Archive for the ‘High-capacity magazines’ Tag

Quote of the Day   2 comments

Most Republicans steered clear of criticizing the NRA before LaPierre’s maligned press conference, but there were signs Friday and over the weekend that was starting to change. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) told reporters that the proposal to place armed guards more schools — the cornerstone of the NRA’s response to Newtown — is not “the solution to safety in schools.”

“You don’t want to make this an armed camp for kids,” Christie said. “I don’t think that’s a positive example for children. We should be able to figure out other ways to enhance safety.”

Republicans largely haven’t criticized the NRA (and Christie was very careful about it in his remarks) but the New Jersey governor’s statement is an indication that the NRA did not give Republicans the cover they needed with the press conference of subsequent media appearances. On Fox News Sunday, for example, Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY) shied away from talk of gun control but also criticized LaPierre’s call for congressional action to force guns into all the nation’s public schools, saying decisions about guards in schools should be made at the local level. On CBS’s Face The Nation, retiring Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX) said regulation of high capacity magazines is worth discussing.

“Those large clips need to be looked at,” she said.

But there are also signs the NRA is solidifying it’s support in some circles. In an interview with Slate last week, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) suggested he’d be open to talk of banning high-capacity magazines. But on Sunday, Graham told Meet The Press such a ban wouldn’t do much.

“I can change a magazine pretty quick,” Graham, who spoke of his own AR-15 rifle back home, said. He embraced the call for increased school security coming from the NRA.

http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2012/12/nra-faceplant-newtown.php?ref=fpa

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Larry Alan Burns “Last month, I sentenced Jared Lee Loughner to seven consecutive life terms plus 140 years in federal prison for his shooting rampage in Tucson. That tragedy left six people dead, more than twice that number injured and a community shaken to its core.

Loughner deserved his punishment. But during the sentencing, I also questioned the social utility of high-capacity magazines like the one that fed his Glock. And I lamented the expiration of the federal assault weapons ban in 2004, which prohibited the manufacture and importation of certain particularly deadly guns, as well as magazines that can hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition.

The ban wasn’t all that stringent — if you already owned a banned gun or high-capacity magazine you could keep it, and you could sell it to someone else — but at least it was something.

And it says something that half of the nation’s deadliest shootings occurred after the ban expired, including the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conn. It also says something that it has not even been two years since Loughner’s rampage, and already six mass shootings have been deadlier.

I am not a social scientist, and I know that very smart ones are divided on what to do about gun violence. But reasonable, good-faith debates have boundaries, and in the debate about guns, a high-capacity magazine has always seemed to me beyond them.

……

To guarantee that there would never be another Tucson or Sandy Hook, we would probably have to make it a capital offense to so much as look at a gun. And that would create serious 2nd Amendment, 8th Amendment and logistical problems.

So what’s the alternative? Bring back the assault weapons ban, and bring it back with some teeth this time. Ban the manufacture, importation, sale, transfer and possession of both assault weapons and high-capacity magazines. Don’t let people who already have them keep them. Don’t let ones that have already been manufactured stay on the market. I don’t care whether it’s called gun control or a gun ban. I’m for it.

I say all of this as a gun owner. I say it as a conservative who was appointed to the federal bench by a Republican president. I say it as someone who prefers Fox News to MSNBC, and National Review Online to the Daily Kos. I say it as someone who thinks the Supreme Court got it right in District of Columbia vs. Heller, when it held that the 2nd Amendment gives us the right to possess guns for self-defense. (That’s why I have mine.) I say it as someone who, generally speaking, is not a big fan of the regulatory state.

……..

There is just no reason civilians need to own assault weapons and high-capacity magazines. Gun enthusiasts can still have their venison chili, shoot for sport and competition, and make a home invader flee for his life without pretending they are a part of the SEAL team that took out Osama bin Laden.

It speaks horribly of the public discourse in this country that talking about gun reform in the wake of a mass shooting is regarded as inappropriate or as politicizing the tragedy. But such a conversation is political only to those who are ideologically predisposed to see regulation of any kind as the creep of tyranny. And it is inappropriate only to those delusional enough to believe it would disrespect the victims of gun violence to do anything other than sit around and mourn their passing. Mourning is important, but so is decisive action.

Congress must reinstate and toughen the ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines.

Larry Alan Burns is a federal district judge in San Diego.

http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/commentary/la-oe-burns-assault-weapons-ban-20121220,0,6774314.story

Note from Tim, the above quote is three excerpts from the letter, and it is really worth taking the link above and reading the whole letter.