Why Gun Control (Still) Won’t Work


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It has been a dismal decade for gun control advocates. They lost the federal so-called assault weapons ban when it expired in 2004. The Supreme Court made history by proclaiming an individual right to own firearms for self-defense. A Democratic president came into office vowing not to take away anyone’s guns.

So it’s no surprise that anti-gun forces would take the mass shooting in Tucson as a rare opportunity to reverse their fortunes. It’s also no surprise that their proposals are models of futility.

Gun control has faltered mainly because it hasn’t worked. And nothing in the new recommendations offers hope of success.

The first idea came from Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-N.Y.), who wants to ban all ammunition magazines holding more than 10 rounds—which was the rule under the assault weapons law. Her rationale is that the rampage ended when the shooter exhausted a 30-round clip and tried to reload, at which point he was subdued. With a 10-round clip, he could have been stopped sooner.

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