The Best of Humanity Will Prevail
10/4/2017
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The Best of Humanity Will Prevail
In light of the murderous rampage in Las Vegas, I joined with many to express my prayers and thoughts for the hundreds of innocent victims. It is truly a sickening feeling to realize the depth of the carnage, and beyond human comprehension how such evil exists.

Although the fiend responsible apparently cleared background checks in Nevada, I did want to share with you the current status of mental health checks for firearm purchases in our state. So you know, a mental health history check is part of the application process when seeking to purchase a firearm in Pennsylvania. Both federal and state law prohibit possession of a firearm by a person who has been involuntarily committed to a mental institution.

In our state, this background check is conducted via the Pennsylvania Instant Check System (PICS), maintained by the Pennsylvania State Police (PSP). State law requires judges of our county courts to notify PSP of the identity of anyone involuntarily committed to a mental institution. This PICS check also includes a nationwide check through the national firearm background check system, NICS, to determine if any out-of-state records would prohibit possession of a firearm in Pennsylvania.

Although tragically and frustratingly acts of pure evil cannot be halted simply by laws alone, our state will continue to reinforce as much as can be done by commonsense regulations.

I also extend my prayers and thoughts for the good people of Puerto Rico, as our fellow citizens there react to a path of destruction of a different nature and also strive to return to a sense of normalcy.


I am pleased to report that Pennsylvania is a full partner in the recovery effort. State contributions so far include:

• Units and equipment of the PA National Guard.
• Civilian first responders.
• Pennsylvania Task Force 1 Urban Search and Rescue Team.
• Forestry experts from state agencies to advise and coordinate
debris removal operations.

This government response is all in addition to the thousands of private Pennsylvanian citizens who have stepped up to make contributions in support of helping the island and its people put their lives back together. If you wish to support this effort either financially or through volunteerism, the officially sanctioned starting point is here.

In extraordinary and challenging stretches of times, like recent days, we remain mindful, albeit in painful fashion, that at a fundamental level we are all Americans. As such, the events unleashed, whether natural or man-made, constitute a challenge for all Americans to preserve our national fabric and the American way of life for all. The stakes could not be higher: after all, a nation not safe and not unified is, ultimately, a nation not fully free. God bless America.


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