Grab Your Guns!
It is looking more and more likely there will be some changes to gun safety laws in reaction to the mass shooting of first-graders at Sandy Hook ES.
New York is one of seven states that already ban at least some assault weapons. But Mr. Cuomo has described the existing law as having “more holes than Swiss cheese,” and he wants to broaden the number of guns and magazines covered by the law while also making it harder for gun makers to tweak their products to get around the ban.
Mr. Cuomo, a Democrat, will outline his proposal in his State of the State address, but even before he speaks, he has incited anxiety among gun owners by acknowledging in a radio interview that “confiscation could be an option” for assault weapons owned by New Yorkers. Since that interview, Mr. Cuomo has not mentioned the idea, and his aides have acknowledged that it would be impractical.
Following a meeting with gun victims and safety groups on Wednesday, Vice President Joe Biden said that a White House commission on gun violence was weighing all available means to reform laws in the wake of the Newtown, Conn. mass shooting — including executive orders the President may issue in addition to legislative remedies already sought.
“The president is going to act,” Biden said. “Executive order, executive action that can be taken, we haven’t decided what that is yet. But we’re compiling it all with the help of the attorney general and all the rest of the cabinet members as well as legislative action, we believe, is required.”
Biden is scheduled to meet with gun owners and representatives of the National Rifle Association, the country’s powerful gun lobby, on Thursday.
I’m worried that all we will see is another, “assault weapons ban” of firearms that resemble military weapons. Addressing magazine capacity makes sense, but other than cosmetic features, most assault weapons are not that different than any semi-automatic pistol or rifle. The caliber and velocity of bullets vary a lot, but anyone wielding a semi-auto with a large magazine is capable of shooting as fast as they can pull the trigger. Allow them a large magazine, and they can shoot a lot of people without pausing to reload.
What I’d prefer is that officials focus on the shooters: institute common sense regulations about who is allowed to purchase and carry firearms, mandate that training is required beforehand and keep records of all purchases.