I’ll admit it, my entire goal this evening was to get my friend Piers Morgan to admit the truth, which is that he’d prefer to see magazine capacity limited to zero. He answered my question. It’s a question about which many have wondered: “where do you draw the line?” Beginning around 4:00 in, via Jim Hoft:
It goes without saying that any loss of life from criminal use of guns is tragic. Morgan believes that magazines which hold 30 rounds should be banned. Adam Lanza had several and reportedly reloaded four times. He stopped his spree when other guys with equal magazine capacities arrived on the scene. The takeaway: he reloaded. It takes seconds to reload. It takes seconds to reload a handgun—the atrocity at Virginia Tech was committed with illegally used handguns. Morgan says high capacity magazines should be banned to prevent massive loss of life. Obviously 26 lives lost is heinous, but are ten lives lost OK? Ten rounds was the limit under the ban enacted in 1994 (after which Colombine occurred). Some governors say now only seven rounds are acceptable. So are seven lives lost acceptable to Piers? By falsely tying saving lives to the number of rounds allowed in a magazine Morgan inadvertently answered that he would prefer zero rounds in the chamber, using his logic and the standard of measurement he himself established. Excuse the irony that more lives were saved when good guys with equal rounds showed up at the scene—but note that this was omitted.
In all of these figures Morgan also very conveniently omits this startling fact, which I’ve highlighted again and again:
According to the FBI, Americans use firearms in self defense 2.1 million times annually. Cases where firearms are used criminally amount to 579,000. Seventy percent of those cases are carried out by criminal repeat offenders.
Note this (bold my emphasis):
- In the vast majority of those self-defense cases, the citizen will only brandish the gun or fire a warning shot.
- In less than 8% of those self-defense cases will the citizen will even wound his attacker.
- Over 1.9 million of those self-defense cases involve handguns.
- As many as 500,000 of those self-defense cases occur away from home.
- Almost 10% of those self-defense cases are women defending themselves against sexual assault or abuse.
These numbers are never cited by anti-Second Amendment advocates. Let’s not cede further ground on this issue due to fear on language: any attempt to curtail the civil liberty outlined in the Second Amendment is an abridgment of that liberty. There is no splitting of the baby here. You take all of it or none of it.
Restricting magazine capacity is silly, for the reasons I noted in my response to Morgan. First, they’re interchangeable, easily modified, and can be made with remedial shop skills in your garage. It is completely unenforceable. So what’s the next step then? Regulating the amount of ammunition one can purchase? The DHS is well on their way to drying up the supply by buying over a billon rounds of ammo. Ammunition is becoming projectile gold, for the lack of a better phrase. Restrictions on magazine capacity are easier to stomach than full on ammunition rationing, so that’s where Democrats will begin, through the proverbial Overton Window.
*Mediaite has video, too.