Despite current restrictions that place New Jersey well outside the American mainstream, gun controllers and some state lawmakers have made clear their intent to push even further in 2014, with wide-ranging legislation targeting nearly every aspect of the remaining gun freedom Garden State residents enjoy (or cling to, perhaps more accurately). Chief among these proposals is a bill that would lower the magazine capacity limit from the current 15 down to 10. And it appears gun control advocates are prepared to sink to any level of rhetorical excess to get it passed.
In a February 14 NJ.com article, Bryan Miller, Executive Director of the self-proclaimed “faith-based movement to prevent gun violence” Heeding God’s Call, is quoted as stating, “Nobody needs a 15-round ammunition magazine unless they are a domestic terrorist or a gangster.”
Miller’s inflammatory remark is a transparent attempt to paint those who oppose the current legislation as extreme and in league with violent criminals. Needless to say, it ignores the millions of Americans who own standard capacity magazines for a variety of lawful purposes. Further, Miller’s concise list of who needs standard capacity magazines will no doubt come as a surprise to New Jersey’s law enforcement officers, who are routinely equipped with magazines with a capacity greater than 10 and are not subject to the 15-round limit.
As one might expect, Miller’s comments weren’t the only nonsensical rhetoric from anti-gun advocates on the issue. Later in the NJ.com piece, the author quotes another magazine ban supporter as saying, "We do a lot of studying and research and we speak to gun owners and people all over the political spectrum... We hear universally for hunting, home protection and sport shooting that a 10 round magazine is certainly plenty.”
By employing the term “universally” the gun control advocate gives the impression that there is no valid argument for, or group of people that support, the right to own standard capacity magazines for lawful purposes. That of course is absurd and begs the question, what sort of “studying and research” was involved? Given the wealth of evidence and experience contradicting this gun controller’s statement, one might suspect the “research” cited consisted of reading the public relations talking points of Michael Bloomberg and his cohorts or polls conducted only amongst known gun control supporters.
An October 28, 2013, Gallup poll showed that “Personal Safety/Protection” is the number one reason cited for gun ownership. And an enormous portion of the handguns and rifles sold for this purpose are specifically designed to use magazines with a capacity greater than 10. Moreover, a growing interest in the practical shooting sports, such as 3-Gun, has led to more shooting sports participants using 11+ magazines than ever before.
These gun controllers certainly weren’t paying attention to Colorado, where law-abiding shooters bought thousands upon thousands of standard capacity magazines, and lined up for 20,000 free 30-round magazines offered by Magpul Industries, before the state’s magazine ban went into effect. In one statement, Magpul noted that it had allocated “a little over a million magazines” to meet the pre-ban demand from Coloradans. Staunch mainstream opposition to magazine restrictions was also evidenced by the recall of two Colorado state senators, and the resignation of a third, in response to the ban.
In fact, support for a 10-round limit is so far from universal, that another Gallup poll, taken shortly after the tragic shooting in Newtown, Conn., revealed it to be the least popular of Obama’s failed gun control proposals.
Further, a recent case of self-defense in Detroit, Mich., brings into stark relief why millions of Americans choose to arm themselves using standard capacity magazines. The majority of the episode was captured on video and can be viewed here.
The incident began when a trio of burglars, at least one of whom was armed with what appeared to be a handgun, attempted to break in through the back door of a home, while a mother was inside with her children. Upon becoming aware of the intrusion, the mother retrieved a semi-automatic rifle and warned the intruders she was armed. After the home invaders disregarded her warning and continued battering their way into the house, the mother fired shots at them, causing them to retreat. Once outside, one of the perpetrators picked up the weapon he had dropped and tried to reenter the house. At that point, the mother fired again, causing him to flee the scene for good. Police arrested the intruders a short time later and determined that two of them had been involved in previous home invasions.
In this scenario a mother was forced to defend her home and children from a gang of experienced home invaders. All of the perpetrators were determined enough to ignore her warning that she had a gun and one even renewed the attack after being repelled by the initial shots. In this case, the mother’s ability to deliver follow-up shots after the first wave of the attack may well have made the difference between life and death for her and her children. If she were to conclude that a 20 or 30 round magazine is necessary for home defense in her neighborhood, is Bryan Miller in any position to tell her she’s wrong or to impugn her motives for having it?
New Jersey lawmakers would be unwise to think that the rhetoric of gun control supporters in any way reflects reality on the issue. Millions of Americans and scores of New Jersey residents use magazines with a capacity greater than 10 for self-defense and the shooting sports every day. And while elections might seem a long way off to New Jerseys legislators, we’ll be sure to remind Garden State gun owners of who did, or did not, fall for the bogus anti-gun arguments before they head to the polls.