Diana DeGette: Ignorant of Guns--and Disrespectful of Gun Owners' Lives

Posted on April 5, 2013

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Longtime anti-gun U.S. Rep. Diana DeGette (D-Colo.) is drawing flak for comments she made on Tuesday during a Denver Post forum on gun control, and deservedly so.

Since 1997, DeGette has been introducing legislation in Congress to ban ammunition magazines that hold more than 10 rounds. Her current bill to that effect is H.R. 138, the "Large Capacity Ammunition Feeding Device Act," which she and Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-N.Y.) introduced on January 3rd

But at 31:30 in the video of the Denver event, DeGette proved that after all these years, she still doesn't know a box magazine from a box of breath mints. This is what she said: "What is the efficacy of banning these magazine clips? I will tell you. These are ammunition, they're bullets, so the people who have those now, they're going to shoot them, so if you ban them in the future, the number of these high-capacity magazines is going to decrease dramatically over time because the bullets will have been shot and there won't be any more available."

After DeGette was ridiculed for her appalling ignorance, her office made her look even more ridiculous by later saying, "The congresswoman . . . simply misspoke in referring to 'magazines' when she should have referred to 'clips,' which cannot be reused because they don't have a feeding mechanism."

It's bad enough when a Member of Congress campaigns against guns without knowing the first thing about them. And in this regard DeGette is by no means alone. In 2007, McCarthy proposed to ban firearms that have barrel shrouds, but when asked what a barrel shroud is, replied "I actually don't know. I think it's the shoulder thing that goes up." In December, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) told reporters (at 8:53 in C-Span's video) that she wanted to ban "assault weapons" because she was frightened by photos she had seen in "a whole bunch of gun magazines" in 1993 and in 2012. And in February, as the whole country by now knows, President Obama's double-barreled point man on gun control, Vice-President Joe Biden, said that to frighten criminals away, you should "buy a shotgun" and "fire two blasts" off the balcony or "through the door."

However, the most objectionable of DeGette's comments during the forum was her reply to a gentleman who questioned whether he would be able to defend himself with a limited-capacity magazine, if he were attacked by multiple criminals. Beginning at 1:25:15 in the video, DeGette said "The good news for you, you live in Denver, the DPD [Denver Police Department] would be there within minutes." Grinning smugly, she added, "you'd probably be dead anyway."

Thomas Jefferson said, "Ridicule is the only weapon which can be used against unintelligible propositions," and many YouTube users seem to have Jefferson's advice to heart, based upon the number of "buy a shotgun" videos" they have posted in response to Joe Biden's recent blithering.

But DeGette's obvious implication--that she believes the death of an innocent gun owner, at the hands of criminals, is of no consequence, so long as she and other anti-gun zealots get their way--is something in which we can find no humor. The voters of Colorado's 1st congressional district should be ashamed.

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