Video added. Thank you Lawrence.
Larry Alan Burns, a federal district judge in San Diego, California, sentenced Gabby Giffords' shooter-- who murdered six including a nine-year-old girl-- to seven consecutive life terms plus 140 years in federal prison. He also wrote an op-ed that's in today's L.A. Times. He writes that Jared Loughner was only subdued after he emptied a 31-round magazine into his victims and was trying to load another.
Newtown, Connecticut murderer Adam Lanza used a semiautomatic rifle with 30-round magazines to spray bullets into his tiny human targets.
Judge Burns is a self-described conservative and gun owner who has become an Enough is Enougher and is now questioning "the social utility of high-capacity magazines" and "lamented the expiration of the federal assault weapons ban in 2004."
In his op-ed, he notes that half of the nation's deadliest shootings occurred after the ban expired, and as he also notes that the ban wasn't "all that stringent." He understands that no law will completely stop the crazies from killing, but agrees with many of us whose goal is to "be able to take the 'mass' out of 'mass shooting,' or at least make the perpetrator's job a bit harder."
He also realizes it's unrealistic to ban all guns and that, clearly, there are Second Amendment issues to contend with. However, he favors bringing back the assault weapons ban, only "with teeth."
Ban the manufacture, importation, sale, transfer and possession of both assault weapons and high-capacity magazines. Don't let people who already have them keep them. Don't let ones that have already been manufactured stay on the market. I don't care whether it's called gun control or a gun ban. I'm for it.
I say all of this as a gun owner. I say it as a conservative who was appointed to the federal bench by a Republican president. I say it as someone who prefers Fox News to MSNBC, and National Review Online to the Daily Kos. I say it as someone who thinks the Supreme Court got it right in District of Columbia vs. Heller, when it held that the 2nd Amendment gives us the right to possess guns for self-defense. (That's why I have mine.) I say it as someone who, generally speaking, is not a big fan of the regulatory state.
I even say it as someone whose feelings about the NRA mirror the left's feelings about Planned Parenthood: It has a useful advocacy function in our deliberative democracy, and much of what it does should not be controversial at all.
And I say it, finally, mindful of the arguments on the other side, at least as I understand them: that a high-capacity magazine is not that different from multiple smaller-capacity magazines; and that if we ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines one day, there's a danger we would ban guns altogether the next, and your life might depend on you having one. [...]
Mourning is important, but so is decisive action.
The question is, will enough conservatives step up like this to make a difference? Will Congress members shake off their ideology long enough to make America safer? Will they show they care more about the lives of their fellow citizens than they do about donations from the NRA?
Please read the entire op-ed here.