In the wake of the Arizona tragedy this last Saturday, where a deranged man opened fire, shooting 31 rounds of ammunition before having to reload, the government, headed by Rep Carolyn McCarthy (an enemy to the gun crowd) and Frank Lautenburg (another DC scumbag), are moving quickly to pen legislation that will ban high capacity magazines for guns.
The story can be read here.
While I feel empathy for those who were killed and hurt, and the families of these people, and hope that justice is served to Jared Lee Loughner, I believe that the government is acting foolishly and too quickly in the wake of the hysteria. How many crimes are committed with gun that have high capacity magazines? In fact, most shootings in the United States, including shootings by police officers, less than 10 rounds are fired from the gun. In most criminal shootings, less than 10 rounds are fired. Banning a high capacity magazine does not affect this. Additionally, how many law-abiding citizens own guns with so-called high capacity magazines? I don't have the exact figure, but the number is a lot.
I would contend that if there were some good sheep dogs in the crowd, Mr. Loughner would not have been able to get nearly as many shots off as he did, shooting at an unarmed group of people. In fact, if the coward thought that there was even a remote chance that someone might be carrying a concealed firearm, he probably wouldn't have opened fire at all.
What really grinds my gears on this is that the government, in its efforts to subvert American liberties, is moving fast to impose legislation to ban high capacity magazines while the bodies of the deceased are still warm. A little hysteria and a lot of emotion can do a lot to get the people to back legislation that has been proven to be unsuccessful in the past and will continue the march to erode the rights of law-abiding citizens in the future.
"In the wake of these kind of incidents, the trick is to move quickly," said Kristen Rand, legislative director of the Violence Policy Center, one of the gun control groups working with McCarthy's office.
Of course, this sort of quick moving is not lost on our federal government.
Of course, the government will move fast to declare guns with high capacity magazines somehow more lethal than those without. I will admit, the high capacity magazine does have an advantage over a lower capacity mag, but with training, one could let off many more rounds with quick magazine changes and better planning. But let's not cloud the issue here. This is one crime. It's the first national incident I've heard of in a long-ass time that involved a gun with a "high capacity magazine." The last incident was the famous North Hollywood Shootout of 1994, which prompted the ill-conceived Clinton Assault Weapons Ban, which did absolutely nothing to curb gun crime in America. In fact, gun crime rose while criminal prosecutions dropped 44%, and this was when assault weapons, high capacity magazines, and imported guns were banned completely. After the ban sunsetted back in 2004, life went on. Gun crime actually dropped and even though high capacity magazines were allowed to flood the market, gun crime with said magazines remained very low. In fact, 2/3 of all murders were, and still are, committed without a gun at all.
It is my hope that the Republican run house will see this piece of legislation for what it is and kick it to the curb. There is no reason to punish hard working, law-abiding citizens by making these magazines illegal for everyone. Perhaps people should have been a little more vigilant in their daily lives to see that the man was a deranged individual. Punish the criminal. Don't punish everyone else.
And if you think that this legislation will mean only to ban the type that this man used (a 30rd magazine), don't let yourself be fooled. Legislation like this will limit guns to a capacity of only 10 rounds. Again, this won't curb everyday crime one bit. But what it will do is have a ripple effect throughout the firearms community. Suddenly automatic handguns (like many of mine) won't be sold with normal capacity magazines, like 15 and 17 round mags. This will kill sales of said guns across the board, as well as affect companies that manufacture accessories and magazines for other guns, like AR15 rifles and carbines. Don't think this will be limited to pistols either. If you give a mouse a cookie, he's gonna want a glass of milk. Once you allow the government to punish your rights by banning these magazines, they will only seek to do more. Suddenly, it won't be enough that they banned high capacity magazines. Now, they must ban repeated guns altogether. That won't likely happen, but my point is that once you give the government an inch, they will take it for as much as they can. Again, punish the criminal, but don't condemn the method.