“I see precious few cases where a homeowner has warded off an intruder with 10 or more bullets.” So sayeth U.S. District Judge William Alsup said at the outset of a hearing in San Francisco, where the NRA and four CA gun owners are challenging San Francisco’s ban on standard-capacity ammunition magazines. “You have zero evidence … that these oversize magazines are used for common self-defense.” I never cease to be amazed by the amount of fail a judge can fit into so few words. With apologies to the Black Eyed Peas, let’s get it started in here . . .
Homeowner? Intruder? Judge Alsup’s pronouncement assumes that the only place an armed citizen might encounter a potentially lethal threat from a bad guy is at home. It singularly fails to recognize Americans’ right to keep and bear arms.
Attackers tend to do their business outside the home. In packs. If you have ten rounds in your self-defense gun and two attackers and your hit ratio is no better than the New York City Police Department (18%), you may well be SOL. As in dead. Theoretically? Sure. Unless it isn’t. Here’s a map of 20 homicides in The City By The Bay in 2013.
I wonder if any of these twenty victims would be alive today if they’d had been carrying a gun with more than 10 rounds. Or maybe even a gun (which they are not allowed to do legally in SF). Anyway, who cares? Is our natural, civil and Constitutional right to keep and bear arms based on statistics? Anecdotes? I don’t think so. And if it is, well, as the antis like to say, if carrying more than ten rounds saves even one life . . .
“Precious few” that.
Meanwhile, I like (i.e. hate) how the judge uses the term “warded off.” As if showing a bad guy a gun is all that’s needed to stop them from posing an imminent, credible threat of death or grievous bodily harm. What sort of world does Judge Alsup live in? I presume not one where bad guys break down doors and attack inhabitants or sneak up on hapless victims late at night and cause them death or grievous bodily harm. Actually, he does. He just doesn’t know it.
What does Judge Alsup mean by “over-size” magazines? I’m thinking the term indicates that the Judge is unfamiliar with the fact that manufacturers sell guns with ammunition magazines specifically designed for the firearm. That some 15-round magazines (and up) come as “standard.” Then again, who cares how many rounds are in or near a legally owned firearm? If I handed the judge a GLOCK loaded with a 30-round magazine would he be any more likely to shoot it at bystanders than if I gave him a GLOCK with a 10-round mag?
Equally, does the Judge not understand that if you ban something it’s a Catch-22 to turn around and say the ban’s OK because the banned item’s not in “common use” (the same logic used in the Supreme Court’s Heller decision to justify the ban on machine guns)? Lastly, what’s this common self-defense he keeps talking about? The Second Amendment is not use-specific. It’s an entirely clear prohibition on ANY law infringing on Americans’ right to keep and bear arms, regardless of their motivation for doing so.
Quick test for Judge Alsup (modified from a comment by JeefR underneath our Quote of the Day): why do Americans have a right to keep and bear arms?
1) Because guns are cool and fun to shoot
2) Because I use them to put food on my family’s table
3) For self-defense against criminals of the non-governmental variety
4) For self-defense during a period of civil unrest, i.e., a temporary loss of rule of law
5) To oppose tyranny
6) All of the above – and anything else you can think of
The correct answer: 6. The even more correct answer is: as long as I do not commit a crime with a firearm it’s none of your damn business.
The San Francisco law, which the Board of Supervisors passed in November, requires owners of gun magazines that carry more than 10 rounds to surrender them to police by April 8. Alsup said he would rule at a later date on the NRA’s request to block the ordinance from taking effect.
The suit before Alsup was filed on behalf of the San Francisco Veteran Police Officers Association and four individual gun owners. It argues that high-capacity magazines are “typically possessed by law-abiding citizens for lawful purposes” and that banning their legal possession would give “violent criminals an advantage.”
Not that it matters when you’re talking about a natural, civil and Constitutionally protected right, but yes, there is that. Isn’t there Judge?