After I wrote about how the Witches’ Pyramid helped me understand how to frame my response to the Arizona shootings, I’ve been working on acting in accord with my words. One of the best opportunities for doing so is to support legislation to ban large-capacity magazines for handguns. Sen. Lautenberg is working with Rep. McCarthy on such a ban. I urge you to write your Senators and Representative to support this legislation. Detailed discussion, including a sample letter to Congresspersons, is below the fold.
The recent shootings in Tucson tragically demonstrate why high-capacity magazines for handguns should be illegal. Bystanders apprehended the shooter when he stopped to change magazines; if he had had a smaller magazine, he would have gotten off fewer shots, and some of the people who were killed or injured would be alive and unhurt. Legislation to ban these magazines could prevent a repetition of this disaster and save lives.
Sen. Lautenberg is working with Rep. McCarthy on such a ban. I urge you to support their efforts and to vote for the final bill.
The real tragedy is that before 2004, sale of these high-capacity ammo clips was illegal under the assault weapons ban. Only because that ban was repealed was the shooter able to buy his clip. Opponents of gun control often say that such bans are ineffective, because criminals are going to get their weapons from illegal sources anyway. This shooter, like many other people who use guns to kill people, bought his weapon and accessories legally and openly. Given his apparent situation, it’s highly unlikely that he would have gone to great effort to get a high-capacity magazine from illegal sources. If he hadn’t been able to buy it over the counter, he wouldn’t have had it. And people who are dead would be alive.
Sen. Lautenberg is exactly correct when he says that there is no lawful, reasonable purpose for owning a device that lets you shoot 30 or more rounds through a handgun almost instantaneously. The only thing such a magazine can be used for is killing people – a lot of people, and quickly.
Let’s stop selling the means. Let’s make it just a little bit harder for someone to go on a murderous rampage. Even if such a ban is not a perfect solution, it’s a direct, reasonable response to exactly what happened. This isn’t an issue for Democrats or Republicans; it’s not an issue for conservatives or liberals. It’s not an issue for people who love guns or hate guns. It’s an issue for everyone who wants to respond to the tragedy in Tucson.