Another look at H.R. 1859

A couple days ago, I mentioned Carolyn McCarthy’s H.R. 1859, “To reinstate the prohibition on the possession or transfer of large capacity ammunition feeding devices, and to strengthen that prohibition,” (by the way, for anyone who has not yet seen that McCarthy is utterly clueless about her own H.R. 1022, and what features of a firearm it would ban, check out this War on Guns blog entry). At the time, I was more focused on the incredible, exploitive insensitivity of introducing that legislation within hours of the killings she intends to capitalize on. Now, let’s take a more thorough look at why it’s simply bad legislation.

The justification (to use the term charitably) given for such a ban is that large magazines enable greater carnage, because the shooter will not have to pause as often for reloads. To help this argument out, its proponents can point to the fact that Cho had several 33 round magazines in his possession. Still, this is a specious argument. In truth, magazine capacity is unlikely to be much of a factor unless the intended targets are shooting back (which, to Larry Hincker’s great joy, was made impossible by VA Tech’s rules). With a human monster’s intended victims cowering in fear (the natural reaction of the unarmed to an armed, ruthless killer), he has plenty of time for reloads.

For those who believe that the necessity to reload more frequently would be enough to prevent the firing of a vast number of rounds in a short time, watch this:

If one wishes to argue that this proves that semi-automatics are just “too powerful” for civilians, and that we should be limited to revolvers, check out the last 10 or 12 seconds of this video (although the entire video is only about 35 seconds long, and well worth watching in its entirety):
In that last segment, Miculek fired 6 rounds, reloaded, and fired 6 more rounds, in under three seconds.

Granted, both Travis Tomasie, with the semi-automatic, and Jerry Miculek, with the revolver, are world class shooters, whose skill is (thankfully) extremely unlikely to be matched by the murderous thugs in our midst–still, the fact remains that a psychopath bent on killing a shocking number of unarmed people in a crowd is not going to be stopped by having to reload every 10 rounds.

Finally, passage of a ban of “large capacity” magazines will have extremely little effect on their availability for a very long time–the vast number of them already in circulation will see to that. Proponents of H.R. 1859 very publicly and loudly gnash their teeth over the expiration of the “ban” of so-called “assault weapons” in 2004, without acknowleging that neither the firearms named in that legislation, or the magazines, were ever banned–they could be owned, bought, and sold, as long as they were manufactured/imported before the law went into effect in 1994. By the time the AWB expired in 2004, there were still plenty such magazines available for sale. Anyone who claims otherwise is either speaking from ignorance or is lying.

H.R. 1859 is not about saving lives, it is about tightening the government’s monopoly on the use of force.

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One Response to “Another look at H.R. 1859”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    Great stuff! Thanks.

    Glad to see you understand the total futility of trying to use facts to change the minds of the bloody grabbers. I’m fairly new to most of this, and have had a difficult time accepting that logic and facts are totally irrelevant to the Brady Bunch et al. (I was off the scale on analytical on the Briggs-Meyers.)

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