A recent letters contributor complains that more than 150 bullets were shot in less than five minutes at Sandy Hook Elementary School and the shooter only had to stop and reload five times in that period (“Gun violence needs to be addressed now” Roundup, March 29). “If he’d only had 10-round magazines and had to reload 14 times, don’t you think that would have slowed him down?” the writer asks.
The short answer is “No. Not enough to have made a difference.”
Eric Harris, of Columbine massacre infamy, fired 96 times with ten 10-round magazines, and reloading clearly didn’t slow him down enough to make a difference. He and his buddy Dylan Klebold murdered 12 students and one teacher, and wounded 21 others.
Banning magazines over a certain capacity is idiocy. It’s like enforcing celibacy on a family because a neighbor has too many kids. It’s like banning all cars capable of exceeding 5 miles an hour because every six months some fool plows through a school bus stop at 50 miles an hour. And then you have to face the fact that families will find a way to avoid celibacy and irresponsible fools will find a way to soup up their cars and criminals and maniacs will find a way to obtain high-capacity magazines.
But knee-jerk gun banners never face the failure of their schemes; they just pile on more schemes.
Contrary to the writer’s mindset, the ownership by private citizens of so-called “assault weapons” (a false term of art) and high-capacity magazines does not infringe upon anyone’s rights. If the writer encounters a drunk driver, do the cars owned and driven by the rest of society infringe upon the writer’s rights?
Also, contrary to the writer’s assertion, the majority of Americans do not support increased gun control; the ratio is now less than 50 percent and falling as people realize their emotions are not a good basis for un-Constitutional and criminally stupid legislation.
How are we to “diligently maintain democracy” without the liberty teeth represented by our right to keep and bear arms? Giving up their right to keep and bear arms hasn’t worked very well for 170,000,000 non-military victims of their own governments around the world in the last 100 years, who methodically disarmed the populations, using the writer’s arguments, before killing them all.
Lastly, I would like to point out that I agree the writer has rights, and that the only reason they have rights is because, unlike anywhere else in the world, Americans have the right to keep and bear arms to defend the rights of their neighbors. And we aren’t going to give them up for anyone.
Donald L. Cline