CELINDA SCOTT: Magazine capacity the key issue
A letter published in the Jan. 24 Gazette declares that NBC News reported Jan. 15 that “no long weapons” were used in the Sandy Hook massacre. This is in direct contradiction to a Connecticut State Police report that the shooter used “a Bushmaster .223 high capacity rifle.”
NBC is currently working on this discrepancy, as an NBC spokesperson told me last week when I called. It’s important to find out the facts of the matter.
However, whether it was a high-capacity magazine in a pistol or long rifle, the killer was able to do more destruction in a short time, without opportunity to stop him, than he could have otherwise. Current proposed legislation restricts magazine capacity to less than 10 rounds per clip for that reason. No proposal suggests taking away the right of citizens to carry a concealed weapon for protection, or to hunt. A 2008 Supreme Court decision supports the Second Amendment right to bear arms for legal purposes.
Does the Second Amendment prevent any limitations at all on the types of arms which may be sold? Not according to legislation in place for decades.
The issue at hand is not whether there should be any “gun control” at all, but what type of control may be reasonable to legislate at this point. Those opposing limitations on magazine capacity say that to protect yourself against aggression, or to hunt, you sometimes need more than 10 opportunities to fire (at possible multiple targets) to kill for legitimate reasons.
However, many people who hunt, and who carry guns for protection, disagree strongly with this argument.