To the Mayorcave

The Post-Gazette opines:

The fact that an execution-style shooting could take place on Smithfield Street, Downtown, during one of the busiest times of a weekday morning must become a matter of the highest priority for Mayor Luke Ravenstahl and his administration.

Good idea, P-G. Especially considering this:

Daylight shootings Downtown are rare. The most recent similar incident detectives could recall happened in July 2004 when two men engaged in a gun battle in Fifth Avenue’s business district, sending crowds scrambling for safety.

So, two shootings in three years mean that Downtown shootings in the daytime (unspoken implication: the ones that take place at night or on the weekends, when the P-G’s senior editors have gone home, are fine and dandy) must become the mayor’s highest priority. What, I wonder, should the mayor do about it? The P-G has a specific suggestion:

At the same time, particularly now, shootings Downtown have another aspect to them. Pittsburgh is in the process of bringing what had been a decaying Golden Triangle back to new, vigorous life. Construction abounds, of housing as well as business sites.

Wait, that isn’t a specific suggestion, it is a mess of irrelevant civic platitudes. Let’s get to the actual meat-and-potatoes policy proposals from the P-G:

Look at Thursday’s shooting through the eyes of an employer looking to relocate on Forbes Avenue, or a suburban homeowner thinking about moving into a condominium near Market Square, or the vice president of one of Downtown’s major retail outlets. Public safety is one issue that has implications for all of us.

Sorry, that’s not a policy proposal, it is an absurd implication that effective policing could somehow have prevented someone from driving downtown with a gun, stepping out onto the sidewalk, and shooting another person in the face.

I would assume that the P-G would not suggest, for instance, that we have checkpoints on all of the roads leading Downtown where vehicles would be searched and any weapons confiscated, as that would significantly lengthen their commute. It is however, impossible to say what they want to do about the rampant problem of triannual downtown shootings. I guess they just want Luke to take care of it.

It seems that the Post-Gazette is joining with the Tribune-Review in the assumption that the duties of the Mayor of Pittsburgh, seen here confusing editorial boards by wearing a powerful symbol on his chest, are similar to the duties of Green Lantern.

I watched on television as the Legislature booed the Governor when he suggested that Pennsylvanians be restricted to a mere twelve handgun purchases per year. If the P-G wants to cut down on shootings in this city, maybe they should talk to those legislators. Perhaps instead they should go to groups like the NRA and demand a conversation on guns that is reasonable and not driven by paranoia.

But they miss the excitement of Martyred Hero-Mayor Bob O’Connor sprinting through the streets to personally save the frightened city, or at least his wife, from a mad b-b-gunner, and that is what they will demand from this Mayor: not movement on the long stalled ethics board, not responsible behavior toward residents of the Hill, not government at all. Just swift, visible, and unproductive action on guns and gas mains.

I hope I at least get some bread out of this.

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