The letter I’m referring to is the one sent by grieved parents to Connecticut legislators about limits to magazines for firearms and published by NBC News.
At least it’s sincere:
We feel a very personal connection to this issue. The Sandy Hook shooter carried 10 magazines that held 30 bullets each. We now know that he left many smaller magazines at home. He fired 154 shots in approximately 4 minutes, killing 20 children and 6 educators. Miraculously, in the time that it took him to reload in one of the classrooms, 11 children were able to escape and are alive today.
We are left to wonder, what if the Sandy Hook shooter had been forced to reload not 6 times but 15 times. Would more children, would our children, be alive today?
But one can be sincere and still be wrong. The writers assume that it’s the magazines that murdered their children, and that smaller magazines would have killed fewer children. Is that logical? Does that make sense? Can it be proven to be so? If so, why not restrict magazine capacities to say, 7 rounds, or 5 rounds, or 3 rounds, or just one round? Let’s let the killer roam free in a gun-free zone but limit his ability to kill! That’ll work, you bet.
The premise is false. Let’s look at this video. Sheriffs tested the hypothesis that having smaller capacity magazines would require a shooter – attacker, murderer, vermin – to take longer to kill. You don’t have to watch the entire 13 minutes. You’ll see very quickly that there is no difference – none – in how long it takes to shoot one 30-round magazine or 2 15-round magazines, or 2 10-round magazines. And there is no chance that an observer could “tackle” the shooter during reloads. The whole argument is provably false.
And of course, it misses the point entirely: what to do to reduce violence in the schools, or anywhere else, for that matter. That issue isn’t even discussed.
The letter reeks with emotion and the demand to get even and to do something – anything – to reduce violence. It even admits that the law won’t do anything about violence:
The current proposal under consideration in Hartford would allow the sale of magazines with a capacity of 10 bullets or fewer. The proposal, however, grandfathers existing large capacity magazines leaving a gaping loophole on, what we believe, is the most dangerous feature of an assault weapon. Individuals will easily be able to purchase high-capacity magazines in other states, bring them to Connecticut and claim to have owned them before the law took effect. Proving that the purchase or transfer took place post-enactment will be difficult, if not impossible.
One of the grieving parents was enlisted to support the nonsense:
Mark Barden, whose son Daniel died in the shootings, said at a news conference Monday in Hartford: “The more times you have to reload, the more opportunities there are to escape and to stop the shooting. In the amount of time — it was somewhere around four minutes — he was able to fire 154 rounds. I think that speaks volumes about reducing the size” of magazines.
And of course, the guv had to weigh in as well, proving his own insensibility on the matter:
Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy sided with the parents: “I have been clear for weeks that a ban on the possession and sale of high-capacity magazines is an important part of our effort to prevent gun violence — simply banning their sale moving forward would not be an effective solution,” Malloy said in a statement Monday.
There was not one word in the NBC article about private property rights or the Second Amendment or even the Connecticut state constitution which says it all: “Every citizen has a right to bear arms in defense of himself and the state.” That would solve it. In one single ringing declaration, the state’s constitution says that the shooter would have been foiled instantly, regardless of how many magazines he had with him or how large they were, if the teachers had been armed. One teacher carrying a gun could have ended the incident without fanfare. In fact, it probably wouldn’t even have made the papers.
What we have here is emotion, ignorance and illogic parading as wisdom.