Here’s some similar logic: Ban “assault vehicles” – minivans and other vehicles capable of holding more than 5 people – because they are only good for killing a lot of people very fast.
But, you may say, minivans are actually very useful because they allow people to transport larger groups of family and friends to school, sports events, or other outings. Sure, some nutjob parents may have killed a bunch of their kids by crashing them or driving them into water, but the rest of us shouldn’t be punished for their actions right? I mean, obviously minivans weren’t created simply to allow people to kill other people. That’s not their primary purpose.
And all of that is true.
It’s also true that magazines capable of holding more than 10 rounds serve equally benign purposes. Competitors in shooting events have a better chance to score higher, target shooters can spend less time reloading and more time enjoying themselves, and people concerned about safety for themselves and their families can rest easier knowing they have a better chance to defend themselves.
But, but…people can use those large magazines to kill other people! Yes, this is true. It’s also true that people can use cars to kill other people. In fact, many times more people are killed each year by motor vehicles than are killed by firearms. Many tragedies occur daily involving vehicles, and yet we don’t have a public outcry to ban them. When the rarer gun death occurs, however, people are quick to try to capitalize on the tragedy to spread fear.
And make no mistake; this is about controlling people with fear. That’s why the argument is completely illogical. They don’t want you to think about it, they want you so afraid that you agree with them and advance their political agenda.
Here are some of their arguments:
You don’t need more than 10 rounds to defend yourself. – The fact is that in stressful situations, even trained military and law enforcement officers miss more often than they hit. The fact is that there are many instances where the bad guy doesn’t stop his aggressive behavior even after being hit a dozen times. The fact is that often people are attacked by multiple bad guys at the same time.
If they really thought this was true, why wouldn’t they be calling on the government to ban large capacity magazines for law enforcement and military too? It’s obvious that they know this is a lie, and they’re just hoping that you swallow it.
There are no legitimate reasons to need that many rounds in a “clip”. – Fact: many competitions require you to fire as many rounds as you can in as short a time possible. The bigger the capacity of the magazine, the less time you spend swapping magazines and the better your score. Fact: many of us would rather concentrate on the principals of marksmanship than on reloading our magazines every five seconds at the range. And I already mentioned the legitimate need to defend yourself and your family.
From the Brady website:
4. They Claim: If you ban large-capacity ammunition magazines, only criminals will have them and law-abiding citizens will be outgunned.
Response: Are you saying we should continue to make it easy for dangerous people to get their hands on ammunition magazines that hold up to 100 bullets? A ban on the sale of large-capacity ammunition magazines would make it harder for criminals to get them to commit mass murder. If manufacturers stop making these magazines for civilian use, criminals aren’t going to start making their own. The supply will eventually dry up.
It’s so obvious now! Except that automatic weapons have been effectively banned from civilian ownership in this country, and yet criminals still manage to get them. In fact, it would be very easy for criminals to manufacture their own magazines. You don’t exactly need a lot of complicated equipment and skills to put a piece of sheet metal together with a spring. They could simply use the followers and floorplates of factory magazines to complete their very own high capacity magazine.
Many of the AK-47s on this planet are manufactured in villages with no indoor plumbing or electricity. To think that American criminals with access to even basic tools could not put together their own magazines is ignorant in the extreme.
Come on people, sometimes awful things happen, but you shouldn’t use those bad things to impose your will upon others or to spread fear and ignorance. And I’m sorry, but you simply cannot legislate crime away. You can only punish law abiding citizens and ignore inconvenient truths.
Here are some more useful facts for making up your own minds:
99% of the time when someone says "clip" they are referring to what is actually called a magazine. A clip is something that feeds or loads a magazine. Of course, most of the lawmakers trying to create legislation for guns don't actually know much about them. Perhaps that's why they fear them so much.
High Capacity magazines - Most of the time this is used to demonize magazine capable of holding more than 10 rounds. The fact is that standard capacity for most modern semi-automatic rifles is 20 - 30 rounds. Standard capacity for most modern semi-automatic pistols is between 12 and 20 rounds. Pistol that shoot larger bullets, a .45 for example, tend to hold 8 - 10, and tiny pistols made for concealment tend to hold 6 - 10 rounds.
According to the FBI, violent crime in the country has been decreasing steadily since 1992, regardless of the assault weapon ban in 1994 and it's lifting in 2004.