News Columns & Blogs

Pro-con: Ban high-capacity ammunition clips?

All the blather by gun zealots can't hide a basic fact about the tragic shootings in Arizona. Jared Loughner (in photo) was able to squeeze off 31 rounds without reloading. When his oversized magazine ran out and he paused to insert another clip, a woman grabbed the fresh magazine. Only then were bystanders finally able to subdue him. While Loughner was blazing away, he killed six and wounded 13. The instant he ran out of ammunition, the carnage stopped. How much clearer can it be? High-capacity magazines are a danger to police and law-abiding people. They vastly increase the killing power of handguns and rifles. No one is talking about disarming anyone or repealing the Second Amendment. A limit of 10 rounds per magazine would not cause any problems for any noncriminal. If the American people don't support commonsense restrictions on guns and ammunition, we are simply setting the stage for more tragedies like the one Tucson.

Every decent American agrees that the shootings in Arizona were a horrible tragedy. But using that event as a reason to ban high-capacity ammunition clips would accomplish nothing. The fact that Jared Loughner used a pistol magazine that held 30 rounds instead of the traditional 10 rounds is virtually irrelevant to the crime he committed. It's almost like noting that he used a Glock handgun instead of some other brand. This country tried to prohibit high-capacity clips as part of the so-called assault rifle ban of 1994. Existing high-capacity magazines were grandfathered, and it would have been impossible to seize all of them anyway. When this ill-advised law expired in 2004, crime rates remained virtually unchanged. Criminals and mentally ill people don't care what laws are on the books if they intend to hurt someone. If anything, law-abiding citizens should be given greater rights to protect themselves from those who abuse guns to harm and threaten innocent people. — Beaumont (Texas) Enterprise

  Comments