food Market. The armed would-be robber got a nasty surprise when the poker player drew his gun and fatally shot the robber.
Long story short, the number of justifiable homicides in Philadelphia “jumped 67% from 2020 to 2021.” So far this year, the newspaper added, at least eight “armed assailants” have been killed by their intended victims.
In its annual report on firearms, the Pennsylvania State Police stated, “In 2021, there were a total of 384,522 licenses to carry firearms permits issued as reported by County Sheriffs’ offices and the City of Philadelphia, equating to a 23.5 percent increase from 2020. Background checks are conducted through the PICS to determine an individual’s eligibility to obtain a license to carry firearms.”
The same report notes last year saw a total of 1,045,890 firearms transactions in Pennsylvania, including 599,752 handguns.
Not surprisingly, an “anti-violence activist” identified as Jamal Johnson declared, “We’re becoming the Wild, Wild West, and soon everyone is going to have a gun, killing people ― justified or not.”
According to Philadelphia Police data, the number of homicides in the city has more than doubled since 2014, when there were 248 slayings. Last year, the city logged 562 killings.
As noted by the Philadelphia Tribune, “Killings in the City of Brotherly Love have not reached that level since 1990 when there were 500, according to the police department.”
The Inquirer report included an interesting quote from Deputy Police Commissioner Benjamin Naish, who noted it is “no secret” that more people are buying firearms “everywhere across the country.”
“We have seen an increase in the number of people that have been applying for and receiving a permit to carry,” Naish said. “I think that they are concerned about their safety, and they’re carrying it legally, which is the big difference.”
It’s not just a “big difference” in Philadelphia. Last month, in Charleston, W.Va., an armed female stopped a would-be mass-shooter with her legally-carried sidearm in an act that was hailed by local police officials. According to WRAL News, a man identified as Dennis Butler, 37, had been “speeding up and down a parking lot” in an apartment complex where people were attending a graduation party and birthday party. Some of the people asked Butler to slow down, so he left but returned with a semi-auto rifle and opened fire. His attack didn’t last long, however, as the armed woman shot him dead.
“She did the right thing,” said Charleston Police Lt. Tony Hazelett. “I don’t know if any other person would have done that.”
At the far end of the country, in Washington State, the number of concealed pistol licenses has shot back up to more than 644,000, according to a recent AmmoLand report. Roughly 20-23% of those CPLs are held by women.
Adding to this drama, Fox News is reporting that five “major U.S. cities are currently on pace to break their homicide totals from last year, continuing a violent trend that started in 2020.”
The cities are Los Angeles, Washington D.C., Baltimore, Milwaukee, and Atlanta, the report detailed. Milwaukee is the worst, with 96 homicides as of June 17, compared to 77 posted at this time last year.
About Dave Workman