MILLER: The high-capacity magazine myth – Washington Times

MILLER: The high-capacity magazine myth – Washington Times.

Anti-gun crowd deliberately misleads the public

afreepeopleDeception is the key component in the latest push for more gun control laws. During her soap opera press conference Wednesday, Sen. Dianne Feinstein used a liberal clergyman to give her the moral high ground in her campaign to infringe on the Second Amendment.

The Very Rev. Gary Hall, dean of the Washington National Cathedral, donned his clerical collar for the all-Democrat event to say he can “no longer justify a society” that “permits the sale of high-capacity magazines designed for the purpose of simply killing as many people as quickly as possible.”

The anti-gun crowd labels any firearm magazine capable of holding more than 10-rounds “high-capacity.” It’s a scare tactic.

(This is the second of a four-part series on dispelling common gun myths. Click here to read part one, MILLER: The Assault Weapon Myth)

Many firearms come from the factory with devices that feed between 15 to 30 rounds — some hold more, some less depending on their configuration and purpose. Ten is a number chosen out of thin air for reasons of political theater. The gun grabbers use it to imply the higher-capacity magazines enable murderers to kill more people, but it doesn’t actually work out that way.

In a 2004 study for the Department of Justice linked on Mrs. Feinstein’s own website, Christopher S. Koper, a professor of criminology, reported that “assailants fire less than four shots on average, a number well within the 10-round magazine limit” of the “assault weapons” ban.

“Studies prove that the arbitrary magazine capacity restriction that was in place for a decade did not reduce crime,” Lawrence Keane, the National Shooting Sports Foundation’s senior vice president and general counsel, told The Washington Times. “In searching for effective means to reduce violence, we should not repeat failed policies, especially when they infringe on the constitutional rights of the law-abiding.”

Violent crime has decreased 17 percent since the assault weapons ban expired.

In the latest incarnation of Mrs. Feinstein’s ban, we would see the return of an ammunition limit that had no proven impact on crime while it was in effect from 1994-2004. The proposal outlaws all ammunition feeding devices — magazines, strips and drums — capable of accepting more than 10 rounds.

gun-controlOn Tuesday, Sen. Frank Lautenberg, New Jersey Democrat, reintroduced the legislation he has been pushing since the shooting of former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords in Tucson in 2010 that he calls the “Large Capacity Ammunition Feeding Device Act.” The bill, which has 17 Senate cosponsors, has a companion measure in the House with the backing of Rep. Carolyn McCarthy and 58 of her colleagues.

Even though Mrs. Feinstein used to carry a handgun in San Francisco for her own personal protection, she does not realize what other gun owners know: It can take about two seconds, or less, to drop an empty magazine and insert another.

Criminals are likely to carry as many magazines as they need, but individuals with their guns concealed for self-defense purposes often aren’t able to bring extra magazines. Especially in a stressful situation, it can take several rounds to stop a dangerous criminal.

The limitation on magazine capacity is a direct handicap on the right to self-defense. Mrs. Feinstein’s entire bill infringes on the right to keep and bear arms, but her randomly selected magazine restriction is one of the most offensive provisions.

Emily Miller is a senior editor for the Opinion pages at The Washington Times.

MILLER: Backdoor gun ban – Washington Times

MILLER: Backdoor gun ban – Washington Times.

Microstamping drives up costs without solving crimes

By Emily Miller – The Washington Times

Gun grabbers need to be sneaky to accomplish their goals. Their latest trick is to convince anti-gun states to mandate that handguns be microstamp-ready. That means the weapon’s firing pin is redesigned to imprint a code on the primer so that, in theory, it will give law enforcement the ability to identify a specific gun from shell casings left at a crime scene. Like most left-wing endeavors, this one isn’t going to work.

That didn’t stop the New York State Assembly on Tuesday from passing a microstamping bill backed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo and New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg. The legislation, which passed 85 to 60, specifically says guns manufactured in New York or delivered to a dealer after January 2014 have to produce a unique alpha-numeric marker on at least two locations of each spent cartridge that identifies the make, model and serial number. Fortunately, the state Senate blocked the bill on the last day of this session on Thursday, as it has done in four previous sessions.

Mr. Bloomberg and Mr. Cuomo don’t care about the negative impact of their proposal, which they estimate to be $12 per pistol. Manufacturers stuck with the actual duty of implementing the legislation put the cost at hundreds of dollars per gun. “We don’t know how to do microscopic etching. The equipment to do it costs hundreds of thousands of dollars, and we would also need a scanning electron microscope to verify it’s on the pin,” said Jeff Reh, general counsel for Beretta USA. “We wouldn’t invest a half-million dollars to sell guns in one state.”

A spokesman for Remington Arms said if it had to add microstamping to all its pistols, it would “reconsider its relationship with New York and certainly the manufacturing of our handguns in the state.” New York-based Kimber Mfg. Inc. said the law would make the firm rethink its current expansion in Yonkers. The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), which represents firearm and ammunition manufacturers, estimates this bill would send 5,200 New Yorkers to the unemployment lines.

“Manufacturers will simply stop selling handguns into a state that requires microstamping,” explained NSSF’s senior vice president, Lawrence Keane, of the ultimate consequences for the industry. “This is, in effect, a handgun ban.”

California and the District of Columbia are the only places in the country that have passed the mandate, but neither has actually implemented the law because the technology isn’t ready. Several independent, peer-reviewed studies, including one conducted by the National Academy of Sciences, have concluded that microstamping is still flawed and unreliable.

Maryland, New York and the District required ballistics testing on spent casings for each gun sold – until they realized it was extremely costly and didn’t actually solve any crimes. Each of these jurisdictions recently jettisoned the testing requirement.

The gun grabbers talk about fancy technology, but nothing will stop the bad guys from merely using an emery board to scratch the stamp off the firing pin. It also won’t work on revolvers, which don’t leave casings behind when fired. It’s obvious that the only purpose left is to discourage the sales of handguns and infringe on Second Amendment rights.

Emily Miller is a senior editor for the Opinion pages at The Washington Times.

MILLER: Gun ownership up, crime down – Washington Times

MILLER: Gun ownership up, crime down – Washington Times.

FBI violent-crime rates show safer nation with more gun owners

By Emily Miller – The Washington Times

Gun-control advocates are noticeably silent when crime rates decline. Their multimillion-dollar lobbying efforts are designed to manufacture mass anxiety that every gun owner is a potential killer. The statistics show otherwise.

Last week, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) announced that violent crime decreased 4 percent in 2011. The number of murders, rapes, robberies and aggravated assaults all went down, continuing a pattern.

“This is not a one-year anomaly, but a steady decline in the FBI’s violent-crime rates,” said Andrew Arulanandam, spokesman for the National Rifle Association. “It would be disingenuous for anyone to not credit increased self-defense laws to account for this decline.”

Mr. Arulanandam pointed out that only a handful of states had concealed-carry programs 25 years ago, when the violent-crime rate peaked. Today, 41 states either allow carrying without a permit or have “shall issue” laws that make it easy for just about any noncriminal to get a permit. Illinois and Washington, D.C., are the only places that refuse to recognize the right to bear arms. The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence did not respond to requests for comment.

If the gun grabbers were right, we’d be in the middle of a crime wave, considering how many guns are on the streets. “Firearms sales have increased substantially since right after the 2008 election,” said Bill Brassard, spokesman for the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), which represents the $4 billion firearms and ammunition industry. “There was a leveling off in 2010, but now we’re seeing a surge again.”

The FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) serves as one of the best indicators of gun sales because it counts each time someone buys a gun. Checks hit an all-time high of 16.5 million last year. In the first five months of this year, the numbers have gone up 10 percent over the same period last year as Americans rush to the gun store in case President Obama decides to exercise “more flexibility” in restricting guns in a second term.

Gun manufacturing is the one private-sector industry “doing fine” on Mr. Obama’s watch. Sturm, Ruger & Co. sold 1 million firearms in the first quarter of 2012 – an amazing 50 percent increase from the first quarter of 2011. The jump was so steep that the company stopped accepting orders from March to May to catch up with demand for its products.

Last month, Smith & Wesson announced a firearm-order backlog of approximately $439 million by the end of April, up 135 percent from the same quarter in 2011. Sales in that period were up 28 percent from 2011 and 14 percent over its own predictions to investors. NSSF estimates the industry is responsible for approximately 180,000 jobs and has an annual impact on the U.S. economy of $28 billion.

Mr. Obama could honestly take credit for this jobs program, economic boost and the reduction in violent crime that has followed the spike in gun ownership on his watch. Instead, he’s silent about his greatest positive accomplishment.

Emily Miller is a senior editor for the Opinion pages at The Washington Times.

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