Free Markets, Free People


McCarthy – "no reason that these devices should be available to general public."

One of the reasons I repeat over and over again that "freedom is choice" is to give context to stories like the one that follows and to give the reader an idea of why I am usually against anything that limits choice.

Rep. Carolyn McCarthy’s (D-NY) bill would limit the magazine capacity for pistols. It is another "freedom traded for security" bill which limits choice simply because it makes some people uncomfortable for that choice to be available to you. They simply don’t believe you’re responsible enough to have it.

Here’s what she said:

“The only purpose for the existence of these devices is to be able to shoot as many people as possible as quickly as possible,” McCarthy wrote in a letter to her colleagues that accompanied the bill. “There is no reason that these devices should be available to the general public.”

For the sake of argument, let’s stipulate that’s true. That the only reason these high capacity magazines exist is to "shoot as many people as possible as quickly as possible". So what? As with most anything it can be used for a good purpose (defense) as well as a bad purpose (murder – in this case, mass murder). So on its face, shooting "as many people as possible as quickly as possible" can be a good or bad thing depending on the situation. McCarthy would like you to believe such a ban would only effect the "bad thing". Obviously, that’s not true.

But, that’s not the line I object too the most. I find "there is no reason that these devices should be available to the general public” to be something that should send chills down the spine of anyone who is concerned with growing government oppression.

Why? It’s an attitude that has gotten us in the shape we’re in today. What she is asking is for like minded legislators to agree with her premise that government should decide what the public can and can’t use responsibly.

Never mind that shoot-ups in Safeway parking lots involving members of Congress by deranged lunatics are as rare as hen’s teeth, Ms. McCarthy has decided that there is "no reason these devices should be available to the general public". She claims that should be government’s decision/choice – not yours.  This latest situation provides an excuse to attempt this power grab, not  a real reason.

So to you who’ve owned that Browning High Power for 20 years and have the original 13 round mag – she would make you a criminal upon passage of the bill (it would eliminate the exception for mags manufactured before ’94). If anyone finds out you have one and turns you in, you’re up for 10 years in the pokey.  The fact that you’ve responsibly had and used it for over 20 years means zip (although it does demonstrate the bankruptcy of her argument).

McCarthy’s reason for attempting to do this is personal:

Gun control is a personal matter for McCarthy, whose husband was murdered and son seriously injured in 1993, when a disturbed gunman opened fire on a Long Island commuter train. Like the alleged Arizona shooter, Jared Lee Loughner, the gunman who killed McCarthy’s husband also used a high-capacity magazine.

I’m sorry to hear that. However, it was the deranged killer that murdered her husband, not the high-capacity magazine. I’d love to hear the argument that says a deranged killer would have stopped firing after one 10 round mag if we’d just eliminate access to mags with capacity above that. Of course that’s nonsense. And changing a mag in a hand gun, with even minimal practice, is both quick and easy. It would be done before most realized it was happening.

As I’ve said many times, a free society is a messy society which entails risk. That is the price of freedom. But it also buys many more advantages than disadvantages. An authoritarian society is usually a tidy society with full jails and no choices in life. We’ve seen what they’re like.

Attitudes that say "we’ll decide what you can or can’t have or what should or shouldn’t be available to you" don’t belong in Congress or a free society. Not their job, although unfortunately that seems to be what it has devolved into.

We increasingly see government take more and more choice away from us. The attitude McCarthy enunciates isn’t uncommon at all. In fact it is quite common and reveals itself in much of the legislation that passes through Congress these days.

It is an attitude which we should demand be changed and changed quickly. Reducing choice and making otherwise law abiding citizens criminals with the stroke of a pen won’t change a thing in regards to deranged lunatics shooting up places with or without high-capacity mags. McCarthy’s bill isn’t about high-capacity mags, really – its about control, and not just gun control. And, as with most laws like this, it will only effect the law abiding as criminals and "deranged lunatics" will flat ignore it (and a thriving black market in high-capacity mag will establish itself and thrive).

“The United States Constitution guarantees to our citizens the right to keep and bear arms,” McCarthy wrote in a letter to her colleagues that accompanied the bill. “At the same time that we can all acknowledge this basic right, I believe that we should also be able to come together to develop reasonable laws designed to ensure that the right to bear arms is exercised safely and responsibly.”

That, Ms. McCarthy,is demonstrated by the responsible behavior of multi millions of gun owners in this nation daily. The law she wants passed won’t change that at all. And that’s the point.

It’s about more control and less choice, and for the most part, any proposed law of that sort should be resisted fiercely.

~McQ

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51 Responses to McCarthy – "no reason that these devices should be available to general public."

  • I am assuming that the line about “the only purpose of this device” is a hedge against anyone who would point out that many items that we regularly use can become weapons (knives, forks, automobiles, etc).  I think McCarthy wanted to go a bit further than to simply respond “yes, but guns are made for killing” and decided to specify that “guns are made for killing human beings.”  I think that this is a very important key to understanding the anti-gun viewpoint– that a knife or automobile may be misused for killing, but a gun that is used to kill another person has served its one and only purpose.

    There is a subset of both the left and the right that is determined to strip away our freedoms and rights for our own good.  The unwillingness of either party disavow that fringe forcefully and absolutely makes me very nervous.

    • A safe hunting party, being necessary to the enjoyment of the masses, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall  be infringed when kooks break the law and politicians need to show they are “doing something.”

  • If you guys want to be able to keep 33-round magazines for pistols, why don’t you just admit that you’re the crappiest shots in the world? Or are you really postulating that your “home is your castle” is going to be overrun by 17 people and you need to shoot every one of them twice? Grow up.

    • Ok … stipulated. Speaking of growing up, now tell me again why it is any of your business how many rounds my magazine holds?

    • So how many rounds would be the approved number in your world? 

    • I think a 33 round mag for a pistol is stupid.  It slows down my ability to train the gun on my target.
      And, any time I fire my combat pistols, I fire them twice…in matched doubles.  Twice.  On a good day, one for each eye in two seconds from a “gun down” position.

    • Ever fired a gun at anything?  Ever fired at anything that’s shooting back?  Completely….different….world…..

      Trained police – I can think of at least two reported cases where 2-4 officers fired nearly 1oo rounds.  In one case roughly 72 rounds at a single suspect.   6 of the rounds found their intended target.  The other 66 went elsewhere.

      Having said that – Don’t mistake my meaning, I agree, 30 round clips, are, as Rags pointed out above, awkward, and as you pointed out, I’m not likely to have my home rushed by assailants numbering in the double digits, and if I DO then there’s a much bigger problem than my 30 round clip, or lack there of.

      But the others have a point, why does someone else, government in particular, get to decide?   What if they decide 5 rounds is a safe limit, because, like you, they believe that there will only ever be 1 to 2 intruders, and you’ll have to hit them with those 5, or have  spare clips handy.  Why is 5 not sufficient?  That’s a standard revolver load leaving one open cylinder for safety sake.

      Really, why isn’t 3 sufficient?    That’s two shots for your intruder, and allows you one miss, or one extra in case your attacker is Micheal Myers.

      Hell, why isn’t 1 shot enough?  How about just 1 shot.  I mean, you can’t very well hold up a bank or cause mayhem with only 1 shot, right?  So, wouldn’t 1 shot be safest, it allows for home defense, but prevents mass shooting possibilities.  Everybody should be a good enough shot that they only need 1 shot.  If not, then, they’re lousy shots, and they shouldn’t be allowed to use a fire arm, right?

      Get the idea?
       

      • Yeah, but if you are a KILLER, at some point you put down the Glock, and pick up the Escalade.  Or a sword…most people are scared to death of swords, and they won’t rush a killer with one.  Or a bomb.  Or…
        Well, you get the idea.  People think they can make society safe with laws and programs.  It is a fantasy, and a dangerous one.

    • Have you ever seen video of those party store shootouts?  Ammo goes pretty quick compared to the number of actual hits. 

    • I suspect the 33 round mag was intended for the full auto glocks.

      For standard defensive pistol use, I’m pretty happy with my 1911 and its 7+1 or 8+1 capability (although I do have one 10 round mag, but it protrudes from the grip and is less reliable than the good 8 round mags I have).

      The main reason for a high cap would be for laying down supressive fire, not usually the roll of the pistol, but I recall video of the LA riots where this was put to good effect. Personally I’d opt for an AR based carbine for such an event, but to each his own.

      Talking about ARs, how about a 100 round Beta C? Next step up, beltfed.

      • A short automatic shotgun would be my preference if I had the time.  A pistol is ALWAYS a defensive weapon…if you are sane.  If you are an INSANE murderer…well…

      • “for the full auto Glocks.”

        Code named – “Spray and Pray”.

    • Large capacity magazines are fun for recreational shooting. Less reloading.
      If 33 is too many, what number is “enough”?
      Once you’re done deciding for everyone what arbitrary limits the actual expression of their rights can take, they’ll get back to mocking you for that very arbitrariness.
      Oddly, the complaint about being a crappy shot is probably better aimed at the police, who (at least around here) regularly manage to empty 17 round magazines with only one or two hits.
      Most stories about home defense involve only a few shots fired, it’s true … but it sure sounds like it’s cops that have the issues with being terrible shots.
      I’m assuming you’ll use your logic to call for restricting police to, say, seven rounds per magazine, since they almost never have to shoot more than one person at a time – at most two or three. And three times two is only six…

  • Gun control is a personal matter for McCarthy, whose husband was murdered and son seriously injured in 1993, when a disturbed gunman opened fire on a Long Island commuter train. Like the alleged Arizona shooter, Jared Lee Loughner, the gunman who killed McCarthy’s husband also used a high-capacity magazine.

    I know…personally… survivors of the Luby’s massacre in Central Texas.  They, I think, can tell you what Mr. McCarthy’s final thoughts were in this world.  “God, I am helpless.  If only I had a gun.” They have been riven with guilt since that shooting, because they could do nothing while their loved ones were methodically killed.
    In this mass killing in Tucson, it would not have mattered much of the guy used a sword.  Killers kill, and dead is dead.
    Some people blame objects for their losses.  Others blame the people who employed the object.

    • “When seconds count, the police are only minutes away”

      • I’ve said that “To Protect And Serve” on the side of police cars is cruelly false advertising.
        At best, they can “Tidy Up And Avenge“, but that’s not even for sure.

    • I’ve long believed (and was reminded last night when I watched the video of “Bourne Idenity”) that you could probably kill as many with a ball-point pen (or a “spork”) as you could with box cutters.  Security is fleeting.

      You can’t make anything fool-proof because fools are so ingenious

      • Oh, YEAH…!!!  But they screen at airports for nail-clippers.  I’ve got a mechanical pencil on my desk that is MULTIPLES more lethal than even a box-cutter.
        Just another example of focusing…STUPIDLY…on objects, instead of people.

    • “Some people blame objects for their losses.  Others blame the people who employed the object.”

      Exactly. To paraphrase myself, guns don’t kill people, right-wing-extremist-Republicans  kill people.

  • Well, this explains a lot

    Only 49 percent of elected officials could name all three branches of government, compared with 50 percent of the general public.
    Only 46 percent knew that Congress, not the president, has the power to declare war — 54 percent of the general public knows that.
    Just 15 percent answered correctly that the phrase “wall of separation” appears in Thomas Jefferson’s letters — not in the U.S. Constitution — compared with 19 percent of the general public.
    And only 57 percent of those who’ve held elective office know what the Electoral College does, while 66 percent of the public got that answer right. (Of elected officials, 20 percent thought the Electoral College was a school for “training those aspiring for higher political office.”)

    The best politicians that money can buy

  • At the same time that we can all acknowledge this basic right, I believe that we should also be able to come together to develop reasonable laws designed to ensure that the right to bear arms is exercised safely and responsibly.

    Those of us on the right are absolutely in favor of ensuring that the right to bear arms is exercized safely and responsibly by seeing to it that those who abuse the right by committing a crime with a gun (or a knife, or a baseball bat, or a car, or even their bare hands) are, after enjoying the various rights associated with our justice system, severely punished.  In the case of murderers, we want them executed or at the very least confined for the rest of their lives.  It’s a little concept I like to call “punishing the guilty”.  I’m guessing that there some other rights that Little Miss Wannabe Dictator would like to see exercized “safely and responsibly”, e.g. speech, assembly, the press, possibly religion, property, etc. 

    I’m very sorry that Rep. Maloney lost her husband and son to a mad killer, but I suggest to her that punishing the rest of us is not the proper response.

    • There is a scandal here in Tucson, however.  EXISTING gun laws SHOULD have acted to prevent this nut from buying a firearm…at least though legal channels.
      They did not do that.  Apparently, this killer has been allowed to slide on MANY occasions.  There was ALL kinds of OBJECTIVE information (we had this discussion the other day) that SHOULD have been used to get this guy segregated and…just maybe…helped.

      • EXISTING gun laws SHOULD have acted to prevent this nut from buying a firearm…at least though legal channels
        Which ones?
        He had no felony convictions, nor any obvious “sliding” from incipient felonies.
        And the limits for an adjudication of mental infirmity are (rightfully) set very high, to prevent them being used against the sane for personal gain or politics.
        I still haven’t seen evidence that he acted out violently before this, which is pretty much what it takes.
        The solution is not “enforce existing laws” – the solution doesn’t exist.
        There is no way to stop the occasional not-previously-demonstrably-dangerous-to-himself-or-others psycho that isn’t worse, overall, than the occasional psycho not being stopped.

        • No pretense at being an expert on this killer, but I understand there was some assault implication.
          Death threats also seem to have been involved.  I would hate to have to try to buy a gun with that on my record.

  • And someone planning to go on a rampage or otherwise break the law would somehow have a compunction against buying one off the blackmarket out someone’s trunk. 

  • “And changing a mag in a hand gun, with even minimal practice, is both quick and easy. It would be done before most realized it was happening. “  Unless several other people in the immediate area are armed as well.  But that would mean allowing the “general public” to take responsibility for its own safety.

    As for magazine capacity, shooting at targets is easy. Shooting at a live human who is not interested in getting hit is another world competely. Shooting at a live human who is threatening you or your loved ones, is also armed, is hopped up on drugs or adreneline, has already been hit twice but is still advancing, and so on, you want all the bullets you can carry. Once you have made the decision to fire on another human being, you do not fire once, check if the threat has stopped, fire again, check again, etc… Once you cross the Rubicon, you fire until you are out of ammunition. You do not fire to wound, a wounded threat is often worse than the one you started with. If you think of only wounding your threat, then you must not fire at all.

    • exactly, if it he person was an experienced shooter then they can easily swap out a mag within seconds.

  • Trained police – I can think of at least two reported cases where 2-4 officers fired nearly 1oo rounds.  In one case roughly 72 rounds at a single suspect.   6 of the rounds found their intended target.  The other 66 went elsewhere

    I was on a criminal jury where a guy tried to kill a cop. as the cop approached him feigning sleep in a car.  Fortunately his round didn’t penetrate the vest.

    However, the two cops on the scene fired something like 15-20 rounds at the bad guy…..not one hit.

    • There were some stats around that 90% of handgun exchanges at 10 feet or less result in nobody being hit even when both guns are emptied.
      I went about a year ago to try pistol shooting under the “First Shots” program with my kids.  I was amazed just how difficult it is to hit the target at 25 feet even when you take time to aim.

      • Shooting is easy; shooting well is hard.  You need to shoot at least 100 rounds per week to develop and maintain proficiency with a handgun.  With ammo selling for $30 for a box of 50, that’s $3,000+ per year.  Consider reloading.
        On the range, protect your ears with electronic noise reduction and wear safety glasses.  I use old reading glasses, but practice at least one set at 10 yards on your back on the ground without glasses (to simulate a mugging).
        Remember BRASS which stands for Breathe, Relax, Aim, Sight, Squeeze.  Take a deep breath and let half of it out. Consciously relax your neck and shoulders.  Focus on the target to identify it with the sights just below your intended point of impact. Refocus on the front blade sight, keeping it level with and an equal distance between it and the notch in your rear sight.  Apply increasing pressure on the trigger until it discharges.
        Assuming you are right handed, if you were hitting low and left, try Soft right hand; hard left hand.  Support the pistol’s weight and grip for recoil with your left hand and only apply pressure on the trigger with the last portion of your right hand.
        Aim for the chest – center of mass – and shoot two rounds (double tap).  Good luck.

        • Meant to say:
          ….last portion of your right index finger.

        • “ but practice at least one set at 10 yards on your back on the ground without glasses (to simulate a mugging).”

          Uh, lost any toes? Do you paint them orange, just in case?

      • Lies and statistics.

        Usually the police hit rate in gun fights is around 20 to 25%. The average distance is well below 7 yards. However, this throws a bunch of data in from different types of situations.

        One one one police shootings, from the data I’ve read, have a hit rate around 50% with 3 to 6 shots fired average, IIRC. When more than one cop is involved, the hit rate goes way down and the number of shots fired goes way up.

      • Yeah, most of this is due to tachycardia affects. Adrenaline courses through the body and you lose fine motor control. In other words your shooting goes to crap no matter how good you were: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10573671
         

    • However, the two cops on the scene fired something like 15-20 rounds at the bad guy…..not one hit.

      ?????

      What was it like, the shootouts on the old “Police Squad” shows, where Leslie Nielson and the perp were a foot away from each other and missed with all their rounds?!?

  • Act 2 Scene 1:

    Spoken by MacArch

    Is this a Bersa which  I see before me, the handgrip toward my hand?
    Come, let me clutch thee with thou 17 round magazine and younder spare.
    Art thou not, fatal vision, sensible to feeling as to sight?  or art thou but a pistol of the mind, a false creation.
    Proceeding from the Tea Party- oppressed brain?  I see thee yet, in form as palpable as this which I now draw.

    My apologies to the Bard.

  • use a shotgun for home protection. in prison correction officers training were trained to shot the legs of the attacker can you imagine what buckshot is gonna do to some ones legs im pretty sure they arent gonna be much of a threat
    number 1 3″ buck has over a 90 percent kill rate for 1 shot
    number 4 an 83 percent

    • Depends on who is in the house, Ted.  A 12 ga. could create a lot of dead or injured family members, although it is usually enough just to have it show up…you never really have to fire it.  But, if you do touch one off, you have to know what’s on the other side of the wall.   If you are a reloader, you can load light, but that is beyond most people.

      • 12 gage buck doesn’t spread much in normal residential room distances. More like a rifle than a shotgun.

        I don’t think loding down would be a good plan. Best bet, IMO, is the reduced recoil law enforcement loads.

  • Tam at View from the Porch: http://booksbikesboomsticks.blogspot.com/2011/01/some-deaths-are-tragicer-than-others.html has the perfect answer to those that think a reduced capacity magazine is better…
    So by saying you’re in favor of magazines that hold no more than Xrounds, you’re publicly stating that it’s only X+1 bodies that bother you. If that’s not what you mean to say, then come out and state your real intentions.

    Or are you chicken?

  • And here’s proof that it really makes no difference whether you have a standard mag or a reduced capacity mag:

  • Here in Oklahoma City we just had the police chief and two council members declare that ‘assault rifles’ should have to be registered.  The COP also thinks most firearms- handguns in particular- you should have to register and he’d prefer have to be licensed to own.
    The idiocy is everywhere.