How I Learned To Defend Extended Magazines In Guns On Ricochet


Thank you to all who took part in this discussion last week, which was my request for the best ideas on why extended magazines in guns shouldn’t be banned.  Many 2nd Amendment deniers on the left are proposing such restrictions, not wanting to let the tragedy of Congresswoman Giffords’ attempted murder “go to waste.”

I was to dine with a liberal that evening, who I knew would issue a challenge to the Bill of Rights.  Dinner was rescheduled, but at least I’m ready for him now!

You may recall I banned the “slippery slope” argument from the discussion.  I did so not because it is wrong, but because it is right.  And I already knew it.  I didn’t want to enter the Ricochet “vast storehouse of knowledge” and leave with information I already knew.  I was more interested in the “balancing test” arguments, which both liberals and the Courts (hopeful not the same thing) will make.

So below in no particular order is the reasons offered by the Ricochet political noosphere for having extended magazines in guns, sans what I found to be the best argument, which I discuss at the end.

  • Defense against a government which has loosed itself upon the people and attacked;
  • Defense against riot;
  • Anything that diminishes a a gun as an offensive weapon diminishes it as a defensive weapon;
  • The need and desire to overwhelm home invaders who have bad intentions;
  • To defend oneself during a slow police response, particularly in rural areas or crime-busy urban areas;
  • The ability to engage in suppressive fire may save one’s own life while sparing even the life of the lawless attacker;
  • A hunter or camper confronted by an attacking beast (i.e. Grizzly Bear) would be at a disadvantage without an extended magazine
  • Convenience at the gun range of not having to break concentration and reload;
  • Competition shooting requires hitting multiple targets so more than limited magazines are required;
  • The futility of such a ban against the “New York Reload” (picking up a second pre-loaded weapon after the first magazine is exhausted);
  • The futility of such a ban against the ease at which one can fashion a home-made extended magazine;
  • The futility of such a ban against the lawless who will ignore it;
  • The futility of such a ban against rapid change techniques which can take as little as 2 seconds;
  • The futility of such a ban considering the empirical proof that those who have procured actual automatic weapons have no long record (or record at all?) of mass shootings;
  • The ban takes the focus away from the more important issue of dealing with the mentally ill;
  • The ban takes the focus away from more important issues like morality and valuing human life, which is lost on the attacker, not the defender;
  • Government should react to trends, not occurrences;
  • The vast majority of crimes are committed with few shots fired, therefore such a ban will have no effect on reducing crime;
  • Lethality is more connected to caliber than magazines.

An impressive list, and a couple were personal to me.  As a child I was in the house during a home invasion (the invaders left quickly, as my siblings grabbed weapons).  I have twice found myself living in a riot: As a young boy in Asbury Park, NJ in 1970, and in 1992 I was on Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd. in Newark, NJ when the Rodney King verdict was announced.  As member TucsanSean pointed out, “When seconds count, police are only minutes away.” In Asbury Park I was a 7 year old feeling quite secure holding his BB gun. In Newark, I wished I had a gun as others locked us in a building to guard against a mob.

From my view the best point was made by Ricochet member Tom Eline, who said, “I just don’t want to live according to our society’s lowest common denominator.”

Brilliant, Tom.  That simple sentence is dripping with delicious manna about individuality, exceptionalism and freedom.  It is perhaps the most defining thought on Americanism I’ve seen on Ricochet (and yes, it is an argument of the slipper slope variety).

Imagine a society where the responsible are shackled due to the actions of the worst among us.  We could save over 30,000 lives per year if no one had a car.  We could save thousands of lives if we could put up with tasteless food absent salt, fat and butter.  We could scale back most of our freedoms to protect ourselves from the irresponsible.  But we wouldn’t be free.  We wouldn’t be American.  We must leave unconstrained our quest for what is most desirable and not be limited by society’s undesirables.

Bring on that liberal.  I’m ready for him.

There are 8 comments.

  1. Inactive

    Did nobody mention the zombie apocalypse? Get me Goldberg, stat.

    • #1
    • February 11, 2011 at 7:47 am
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  2. Member

    Don’t forget to smile!

    • #2
    • February 11, 2011 at 8:24 am
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  3. Member

    Tommy, great post. I wish I hadn’t missed the original discussion. By the way, all your links in this post are apparently broken–they all point to “null”.

    • #3
    • February 11, 2011 at 11:26 am
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  4. Founder

    I agree with Mark Wilson, Tommy. Great post. And I’m glad I’m not your liberal dinner companion. That poor sap won’t know what hit him.

    • #4
    • February 12, 2011 at 3:45 am
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  5. Contributor
    Tommy De Seno Post author
    Peter Robinson: I agree with Mark Wilson, Tommy. Great post. And I’m glad I’m not your liberal dinner companion. That poor sap won’t know what hit him. · Feb 11 at 2:45pm

    Thanks Peter! I’m now armed with my “Ricochet extended magazine of intelligence.”

    • #5
    • February 12, 2011 at 4:27 am
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  6. Founder
    Tommy De Seno

    Thanks Peter! I’m now armed with my “Ricochet extended magazine of intelligence.” · Feb 11 at 3:27pm

    This is our new slogan!

    • #6
    • February 12, 2011 at 5:30 am
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  7. Inactive

    “I just don’t want to live according to our society’s lowest common denominator.”

    This sounds great, but I think we are already well down that slope. At the public schools here in Queens, teachers are not allowed to help the young children with their clothing. This means that a kindergartner who cannot snap, zip or pull up her pants, has to either let her clothes fall down or ask a stranger for help (which would mean walking around the halls in this half-dressed condition.) You can guess that this policy began with “lowest common denominator” teachers, but really is it a good idea to prohibit all teachers from assisting the children, while hoping that a visiting stranger is safer?

    • #7
    • February 12, 2011 at 12:43 pm
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  8. Member

    It seems to me arguing there should be an artificial limit on the numbers of rounds in a magazine is like saying there should be a limit on the thickness of your front door, or the number of bars on the window, or the amount of pepper spray in your purse, or the amount of fuel in your gas tank, or the speed with which you can dial 911.

    • #8
    • February 13, 2011 at 5:24 am
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