So in the wake of the Tucson shooting, the typical agitators on the left have been typically agitating about how it’s such a damned big travesty that American citizens can actually own “high capacity” magazines. While wringing their hands, they blather on, “Why would anyone need to own such a device!” they cry.
In reading a lot of the forums and blogs, I see a lot of gun owners trying to formulate arguments against instituting a new magazine capacity ban similar to the one we all lived under from 1994-2004. If you find yourself in a position of having to defend ownership of magazines, you’ve already lost. To someone who doesn’t own guns, a 30-round magazine can seem to be quite the threatening object, so you’re already at a disadvantage.
Trying to claim that 30 round magazines are useful for self defense may be true, but to the non-familiar, they’re going to think you’re an overly paranoid lunatic.
Likewise, defending ownership of them because “you like them” or “use them for competition” or “because I should be able to own them” makes you look like an insensitive jerk. After all, to the outsider, forcing you to have to reload more often during a course of fire is a small price to pay to save the lives of innocent children.
So, if confronted with a discussion about instituting a ban on so-called “high capacity” magazines, it’s extremely important to re-frame the debate. You must change the focus from one of discussing magazine capacity (ZOMG 30 ROUNDS WHO WOULD EVER NEED THAT!) to one of effectively instituting policies that have an actual impact on violent crime.
The first thing you should point out?
There already was a ban on magazines that held more than ten rounds. It lasted for ten years. In that time, not one single solitary peer-reviewed study showed that the magazine ban had any effect on violent crime at all. If a magazine ban actually worked, they should be able to provide proof.
Ask them to explain how they intend to effectively enforce a ban on objects that are roughly the size of a candy bar, completely untraceable, and are already possessed by tens of millions of US citizens.
Seriously, a magazine ban would be a nightmare to enforce. It’d be like trying to ban iPods, but worse, because magazines are much cheaper than iPods, and gun owners are a much more rabid group than eve Apple fan boys.
Point out this:
If magazine capacity had an actual effect on the effectiveness of mass killers, then you’d see a direct relationship between deaths and magazine capacity.
This isn’t the case. Seung-Hui Cho had no 30 round magazines, yet managed to kill five times as many people. John Allan Muhammad and Lee Boyd Malvo killed nearly twice as many people as Laughner, and they only fired one or two shots per incident. Charles Whitman killed more than two and a half times as many people as Laughner, and this was long before the days of Glock 19s or 30 round magazines.
If they are still in favor of making possession of these sorts of magazines illegal, then ask them to justify the arrest, trial, and conviction of millions of people merely for possessing some stamped sheet metal/extruded plastic with a spring inside. Seriously. Is it really worth it to incur all of the costs associated with trying, convicting, and imprisoning all of these people, merely because they have a magazine that holds more than ten rounds?
It should be pretty easy to convert any fence-sitter using these arguments, and if that doesn’t work, have fun making the gun control true-believers look stupid.