Richardson: Limiting magazine capacity: Let’s try it! - Ahwatukee Foothills News: Opinion

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Richardson: Limiting magazine capacity: Let’s try it!

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Posted: Monday, April 29, 2013 7:44 am

I enjoyed Dennis Tierney’s commentary (“Limiting magazine sizes just a step in trying to reduce gun violence,” AFN, March 31), which responds to my earlier commentary. His arguments appear thoughtful and completely reasonable.

But let’s work with Mr. Tierney’s logic.

A magazine change is not an inconvenience for a criminal (especially when he’s the only one doing the shooting); therefore, it shouldn’t be an inconvenience for everyone else. So we should be willing, in the spirit of public safety, to limit the capacity of the magazines we use for hunting and sporting purposes. Seems perfectly reasonable. Except hunting and target shooting are not the real issues.

But why stop at 10 rounds? Why not five? Or three? Or one? We shouldn’t mind reloading after every round, especially to increase public safety.

Making the Ft. Hood shooter carry 200 one-round magazines might have tipped off base personnel of his plans. Probably could have avoided the whole event!

Why not try it?

Well, we actually have tried it. The following states and cities have long histories restricting the importation and sale of magazines with capacities ranging from seven to over 35:

New York — used to be 10, but that law worked so well now it’s down to seven rounds.

California, Massachusetts, Hawaii, District of Columbia, Oak Park, Ill. — 10 rounds.

City of Chicago, Ill. — 12 rounds.

City of Aurora, Ill.; and the state of New Jersey — 15 rounds.

(These restrictions are on all magazines, not just those used for hunting deer).

Wouldn’t the experience of those states and cities provide enough evidence to make magazine restrictions for the entire country a no-brainer decision? Shouldn’t that critical information be part of our national gun “debate?” Why don’t we hear about that? Anyone…? Bueller?

Registration also sounds like a perfectly reasonable idea. Our cars are registered. So we should be willing to register our firearms as well.

Setting aside that registration is usually followed by confiscation, how would the government keep track of the guns you possess to prevent gun violence? Will the knowledge of which firearms you have allow them to predict whether you intend to commit a crime, and stop you before you do?

Have we thought about how we’d even enforce a magazine limitation? Annual inspections? Would that be done by the IRS or would the local police do it? I see a new federal agency in your future… That’ll also help reduce our unemployment problem!

But Mr. Tierney gives us the greatest illusion in the entire “debate:” We don’t know if these magazine restrictions will reduce violence, but let’s try it. Criminals don’t obey laws against murder, bringing a firearm into a gun-free zone, discharging a firearm within city limits, assault, noise pollution, bad breath, etc., but we think they’ll obey a law limiting magazine capacity.

Please, help me with this logic: Why is the non-shooting part of our society so willing to further erode the freedoms of everyone in the country with their fantasy that another law will make criminals behave better?

• CPA Bill Richardson has lived in Ahwatukee for more than 17 years.

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