Friday, January 14, 2011
Notes on Magazines
Man, I'm SWAMPED by last minute SHOT Show press releases, invitations, blah blah! If there were 27 hours in the day...etc.
Anyway, I wanted to post some thoughts on magazine capacity before I slithered into Las Vegas Hell. Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY) has posted the text of her antigun legislation to be introduced in the House next week. As expected, it bans the sale and transfer of magazines holding more than 10 rounds; unlike the Clinton Ban, the McCarthy bill closes the loophole that let us purchase greater-than-10 round magazines made before the Ban went into effect in 1994. Obviously, a companion piece of legislation will be introduced in the Senate by Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ).
A key point here is, again, I don't think even a magazine capacity ban can get through the Republican House, especially since House leadership has already stated flatly that they want no additional gun legislation...period...exclamation point. So far, our lobbyists have remained on the sideline — the correct move, I think. But nobody believes that progun forces won't "spin up" if and when a real threat develops. It will be interesting to see whether Obama steps out of the shadows on this one. He is unequivocally the most antigun politician ever elected to high office, but he also wants to be reelected really badly, and his spinners have to know that all the good will bump after the Arizona shootings will vanish like rainfall in the desert if he gets on the antigun train.
A couple of areas to watch out for — one of my sources tells me that Fox News owner Rupert Murdoch has in the past supported such legislation, which might explain why Fox commentators have been pretty quiet on the gun front.A couple of days ago Robert Levy, on the board of the Cato Institute and co-counsel in Heller, said that a magazine capacity ban would likely pass Constitutional muster, a little tidbit that the antigun hounds have really picked up on.
The issue for us is that a magazine capacity ban seems, on its surface, to be a much lesser deal than as lot of other antigun proposals. In fact, a magazine ban is step one in banning all magazine-fed semiauto firearms (obviously the real intent here).
Magazine capacity is actually a non-issue because 99% of all firearms, magazine-fed or otherwise, are designed to be reloaded efficaciously. Like, duh! Guns are made to be reloaded easily. We already know that, because we are gun people...we shoot guns and we know how to reload them. Here's the ringer, though...even the most clueless antigunners, Paul Helmke certainly comes to mind, also know this simple fact.
That point is probably worth restating — there's no need to race around the Internet and post videos of people reloading various and sundry guns really quickly...that plays directly into the debate meme we talked about a couple of days ago. This isn't about the facts! Antigunners already know that a magazine capacity ban is nonsense; they know we can reload firearms quick like bunny. That's not the point of the exercise.
Think of a magazine capacity ban the way the kids in South Park would, a simple bulleted (no puns, please!) list:
1) BAN "extra" capacity magazines.
2) DISCOVER that, OH MY GOD, semiautos can be reloaded quickly with even 10 round magazines.
3) REDUCE allowed magazine capacity to 6 rounds, because, "It was good enough for Wyatt Earp..."
4) DISCOVER that, OH MY GOD, semiautos can be loaded quickly with even 6 round magazines.
5) BAN semiauto anythings.
6) DISCOVER that, OH MY GOD, other non-semiauto firearms can hold more than 6 rounds.
7) BAN lever action rifles and pump shotguns with "extra" capacity, along with any "extended tube" type device.
You get the drift.
DO NOT get caught up in "proving" how quickly we're able to reload this gun or that gun! Yes, you can run a Remington 870 single-feeding it from a bag all day long, but understand what the game is here!