The tragic mass killing of innocent children at an elementary school in Connecticut has brought the gun control debate back into sharp focus, with new efforts in Congress to ban assault weapons. But the focus needs to be changed.
This tragedy could have been avoided or sharply curtailed by simple restrictions on ammunition and the magazine clips that are made to hold up to 50 bullets at time.
The Second Amendment makes no mention of either, so a Constitutional argument against ammo and magazine restrictions has been immediately neutralized.
Congress should pass legislation limiting handgun and rifle capacity to five bullets. That’s more than sufficient for self-protection, target shooting and hunting. Anyone modifying a gun to hold more, or selling larger magazines would be subject to criminal penalties.
The Columbine shooting, the Virgina-Tech massacre and the Aurora, Colo. moviehouse shooting would have turned out differently if these bans had been in place.
Congress should also ban the sale and possession of high-powered rifle and handgun ammunition. The quantity of ammunition anyone can buy during a specific period of time should also be limited. And, restrictions should also be placed on the possession of ammunition.
No individual should be allowed to possess more than 10 bullets per gun at any one time. So-called dum-dum bullets and hollow-point bullets, known as cop killers should be outlawed.
Adam Lanza could carryout his attack with amazing speed and deadliness because he could fire repeatedly without reloading, aided by the use of high-powered, high-velocity ammunition that could penetrate walls and tear apart a human body.
He reportedly had hundreds of bullets in his possession and multiple clips capable of holding 30 bullets each.
Again, low-powered ammunition would be sufficient for self-protection, hunting and target shooting, while limiting the damage in these lone, crazy-man shootings.
Effective gun control legislation has been thwarted for years by the National Rifle Association’s absolutist stand on the Second Amendment.
In the end, every effort to ban guns has failed in Congress or has been watered down so much it’s ineffective. Likewise stricter gun registration is not the answer.
Lanza’s mother Nancy Lanza, who owned the guns, had properly registered and purchased them. Adam simply stole them after murdering her, as any common criminal could do.
If Congress re-fights the same battle to ban assault weapons, it will end the same way, a stalemate and endless legal challenges, without effective change. This time, turn the table on gun nuts and go after what really does the damage, the ammunition and high-volume magazines.