A case for limits
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Within the rhetoric that we hear from gun activists is that we don't need new gun laws, we just need to enforce existing ones. In Tuscon, Ariz., on Nov. 30, 2010, Jared Loughner went into a store and legally purchased a Glock handgun and at least two clips that each held 30 bullets.
On Jan. 8, 2011, Loughner loaded his gun with 30 bullets, concealed the weapon, put an extra 30-bullet clip in his pocket and took a taxi to a political rally.
Once he arrived and paid the cab driver, he shot U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords in the head and proceeded to empty his gun in 15 seconds, hitting 19 victims, killing six of them. He was attempting to reload his weapon when he was overpowered by bystanders.
Gun advocates will cite the Second Amendment as a reason for Jared Loughner's right to be as well-armed as he was. When the Second Amendment was enacted in 1791, "arms" consisted of single-shot, muzzle-loading firearms. I find it hard to think that the founding fathers intended it to include guns that fire 30 rounds in 15 seconds.
Banning weapons of mass murder does not violate the intention of the Bill of Rights. If common sense dictates that it is constitutionally allowed to prohibit nuclear weapons and surface-to-air missiles, then why should anyone assume that the Second Amendment allows assault rifles and clips that hold 30 rounds of ammunition?
JOHN T. MERTZ
First Published March 4, 2013 12:00 am