A "special report" in the supposedly conservative American Spectator today discusses the Northern Illinois University killings, and the inevitable ensuing calls for so-called "gun-control." By the second paragraph, the author had lost me (on a point, by the way, on which "pro- and anti-gunners agree," no less).
Both incidents, of course, drive home the lesson -- pro- and anti-gunners agree -- that this country needs to do a better job of mandating mental-health information be put into background-check databases.As it turns out, this pro-gunner doesn't agree with doing "a better job" with the background check database. This pro-gunner, in fact, contends that the only sensible approach to the lethally ill-conceived notion of "prohibited persons" databases is to drop it like a hot rock. Anyone who is so violent or so mentally unstable as to be too dangerous to be permitted to buy a gun in a gun shop is too dangerous to be trusted not to steal a gun, buy one on the black market, build a bomb, etc. Such a person is, in short, too dangerous to be permitted to run free among society without a custodian. To cling to the notion that somehow "perfecting" the "prohibited persons" list is the solution, is sheer, deadly folly.
In fairness, the article then went on to pluck some low-hanging fruit served up by the Brady Bunch's Paul Helmke, in reference to shootings Helmke claims are committed by concealed carry licensees.
Toward the end, the article pointed out that with a Democratic (and rabidly anti-gun) presidency and an expanded (and possibly filibuster-proof) Democratic Senate majority likely, the threat of an anti-gun jihad at the federal level is very real. While I cannot dispute that assertion, the author's proposed approach to dealing with that reality sounds like something Neville Chamberlain might have come up with.
At issue here is the fact that both Kazmierczak and Cho used high-capacity magazines (coincidentally, Kazmierczak ordered his magazine from the same Internet dealer from which Cho ordered one of his handguns), and if liberals force guns-rights supporters' hands, this might be a good place to give a little.When will the pusillanimous appeasers learn that when the issue is fundamental human rights, there is no "good place to give a little"? The author goes on to admit that a magazine ban would be "stupid," but argues that it would be tolerable.
If the Second Amendment were primarily about defending one's home from common criminals, he might have a point (albeit a weak one), but since its main purpose is defense against government tyranny, focusing on how much firepower one needs to defend one's home against Johnny Meth-head misses the entire point.
However, the very reason they're stupid is the reason they're not a great threat to people's ability to defend themselves. There are some situations where a homeowner might benefit from a high-cap magazine against an invader (he might not think to stuff extra magazines in his boxers when he grabs his gun from his nightstand, and a recent study showed that even police miss suspects within six feet more than half the time), but home invasions with 10 or more shots fired are rare.
At the very least, Second Amendment types could agree to require high-cap magazines be shipped to licensed dealers and subject to instant background checks -- the rule currently applied to firearms but not accessories. This wouldn't have stopped either shooter, but again, it's a minimal infringement on the law-abiding and it makes lefties feel good.NICS checks for magazines (which would have to be serialized, presumably) "at the very least"? Not exactly a "Give me liberty, or give me death!" type, is he?