The Capitol Hill Report

Craziness in Washington, Common Sense in Arizona Following Horrific Shooting

by John Velleco --
Washington lawmakers are busy ginning up legislation in response to the tragic shooting in Tucson last weekend.
This hardly comes as a surprise. For many legislators, the knee-jerk reaction to any criminal shooting is to pass yet another gun control law, despite the fact that the criminal already broke many laws in the commission of the crime.
The zaniest of the new proposals is one by Representative Peter King (R-NY) to ban guns within 1,000 feet of certain federal officials—including members of Congress. What the Congressman ignores is that what he euphemistically calls “gun free zones” are actually “criminal safety zones.”
What better place for a killer to target than one in which there is a reasonable expectation that he (or she) will be the only one armed?
Rep. King’s proposal would criminalize self-defense and endanger more lives, and was rightly rejected by new House Speaker John Boehner.
Another proposal, offered by Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY) and Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ), would ban ammunition feeding devices holding more than an arbitrarily determined number of rounds.
“I think when you think about just common sense here, large capacity clips (sic) that can basically, in my opinion, be weapons of mass destruction, should not be available to the average citizen,” McCarthy said in an NPR interview.
But what would McCarthy say to the “average citizen” who is facing multiple attackers and then runs out of ammunition? Or, more accurately, what would she say to that victim’s family?
Of course, McCarthy is not interested only in banning ammunition feeding devices that hold more than 10 rounds. No one doubts for a second that as soon as the next headlines are made, she’ll be back with another bill to ban even smaller magazines.
And, don’t forget, she also wants to ban the guns that hold the ammunition. She’s only trying to take a small bite out of the Constitution at this time, as she seeks political advantage from the sad events of last weekend.
Thus far, all the McCarthy-Lautenberg bill has accomplished is to drive sales of so-called “high capacity magazines” up 500%, meaning that if McCarthy were able to make existing magazines illegal, she would make criminals out of millions of Americans.
Arizona residents have taken a more common-sense approach than these Washington elitists. Gun sales in the state rose 60% on the Monday following the shooting.
Most people recognize that the mass of heavily armed police officers who were all over the news on Saturday arrived after the suspect was subdued by civilians. Almost always, the police are the historians at a crime scene, trying to piece together what just happened.
Law-abiding citizens who carry a firearm for self-defense help to prevent situations where the only person armed at the scene of a crime is the criminal.

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