Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Outlaw High-Capacity Ammo Magazines Now

High-capacity ammo magazines of more than 10 rounds are good for one thing only: killing large numbers of humans quickly.  It's what they were designed to do.  And they do it very efficiently.

It's overkill for self-defense.  I have yet to hear of a single case where that many bullets needed to be fired for home defense.

It's overkill for hunting.  If you can't hit your target in three rounds or less, hunting isn't for you.  Go back to plinking.  As one Vietnam veteran told me the other day, "You don't need that many rounds unless you're tryin' to kill the whole damned herd."

"A Killing Machine": Half of All Mass Shooters Used High-Capacity Magazines

As lawmakers across the country and in the nation's capital debate possible restrictions on high-capacity magazines, one question emerges: Are these ammunition-feeding devices, which allow a shooter to fire many times without reloading, in fact commonly used by mass killers? We examined the data from Mother Jonescontinuing investigation into mass shootings and found that high-capacity magazines have been used in at least 31 of the 62 cases we analyzed. A half-dozen of these crimes occurred in the last two years alone.  
In the shooting that injured Rep. Gabby Giffords in Tucson, Arizona, Jared Loughner emptied a 33-round magazine in 30 seconds, killing 6 and injuring 13. Inside a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado, James Holmes used 40- and 100-round magazines to injure and kill an unprecedented 70 victims. At Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, Adam Lanza used high-capacity magazines to fire upwards of 150 bullets as he slaughtered 20 kids and 6 adults. 
"It turns a killer into a killing machine," says David Chipman, who served for 25 years as a special agent in the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives. Outlawing high-capacity magazines won't prevent gun crimes from happening, Chipman notes, but might well reduce the carnage: "Maybe 3 kids get killed instead of 20."

That's right.  Half of all mass shooters since 1984, in the 62 cases analyzed, have used high-capacity ammo magazines.  

They have a listing of those shootings at that link, and stats like the numbers killed and injured, the weapons used, and the size of the magazines used.

Without the high-cap ammo mags, there would have been no "mass" in mass shootings.

Here in Oregon, Senate Bill 346 will ban the sale or transfer of ammo magazines greater than 10 rounds, except by law enforcement or military.  It creates a crime of unlawfully transferring large capacity magazines, and punishes by maximum of one year's imprisonment, $6,250 fine, or both.

It's time to stand up for public safety and ban these devices of mass murder!

ADDENDUM:  Here are the stories of 151 of the victims from those mass shootings.