By Teresa Welsh |
Some in Congress want to limit the size of gun magazines. But they can only do so by threatening all of our God-given rights and by putting people in greater danger.
After all, if we are going to infringe upon the Second Amendment—in order to save just one life—then why not limit the First Amendment, too? Do we really need the "high capacity" news coverage that barrages our homes 24 hours a day and only encourages disaffected youth to act out what they see on television?
One could make a cogent argument that limiting such broadcasts would end copycat killings and save lives. However, is this really the road we want to travel, where our God-given rights are no longer considered inalienable?
In regard to Second Amendment rights, those who are unfamiliar with guns simply don't understand how self-defense works. Real life is not like the latest action movie where the bad guys shoot their guns endlessly (and miss), but the good guys fire off one or two rounds and hit their targets.
When Matthew Murray entered the New Life Church in Colorado Springs, intent on killing hundreds of people, it was Jeanne Assam (one of the worshipers there) who fired off 10 rounds before Maury was critically injured enough to halt the attack and end his own life.
Good thing there was only one attacker. If Assam had used a reduced-capacity magazine or there were multiple attackers, she would have been out of luck. As would have those New Orleans residents who, in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, discharged more than two dozen rounds during one firefight, where they fended off a roving gang in the Algiers neighborhood.
Self-defense expert Massad Ayoob talks about an Arkansas drunk who opened fire on an officer, who then responded by firing 29 shots. It was only the last bullet which finally killed the drunk and stopped him from shooting. Same with an Illinois criminal who was shot 33 times by the police before the druggie finally dropped and was unable to shoot any longer.
In the real world we live in, there are violent gangs who get high on drugs and are resistant to pain when they attack. Banning the tens of millions of "high capacity" magazines that are already in circulation won't keep them out of dangerous hands. But infringing the Second Amendment will threaten our safety and our other liberties, as well.
About Erich Pratt Director of Communications for Gun Owners of America
Gene Hoffman Chairman of the Calguns Foundation
Carolyn McCarthy Democratic Representative from New York
Josh Sugarmann Executive Director of the Violence Policy Center
Joshua Horwitz Executive Director of the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence