English 102 MWA2 “Guns don’t kill people, people kill people,” This is typically the rhetoric that is used by gun owners, and gun associations, to distinguish the danger of the weapon from the danger of the owner. One significant factor that plays into this discussion is the ownership and use of large-capacity magazines. Those who posses these high-volume magazines now have the ability to shoot large numbers of ammunition before having to stop and reload. Not only is the ownership of large capacity magazines unjustified for our modern society, but it also allows for tragic shootings and continued street crime to be much more severe.
Senator Ron Johnson, a republican from Wisconsin, made recent comments pertaining to the debate over gun control. Senator Johnson suggested that there is a constitutional right to buy high-capacity magazines for your guns. He also said that “30-round magazines are very common and we simply cannot keep weapons out of the hands of sick, demented individuals who want to do harm”. “If we attempt to do so then we are restricting our freedom,” says Johnson (Stein, 2012). In Johnson’s defense the gunman in the recent Aurora shooting was by all accounts a law-abiding citizen who used legal means to arm himself.
He was also protected by the same laws that the majority of gun owners use to shield themselves, as it is their constitutional right (Our View, 2012). Understandably we know that bad people will do bad things but we must take the necessary steps to deter criminals from having access to these weapons that have caused pain and suffering to so many families across the country. While it is clear that the U. S. Supreme Court gives Americans the right to bear arms for self-defense, the court has also provided laws prohibiting possession of guns by felons of the mentally ill (Nutter, 2011).
Opponents of restrictive gun laws argue that the incidents of violence involving high-capacity magazines are actually quite rare, and that it is more common for handguns to be involved in shootings (Stein, 2011). This is true and we concluded that the 1994 Federal Assault Weapon Ban, which also includes high-capacity magazines, had mixed results but what matters most is that these rare shootings are of epic proportions compared to the vast majority of crimes not involving large-capacity magazines (Jervis, 2012).
According to a study done by the Department of Justice, the ban didn’t significantly reduce the use of assault weapons in violent crimes. In fact the magazine ban was the most effective part of the law. The large-capacity magazines were used with other weapons not banned under the law, such as handguns and hunting rifles. Thus, making them a lethal tool in the hands of criminals. Despite the fact that assault weapons were used in about 1% of violent crimes, the large-capacity magazines showed up in about one-fourth of the crimes (Jervis, 2012).
Although these tragic events do not happen very often, these are the ones that seem to affect us the most. The Aurora movie theatre shooting, certainly this allows us to see just how deadly assault weapons can be. The gunman left 12 dead and 58 injured. During the shooting his gun jammed and was forced to switch to a different weapon. How many more people would have been killed if he could have kept firing that gun (Jervis, 2012)? This technology is not used for hunting and most of these magazines are connected to crime sprees of deranged killers.
Not to say that these shootings and crimes wouldn’t happen anyway but you could make the argument of how severe the crimes would be comparatively. In opposition to Senator Johnson is Michael Nutter, the mayor of Philadelphia. Nutter explains in a recent article, that since the federal assault weapon ban expired in 2004; we have seen numerous tragedies where deranged killers murdered dozens of innocent people by having the ability to shoot many bullets without actually having to reload. He also gives several examples of shootings in which the killers all had weapons with large-capacity magazines.
One example would be the shooting in Tucson Arizona, where a 9-year-old girl and federal judge were among six people killed along with 13 others injured. The gunman happened to have used a 33-round magazine (Nutter, 2011). Nutter goes on to describe how large-capacity magazines can turn guns into weapons of mass destruction. That these guns with high-volume magazines are not a hunter’s weapon, but that their sole purpose is to hurt or kill a many people as quickly as possible. Ultimately, only law enforcement and military should have access to this kind of firepower (Nutter, 2011).
One gun activist, Rabbi Dovid Bendory, believes that our constitutional rights are being infringed upon when we have these large capacity magazines taken from us. Rabbi Bendory is the director of the Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership, is an established individual for gun rights today. Rabbi Bendory is also a NRA Certified Firearms Instructor. In an article called “High Cap Freedom”, he gives five reasons to why you should want high capacity magazines. One being that it is our most fundamental right as guaranteed by the U. S. Constitution.
His reasoning is that when politicians infringe on magazine capacity, they infringe on the Second Amendment. He even goes so far to say, “You should want a high capacity magazine because you can have one! ” (Bendory, 2011). Throughout history, the Second Amendment has shown to have somewhat of a moveable line in its meaning. When it comes to gun control policies it is obvious we can adjust the definition what we define as bearing arms. The right to keep and bear arms does not mean the right to keep and bear tanks, rocket propelled grenades, or fully automatic machine guns.
Ultimately, gun control policies seem to be conducted on a slippery slope when we start choosing what rights of the Constitution we are going to follow (Gerson, 2012). In all, the ownership of large-capacity magazines is irrelevant to the original implications of the constitution and it only drives the likelihood and severity of violent crimes. If we allow our country to continue on without this ban, then we are allowing evil to fulfill its’ works in entirety. It is very clear that there is no true purpose for owning these large-capacity magazines other than killing.
If we did not have this technology, it is not hard to imaging our society would be a better place. Works Cited Bendory, Dovid. “High Cap Freedom. ” Five Reasons Why You Should Want High Capacity Magazines. Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership, n. d. Web. 22 Oct. 2012. <http:/http://jpfo. org/rabbi/five-reasons. htm>. Gerson, Michael. “Gun Policy’s Slippery Slope. ” Real Clear Politics. Washington Post Writers Group, 27 July 2012. Web. 22 Oct. 2012. <http:/http://www. realclearpolitics. com/articles/2012/07/27/gun_policys_slippery_slope_114928. html>. Jervis, Rick. The Colorado theater shootings thrust assault weapons, such as the AR-15 semiautomatic rifle used in the rampage, into the national spotlight.. ” Gun control advocates target high capacity magazines. USA Today News, 31 July 2012. Web. 22 Oct. 2012. ;lt;http:/http://usatoday30. usatoday. com/news/nation/story/2012-07-31/gun-control-colorado-theater-shooting/56621536/1;gt;. Nutter, Michael. “Why Congress Should Ban High-Volume Ammo Clips. ” www. usnews. com. 14 Feb. 2011. ;lt;http://www. usnews. com/opinion/articles/2011/02/14/why-congress-should-ban-high-volume-ammo-clips;gt;. Our View: Shooting spree calls for serious discussion | The Portland Press Herald / Maine Sunday Telegram . ” Maine news, sports, weather & breaking news | The Portland Press Herald / Maine Sunday Telegram . N. p. , 24 July 2012. Web. 22 Oct. 2012. <http://www. pressherald. com/opinion/shooting-spree-calls-for-serious-discussion_2012-07-24. html>. Stein, Sam. “High-Capacity magazines are a constitutional right. ” huffington post. 22 Jul. 2012. 21 Oct. 2012. <http://www. huffingtonpost. com/2012/07/22/ron-johnson-high-capacity-magazines_n_1692810. html>.