New gun control legislation in the works

Ok, I’m going to plunk myself back on the fairly side of conservative and weigh in on the ideas coming to Congress. First, the article I read from the Christian Science Monitor:

Legislation restricting ammunition magazines to a maximum 10 rounds is in the works by Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D) of New York and Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D) of New Jersey.

Another member of Congress, Rep. Peter King (R) of New York, announced Tuesday that he plans to introduce legislation making it illegal to carry a firearm within 1,000 feet of certain government officials, such as lawmakers.

I’m known to be indifferent – some might even say wishy washy – on the gun issue. I’ve used them. I was taught to shoot. I don’t need one in my life. In my OPINION (that word was opinion) hunting is stupid as a sport and should be reserved for a food source. But then other people think blogging is stupid as a hobby and should be banned.

You get my drift here: I’m not married to the gun idea one way or the other.

But.

It makes a lot of sense to me to limit a magazine to 10 rounds. I really admire Congresswoman McCarthy for such a reasonable suggestion. Yes, absolutely, this past tragedy would have had a different outcome with only 10 rounds before reloading. No, I don’t think any sportsman or woman would be limited in the pleasure of their hobby by only releasing 10 rounds before reloading.

I would be glad to see this measure passed.

The one about banning guns within 1,000 feet of certain government officials seems a little less logical to me, mainly because I don’t see how it can be effectively enforced. Oh, sure, someone can be prosecuted under the law if they are caught, but there’s a really good chance that if someone is caught, they’ve already managed other prosecutable damage.

I’m not going to argue it’s my God-given right to pack heat next to James Sensenbrenner. I am going to suggest this is one knee-jerk law that doesn’t have a chance of really making a difference in Mr. Sensenbrenner’s life.

This one is open for discussion. I’m not generally a fan of new laws, but I do lean towards approving the first. The second? Not worth it.

Comments

  1. “I would be glad to see this measure passed.”

    I wouldn’t. I don’t think it would make anyone one whit safer. I don’t think it infringes terribly on people’s gun rights, either. But I think it’s true harm is that it’s a distraction. It makes people think they’re doing something useful to combat violence or crime or something, when in fact they’re doing nothing of the sort.

    “banning guns within 1,000 feet of certain government officials seems a little less logical to me”

    I’ve already seen some on the left assert bitterly that this guy wants guns away from HIM, but what does it do for the rest of us? Me, I don’t care either way. We certainly do this for the president. But it is necessary for anyone elected to national office? And what good would it really do? (As you pointed out.)

  2. If you can’t do what you intend to do with 10 rounds in the chamber then you shouldn’t be shooting the damn thing in the first place.

    I’m cool with the first one.

    The second one is a waste of time. It just seems symbolic rather than substantive.

    My two Lincolns.

  3. I agree with you, Cindy.

  4. Randy in Richmond says:

    I agree that King’s law would be symbolic and allow people to feel as if Congress were doing something. The clip law in itself initially sounds okay. However, laws passed in the emotions of an incident can sometimes mean well and have other consequences if not thought through. But mostly my concern is the incremental approach used in Congress to slowly relieve us of our freedom(s), no matter how well meaning. There are those who want there to be no gun ownership in the US. For them this is simply step one. Step two comes in a couple of years that reduces the magazine to six rounds. Etc. , etc. until well, let’s eliminate clips altogether and down the road our freedom to bear arms is diluted or gone. This is presently happening in the food industry that started with well-meaning ideas that morph into the traditional snow-balling effect of big government slowly taking over our lives. What I call “cause” individuals and groups seize moments like this to promote and advance their agendas. It’s easy to jump on the bandwagon when you don’t care or are not affected. Remember the TSA restrictions discussed ad nauseum here ? As a mostly non-flyer I didn’t participate in the hundreds of comments posted.

    Tread softly and slowly on reaction issues such as this.

  5. Scott Thinnes says:

    Judging by what some consider the genesis of this tragedy. Maybe a law limiting political speech to a ten word limit may be more effective.

  6. Ten word State of the Union address:

    “We didn’t blow ourselves up yet. Have a good year.”

    Ten word liberal rally:

    “It’s Sarah Palin’s fault. Because I said so. So there.”

  7. Scott Thinnes says:

    Not a very good solution, I suppose…

    Headline: Ten lay dead as lunatic empties (10 round limit) magazine in a crowd.

    …but neither is an incremental trampling of the second amendment.

    To placidly support the restriction of rights that you may not deem all that important to you, will no doubt some day lead to the threat of those rights that you do hold dear.

    The best way to protect ALL of our rights, is to stand up and defend against threats to ALL of our rights.

  8. Randy in Richmond says:

    Scott Thinnes
    I agree with you. Well said.

  9. I’m so confused. :/

  10. I’m generally probably more sympathetic to gun rights than Cindy, but I agree with her that the logic above is confusing.

    There are already a lot of restrictions on guns… they run a background check before selling, many states have trigger lock laws, etc. These sorts of things have been around for awhile and while there was probably some reservations when these were first passed, most people now agree they are reasonable provisions.

    I would see the 10 round limit as in this sort of category. I don’t have a strong opinion either way, but if we did pass such a restriction, it would come to be accepted in time and not be a big deal. There is no logical basis on which to assert that passing a 10 round limit now, will lead to us losing our freedom of speech later.

    The last sentence is especially strange: “The best way to protect ALL of our rights, is to stand up and defend against threats to ALL of our rights.” Which rights are you talking about? And when you say “our”, who is that referring to? Conservatives? So does it follow then that I have to blindly support any conservative who feels she is losing a right? What if the right she is losing is the right to sell drugs or have an abortion?

    So I think we have to stick to the merits of the issue and not just say “other people think this is a big deal, so you should too”.

  11. the real issue is should we pay to protect our elected officials from harm ? yes to the president. no to the rest. why? not just because but because the cry for protection of congress will be followed by the cry for the candidates and their staff. next will be state and local laws in response to the crys of equal protection. federal and local law enforcement are busy enough without assigning police to a town hall meeting or a fundraiser. as for federal judges the same theory applies. state and local law enforcement operate on their own and have the choice to pick and choose who is eligible for protection along with local government. next, the mental health issues must be addressed. with limited funding , limited access and laws that protect the rights of the mentally ill. it is a tough subject to solve. along with the history of abuses and misuse of the system it will not happen. but at least give it a try.

  12. Randy in Richmond says:

    Ryan
    Thinnes can speak for himself but since I agreed with him here is my take.
    The headline shows the farce that reducing to a clip of ten means that “only” 10 people could be shot. The restictions you mention aren’t really on the guns but are on the process and system.
    I assumed the “all” referred to Americans, regardless of your stripes. You may be opposed to, let’s say eating fast food, and as the rights of this group are diminished or eliminated, you best remember a right important to you may be next.
    He uses the word incremental to make this point which parallels my comment. I agree with Scott.

    If I read him wrong he can correct me and I will apologize.

  13. The Lorax says:

    Well for what it’s worth, I don’t think people should really own guns. But they do. And its their right. And their prerogative.

    I do think limiting assault weapons is constitutional, however.

  14. Scott Thinnes says:

    Randy, your interpretation is good by me. One clarification; the “ALL” refers to all (inclusive) of ‘our rights’, and is exclusive of ideology.

    Incrementally… this statement of Ryan’s proves just that point…

    “I don’t have a strong opinion either way, but if we did pass such a restriction (10 round magazine limit), it would come to be accepted in time and not be a big deal.”

    …then what?

    The ten round magazine limit is a totally arbitrary limitation proposed by people who eventually want to see the Second Amendment disappear. Apparently 5 dead or injured is too few and 15 is too many, but 10 is just right. And who gets to decide that anyway? Maybe the same people that get to determine what is “hate speech” or “protected speech” to all you First Amendment fans out there.

    Arizona was a permit concealed carry state (1 of 48) until recently when they adopted a ‘Vermont style’ no permit required law. It’s probably safe to assume that there are thousands, if not 10’s of thousands, of permitted concealed carry individuals in the state and 100’s of thousands of potential non-permitted carrier’s. But yet; where were these people during this event? Where was the ‘wild west style shootout’ that we are constantly warned about by those opposed to concealed carry? It’s interesting how all these guns and concealed carry is the bane of our existence. Yet, on this day, it was only the lunatic madman with the gun, that was the lunatic madman nut that was ‘shooting’ the gun.

    No laws or restrictions on the rights of free and law abiding men will control the free will of evil men.

    Here are a couple of good links…

    http://www.largo.org/literary.html

    http://killology.com/sheep_dog.htm

  15. Scott T: That’s a really good point about no-permit concealed carry and no one to fire against the shooter. It is a strong argument used by those who prefer concealed carry.

  16. Randy in Richmond says:

    For some perspective, in the Fort Hood shooting 13 people died and 30 were wounded. At Virginia Tech, my alma mater, 32 people died and over 20 were wounded. In both murderous acts, the shooters carried multiple magazines (clips) and got off hundreds of shots.

  17. “Apparently 5 dead or injured is too few and 15 is too many, but 10 is just right. ”

    No one is saying that. What they are saying is that basically no one uses more than 10 rounds for any legal purpose, but they do use them for illegal purposes. Given that this is so, why have them at all?

    Maybe a better analogy would be to fully automatic AK-47s. I mean really, what have we lost by banning these? Would you advocate making them legal again?

  18. a nut job with a 30 round magazine or a nut job with a vehicle going 50 mph down a crowded sidewalk. what does more damage. bottom line is that you cannot do anything to change a persons actions when they are unstable in the brain

  19. Thanks fubar. Excellent perspective.

    And thanks to Randy for those other numbers. It dawned on me yesterday to check, but I didn’t get around to it.

    I have to say I was absolutely disgusted by the campaign rally they held yesterday. I did not turn it on. Simply knowing it was taking place was too much. I don’t get bummed about America’s future very often, but right now, I’m there.

  20. Scott Thinnes says:

    Recent news stories have reported that there were concealed carry gun holders at the scene. They were able to exercise a choice that concealed carry offers. Leave the gun in the holster.

    http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/2011/01/11/2011-01-11_if_they_hadnt_grabbed_him__i_would_have_shot_him.html?r=news