Lowering Expectations

I agree with Joe, that it seems the other side is not quite so ambitious on the magazine ban front as they once were, and not routinely tout 100 round magazines as being patently ridiculous more often than speaking of hard limits. Probably smart. Most Americans don’t own 100 round magazines (even I don’t have one), but many own 11-30 round magazines.

But it’s a sharp contrast from yesteryear. I seem to recall reading that the magazine limitations were originally an idea floated by Bill Ruger, who was interested in saving the Mini-14. Ruger’s proposal was to focus on the magazine size rather than the gun, and threw a 15 round limit out there for people to chew on. The gun control crowd loved the idea. Of all the states that passed assault weapons bans, only New Jersey adopted the 15 round limit. Every other adopted ten. I heard originally, anti-gun politicians floated a 5 round limit, and 10 was the compromise. Now they’d be happy to ban the drum magazines. Progress.

As for Bill Ruger, the Mini-14 may have been spared, but we got an assault weapons ban and a magazine ban. It took a while for the gun community to learn there’s nothing to be gained in preemptively surrendering ground. Compromise is something you do when circumstances leave you no good option, and your choice is between getting beaten and getting killed. Compromise is not a starting position in a political struggle.

19 thoughts on “Lowering Expectations”

  1. Compromise is when each side gets something and each side gets something. If the anti-gun side were to truly compromise, they’d offer to give up something in order to get what they wanted, not just accept less than what they ultimately want while giving up nothing.

    Just as an example, I might or might not agree to a ban on >100-round magazines (99 or less being A-OK), in exchange for getting rid of 922(r). But nothing like that’s ever considered or even asked for, by either side. The anti-gunners just want to ban >10 round magazines and would “compromise” by accepting a ban on 100-round magazines, while giving up nothing.

    1. That’s rarely the kind of compromise that happens in politics. Politics is ultimately compromise, but that compromise is arrived at through struggle. Even if you’d make a deal to trade something for 922(r) or 922(o) or any of the other hated provisions of the federal gun laws, and the anti-gun folks agreed, it’s not the nature of politics for things to just work out. Once the political process begins, you will struggle with the other side. They will get their allies in the legislature to try to get them more, and our side will do the same. The end result will come out of the sausage grinder on the other end will look nothing like your original compromise, and during that process, what you indicated ahead of time wasn’t important to you will be taken as a given.

      This isn’t really specific to anti-gun groups, or to the gun issue. It’s how the political process works.

            1. Arrrgh – wrong key

              WHat I get my kids to when they argue over the toys is compromise.

              If my kids resolved their differences the way politics works they would all get their respective friends and dole out pork from my household budget and try to be more popular with the crowd then the other.

              Political compromise is not related in any way to the compromises you get between individuals when discussing say where to go to dinner.

              Society would break down if we all treated compromise the way politians do…

              1. Uhm, society IS breaking down, haven’t you noticed?

                Street gangs, random attacks just for the fun of beating someone up, ‘Occupy’ violence, muggings, murders, thefts, the highest incarceration rate in the world.

                Haven’t you read the news?

    2. I would also add that while such a “compromise” is not in the cards, we should never sign on to any magazine length ban. Compare to the machine gun ban leading to the AW ban.

  2. “They will get their allies in the legislature to try to get them more, and our side will do the same.”

    I wish I were so confident in our side.

    1. Well, what I said was an oversimplification. In reality one side is always going to have more votes to get closer to what they want than the other, and that side is going to look more like a loser.

      1. To elaborate on what I meant, “our side” is going to be made up of too many legislators for whom gun rights are only an “enforce-existing-laws” talking point for election purposes, and who will have no enthusiasm for pressing the issue.

        At the moment, the good news may be that many of those will be motivated by the need to reach out more tangibly to the constituencies they pandered to, to get where they are. But in normal times they know we can be kept on the line with the expenditure of minimal energy. Whether our lobbying organizations will do anything to press an issue, while discomforting old friends, is a complicating question.

  3. My understanding is that the 15rd limit in NJ was put in place due to the M1 Carbine and CMP sales.

  4. It’s a good thing that Rugers kids are more enlightened than he was, sales / stock price / etc.

  5. I’ll believe this when I see a draft bill. This just sounds like more double-speak. These guys make public statements about drum magazines, but actually advocate banning all detachable magazines.

    I still remember HR 1022. McCarthy was talking about machine guns and “the shoulder thing that goes up,” but her bill would have banned virtually all semi-autos.

    Nothing new or groundbreaking here.

  6. The Ruger Mini-14 was indeed exempted in the 1994 AWB.


    The exemption was revoked and the Mini-14 was specifically banned in McCarty’s AWB “renewal” bill.

  7. What I don’t understand is why our side always seems to play defense?

    Why not press for repeal of GCA?

    Repeal of the Machine Gun Ban?

    Hell, repeal of ALL “Gun Control” laws, we can “Compromise” and let them keep the laws against explosive devices, grenades, bombs and such……

    Sounds good to me.

    1. We’ve mostly gotten our way through the “When I feel the heat, I see the light”, i.e. terminating with extreme prejudice at the polling booth the careers of anti-gun politicians.

      Or after that having massive success, we point out atrocities like the Katrina confiscations where it’s hard for a politician to say no (even Obama, but not Hillary! when both were Senators).

      How do we play the heavy to make progress this way at the nation level, when the Congresscritters who really care about our issues can be counted on the fingers of one maimed hand?

    2. Because for the most part, a very large majority of the population believes in some gun control. You have to change that if you want to have a prayer of changing either of those things. The anti-gun folks basic strategy is to convince enough Americans their gun control is gun control they can believe in.

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