I’d like to thank the folks who have sent this to me, for being on the ball. I’ve been trying to use the holiday week to make some progress on my home office renovation, and to get ahead of things at work at bit. So here is what House Democrats are proposing:
House Democrats will introduce legislation to ban the production of high-capacity magazines on the first day of the next congressional session, the office of Rep. Diana DeGette (D-Colo.), one of the lawmakers sponsoring the bill, told The Huffington Post.
The Large Capacity Ammunition Feeding Device Act will mirror a failed bill introduced during the 112th Congress. Its authors hope that in the wake of the shooting deaths of 20 first grade students in Newtown, Conn., there will be heightened political urgency to act when it is reintroduced on Jan. 3.
RTWT. I’m actually rather torn between what’s worse: an “assault weapons” ban or a magazine ban. I came into this issue during the 1994 assault weapons ban. It is what “radicalized” me, I guess you could say. I didn’t know much about the true nature of the ban when I first bought, but I had to live under it for the first 3 years of becoming a gun owner. The 1994 had both an “assault weapon” and magazine components, and it’s hard to say which was worse.
My first firearm was a semi-auto AK-47 clone, that I bought right after the New Year in 2000, when the Y2K scare went bust and gun dealers were unloading. That rifle is still in a “pre-ban” configuration. I bought my first AR in 2001, and I had no problem finding a lot of cheap 30 round magazines for it, even then. I bought my current carry piece, a Glock 19, in 2002 during the federal ban. It came with two ten round magazines, even though it was designed to carry 15 rounds. I knew ahead of time that I could buy a “New In Box” 15 round Glock factory magazine for 130 dollars, and soon ordered one. I carried that magazine daily until September 14, 2004, the day the ban lifted. That day I went to the local gun store and bought two “Law Enforcement Restricted” 15 round Glock 19 magazines for 20 dollars each, and which I still include in my rotation. A few days later, I ordered a bird cage flash suppressor, and front gas block with bayonet lug for my AR-15. Why? Because I could, and that was reason enough. I converted my “post-ban” AR-15 into a “no-ban” AR-15, if only to mock the absurdity of it. It was the same rifle, but it would have been a felony to do that just days ago. I also converted my Ruger 10/22 into a “no-ban” configuration, despite the absurdity of that as well.
I do not wish to return to those days. While emotionally, the “assault weapons” part of the 1994 ban pissed me off the most, I have to admit that paying 130 dollars for a single 15 round magazine probably had a more practical impact. The 30 round AK and AR magazines were ubiquitous and cheap during the ban; there were just so many of them out there. Post-ban, the price has only improved modestly, but the quality of magazine has improved. The improvement in magazine quality is mostly in the design of the follower, and it was never illegal to replace those on existing magazines during the ban, so it’s hard to say how that would have evolved if the ban had not sunset.
While the absurdity of banning telescoping stocks (very useful to adjust for differently sized shooters), flash suppressors (not all that useful for us or criminals) and bayonet lugs (not very useful to anyone these days) annoyed me for the stupidity of it all, I think the magazine ban is the greatest threat for the largest number of gun owners. Connecticut still has the federal ban, essentially, and clearly AR-15s could still be had (though without flash suppressors and bayonet lugs).
The magazine ban will affect a very large number of shooters. We have to watch everything closely, because there’s no guarantees every bad bill will look like what came before, we can’t let the media and the politicians spin the magazine ban as some kind of false compromise. Both are just as bad. Both must be resisted fully. A magazine ban is just as bad or worse than not being able to have bayonet lugs and flash suppressors on your carbine (and hell, my carbine, because of the 16″ barrel can’t mount a proper bayonet anyway). You don’t get to claim 100 feet of my property, then draw the line back to 20 feet and claim it’s a compromise. You’re still stealing from me.