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This topic was old news for a blog, until the Republican Party added it as a plank in their platform. Restricting the ownership of weapons with huge magazines should be one area that the NRA, and therefore the Republican party, could take a reasonable approach on and move toward the middle ground with the rest of America. But they chose not to. It’s bad enough that the NRA didn’t budge on this; it’s worse that the Republicans chose to make it a “Second Amendment” plank. Picking unnecessary fights is dumb politics.
Two pertinent facts about me: 1) I classify myself as a conservative moderate (or moderate conservative) like the majority of Americans, per the polls. 2) I’m not anti-gun. I’ve owned guns almost as long as I can remember, taught my sons to shoot, and enjoy a morning at the range with them occasionally.
For me, this issue destroys the credibility of the NRA as a rational organization. There is simply no reason for civilians to own assault weapons or weapons with magazines holding more than ten rounds. These are weapons designed to kill people, not for hunting, not for target practice, not even home defense. At the target range most people fire five or ten round groupings and there’s plenty of time to reload. As for hunting, I remember reading an article in an outdoor magazine when I was a boy. The author was making the point that competent hunters need only one or two well aimed shots for a successful hunt. A ten-round magazine would last an entire season. “But I need it for home protection!” the NRA will cry. The law-abiding citizen is only going to fire one or two rounds before they hit the intruder or scare them away. Extensive domestic gun fights are entertaining for TV or movies, but not realistic – unless your home doubles as a drug warehouse. Think about this, “Where will the stray rounds go that don’t hit the bad guy?” Note: I did a study a few years ago on domestic gun discharges. The number of times “good guy shoots intruder” was a small fraction of the accidents and domestic violence incidents.
Finally, it would be easy enough to establish a special Collectors Permit, with significant restrictions, for properly documented gun collectors.
Here’s why I’m passionate about assault weapons. My Grandkids were at the Batman movie (here in Washington State) the same night as the attack in Aurora, Colorado. How about yours? This could have happened anywhere!
In summary, there is simply no need and no reason for average citizens to own assault-type weapons or weapons with magazines over ten rounds. The argument, “guns don’t kill people, people do,” is a hollow cliché sound bite. The reality is these weapons make it too easy for one person to kill many people. Reducing the number of Columbines, Virginia Techs, and Auroras will make the world a better place for our Grandchildren.