Should Congress Ban High Capacity Gun Magazines?

Readers discuss whether Congress should prevent guns from having more than 10 bullets.

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Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter argued that gun magazines should not exceed 10 bullets; the NRA's Chris Cox wrote that such a ban would lead to innocents being harmed. A sampling of reader comments:

I have two pistols that I routinely carry legally for self-defense. Both of these pistols have magazines higher than 10 rounds. I did not commit a crime using my firearms, so why am I to be punished? The next time someone commits a mass murder with a vehicle, are we going to see pushes for stricter licensing, lower capacity fuel tanks, and walls built around all roads? Remember, mass murder can be committed with five gallons of gasoline and a match, both perfectly legal to own. Change your argument from pistols to cars or word processors or some other legal possession and see if your argument makes sense.

PHILLIP CLEMMER Leesburg, Fla.

Yes, of course the Congress should ban high-volume ammo clips. When all else fails, common sense should prevail.

JIM HALL Vienna, Va.

This proposed ban is nonsense. The assault weapons ban and the 10-round mag ban did nothing to curtail crimes with guns. Notice I did not use the term "gun crimes," because guns by themselves, being inanimate objects, cannot perform any actions or crimes. A person must use the gun in an illegal manner. Every time some evil person uses a gun to perpetuate a tragic event, the gun grabbers and control freaks seize on the incident and exploit the victims' pain for their own twisted agenda.

JOHN FARRAR Mansfield, Texas

After reading Chris Cox's position on large-capacity magazines, it just goes to show how the NRA has helped to create mayhem in this country. I am not opposed to the Second Amendment or the right of citizens to own guns. However, I would like to see the NRA become more responsible in encouraging saner gun use. Large magazines have one purpose, and that's to kill as many people as quickly as possible. To use the lame argument that you would want this capability if you were being attacked shows what little common sense the NRA uses in promoting the abusive use of automatic guns and large-capacity magazines. I would like to know how many cases the NRA knows of where a private citizen had to and successfully used a large-capacity magazine to fend off multiple attackers.

GEORGE MAVROS Lancaster, Pa.

Banning guns, magazines, clips, or cosmetic features has never worked. Never will. There are already millions of magazines in circulation. You can't confiscate them all, and banning further sales will only make them more valuable. If such a law passes or is in the process of being passed, expect the market to be flooded with millions more magazines before it takes effect. The only difference between magazine capacity is about two seconds to change magazines.

JOHN THOMPSON Stoughton, Wis.

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