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January 5 2013

Women Should Fight Attempts to Ban High-Capacity Magazines

Anna Rittgers

According to a story linked at Instapundit, a Georgia woman was working from home with her 9 year-old twins, when a home invader broke into her house with a crowbar.  She and her children retreated to a crawlspace, where the intruder found them.

The woman had a .38 revolver, and used it.  She hit the perpetrator five times.  Yet the perpetrator was not only still alive, he was able to talk to her.  Realizing she was out of bullets, she ran with her children to a neighbors’ house.  The perpetrator left, too.  He got in his car, drove away, and was eventually apprehended when he collapsed after crashing his car.

Thank goodness this woman had a gun—it doesn’t take much imagination to guess the horrible things that would have happened had she not used a firearm to protect herself and her children.   

But at the same time, five bullets fired from a .38 revolver weren’t enough to stop one intruder—what if there had been more intruders?  What if she’d had to reload while wrangling two screaming, terrified kids?

Among many of the proposed gun control measures promoted by Barack Obama and the Democrats in the Senate and House, one of the most talked about is a ban on so-called “high capacity” magazines.  Under the expired 1994 Federal Assault Weapons ban, magazine capacity in semiautomatic weapons was limited to ten rounds, which means the maximum number of bullets a person can shoot before reloading is ten. 

The ten-round limit was an arbitrary number, and once the ban expired in 2004, gun manufacturers began making and selling 11, 12, 15, 17, 20, and even 33 round magazines for semiautomatic handguns. The article demonstrates that there are certainly instances where having more ammunition is better.

As a general rule, a semiautomatic handgun beats a revolver for self-defense purposes.  Additionally, higher caliber rounds have greater stopping power, but the higher caliber, the greater recoil.  Many women prefer shooting lower caliber ammunition because it makes the gun easier to control, but it means that it is likely she will have to fire more rounds before stopping an attacker.

But Barack Obama (who is protected by Secret Service agents equipped with all types of semiautomatic weapons holding high capacity magazines) seeks to limit our capability to fight back against attackers. 

We all understand the instinct to want to keep deadly weapons out of the hands of criminals.  But study after study have shown that laws restricting the availability of guns--no surprise--mostly impact the law abiding.  More laws will not discourage those who wish to do harm from seeking and obtaining weapons. 

Attempts to restrict magazine capacity or even ban semiautomatic weapons will hurt women, because it will take an effective tool of self-protection away from law-abiding citizens.

Independent Women’s Forum’s mission is to improve the lives of Americans by increasing the number of women who value free markets and personal liberty. Sister organization of Independent Women’s Voice.
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