In a move specifically designed and carefully calibrated to prevent no shooting tragedies, New Jersey Senator Frank Lautenberg (D) took the lead today in attempting to target ammunition magazines. Lautenberg proposed new legislation that would prevent magazines from holding more than ten rounds at a time. President Obama proposed just that in his staged photo-op surrounded by children last week.
Lautenberg bloviated, “The latest tragedy in Newtown was a wake up call for our nation, and now we must now turn our grief into action to reduce further tragedies. It is clearer than ever that there is no place in our communities for military-style supersized magazines like those used inside Sandy Hook Elementary School, in Aurora, and in Tucson, and I will keep working to reinstate the ban on them.” Of course, it takes approximately three seconds for even a mildly knowledgeable gun user to switch a magazine, so any magazine restriction will be next to useless unless there are armed guards or other adults carrying firearms around any shooter.
This is not the first time that Lautenberg has introduced such a measure; he tried it after the Tucson shootings by Jared Lee Loughner. All of the co-sponsors of the bill are from heavily gun regulated states New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut. One of those co-sponsors is Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY), whose husband was killed in a shooting incident in 1993. “Senator Lautenberg and I have reintroduced the bill to ban high-capacity ammunition magazines because they’re the common thread in every major mass shooting in recent history and taking them off the market can have a major impact on saving lives in America. The horrific murders in Newtown have shown how our nation’s lax attitude towards gun violence has gone too far and we must take action to save lives,” she said.
Of course, these magazines are not the only common thread in mass shootings. Mental illness is another thread. So are gun free zones. So are lack of sufficient armed guards. Restricting the size of magazines was tried from 1994 to 2004. There was no reduction in gun crime. There is also no chance that such a measure will pass the Senate. It is pure imagistics. But that’s what Democratic gun control policy has become.