High Capacity Magazines — Will banning them end mass murders?

I pretty much ended this blog some time ago, but since I still have some “followers” and I still see people reading it, here’s my post for 2012 … ;-)

So I’ve been watching Facebook people arguing back and forth for awhile about the Auroroa Theater Massacre and what enabled the monster (who’s name I won’t repeat) to accomplish what he did.  But many seem to think that some kind of gun law would have stopped him (though the law against murder did not), or that limiting him to 10 round magazines would have stopped him. And of course they call upon the Clinton error Assault Weapons Ban, which ran from 1994 – 2004, and was punctuated by the Columbine mass murder which happened RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE OF IT in 1999. But it doesn’t keep people from self righteously proclaiming something like:

Yes guys, every time I envision of the empty 100 round magazine lying on the floor of that Aurora theatre, among the blood and bodies, I can think of only one thing. FREEDOM!!

OR, most common, the “I’m in favor of the second Amednemdment but”:

I’m not against the sale of guns. It’s our Constitutional right to bear arms. But assault rifles. Seriously? I mean, who needs an assault rifle except someone who wants to conduct an assault? I know if the sale of such is banned, people who want them will still find a way to get them; however, that’s no excuse for selling them on the open market. To be able to walk into a store or go shopping on the Internet for a weapon that’s meant to kill a mass number of people is ludicrous!

First off, semi-automatic rifles were never built for killing a “mass number of people.” That’s what bombs, grenades, flame throwers and machine guns are for. A rifle is a personal weapon, and having a semiautomatic simply saves you the effort of throwing back a lever or a bolt before firing another round – which is not as significant of a time saver for an experienced shooter as people who don’t know guns seem to think.

But in any case, here is my response that I have posted in various ways in various places. Feel free to use it if you want:

Perhaps, sir, it would make you feel better to see a blood soaked theater and a pile of empty 30 or 10 round mags? (Cho at VTI killed more with no high capacity mags and no rifles — and in Aurora the 100 round mag jammed and wasn’t emptied anyway). Or if you ban guns and this guy couldn’t find one on the black market (where he can currently buy any kind of banned drug), then perhaps you’d prefer he rammed the building with a gas tanker and sprayed the people with fuel while throwing flares? It is because such murderous people exist, particularly when they become powerful figures in the government (Hitler, Stalin, etc.) that the constitution protects our right to bear arms. And why we still NEED the right to keep and bear arms today.

If a person has the insanity, time, intelligence and money to plan something like Aurora, there are plenty of ways to kill people. If you don’t believe this is true, consider that the worst school massacre in the US was accomplished with dynamite (Bath, MI), the worst domestic terrorism attack with fertilizer and a rental truck, and the worst international terror attack with box cutters and airplane tickets. Evil finds a way. Duh.

But for those of us who would like to be empowered to defend ourselves … we can’t carry around a gas tanker … or a cop. But we can carry and use a small firearm. The fact is a firearm is more of a boon to the innocent taken by surprise than to the attacker who can plan his carnage in advance.

And just as the constitutional framers said “freedom of speech” and “freedom of the press” in the first amendment, but we understand that to mean freedom of expression in general and thus includes new mediums such as the internet, we also understand that the 2nd amendment may reference militias but is a right of THE PEOPLE (just like the words say). That’s all of us. If you want to take away that right, then just change the constitution. But until you do in America we would rather err on the side of liberty and rights and not on the side of restrictions and laws (and that the right of the people thing is pretty darn clear).

Having a gun didn’t create this mass murderer (or any other); he did that to himself. And then he grabbed the easiest tool at hand. But if a gun wasn’t at hand he had plenty of cunning and money to find a different, possibly even more effective and deadly, tool. And looking at history … murderers always find a way.

Sorry, sir … but the world isn’t as simple as you would make it. And the net effect of banning firearms would be more dead, not less. And banning some particular kind of firearm or some capacity of magazine would accomplish nothing, as a man armed with any gun can kill as long as he has the desire and an unarmed group to prey upon. i.e. Charles Whitman with a hunting rifle on top of a Texas tower – he killed many more than this theater shooter.

For more proof that mass murderers aren’t limited by availability of guns, look here. Or at any of my “favorite posts” on the right side of this page.

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