The problem is not excess of firepower. The problem is monopoly of firepower. Whether someone wields an “assault weapon” or whether they have a magazine capacity of more than 10 rounds is irrelevant if that someone is the only one with a gun and is intent upon destruction. If there is only one person with a gun in a situation where that person wants to use the gun for evil, then it makes no difference how many bullets he can fire before reloading or how fast he can fire them. He has total control of the situation and he can act unimpeded to achieve is goals. That is unless there is someone to stop him.
Of course in the wake of what has happened in Newtown there are those who see guns as the problem and there are the rest of us. The problem lies not in the gun but in the man wielding it.
High capacity magazines are irrelevant. The Virginia Tech Killer had two guns, one with a 10 round magazine and one with a 15 round magazine, and he was able to kill more people in a single mass shooting than any other person to date. And he did it alone. As long as a killer is left unchallenged by a law abiding citizen with a gun, as long as a killer has total control of a situation, it doesn’t matter how many bullets he can fire or how often he has to reload. Especially since anyone who practices with a magazine regularly can reload in about three to five seconds depending on the type of firearm and where the spare magazines are.
Extended magazines-people say there is “no reason” to have that many bullets. We don’t need a reason. We, the people who own and use firearms responsibly and lawfully, pose no threat to society or individuals, regardless of whether our firearms are “assault weapons” or have extended magazines. Banning extended magazines will neither stop these tragedies nor make them more frequent. To deny us “high capacity” magazines or barrel shrouds or pistol grips on rifles serves merely to deny law-abiding citizens the rights and privileges of being responsible law abiding citizens while doing nothing to prevent the breaking of crimes and the perpetrating of evil.
It’s not the video games, it’s not the movies, and it’s not the guns or extended magazines. It’s the crazy people that cause these tragedies. How can any rational person understand what “causes” an irrational person’s behavior? Are we really going to let our national policy be dictated by the depraved actions of a few lone madmen?
Tens of millions of people play violent video games, hundreds of millions watch violent movies. And do we see hundreds of millions of shootings? Tens of millions? No, we see tens of thousands (in a country of 310+ million people, that’s not bad). Many of those shooting are in self-defense; law abiding citizens stopping criminals.
We do not need immediate action; we need slow and deliberate government. I expect we will see a serious battle come the new year and the swearing in of the new congress, but if they try to pass anything immediately it will almost certainly be an abominable piece of legislation.