Crime

Would a New Law Make Big Magazines Disappear?

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Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) is proposing an amendment to the Cybersecurity Act that would ban possession or transfer of "large capacity ammunition feeding devices," i.e., magazines holding more than 10 rounds. ThinkProgress explains the rationale this way:

24-year-old James Holmes, the prime suspect in the Aurora shooting, purchased a 100 round drum magazine. Jared Loughner, who shot former Rep. Gabby Giffords (D-AZ) in 2011 along with 18 others, used an extended magazine that held 33 bullets, and police found two more 15-round magazines in his pockets. Under the federal assault weapons ban, which expired in 2004, these two killers could not have legally purchased these large capacity ammunition feeding devices. 

That last part is not correct: The federal "assault weapon" ban defined "large capacity ammunition feeding devices" as magazines holding more than 10 rounds "manufactured after the date of enactment of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994." Since pre-existing magazines were not covered, Holmes and Loughner would have had little trouble buying the same equipment (although it might have cost more) even if the ban had been extended in 2004. Lautenberg's amendment likewise says the ban does not apply to "the possession of a large capacity ammunition feeding device otherwise lawfully possessed within the United States on or before the date of the enactment of this subsection." A ban without such a clause would transform millions of law-abiding Americans into felons overnight. At the same time, the fact that millions of large-capacity magazines will remain in circulation no matter what Congress does tends to undermine the argument for the legislation, even if we assume that the need to switch magazines or guns would make a crucial difference in mass shootings.

Lautenberg's resistance to acknowledging this reality makes the recent press release in which he "Calls on GOP Leaders to Use the Facts on U.S. Gun Violence" especially risible. The senator claims Mitt Romney misrepresented the current state of federal gun control in an interview last Wednesdy with NBC News anchor Brian Williams when he said, in reference to Holmes' "weapons and bombs and other devices" that "it was illegal for him to have many of those things already, but he had them." Not so, says Lautenberg:

The shooter's arsenal of weapons—including a semi-automatic assault rifle and a 100-round ammunition magazine—was obtained legally.

Mitt Romney and Republicans in Congress need to understand the basic facts before they rule out reforming our country's lax gun laws. Romney and the Republicans need to stop hiding behind the gun lobby's talking points, and admit that our weak gun laws play a significant role in tragic shooting incidents.

Romney, who signed an "assault weapon" ban when he was governor of Massachusetts, certainly has some inconsistency to answer for in this area (and many others). But it is clear that in the NBC interview he was referring to the explosives and incendiary devices with which Holmes booby-trapped his apartment, not his rifle, shotgun, or pistol.

Lautenberg's erroneous correction reflects the tendency of gun controllers to emphasize that everything a mass shooter did leading up to his attack was perfectly legal, clearly demonstrating the need for new laws. But planning mass murder, not to mention carrying it out, is about as illegal as you can get. It is therefore rather silly to imagine that more stringent rules for concealed carry in Arizona would have stopped Loughner, any more than a movie theater's ban on weapons stopped Holmes. The burden for gun control advocates is to show not just that new legislation would have made a particular mass murder even more illegal but that it would have created insuperable practical obstacles for a determined killer. 

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  1. magazines holding more than 10 rounds.

    So Frank wants to make everyone who owns almost any automatic pistol a criminal. Hell, I have a tube fed .22 that holds more than ten rounds in its tube Would that be illegal now.

    And fuck you New Jersey for continually electing that old bastard.

    1. Hell, I have a tube fed .22 that holds more than ten rounds in its tube Would that be illegal now.

      The gun control amendment added to the cyber security bill by democratic senators that would limit large capacity magazines, belts, drums, etc. excluded .22 caliber rim fire ammunition. Apparently they don’t fear the lethality of .22 caliber rounds as much.

      1. Why do they hate Jim Brady?

        1. Why do they hate Jim Brady?

          Case in point: Hinckley didn’t kill Brady with his .22. In fact, in the eyes of liberals, he made him stronger by turning him into a disabled poster-child for gun control. Therefore, .22 caliber ammunition is not the enemy.

          1. We are so screwed.

          2. Tell it to the mob…the .22 was a common hit round as the slugs fragmented to the point they couldn’t be used in ballistics testing.

      2. I guess they know something about guns after all.

    2. This. My old Remington bolt-action .22 my dad taught me to shoot with holds something like 14 shells in the tube.

      My newest gun, a Glock 17, holds… you got it, 17 in the STANDARD mag.

      Fortunately, my ASSUALTWEAPONZOMG!!! Ruger 10-22 is still only 10 – I never bothered to get the banana clips.

      Till now. I’m getting at least two, just because these assholes keep talking about re-criminalizing them.

      1. Most new automatic pistols come with standard magazines of 12 or 14 rounds, or in your case 17. Lauttenburg will make not just the sale but the possession of these magazines illegal. You will have to turn it in or face the possibility of federal firearms charges.

        1. I hope the old cunt drops dead before he can be reelected again.

          1. I hope he dies a painful death. And don’t forget this is the asshole who made it illegal for anyone convicted of “domestic violence” to own a gun. No death is too painful for that old bastard.

            1. You forgot the scare quotes around convicted. A restraining order is good enough to make a possessor into a felon.

              1. Yep. And bear in mind that in many states, such a restraining order is issued on a pro forma basis, usually ex parte, whenever one party alleges domestic violence.

          2. I hope the old cunt drops dead before he can be reelected again.

            It’s NJ, he’ll just be replaced with one of Menendez’s lackeys who will proceed to offer up the same shit as old Frank.

            Gun control is really popular in this state. We really love anything that can help the police fuck with us. As a lifelong resident I am not afraid to say that we absolutely deserve our misery.

            1. Seriously, cross the river already. We won’t bite. (PA)

    3. And fuck you New Jersey for continually electing that old bastard.

      Sadly, he’s not even our worst Senator.

      1. Menendez is worse? Wow that is a bold statement.

        1. I prefer the standard liberal Democrat over the crooked standard liberal Democrat. There’s nothing between the two policy-wise, but Menendez should probably have been thrown in jail ages ago. That he hasn’t likely has more to do with his position as North Jersey Democratic kingpin moreso than anything else. He has to be on the shortlist for anyone betting on the next major politician taken down in a political scandal.

  2. Dammit. When I read the title of this post I assumed it was about a new law aimed at outlawing Esquire.

    1. I thought the same thing. My first thought was “no more Harpers’!”

    2. Senator Lautenberg (NJ-Dementia) probably thought that’s what it meant too.

      http://www.theonion.com/articl…..igr,20699/

    3. Third.

      I kind of liked my initial impression better.

      “They got ‘Life’ and ‘Look’ and ‘Cycle News’….who’s next?”

    4. Me too.

    5. Exactly (except I was thinking more of other glossies), and I’m not joking. That was the thought I had, and it wasn’t just a momentary thing. I was like “WTF” for a bit when I started reading the copy before the light bulb lit. Must be one of those CFLs I have over my head.

  3. Newsweek is safe, right?

    1. Yes, any magazine with a readership of ten or less is not considered “big” under the law.

  4. If the single shot Derringer was good enough for John Wilkes Booth, by god it’s good enough for you.

  5. Lautenberg is completely senile at this point and has given up acknowledging any reality.

    Whenever the Dems want them some more gun control, they prop up old Frank and let him take the critisim.

  6. Shooting Spree ProTip: carry more guns, not more magazines.

    1. According to Lautenberg, I guess the stories I read about people using fully automatic weapons are all bogus–since the law makes fully automatic weapons unavailable…

      Unless you buy them from the Obama Administration, I guess? Maybe Lautenberg thinks automatic weapons are okay so long as they’re going to Mexico?

      I dunno.

      Out of curiosity, how did Lautenberg feel about finding Holder in contempt for refusing to release those Fast and Furious documents?

      Oh, I’ve got the answer right here:

      http://www.rawstory.com/rs/201…..ong-hands/

      1. The problem is that most gun-control advocates do not make a distinction between fully automatic weapons and semi-automatic weapons. The term “automatic” is used interchangeably for both types, either out of an authentic misconception or deliberate deception.

        1. I suspect anybody that really wants a large capacity magazine would be able to get one anyway, just like anybody that wants a fully automatic weapon now can get one anyway.

          We’re not talking about rocket science here. For any nutjob on a mission, their local big box hardware/home improvement retailer is an arsenal.

          This little law being proposed isn’t about to change those facts one bit.

  7. OK, lets ban 10+ clips. Gun control advocates are going to never make a peep about gun ownership again after that, right?

  8. Fact of the matter is, more freedom generally does come with more risk attached.

    I know that, and I’m okay with it. I value my freedom more than I fear the risk.

    Most people do–they just don’t put it into words, and they have big emotional reactions to sensational stories.

    But, it’s my understanding that there are tens of thousands of people killed every year by drunk drivers in this country, and the overwhelming majority of people out there, like me, support keeping alcohol legal anyway.

    I know the risks. But there’s nothing calloused about saying that we won’t give our freedom away because of sensationalism or out of cowardice.

    Funny how people on the right understand this when it comes to gun violence but seem to completely forget it in the aftermath of a terrorist attack. Likewise, it’s funny how people on the left remember this in the aftermath of a terrorist attack but forget it when…

    1. No. In the aftermath of one really big terrorist attack that killed 2800 people. We have terrorist attacks clear through the 80s and 90s, including one in Oklahoma City that killed 163 people and no one called for any new laws.

      1. and no one called for any new laws.

        “But now that you mention it ….”

      2. Yeah, but that changed dramatically during the Bush Administration, didn’t it?

        Yes, it did.

        1. Maybe you missed it Ken, but there was this big terror attack in 2001. It was in a lot of the papers.

          1. Right, there was a big terror attack in 2001, and the right cheered on the Bush Administration attack on our Constitutional rights in its wake…

            The Patriot Act, warrantless wiretapping, denying trials to American citizens, etc…all because the terrorists are so scaaaary!

            I remember all of it, John. The Bush Administration tried to make a virtue out of cowardice in the wake of 9/11. Maybe you forgot.

            1. And that is the point Ken. There were laws passed after one really big terrorist attack that killed 2800 people not after every terrorist attack.

              There have been plenty of terrorist attacks since 9-11. They just haven’t been big enough to get people to call for more laws.

              So you are wrong when you say “after every terror attack people call for more laws”. That is just not true. After “one really big terror attack” people called for and got more laws.

              1. My point was that both the right and left do this now in the face of big sensational stories–and I’m not talking about the politicians themselves, primarily. I’m talking about people like you and me.

                A whole hell of a lot of Second Amendment enthusiasts on the right, who are crying about what things like this stupid senator is proposing, now? Are the same people who–just a few years ago–were denouncing libertarians as traitors for refusing to support the Patriot Act, warrantless wiretapping, denying trials to American citizens, torture, etc.

                But it’s all the same thing, John.

                1. I think the Hussain murders at Fort Hood were just as big of a sensational story as this one. Yet, I don’t recall hearing anyone demanding more laws after that.

                  It is not the same thing. Aurora was not 9-11.

                  1. I’m not saying that people on the right will demand more laws against gun ownership in the wake of a shooting–I’m saying that people on the left will.

                    That one was a little iffy, too, because I don’t think anybody’s for banning assault weapons on military bases, and since that guy bought his handgun in a store, it’s not like anybody on the right wants to ban the sale of handguns…

                    That’s what I’m trying to say, John. When the right thinks it serves their interests to exploit a sensational story to do something that takes away freedoms they don’t care about as much? That’s what they do.

                    When the left is in the same situation, they do the same thing–like calling for a ban on high capacity magazines in the wake of this shooting.

                    I’d just like the people on the right and the people on the left to notice that they’re both doing the exact same thing. Anybody who uses sensational stories to argue for taking away our freedom is doing the same thing–regardless of whether it’s a freedom they care a whole lot about personally.

      3. Yes, they did. But it didn’t go anywhere.

        1. Does the term Patriot Act mean anything to you?

          How about warrantless wiretapping?

          Do you see us getting rid of either of those anytime soon?

          Because the Muslims are gonna build a one world caliphate, right here in the U.S., you know?

          Please! What this joke of a Senator is proposing is nothing compared to what the Bush Administration actually did.

        2. The Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 was passed as a response to the OKC and WTC bombings, weakening federal habeas corpus rules.

          1. Touche. And of course that has been used how many times?

            1. It paved the way for the Patriot Act. In many ways, the Patriot Act was just all the stuff they wanted to do after OKC/WTC, but didn’t have the political capital to pull off.

              1. But the Patriot act did a lot of things that needed to be done. It was fucking beyond idiotic that the NSA could be tracking the 9-11 hijackers and never tell the FBI about it and meanwhile the FBI is tracking Massoui in jail for over staying his visa while learning to pilot a plane but not land one and couldn’t talk to the NSA about it. That shit and those rules were weapons grade stupid.

                1. yes. the “chinese” wall that existed between the different agencies. that was an abomination that had to go.

                  that’s one of the few aspects of the patriot act that is (imo) valid.

                2. You know who else did a lot of things that needed to be done…

      4. including one in Oklahoma City that killed 163 people and no one called for any new laws.

        Come f-ing on, John.

        Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996

  9. an amendment to the Cybersecurity Act that would ban possession or transfer of “large capacity ammunition feeding devices”

    Emphasis added. Yet another reason for trashing this ridiculous approach to public safety.

  10. a semi-automatic assault rifle

    To my way of thinking, if its a semi-auto, its not an assault anything.

    the ban does not apply to “the possession of a large capacity ammunition feeding device otherwise lawfully possessed within the United States on or before the date of the enactment of this subsection.”

    I will be interested in seeing how they prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that any given mag was not owned before the date of enactment.

    would ban possession or transfer of “large capacity ammunition feeding devices,”

    So they are expanding on the old assault weapons ban, by banning the sale or transfer of “legal” mags.

    1. Here we go. This is a semi-auto rifle. What sane person would say it is an assault weapon?

      http://www.gandermountain.com/…..i=GM436481

      1. And more importantly, why ban assault weapons? Because agents of the state are the only ones that can trusted?

        1. Most murders are done with cheap handguns.

      2. I couldn’t open your link but that doesn’t change my answer. “Assault weapon” is a made up term that covers anything shooters like and politicans hate.

        It’s a nicer way of saying, because Fuck You.

    2. That won’t be a problem RC. DOJ will just get a cop friendly judge to flip the burden of proof and make the defendant prove that they did own the magazine prior to the enactment of the law.

      1. This is the way it is done with many things in this country. For example, It is now illegal to own ancient coins from certain regions that fell in the ancient Greek and Roman Empires due to Memorandums of Understanding with Greece and Italy agreed to last year. Of course coins that were purchased and collected prior to 2011 are exempt. But it is up to the owner of the coins to prove, by way of a paper trail of receipts, that they were purchased legally or risk confiscation, fines, and possible imprisonment should they try to sell them in the future.

        1. It is the same way with ivory or any kind of taxidermy endangered animal.

    3. I will be interested in seeing how they prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that any given mag was not owned before the date of enactment.

      The ones manufactured after the ban all had “For Law Enforcement Use Only” stamped on them, so it was pretty easy to identify the preban ones.

  11. Functionally retarded, hoplophobic legislators proposing morally unjustifiable, useless, and unconstitutional laws? NO WAI!

  12. A ban without such a clause would transform millions of law-abiding Americans into felons overnight.

    You say this as if you think it’s bad.

    Also-

    I noticed a trend yesterday on the Googlenews of stories about “There weren’t even no security guards in that there theeyater!” I expect the TSA to leap into this egregious failure of the Total Security State.

    Please arrive early to allow plenty of time to get through screening and wait in our secure area until showtime. Sorry, outside refreshments are prohibited.

    1. And I’m sure DHS is salivating at the thought of that. And that would probably be the killing blow for the movie theatre industry.

      1. Yup. I can barely stand to go as is. If I have to get my balls cupped by a high school dropout to get in, I’ll wait for Netflix. (Well, depends on the high school dropout, I suppose…)

      2. And that is why DHS like security wouldn’t happen at movie theaters.

    2. Outside refreshments are already prohibited in most movie theaters.

  13. scalia said there are reasonable limits to the 2d amendment.

    when asked if states could ban semi-autos and large capacity mags, scalia said (while nodding yes about AK’s) a case would first have to reach SCOTUS before a finding.

    1. During which, if I recall correctly, he specified (in my opinion incorrectly), something had to be able to be carried. He provided the example of a shoulder fired rocket, as an example of something that might have to be considered.

      Maybe it’s just me, but a shoulder fired surface to air missile, seems a long way down the road to an AR-15.

      Yes, he was saying there are potential reasonable limits, but I think his idea of where those limits lie, are different from your interpretation of his intent.

    2. Reasonably reasonable limits based on common sense reasons that gun control supporters can’t explain because they are so sensible that they’ve never sat down to attempt to rationalize it because their cause should be held in commonality based on their sensibilities of firearms.

  14. scalia said there are reasonable limits to the 2d amendment.

    Beat that drum a little harder.

  15. My two favorite personal handguns (the 1911 and a Sig P6) are single stacks. I like to think it encourages thrift and careful target acquisition.

    Spray and Pray is for pigs.

    1. Well, it’s usefull in a military context, but I don’t think suppressive fire is something the cops should be engaging in.

      1. Why do you hate cops T? Don’t you care anything about officer safety? And what you actually expect these roided out baboons to engage in any sort of fire discipline or control? It is hard enough to teach them which end to point away from them. You can’t expect miracles.

        1. I’ll reiterate a point I’ve made before: if the Army can expect these things from a bunch of high school graduates, surely the cops who go and get their criminal justice associate degrees can be expected to handle it.

          1. Soldiers don’t have unions to protect them. They are actually held accountable. Cops on the other hand, don’t. And that makes them well neigh untrainable and uncontrollable.

            1. cops ARE held accountable, as a metric assload of case examples show.

              the ignorati thinks we want people with “criminal justice associate” degrees. lol.

              cops are held accountable. cops in many agencies (not my first one, but many) also have rather extensive due process rights, which is a good thing

              you want good cops, you pay them well, and you respect their rights, just as you demand they respect the rights of those they serve.

              generally speaking, that’s what we do in this nation (and many others i might add) and it’s why the system works so well

              contrary to so many reason memes, (for example – the “thin blue wall omerta line” which i have shown tons of counterexamples – cops turning fellow bad cops in), cops are routinely held accountable

              but they are not fired “on the spot” as many would like to see, and they do have , in many cases, binding arbitration, which prevents politicians (iow police chiefs) from firing cops without good cause, but instead POLITICAL cause.

        2. suppressive fire is not allowed in any theories of officer safety i have ever seen, and i say that as a firearms instructor.

          lol on the “roided out baboons”.

          i love posts like this because it just shows the outright bigotry and hate. all we need do is substitute blacks for cops in some of these posts and the bigotry is clear as a ringing bell.

          all sound and fury, signifying nothing but hate and bigotry.

          and god knows, almost always wrong on the facts

    2. And if you get attacked by five guys, then what?

      Safety is not in the gun but in your skull.

  16. What a bonehead. A magazine is nothing but a box with a spring in it.

    I suppose next he’ll want to outlaw springs as “magazine precursors”.

    1. Just make metal and plastic illegal – problem solved.

      1. It would hardly be the stupidist thing they’ve ever tried. Their bumbling ham-handed attempts to control human behavior put them beyond satire.

    2. I think 3d printing large magazines will be even easier than printing guns. Plus, easier to slide past snoops, since “printing a ‘zine” is legal.

  17. Under the federal assault weapons ban, which expired in 2004, these two killers could not have legally purchased these large capacity ammunition feeding devices.

    Which means that they wouldn’t have been able to get these EVIL magazines because once things are prohibited for public consumption, then there’s no way the public can get them!

  18. While I believe it is our given right to own a firearm, I don’t think our founding fathers necessarily intended on us having semi-automatic rifles when they wrote the Declaration. I do think that stricter regulations are necessary, mainly in the online gun sale department.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w_hZQPpCJ1M

    1. I think they intended for us to be armed in such a fashion that we could be ready to defend ourselves and our country from invasion. At the very least, we should be able to be on equal footing with a modern soldier, which should include automatic weapons.

      1. And the ability to call in artillary, and close air support 🙂

        1. the founding fathers didn’t intend us to have internet access either.

          technology changes, but concepts of freedom remain.

    2. I don’t think our founding fathers necessarily intended on us having semi-automatic rifles when they wrote the Declaration.

      (I assume you mean “the Second Amendment”.)

      Based on what? The weapons available to civilians at that time were every bit as powerful as those available to governments. If their intent was that the government would have superior weaponry, they would have said so.

    3. They also never foresaw the T.V., Radio, high speed printing press, computers, the internet. So by your logic your right to “free speech” means that anything you want to put out has to be printed on a hand turned press, or spoken while on a soap box in the town square? Didn’t think so. I’ll give up my guns when you are willing to give up all that stuff.

    4. I’m glad I don’t give a fuck what you think. If I did I’d probably shoot myself.

      1. LOL. Dude, don’t shoot yourself, you ain’t the problem.

    5. They intended us to be armed like infantry soldiers, in case we were called upon to repel an invading military force. Of course, they were concerned that a standing army such as we have now could be used as a tool for oppression.

      1. correct. OR if it was necessary to repel our own ROGUE govt. it wasn’t just about foreign invaders.

    6. mainly in the online gun sale department.

      You can’t buy a gun online from out of state without going through a FFL dealer.

      1. Tell it to Gus Van Sant.

  19. We’re getting closer and closer to being able to print firearms, so they’re going to have to outlaw 3d printers also.

    1. somebody should write an article about this. sounds fascinating

  20. mainly in the online gun sale department.

    For some reason, I don’t think you have the first fucking clue about what the process of “online gun sales” actually involves. Hint: it’s not just like Christmas morning.

    1. No shit. This is how online gun sales work:

      (1) Find a gun you really want.

      (2) Tell the seller which federally licensed dealer will be taking delivery of it for you in your state.

      1. No FFL necessary if it’s in-state, right?

  21. “But planning mass murder, not to mention carrying it out, is about as illegal as you can get”

    not really. if two or more people are involved, then depending on the jurisdiction, no overt act is required, merely the planning and agreement.

    however, an individual planning a mass murder, unless he makes an overt act towards that mass murder is not in itself illegal.

    but yes, fortunately, the “status” crime of dui (lol) IS still illegal regardless of whether or not you hurt somebody…

    note that an overt act doesn’t have to be very substantial at all, but an individual planning a mass murder DOES need an overt act in order to be a crime (in every jurisdiction i am aware of).

  22. fortunately, the “status” crime of dui (lol) IS still illegal regardless of whether or not you hurt somebody…

    Piss off, goosestepper.

    1. lol on the funhouse mirror pretend libertarians…

      anybody with a brain supports aggressive enforcement of DUI’s.

      and fortunately, our public and our legislatures do, which is part of the reason why we have roughly 1/5 the fatality rate that we did at our peak

      i love issues like this, because only an ignorant libertine would think dui enforcement is anything but a good thing.

      it’s a litmus test for fake libertarians – the idea that dui’s should only be illegal if somebody is harmed.

      1. I support DUI enforcement provided that allowable intoxication levels are realistic. .1% is sufficient. Anything lower is unfair.

      2. and fortunately, our public and our legislatures do, which is part of the reason why we have roughly 1/5 the fatality rate that we did at our peak

        Link needed. Laws criminalizing driving at low intoxication levels where the individual is capable of driving safely do not lower fatality rates.

        Cars with much better handling and brakes can lower fatality rates, if the drivers don’t react that them by driving much more aggressively.

  23. Yes of course. The ultimate distilled essence of libertarianism is embodied in the drive to aggressively arrest and prosecute people for “crimes” in which nothing is damaged and no one is harmed.

    ja wohl, herr Oberst!

    1. inchoate crimes, crimes of recklessness etc. are not at all inconsistent with libertarianism, and i suggest you won’t find a real libertarian politicians (rand paul, ron paul, etc.) who would oppose DUI laws.

      if i shoot a gun into a crowd, but nobody is harmed, that is, and still should be a crime

      if i target practice in my backyard without a backstop and nobody is harmed, that is still a crime

      the law properly recognizes that driving is an inherently dangerous activity, and that we place REASONABLE restrictions on it.

      we don’t allow people to drive with 20/100 vision, or impaired by liquor, and those are both reasonable laws.

      libertarians do not support laws that protect people from doing harm to THEMSELVES (drug law, etc.)

      there is NOTHING inconsistent with libertarians supporting (and the intelligent ones do) laws against DUI , firing recklessly into crowds, etc.

      all your stupid, childish 5th grade level godwin crap aside

      1. Yes, because everyone that is over the legal limit is a danger to others on the road.

        As somebody that has driven and knows others that have also logged literally thousands of miles while fitting the definition of drunk to no ill effect, I have to disagree with the stance that DUI is an inherently risky activity. It’s maddening that I can be hammered but the safest driver on the road for 100 miles and still be considered an existential threat simply by virtue of said state.

        Driving is not that difficult or dangerous; if it was then roughly 90% of licensed drivers wouldn’t be and a recertification would be required every now and then. I can see the wisdom in seeking to limit the amount of drunk drivers out there, but the system we have set up is inherently unjust (with a hint of unconstitutionality – looking at you, checkpoints) and is an area ripe for improvement.

        1. I’ve known people who could drive just fine without drivers licenses either, and go through red lights at their judgement without causing harm to others, etc. You think those things should be legal, too?

          It’s a matter of probability and needing to have a clear standard. Maybe you’re a good drunk driver, but how the hell are the cops supposed to be able to tell a bad drunk driver from you and prove their unique badness in court?

          1. Sorry for the late reply, I don’t check back after I clock out of work.

            I’ve known people who could drive just fine without drivers licenses either, and go through red lights at their judgement without causing harm to others, etc.

            I can be persuaded about the licenses, but already I do believe that the current red light setup is sub-optimal. There’s no reason why you shouldn’t be permitted to treat reds as longer-wait stop signs when there’s nobody on the road (as anyone that’s ever driven around at 4 AM can attest) but that’s a tangential discussion that would be mooted by local governments being smarter about light timing (lights outside of highways should be blinking red after midnight in most places).

            1. how the hell are the cops supposed to be able to tell a bad drunk driver from you and prove their unique badness in court

              Two possibilities that I’ve come up with:

              1) Testing. You’re issued a license with a BAC tolerance of .05 as a baseline with the option to test it up. All we require of any driver to qualify for a license is a test of knowledge and skill, I don’t see why you can’t use the same protocol for drunk drivers. All penalties for driving over your limit would stay the same as they are today.

              2) Escalating Points. You’re penalized for what you did wrong rather than just being drunk, but being drunk leads to severe penalties. Create brackets for (as an example) no additional penalties (say, 0 – .05 BAC) 1.5x penalties (.05 – .10) 3x penalties (.10 – .15) and 4.5x penalties (over .15). Such a regime takes the more severe injustices and absurdities out of the system and removes the crime of status element from DUI enforcement while still maintaining harsh penalties for the drunkest drivers.

              I’m sure there’s more out there as well, but that’s what I’ve got.

  24. speaking of police accountability AND due process…

    one excellent example of police arbitration leading to justice!

    in 1985, portland PD chief fired an officer for selling “Smoke ‘Em, Don’t Choke ‘Em” t-shirts to fellow officers after a man died in police custody from a neck hold

    tasteless?

    yup.

    fireable offense? nope.

    see: free speech.

    (and there is a rather wide body of caselaw on speech rights of GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES… prof. volokh has some good stuff on this)

    binding arbitration protects our free speech rights as govt. employees to make policy statements, criticize elected officials, etc.

    in another case, an officer was disciplined for wearing a pro-death penalty shirt during a police training class that depicted a man being hanged.

    discipline was also overturned, since the discipline was not content neutral. officers had worn other political t-shirts in training classes before and not been disciplined

    see again: past practice.

    JUSTICE!

  25. The burden for gun control advocates is to show not just that new legislation would have made a particular mass murder even more illegal but that it would have created insuperable practical obstacles for a determined killer.

    They also face the burden of explaining how any of their proposed laws can possibly be constitutional, absent a repeal of the 2nd amendment.

  26. I was hoping this article was about Time and Newsweek and the like.

    1. Banning them would be redundant at this point.

  27. Lee-Enfield 2A/2A1 rifles have a 12 round magazine.

  28. A ban without such a clause would transform millions of law-abiding Americans into felons overnight.

    Anyone who thinks that this isn’t the exact result the fine folks at Think Progress seek are foolish.

    1. “There’s no way to rule innocent men. The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren’t enough criminals, one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws.”-Ayn Rand

      Preaching to the choir, but it needs to be said.

  29. But planning mass murder, not to mention carrying it out, is about as illegal as you can get.

    While the government has outlawed some group thoughtcrimes via RICO statues and whatnot, individual thoughtcrimes such as planning mass murder are still legal, including buying the legal components to carry out such a thoughtcrime.

  30. lol, that pompous windbag jsut looks corrupt as the day is long lol.

    http://www.Anon-Go.tk

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