Cheney: Maybe we should limit size of pistol magazines

posted at 12:55 pm on January 19, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

To be fair, former VP Dick Cheney finally points out that the real proximate cause of the Tucson massacre was the insanity of the gunman, but that won’t be the takeaway for gun-control advocates. Cheney joins some critics in at least considering a size limitation on magazines for semi-automatic pistols. Jared Lee Loughner used a larger magazine of 33 rounds in the pistol, which has given rise to a call to impose limits on clips magazines for personal use:

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However, Loughner had more magazines on him when arrested — including two standard 15-shot magazines:

Authorities in Tucson say the suspect in Saturday’s shooting had three more pistol magazines with him when he was tackled.

The Pima County sheriff’s office on Friday says an extended clip was found nearby and Jared Loughner had two more 15-round magazines in his pockets, though it doesn’t say if any of those were loaded.

Would a limitation on gun magazines have prevented the tragedy? Certainly Loughner would have fired the first 15 shots without any problem, and reloading may or may not have given him time to shoot another 15. Loughner prepared for a longer shooting spree, but was foiled when brave witnesses tackled and detained him. It’s difficult to determine whether Loughner had bullets in his gun at the time.

I don’t normally shoot semiautomatic pistols, so I have no personal insight on magazine size. Target shooting would be simplified with larger magazines, but for personal protection, fifteen bullets would suffice in most exigent circumstances. Certainly gun rights advocates will worry about slippery slopes in allowing magazine limitation laws to come into force, but Cheney notes that we have already had these with little impact on the practice of bearing guns. Would this be a common-sense reaction to the shootings in Tucson, or a useless measure that would limit law-abiding citizens and prevent nothing? I’m inclined to believe the latter.

Update: Several readers have objected to the use of the word “clip,” which I’ve changed to “magazine” throughout.

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What you would do if you were alone in your apartment and heard someone breaking in.

Call the police.

Would you want to be able to defend yourself or wait 10 – 20 minutes (or a Lifetime) for the police to arrive?

I live across the street from a police station.

What if they were all busy out on other calls?

Have you ever considered what you would do in that situation?

Chip on January 19, 2011 at 3:38 PM

Yes.

If I didn’t live across the street from a police station, I suppose I could purchase a firearm with a 15-round magazine. I don’t think I’d ever need a 30-round magazine. Would you?

crr6 on January 19, 2011 at 3:43 PM

I don’t really know, but it’s better to be safe than sorry. Would you want a restriction on how big a fire extinguisher you could buy?

Would you want someone to come along and say, you don’t really NEED 15 rounds – 5 should do?

Chip on January 19, 2011 at 3:50 PM

Marijuana is illegal. I could get marijuana faster than I could get beer which is legal. The prohibition of marijuana had a 0% effect on my ability to get it.

angryed on January 19, 2011 at 3:45 PM

The fact that you can obtain an illegal good more easily than a separate legal good doesn’t prove the illegality of the first good has 0% deterrent effect on your ability to obtain it. You need to prove that it would be just as easy, or harder to obtain the same good if it were legal.

HTH.

crr6 on January 19, 2011 at 3:51 PM

crr6 on January 19, 2011 at 3:44 PM

Stop playing ignorant.

I’ve already posted the link to the study that the press refers to every time this issue comes up.

We found no evidence of reductions in multiple-victim gun homicides or multiple-gunshot wound victimizations.
http://www.springerlink.com/content/kv8610023463x574/

If I didn’t live across the street from a police station, I suppose I could purchase a firearm with a 15-round magazine. I don’t think I’d ever need a 30-round magazine. Would you?

crr6 on January 19, 2011 at 3:43 PM

You once again prove you know nothing of firearms. If Matix and Platt broke into your apartment, you would be dead well before the police arrived.

darclon on January 19, 2011 at 3:52 PM

That argument has been debunked.

crr6 on January 19, 2011 at 1:58 PM

Wow, that’s twice in two pages on this thread where you cite the NY Times as an “authoritative source”. One single opinion piece in the NY Times Magazine doesn’t debunk anything, unless you’re directly related to Frankie Rich or Paul Krugman.

BTW, did restricting guns or gun magazines prevent Mark David Chapman from killing John Lennon? He bought the gun in a Blue State, and brought it into a Blue City to commit the crime.

On Oct. 27 Chapman went to a Honolulu gun store and, for $169, bought a five-shot, short-barrel .38-caliber Charter Arms Special. Ironically, the salesman was named Ono.

Del Dolemonte on January 19, 2011 at 3:53 PM

Yes.

If I didn’t live across the street from a police station, I suppose I could purchase a firearm with a 15-round magazine. I don’t think I’d ever need a 30-round magazine. Would you?

crr6 on January 19, 2011 at 3:43 PM

So 15 is OK. Is 16? If so, why not.

angryed on January 19, 2011 at 3:54 PM

I don’t really know,

Wow. You must be an awful shot.

Would you want a restriction on how big a fire extinguisher you could buy?

If it were a restriction that wouldn’t hinder any possible use of the fire extinguisher (e.g. a fire extinguisher can’t be the size of a water tower) , I wouldn’t really mind.

Would you want someone to come along and say, you don’t really NEED 15 rounds – 5 should do?

Chip on January 19, 2011 at 3:50 PM

I don’t know. If it interfered with my lawful use, I suppose I would mind. But you guys keep telling me it’s easy to reload a smaller magazine anyway, so I guess I wouldn’t really care.

crr6 on January 19, 2011 at 3:55 PM

The fact that you can obtain an illegal good more easily than a separate legal good doesn’t prove the illegality of the first good has 0% deterrent effect on your ability to obtain it. You need to prove that it would be just as easy, or harder to obtain the same good if it were legal.

HTH.

crr6 on January 19, 2011 at 3:51 PM

Nope.

The good is illegal. I can obtain it any time I want without restriction. I have 100% access to it.

What you’re suggesting is that making it legal would have to give me 100%+ access in order to show that making it illegal has a 0%+ effect on my ability to obtain it.

Or in other words you’re talking out of your ass.

angryed on January 19, 2011 at 3:57 PM

So 15 is OK. Is 16?

I don’t know. This is a fairly banal point, is it not? Laws always draw somewhat arbitrary distinctions, merely because it’s necessary to draw the line somewhere. There is a point where a restriction would be too much, but legislatures and courts deal with these sorts of issues all the time.

Stop playing ignorant.

I’ve already posted the link to the study that the press refers to every time this issue comes up.

We found no evidence of reductions in multiple-victim gun homicides or multiple-gunshot wound victimizations.
http://www.springerlink.com/content/kv8610023463x574/

I’ve already pointed out that the abstract of the study says not to weigh it’s findings too much, as it’s only measuring short-term effects. Additionally, the abstract says the ban may have resulted in a decline in murders.

You once again prove you know nothing of firearms. If Matix and Platt broke into your apartment, you would be dead well before the police arrived.

darclon on January 19, 2011 at 3:52 PM

Who’s Matix and Platt?

crr6 on January 19, 2011 at 3:58 PM

crr6 on January 19, 2011 at 2:42 PM

If you are going to be a litigator, you need to learn how to answer questions as effectively as you can ask them. Poor Chip is still waiting and he’s asked 3 times. Or is he not asking “the right question” as you are so fond of saying.

And IP Boutiques? Really? There is a reason why law shows on TV show litigation you know. I guess Proctology is every medical students first wish too. Where all the “top notch” PhD’s go.

BierManVA on January 19, 2011 at 3:58 PM

I live across the street from a police station.

crr6 on January 19, 2011 at 3:43 PM

Did you intentionally chose to live there? In other words, was the fact that the Police Station was right across the street positively influence your decision to live there?

Del Dolemonte on January 19, 2011 at 4:00 PM

Nope.

Yep.

The good is illegal. I can obtain it any time I want without restriction. I have 100% access to it.

No you don’t, unless you live in the middle of a pot farm or something. Which actually wouldn’t surprise me.

Even if you did have unlimited access to weed (which you don’t), that doesn’t mean that the black market for firearms is identical. Do you have 100% access to illegal firearms?

What you’re suggesting is that making it legal would have to give me 100%+ access in order to show that making it illegal has a 0%+ effect on my ability to obtain it.

No.

Or in other words you’re talking out of your ass.

angryed on January 19, 2011 at 3:57 PM

No, that’d be you.

crr6 on January 19, 2011 at 4:01 PM

crr6 on January 19, 2011 at 4:01 PM

Wow, those are some profound responses crr6. Mommy done cleaning the basement yet?

jawkneemusic on January 19, 2011 at 4:02 PM

Who’s Matix and Platt?

crr6 on January 19, 2011 at 3:58 PM

FBI gunfight, 1986. Before you were born, of course.

The incident is infamous in FBI history and is well-studied in law enforcement circles. Despite outnumbering the suspects 4 to 1, the agents found themselves pinned down by rifle fire and unable to respond effectively. Although both Matix and Platt were hit multiple times during the firefight, Platt fought on and continued to injure and kill agents. This incident led to the introduction of more powerful handguns in many police departments around the country.

Del Dolemonte on January 19, 2011 at 4:03 PM

If you are going to be a litigator, you need to learn how to answer questions as effectively as you can ask them.

What do you know about being a litigator?

Poor Chip is still waiting and he’s asked 3 times.

I answered his question.

And IP Boutiques? Really?

Yeah…

There is a reason why law shows on TV show litigation you know.

IP boutiques do a lot of litigation. IP litigation.

I guess Proctology is every medical students first wish too. Where all the “top notch” PhD’s go.

BierManVA on January 19, 2011 at 3:58 PM

I’m not sure about that, but a lot of the brightest kids nowadays do IP, probably because it’s one of the few areas of the law that’s been relatively recession-proof. And some of the boutiques pay above-market.

You don’t really know what you’re talking about here. That’s fine, but it’s odd that you keep rambling on as if you do.

crr6 on January 19, 2011 at 4:07 PM

FBI gunfight, 1986. Before you were born, of course.

Del Dolemonte on January 19, 2011 at 4:03 PM

What does that have to do with anything?

crr6 on January 19, 2011 at 4:08 PM

The left is arguing because a nut went nuts, sane and law abiding people should punished.

darwin on January 19, 2011 at 4:09 PM

Would you want someone to come along and say, you don’t really NEED 15 rounds – 5 should do?

Chip on January 19, 2011 at 3:50 PM

I don’t know. If it interfered with my lawful use, I suppose I would mind. But you guys keep telling me it’s easy to reload a smaller magazine anyway, so I guess I wouldn’t really care.

crr6 on January 19, 2011 at 3:55 PM

It may if be that’s what needed in an emergency.

For you I would maybe suggest a wheel gun, perhaps a S&W 642 with the factory laser grips (The sights suck pond water)and you don’t have to worry about it jamming.

Chip on January 19, 2011 at 4:10 PM

But you guys keep telling me it’s easy to reload a smaller magazine anyway, so I guess I wouldn’t really care.

crr6 on January 19, 2011 at 3:55 PM

So by this logic, if they “outlaw” certain content on cable news shows, it’s not going to bother you because you read the internet instead? Or shut down talk radio, you don’t listen to it, so it doesn’t affect you, right? But then what happens when they finally come for the internet?

JamesLee on January 19, 2011 at 4:10 PM

Who’s Matix and Platt?

crr6 on January 19, 2011 at 3:58 PM

http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,961259,00.html

It is a rather famous incident that led to the adoption of the 10mm round by the FBI. I thought that most people willing to comment on firearms were at least tangentially familiar with the incident.

Bottom line:

8 federal agents fired upon the two men. Matix was hit 6 times and Platt was hit 12 before they were neutralized. Two agents were killed AFTER the two perps had been shot.

You asked when somebody might need 30-33 rounds. Police accuracy hovers around 20% nationwide. 18 rounds were needed to subdue those two murderers. A 33 round magazine gives you six rounds on target. Those are not even center mass hits.

darclon on January 19, 2011 at 4:11 PM

It may if be that’s what needed in an emergency.

Chip on January 19, 2011 at 4:10 PM

A 30-round magazine?

For you I would maybe suggest a wheel gun, perhaps a S&W 642 with the factory laser grips (The sights suck pond water)and you don’t have to worry about it jamming.

Chip on January 19, 2011 at 4:10 PM

Jesus. Get a life, Chip.

crr6 on January 19, 2011 at 4:12 PM

I don’t know. This is a fairly banal point, is it not? Laws always draw somewhat arbitrary distinctions, merely because it’s necessary to draw the line somewhere. There is a point where a restriction would be too much, but legislatures and courts deal with these sorts of issues all the time.

This isn’t a banal point; it’s the very point of the discussion…and you’re begging the question. The argument being made is that there doesn’t have to be a new law applying that restriction. If you’re on the side of supporting such an arbitrary restriction, then the onus is on you to jutify that arbitration.

It seems sort of silly to throw out the notion that there should be a law placing a limit on things, but then respond to the questions of specifics of this with this sort of vague sidestep.

That’s why the slippery slope argument seems to be a good one here: no one seems able to point to an objective value for this new limit…just the notion of a limit for limit’s sake.

BlueCollarAstronaut on January 19, 2011 at 4:14 PM

A 30-round magazine?

crr6 on January 19, 2011 at 4:12 PM

Why should the government be the determinator of what magazines one can use?

darwin on January 19, 2011 at 4:14 PM

You don’t really know what you’re talking about here. That’s fine, but it’s odd that you keep rambling on as if you do.

crr6 on January 19, 2011 at 4:07 PM

Kind of like you about gun laws, huh? What I do know is that you rarely if ever address questions directly. I’ll go back and look for your answer about the cops coming to your house while people are breaking in. If I missed it, I apologize. I only recall some comment about living across the st. from a police station.

Again, enjoy the Patent office. It deserves you. And stop trying to ask questions about that comment. You don’t and can’t grasp the meaning. That’s not a personal attack mind you, you just can’t understand it so let it go.

BierManVA on January 19, 2011 at 4:20 PM

Shorter version: go ahead and limit it – within reason – but its just a make-believe solution, a band-aid to appease the ignorant voting masses.

(snip)

I don’t really care if they impose limits (although I’ll be joining the line to quietly get a bunch of high-capacity magazines before hand!).

Professor Blather on January 19, 2011 at 2:51 PM

So you admit this “solution” solves nothing, but you’ll shrug your shoulders and let the gov’t do it? Holy crap, that attitude sucks!

How about unintended consequences? (There are always unintended consequences.) In this case, one of the consequences would be that the public would again be taught that the weapon is the problem, and thus learn that every time a mass murder takes place, more restrictions on weapons are entirely appropriate.

It wouldn’t have spared Giffords. The first victim or two are always going to go down, unless you’ve got folks actually sitting around with the guns in their hands, hypervigilant at all times. The bad guy always has the initial advantage.

But the crowd of innocents might have been spared. That little girl might still be alive.

And that’s an argument for gun restrictions? Less people getting killed? Surely you’re not that dense. Next you’ll be arguing to reduce the national speed limit to 15mph — after all, it would saves thousands of lives.

Un-be-frickin’-leivable.

Splashman on January 19, 2011 at 4:20 PM

crr6 on January 19, 2011 at 4:12 PM

gee what a surprise to find you trying to limit the freedom of others…. LOL

right4life on January 19, 2011 at 4:20 PM

This isn’t a banal point;

Yes, it is. Say I propose a local ordinance mandating that liquor stores close at 10pm. If someone else says we shouldn’t enact the law, because there’s no justifiable reason for closing stores at 10:00 rather than 9:59 or 10:01, is that a banal point?

crr6 on January 19, 2011 at 4:21 PM

It may if be that’s what needed in an emergency.

Chip on January 19, 2011 at 4:10 PM

A 30-round magazine?

What’s magical about 30? Who’s to say what someone would need.

For you I would maybe suggest a wheel gun, perhaps a S&W 642 with the factory laser grips (The sights suck pond water)and you don’t have to worry about it jamming.

Chip on January 19, 2011 at 4:10 PM

crr6 on January 19, 2011 at 4:12 PM

Only suggesting that because wheel guns are easier for – pardon the expression – newbies. In addition, you don’t have to worry about the whole magazine issue.

Try renting one at a local range and see how you like it. You can also rent some of the other models that may catch your eye.

Chip on January 19, 2011 at 4:26 PM

If I didn’t live across the street from a police station, I suppose I could purchase a firearm with a 15-round magazine. I don’t think I’d ever need a 30-round magazine. Would you?

crr6 on January 19, 2011 at 3:43 PM

I see your answer now. I apologize.

But I would recommend that you by a small frame S&W revolver. Perhaps a lady Smith & Wesson .357 magnum. You can practice with .38 specials and keep the powerful magnums in it while it is in the nightstand.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QuyBqm3wGII

As stated, revolvers are more reliable in an emergency. And you won’t always live next to the cops.

BierManVA on January 19, 2011 at 4:32 PM

But you guys keep telling me it’s easy to reload a smaller magazine anyway, so I guess I wouldn’t really care.

crr6 on January 19, 2011 at 3:55 PM

You keep talking about whether or not people NEED 30 round magazines. Hoplophobic politicians have been talking about people’s NEED for semi-auto rifles, for semi-auto pistols and the like for years now. What they mean is that they think you shouldn’t have one and want to take away your ability to own it.

Since when did you have to prove you have a NEED to exercise a Constitutionally guaranteed right? You seem to have no problem infringing the Second Amendment- do you support similar government-mandated infringements on the First Amendment? If Democrats argued that internet postings caused the Tucson shooting, would you now be arguing that blogs need to be strictly limited by the government to one posting a day?

As I’ve already said, reloading a handgun under the high stress of a robbery or assault is no easy task. It requires fine motor skills to manipulate the magazine and firearm. For many shooters, these skills are ingrained into their muscle memory- they have done it so many times that even under stress they can perform the necessary steps with no problems.

For the average citizen who owns a gun and shoots it only occasionally, this is not the case. As has been pointed out it can take 10 plus shots to put down an aggressive attacker- people can receive a fatal gun shot wound and still function for some time before becoming incapacitated. Long enough, for example, to shoot and kill an elderly man or a young woman fumbling to reload a gun that just ran dry.

Will banning high capacity magazines (and standard capacity magazines if the limit is set at 10) have a greater effect on reducing crime or a greater effect on law-abiding citizens? They will have, after all, be criminalised for something that is currently legal and they will have a tool that they believe necessary to keep them and their loved ones safe from harm removed from them.

Criminals, on the other hand, who have few compunctions about breaking the law, will continue to break the law. They will also continue to have access to items which are forbidden to the average law-abiding citizen. If they are prepared to use a firearm in the commission of a crime they are unlikely to be worried about breaking a law regarding how many bullets their weapon can hold.

Jay Mac on January 19, 2011 at 4:34 PM

Call the police.

Great. Hope the burglar/rapist waits five minutes for them to arrive, if they arrive at all.

I live across the street from a police station.

Cute, but meaningless. They’ve got to get across the street, and the intruder is already in your dwelling. And if you expect everyone to live across the street from a police station, that’s astonishing.

Yes.

If I didn’t live across the street from a police station, I suppose I could purchase a firearm with a 15-round magazine. I don’t think I’d ever need a 30-round magazine. Would you?

crr6 on January 19, 2011 at 3:43 PM

Depends how often you spent practicing with your firearm. With enough practice, two 15-round magazines should be fine. However, you don’t know how many intruders there could be, you don’t know how scared you’ll be, you don’t know if you’ll have the dexterity under pressure to reload, and you don’t know how many times you’ll miss. I would only recommend against the 33-round magazine because it’s poorer quality and more likely to jam. However, it’s a practical alternative, and every little difference can decide how safe you come out of the situation.

MadisonConservative on January 19, 2011 at 4:34 PM

A 30-round magazine?

Between one 30-round magazine and one 15-round magazine, which is the better option?

Jesus. Get a life, Chip.

crr6 on January 19, 2011 at 4:12 PM

Someone offers you advice and you react like this. Well, I guess that’s to be expected when all of a sudden someone pops your bubble and reminds you that the world is a dangerous place where words and phones aren’t always going to protect you. It’s okay. Many, many liberals wake up at the worst time: after something happens to them. Better you wake up now, and hopefully avoid something terrible happening to you because you were oblivious.

MadisonConservative on January 19, 2011 at 4:37 PM

Of course everyone realizes that if Loughner simply had a Glock with a 17 round magazine, the left would be demanding that be reduced.

darwin on January 19, 2011 at 4:41 PM

Don’t worry, Brothers and Sisters. We’ll get our magazines rationed to us just as we do our gin and chocolate and tobacco.

catmman on January 19, 2011 at 4:43 PM

0- 15 round mag is sufficient to take 2 people out, especially at close range. Besides, in the event of a break in, the best weapon to use to defend yourself is a shotgun. You don’t need to be a good shot and it’s guaranteed to put the bad guys on the ground.

Cr4sh Dummy on January 19, 2011 at 3:43 PM

All statements above false.

1. Neither magazine capacity nor number of shots fired “take people out”; trauma to vitals and/or bleeding out does. Many people shot with handguns continue to fight and pose lethal threat, and many survive.

2. The “best weapon to defend yourself” depends on the situation. Shotgun has some important limitations. And there is no “best” if you are untrained.

3. You do need to be a good shot. What is the spread of your shotgun pellet pattern at inside-the-home distances? “Guaranteed to put the bad guys on the ground” ? See #1 and #2 above.

Stop propagating that magic wand theory of self defense.

Kenosha Kid on January 19, 2011 at 4:46 PM

Of course everyone realizes that if Loughner simply had a Glock with a 17 round magazine, the left would be demanding that be reduced.

darwin on January 19, 2011 at 4:41 PM

I mean, theoretically, the government could outlaw the sales of all handguns higher than .22, and magazines greater than seven rounds, and according to crr6, that would not actually be infringing on the right to own a firearm. Are nonsequiters great?

MadisonConservative on January 19, 2011 at 4:48 PM

1. Neither magazine capacity nor number of shots fired “take people out”; trauma to vitals and/or bleeding out does. Many people shot with handguns continue to fight and pose lethal threat, and many survive.

2. The “best weapon to defend yourself” depends on the situation. Shotgun has some important limitations. And there is no “best” if you are untrained.

3. You do need to be a good shot. What is the spread of your shotgun pellet pattern at inside-the-home distances? “Guaranteed to put the bad guys on the ground” ? See #1 and #2 above.

Stop propagating that magic wand theory of self defense.

Kenosha Kid on January 19, 2011 at 4:46 PM

*tips hat*

MadisonConservative on January 19, 2011 at 4:48 PM

Yes, it is. Say I propose a local ordinance mandating that liquor stores close at 10pm. If someone else says we shouldn’t enact the law, because there’s no justifiable reason for closing stores at 10:00 rather than 9:59 or 10:01, is that a banal point?

crr6 on January 19, 2011 at 4:21 PM

I don’t see how it necessarily is. If the person is making the point of illustrating the absurdity of the original proposition or forcing the proposer to justify his stated position, then I think it’s quite valid…it would be a form of reductio ad absurdum, I believe.

Your illustration is not a bad one on the surface but your ascribed motives and argument interpreations seem to confirm my suspiscion that you might be missing the point as it doesn’t seem to be a good parallel metaphor. The point wasn’t a pedantic quibbling over the location of the arbitrary line (and the argument that if we can’t all agree on a location, then the line’s invalid); it’s a challenge to the very notion of the need for an arbitrary line.

As it stand, in your scenerio it’s a bald assertion to simply state that liquor stores should close at 10pm. In this case, the question of 9:59/10:01 allows the asserter to either clarify his original proposition with some sort of real justification or it serves to highlight the absurdity of imposing the unjustified, arbitrary limit.

I still believe you’re begging the question by assuming the limit must be arbitrary simply because you assume arbitrary legislation is necessary in the first place…and that’s no trivial point of contention.

BlueCollarAstronaut on January 19, 2011 at 4:51 PM

I don’t see how it necessarily is. If the person is making the point of illustrating the absurdity of the original proposition or forcing the proposer to justify his stated position, then I think it’s quite valid…it would be a form of reductio ad absurdum, I believe.

It’s not reductio ad absurdum. You’re not following the implications of the law to their logical endpoint, you’re asking why a slightly different alternative law wouldn’t be preferable.

Your illustration is not a bad one on the surface but your ascribed motives and argument interpreations seem to confirm my suspiscion that you might be missing the point as it doesn’t seem to be a good parallel metaphor. The point wasn’t a pedantic quibbling over the location of the arbitrary line (and the argument that if we can’t all agree on a location, then the line’s invalid); it’s a challenge to the very notion of the need for an arbitrary line.

No, I think it was the former rather than the latter. And if he did mean the latter, his point was erroneous because I’ve already provided ample justifications for why a smaller magazine is preferable (it doesn’t prevent any lawful use of a weapon, and it prevents what would likely be criminal use). That is to say, the general idea of drawing a line is not arbitrary in this case (although any specific line will be somewhat arbitrary, such as limiting magazines to 15 rounds rather than 16).

As it stand, in your scenerio it’s a bald assertion to simply state that liquor stores should close at 10pm. In this case, the question of 9:59/10:01 allows the asserter to either clarify his original proposition with some sort of real justification

…which I’ve done.

or it serves to highlight the absurdity of imposing the unjustified, arbitrary limit.

I still believe you’re begging the question by assuming the limit must be arbitrary simply because you assume arbitrary legislation is necessary in the first place…and that’s no trivial point of contention.

BlueCollarAstronaut on January 19, 2011 at 4:51 PM

I simply mean that whenever a legislature enacts a law, there is going to be a certain degree of arbitrariness in its line drawing. That includes closing liquor stores at 10 rather than 10:01, and passing a sales tax of 7.32 percent rather than 7.325. But as long as there’s a rational general justification for the law (raising tax revenue, limiting gun violence) , pointing out that the specific line itself is somewhat arbitrary is not a persuasive substantive argument against the law.

crr6 on January 19, 2011 at 5:04 PM

crr6 on January 19, 2011 at 5:04 PM

Almost all states have sales tax.

Almost all states have laws when liquor stores need to close.

Almost all states have no laws about magazine size.

There is where your comparison falls apart.

MadisonConservative on January 19, 2011 at 5:16 PM

Kenosha Kid on January 19, 2011 at 4:46 PM

Thank you. Too many people get their ideas of self defense from watching action movies.

catmman on January 19, 2011 at 5:17 PM

Gun Magazines.

Heh. I thought he wanted fewer pages in Gun & Ammo.

davidk on January 19, 2011 at 5:17 PM

crr6,

to level a charge I’ve heard recently, this reply shows me that you’re the one lost in the banal:

It’s not reductio ad absurdum. You’re not following the implications of the law to their logical endpoint, you’re asking why a slightly different alternative law wouldn’t be preferable.

No one here is offering a “slightly different alternative law” (at least not in good faith), we’re asking why the same applied logic would justify X but not X-1….and if that, then why not X-2, etc. to the absurd level (logical endpoint) of why not just mandate magazines with a capacity of 0. You have to read between the lines a bit to see it, but that’s been the point all along.

We seem to be talking past each other at this point. Your premises seem to be obscuring my point from your view, but I’m not really sure how to remedy that.

One thing that might help though is to consider that fact your assertion of prior “ample” justification (which..somehow led to an admitedly arbitrary value ???) doesn’t really mean it was an objectively sufficient rationale. The reason I keep harping on your problem of begging the questions is because convincing yourself you’re right isn’t really the point of these types of discussions…yet, that seems to be what you keep appealing to. I have no doubt you believe yourself to be right…(I feel the same way, FWIW :) )

The point, though, is whether or not you can articulate something more meaningful than that, and I haven’t really seen that you can….which means at least one of us is too obtuse to continue on this course.

BlueCollarAstronaut on January 19, 2011 at 5:20 PM

Dick Cheney on limiting personal gun use.

pff

maverick muse on January 19, 2011 at 5:20 PM

When congress shows up sober and has not had a liquid lunch,every member and their staff can pass the Dixie cup test,and then has a sober quorum we might think about any proposals from this media hungry bunch. Richard the Cheney need s a new heart he needs not get into a debate.

Col.John Wm. Reed on January 19, 2011 at 5:21 PM

one final comment:

But as long as there’s a rational general justification for the law (raising tax revenue, limiting gun violence)

This is where you’re begging the question. This is both your premise and your conclusion. (i.e. There is a rational justification for the law…er go the law is rationally justified.)

BlueCollarAstronaut on January 19, 2011 at 5:23 PM

Would you?

crr6 on January 19, 2011 at 3:43 PM

Need to me is irrelevant. I already have (at least) four weapons in my house.

If I want one, I want one because I want one.

davidk on January 19, 2011 at 5:24 PM

But as long as there’s a rational general justification for the law (raising tax revenue, limiting gun violence) ,

crr6 on January 19, 2011 at 5:04 PM

But that’s part of point, these types of laws don’t work as advertised – they either serve to disarm those that follow the law anyway or force more people to “break” the law with these types of arbitrary restrictions on our rights.

Chip on January 19, 2011 at 5:24 PM

Dick Cheney on limiting personal gun use.

pff

maverick muse on January 19, 2011 at 5:20 PM

As the saying goes: I’d rather go hunting with Cheney than riding with Kennedy ;)

BlueCollarAstronaut on January 19, 2011 at 5:25 PM

Unforgiven (1992)

Fatty Rossiter: It was already loaded. Jesus, Clyde, you have three pistols and you only have one arm for Christ’s sake.

Clyde: Well I just don’t want to be killed for lack of shootin’ back.

mad saint jack on January 19, 2011 at 5:29 PM

What a huge disappointment in Cheney!

With a little practice it takes about two seconds to insert a new magazine.

The only thing that limiting magazine size does is enrich magazine manufacturers and distributors as you’ll have to buy multiple smaller magazines instead of fewer larger magazines.

RJL on January 19, 2011 at 5:33 PM

America, don’t repeat Australia’s gun control mistake

Now, off to Class.

Chip on January 19, 2011 at 5:36 PM

You know what else would have stopped him sooner?

An armed crowd!

gryphon202 on January 19, 2011 at 1:17 PM
This is the worst case.We are taught that once the bullet leaves the gun our name is on it. You can not open fire in a crowd that is in panic. We spend a hell-of lot of time practicing, knowing the risk, to disarm a shooter by hand. Once in a million times might be a guess where you really would have a clear field of fire. Even a designated shooter has to know the fields lest he or she take out a civilian.
Thia whole thing is knee jerk leftist rhetoric. If you all call 202224 or 202225 and ask to speak to your congress critter it will work better.You can also derail any bills by emailing
Rep.Boehner@mail.house.gov
The Speaker of the house.Washington, D.C.
1011 Longworth H.O.B.
Washington, DC 20515
(202) 225-6205 tel
(202) 225-0704 fax Miami County
12 South Plum Street
Troy, OH 45373
(937) 339-1524 tel
(937) 339-1878 fax Butler County
7969 Cincinnati-Dayton Rd, Ste B
West Chester, OH 45069
(513) 779-5400 tel
(513) 779-5315 fax

Col.John Wm. Reed on January 19, 2011 at 5:51 PM

for personal protection, fifteen bullets would suffice in most exigent circumstances.

I think there should be a bandwidth limitation on blogs, to limit waste of bandwidth and to allow divergent points of view.

Oh, there is a difference between the two examples. Bandwidth isn’t guaranteed by the Bill of Rights.

Vashta.Nerada on January 19, 2011 at 5:59 PM

You know what else would have stopped him sooner?

Col.John Wm. Reed on January 19, 2011 at 5:51 PM

You know what else? Police and security. Repsonsibility lays with the sheriff, the cops and Giffords staff. They all knew she had received threats plus the sheriff knew loughner was fixated on her and was a nut.

darwin on January 19, 2011 at 6:02 PM

We are taught that once the bullet leaves the gun our name is on it.

Col.John Wm. Reed on January 19, 2011 at 5:51 PM

Amen, brother.

Kenosha Kid on January 19, 2011 at 6:27 PM

Cheney can suggest this because he isn’t running for office anymore… Anyway I thought it was Sarah Palin’s website that was responsible for the level of violence here – are we back to blaming guns now? Is the Tea Party off the hook?

Dork B. on January 19, 2011 at 7:29 PM

No one here is offering a “slightly different alternative law” (at least not in good faith), we’re asking why the same applied logic would justify X but not X-1….and if that, then why not X-2, etc. to the absurd level (logical endpoint) of why not just mandate magazines with a capacity of 0. You have to read between the lines a bit to see it, but that’s been the point all along.

I think that there can be a balance somewhere in between 30-round magazines and 0-round magazines, where we ensure that lawful gun owners can exercise their constitutionally protected right to gun ownership, while preventing criminals from squeezing off 30 rounds w/ a legally purchased gun, without needing to reload. My rationale would not justify a law limiting a magazine to 0 rounds, or 1 or 2 rounds for that matter.

But as long as there’s a rational general justification for the law (raising tax revenue, limiting gun violence)

This is where you’re begging the question. This is both your premise and your conclusion. (i.e. There is a rational justification for the law…er go the law is rationally justified.)

BlueCollarAstronaut on January 19, 2011 at 5:23 PM

Hm. My justification for the rationality of the law isn’t that it’s rational. That’d be circular, and of course I’d be “begging the question.” My justification was that limiting the number of rounds reduces the amount of carnage Loughner-types can cause, because it provides potential victims with a greater opportunity to tackle them when they pause to reload.

Given that rationale (whether you buy it or not), I don’t think it’s a compelling counter-argument to say “where exactly should we draw the line?” Obviously we’d have to draw it somewhere, just like with every law (see the sales tax and liquor ordinance example).

crr6 on January 19, 2011 at 7:51 PM

I live across the street from a police station.

Jesus. Get a life.

Saltysam on January 19, 2011 at 7:54 PM

Limit my mags and I’ll limit your speech.

Inanemergencydial on January 19, 2011 at 8:07 PM

Amendment X on January 19, 2011 at 2:07 PM

It can also be said again: Under the Clinton AWB, magazine capacity was limited to 10 rounds. Yet Columbine still occurred.

catmman on January 19, 2011 at 2:11 PM

At least 19 laws were broken. Never stopped them. Never will.

Amendment X on January 19, 2011 at 9:21 PM

I think the Scotsman who educated me on this issue last week should explain his position to Ed and Ace too. It helped me look at it from a different perspective.

It is not WHY do you need it, it is WHY it is not okay to prohibit it, a limitation on a Constitutionally protected right.

ginaswo on January 19, 2011 at 9:29 PM

No Mr. Cheney, let’s not. Today it’s 30 rounds down to 10. After someone shoots 10 people, it will be 10 to 5. After someone shoots 5 people, it will be 5 to single shots or limiting the number of magazines one can own.

Stupid idea, Loughner was going to violate the law and kill, why limit the ability of law-abiding citizens to have what is essentially an arbitrary number? It’s impossible to postulate the kind of situation in which someone might find themselves. As someone on another blog commented, “My family asks why I need to carry 35 rounds. I tell them it’s in case 34 is not enough”.

Now, just stop it with the the gun control crap. All of these tragedies lead to the call for “sensible gun legislation” and fools on the right, in the emotion of the moment capitulate. A little is never enough for the the gun grabbers, you know it, they know it. That “little sensible regulation” is just their continual chipping away at the second amendment until they can get all firearms banned. Then, it will follow like in Great Britain where they are now going after knives.

AZfederalist on January 19, 2011 at 9:35 PM

To be fair, former VP Dick Cheney ….

I base my support for leaders on their support of our freedoms. Not because their name might be Dick Cheney, for instance. What made Ronald Reagan so great was his beliefs in our freedoms, our constitution, not because he was a nice guy.
I’m not giving an inch. If Dick wants to go around and start compromising then I don’t care for his opinions any more. God bless him, he was great in his day, I guess.

Hey, maybe we should limit car ownership to only those who have gone through a background check. You know, lots of people commit crimes with cars. Many use cars in kidnappings, bank robberies, even drive by shootings. Why does a car speedometer have to go above 65 mph? No one needs to drive that fast unless they are trying to flee the scene of a crime, perhaps. Who really even needs a sports car, anyway. They can be very dangerous in the wrong hands.

Hey, for that matter, how about hammers? Some people use them to pound nails but I’ve read where a few have used them to bash skulls and commit murder. Maybe get a license for them too, and a background check. A hammer, even a pretend plastic one, should never be in a child’s hand. Sends the wrong message. Yeah, and don’t get me started on knives. Those knife blocks people have in their kitchens are like little arsenals.

JellyToast on January 19, 2011 at 9:57 PM

crr6,

I have to give you credit for trying, but you’re still missing the point. Your assertion (and it is just that) is that limiting the size of magazines will reduce the amount of carnage that lawless nuts will be capable of. Am I reading you correctly? There are at least two problems with that: 1) it’s an unfounded assertion (it seems like a contra-factual statement to me; studies have not conclusively affirmed this; the lawless cannot be consistently assumed to keep peripheral laws; a truly determined nut — even an otherwise civic-minded one — may pack additional heat, etc.) and 2) the logical implications of this *do* lead to the absurd conclusion that “even less” is better than “less” (etc.)…to the point that “none” is better than “even less”.

You try to head that second problem off at the pass, but you do so by appealing to your own subjective authority (though you never quite take responsibility for it…it’s more the subjective authority of the unnamed Powers that Be), and say that there are some arbitrary levels at which the contention (i.e. limited magazine sizes reduce the potential for carnage) no longer holds.

The problem is that you insist that the arbitrary limit to the limit, therefore, must be applied…but this is only true because you’re presuming that the arbitrary limit be there in the first place. You made a bold assertion, and then undermined it with a subjective caveat because you saw that it lead logically to absurdity…but that caveat (the limit must be arbitrarily non-zero) is only nec. if we assume the flawed original premise (there must be an arbitrary limit) to begin with.

I’m pretty sure that is begging the question, and you seem stumped by the fact that I legitimately (I believe) reject your premise (a.k.a. your conclusion ;) )

BlueCollarAstronaut on January 19, 2011 at 10:10 PM

Given that rationale (whether you buy it or not), I don’t think it’s a compelling counter-argument to say “where exactly should we draw the line?” Obviously we’d have to draw it somewhere, just like with every law (see the sales tax and liquor ordinance example).

That was longer than I intended, so as a TL;DR version: Your rationale is that arbitrarily limited magazine sizes are better (right?), so your conclusion is that we should limit magazine size somewhere arbitrarily.

Unless I’m misreading you somewhere, that seems fairly circular to me.

BlueCollarAstronaut on January 19, 2011 at 10:18 PM

I have to give you credit for trying, but you’re still missing the point.

If I am, we both are (i.e. as you said, we’re talking past each other)

(the limit must be arbitrarily non-zero)

I don’t think the idea that the limit must not be zero is arbitrary. It’s based upon the assumption that any law which limits mag sizes to 0 would violate the 2nd amendment.

Your assertion (and it is just that) is that limiting the size of magazines will reduce the amount of carnage that lawless nuts will be capable of. Am I reading you correctly? There are at least two problems with that: 1) it’s an unfounded assertion (it seems like a contra-factual statement to me; studies have not conclusively affirmed this; the lawless cannot be consistently assumed to keep peripheral laws; a truly determined nut — even an otherwise civic-minded one — may pack additional heat, etc.) and 2) the logical implications of this *do* lead to the absurd conclusion that “even less” is better than “less” (etc.)…to the point that “none” is better than “even less”.

BlueCollarAstronaut on January 19, 2011 at 10:10 PM

I don’t think you need to buy my rationale for the proposed limitation for my point to be correct. Unsurprisingly, the point I originally tried to make is long, long gone.

As for your last sentence though, my law (like every law) would be constrained by the 2nd amendment. So at some point “even less” would no longer be constitutional. The slipper-slope argument doesn’t wash.

crr6 on January 19, 2011 at 11:22 PM

As for your last sentence though, my law (like every law) would be constrained by the 2nd amendment. So at some point “even less” would no longer be constitutional. The slipper-slope argument doesn’t wash.

crr6 on January 19, 2011 at 11:22 PM

F yeah then!!!! let’s go the other direction!

I don’t need every weapon, but maybe have access to say 95% of available weapon systems.

Oh, and piss off.

God Bless the Second Amendment!

Inanemergencydial on January 19, 2011 at 11:25 PM

As for your last sentence though, my law (like every law) would be constrained by the 2nd amendment. So at some point “even less” would no longer be constitutional. The slipper-slope argument doesn’t wash.

crr6 on January 19, 2011 at 11:22 PM

Constitution aside, though, that’s the logic of it. You seem to be moving the goal posts (unless I misunderstood you earlier),and now your appeal to some sort of limit to the limit is strictly due do the 2nd Amendment? So, then, should magazines be limited to 1 bullet, b/c less is better than more, but the Constitution precludes prohibition of bullet containers altogether?

I’ll try one more time: my point is that as much as you don’t want to nail down this arbitrary limit to the limit, even you concede that it’s nec. per your argument. I’m contending that it’s only nec. if one buys the premise of your argument (that was your long lost point wasn’t it?)…which I don’t. The onus is on you to convince us that it’s nec…simply saying smaller magazines reduce wanton carnage potential doesn’t really establish an argument that it’s a reasonable argument.

I was thinking about this some more, and I may have realized a part of our disconnect. To a certain extent all discussion of law can devolve into a circular argument because the law is predicated on the notion that the law will be upheld. BUT, I think the key is that there should be something more that transcends beyond that as an objective standard that supports the law aside from whether or not people uphold it…(e.g. through studies, Civil Engineers have determined that for a road such as Main Street, 45 MPH is a reasonably safe speed…the next question might be to challenge these studies, but at least they exist…or at least I’m assuming they exist…maybe I’m naive) So, there needs to be more of an argument than: There should be an arbitrary standard because any arbitrary standard will be better than no arbitrary standard…typically some sort of evidence from outside sources helps establish a basis for the law; You haven’t really given us this that I can tell.

Your argument doesn’t seem to appeal to anything beyond the assertion that Law X should be enacted because if Law X is followed, then the world would be a safer place. Why? well, because if people followed Law X, then the world would be a safer place….etc….you need something objective beyond your intuition to argue with here.

The other problem, though, with this particular argument is that this law is actually a counter-measure that’s predicated on people NOT following the law. So, not only do you seem to only appeal to the upholding of the law to justify the law (begging the question if that’s all you’ve got), you can’t reasonably appeal to the upholding of the law to justify the law.

BlueCollarAstronaut on January 19, 2011 at 11:52 PM

Don’t know if was mentioned, but you’d think Cheney of all people would know 1 SHOT is all you need to ruin someones day…

Keith_Indy on January 20, 2011 at 8:07 AM

Perhaps we should also limit how many soldiers that our government can send to war…..

…that will surely prevent us from fighting so many foreign wars.

Just think of the money and people’s lives we would save….

————————

On another note, Cheney looks old…..

And talks like a liberal moron.

Mcguyver on January 20, 2011 at 9:19 AM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hgdq1FBYTUE

This guy wouldn’t need a high-cap magazine, but he probably wouldn’t argue in favor of banning them, either. Aside from the fact that it’s harder to conceal a thirty-plus round magazine, it’s foolish to think that banning them will reduce violent crime.

jackmac on January 20, 2011 at 9:28 AM

Cheney needs a transplant. He looks horrible.

He spoke at my son’s college graduation from BYU, probably the only invite he got at the height of his unpopularity. Popularity is not a big goal for us.

petunia on January 20, 2011 at 10:08 AM

I simply mean that whenever a legislature enacts a law, there is going to be a certain degree of arbitrariness in its line drawing. That includes closing liquor stores at 10 rather than 10:01, and passing a sales tax of 7.32 percent rather than 7.325. But as long as there’s a rational general justification for the law (raising tax revenue, limiting gun violence) , pointing out that the specific line itself is somewhat arbitrary is not a persuasive substantive argument against the law.

crr6 on January 19, 2011 at 5:04 PM

If your goal is limiting gun violence? The evidence is that more guns in the hands of law abiding citizen is the answer.

Slowburn on January 20, 2011 at 11:45 AM

Obesity is a problem, ban big spoons. Only baby spoons will be sold, surely this will solve the problem.

Alden Pyle on January 20, 2011 at 12:07 PM

A little math excercise just for fun.

Here is the data that will inform this excercize: Crr6 suggests a magazine size limit of 15 bullets. Loughner had a magazine of 33 bullets. Reports are that he shot all 33 bullets before trying to reload and was taken down at that point (by one of the injured victums). 6 people were shot dead, and 14 more were injured.

33 / 6 = 5.5 bullets per killed victum
33 / (6+14) = 1.65 bullets per person hit (killed or injured)

So….

If a person is defending themselves from a home invasion with a magazine of 15 bullets at kill ratio of 5.5 bullets per kill then they better hope they have no more than two people invading their home. Because if there’s 3 attackers it’s going to take 16.5 bullets to kill them (injured invaders don’t count as having been stopped because it was one of the injured victums that stopped loughtner) and that’s more than crr6 wants you to have.

And one final note: If you do have 3 invaders and each of them follows the law (heh) that crr6 suggests they’d be legally allowed to have 45 bullets in total again putting the person trying to defend themselves at a disadvantage.

Scrappy on January 20, 2011 at 1:58 PM

Not a big fan of 33 round mags for pistols myself, but the problem with just about any gun control legislation is, you give the control side an inch, they’ll take a mile.

Look no further than the sheer lunacy that is California’s state gun laws.

They made specific types of flash suppressors illegal there.

Flash suppressors.

To put a fine point on it, you can’t own a U.S. GI standard flash suppressor for Springfield M-14 style rifles in California.

A flash suppressor doesn’t make the .308 Winchester rounds the rifle spits out any less lethal, doesn’t make the weapon any less accurate or safe for handling, in fact, of all the things on a gun to regulate, only the most anal of anal retentive anti-gun zealots would regulate them…because they’ve already regulated everything else and- SURPRISE!- crime rates have not gone down. (Just makes anyone trying to buy an M-14 type rifle needlessly pay an extra $200 for a “California Legal” flash suppressor and muzzle break.

Of course, like EVERY SINGLE OTHER GUN LAW EVER ENACTED, it fails to take into consideration one teeny, tiny little problem…*AHEM*:

F’ING PSYCHOS AND CRIMINALS DON’T PAY ATTENTION TO GUN LAWS. PERIOD!

But that doesn’t make people feel as good about themselves as a meaningless law being passed (meaningless to criminals, crippling to the law abiding) and the euphoria of thinking “I’m good people!” for voting for it or the proglodytes who wrote and passed it.

Problem with a homicide victim, you can’t ask them how their views of gun control have changed with their latest experience with violent crime.

SuperCool on January 20, 2011 at 9:22 PM

I like Cheney. But, BULL STINKIN’ HOCKEY!

Minorcan Maven on January 21, 2011 at 1:46 AM

The magazine size issue is a red herring.

The simple truth is that Loughner wasn’t tackled because he was changing magazines – Cho changed magazines many times.

He was tackled because of a “tactical mistake”. I’m guessing he got “target fixation” and lost track of others around him. In any case the error was to let someone get close enough to interfere with changing mags.

In that kind of situation, magazine size makes no difference. If he had more situational awareness, he likely could have isolated himself (with the gun or some other way) so that he could change mags unhindered.

rspock on January 21, 2011 at 11:09 AM

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