On Tuesday afternoon, congressional candidate Dan Muroff stood by a boarded-up row home on North Creighton Street and took a deep breath. It was time to record another stop along his gun-violence tour of Philadelphia.
In mid-December, 17-year-old Dashon Glover was shot and killed steps away following an argument, according to police. No one has been arrested in connection with the late-night slaying in West Philadelphia.
“This kind of senseless violence occurs every day in Philadelphia and across our country, and I’m committed to change that,” said a black-suited Muroff into his field director’s running cell phone camera.
Muroff’s campaign website lists a handful of issues the Chestnut Hill resident is highlighting as he runs to replace indicted U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah in Pennsylvania’s 2nd Congressional District.
There are platform details on economic opportunity, protecting the environment and LBGT equality.
But out on the campaign trail, Muroff is mostly sticking to one topic — reducing gun violence through gun control.
“It’s a health care crisis. People go to hospitals after they’re shot. People are infirmed for life if they actually survive a gunshot. It has all the hallmarks of a debilitating disease,” said Muroff.
If elected, Muroff said he’d push for sensible gun-control measures in the name of making communities safer. Mandatory national background checks for gun purchasers would be one focus. Banning high-capacity magazines would be another.
Muroff said he knows his agenda won’t be an easy sell in a Congress controlled by Republicans, who have rejected similar bills in the past. He still sees sense in trying.
“There could some shifts in the election, I anticipate. I’m hopeful. That may invite a better opportunity to revisit this. Every term, there’s an opportunity to revisit it,” said Muroff.
When pressed on how he would get gun-control legislation passed, Muroff said he’d appeal to opponents by citing widespread public support for the idea.
After taping on North Creighton, Muroff briefly canvassed the area. At a bus stop at 52nd Street and Girard Avenue, a couple potential voters illustrated his point, though not before making sure Muroff wasn’t looking to infringe on their Second Amendment rights.
“I don’t want my guns taken from my hip because some other gentlemen are out here acting [foolish],” Charles Matthews told Muroff.
State Rep. Dwight Evans and Lower Merion Township Commissioner Brian Gordon are also running in April’s Democratic primary.
Fattah is charged with racketeering, bribery, wire fraud and other offenses for allegedly misusing hundreds of thousands of dollars in grant money, public funds and charitable donations.
He maintains his innocence. His trial is scheduled for six days after the Pennsylvania primary.