Letter: Limiting gun magazine capacity decreases survival odds


As it always happens after a gun-related crime, there is a call for more restrictions on guns and gun owners. Every time a new law is proposed, anti-gun law makers and advocates say this new law will prevent gun violence.

Why is it that after any new law is passed, gun crimes never stop? Is it because criminals don’t care about laws? That can’t be possible, can it? Although, that must be the reason we have criminals. New gun laws never do stop firearm crimes.

A case in point is the two individuals that are wanted for the shootings by Westlake Mall. Both have numerous prior convictions. So by law they couldn’t legally possess a firearm yet somehow they did. There is no way to prevent a person from committing a crime if they choose to ignore the law.

More laws are currently being proposed and will most likely pass in our anti-gun state. One is to limit the number of cartridges in a magazine to 10. This is supposedly the magic number determined by people that think 10 is all the cartridges you should need.

A lot of law enforcement officers carry the popular Glock model 17 which holds 17 .9-mm cartridges and the Glock model 22 that holds 15 .40-caliber cartridges in the standard capacity magazines. Cops usually carry at least one extra magazine and sometimes two. They never know how many cartridges they might need to protect themselves and others.

The same can be said of us civilians. A gun fight against one or more attackers on the street or in your home has no set limit as to how many cartridges you may need. They may run at the sight of your gun or they could begin a prolonged gun battle while you wait for law enforcement to arrive.

A few years ago, I asked a representative in the Island County Sheriff’s Office about a response time to an incident in the county. She said it could take 20-30 minutes depending upon the nearest deputy’s location and disposition. You must be prepared for your own protection and survival. Limiting magazine capacity can decrease your odds of survival.

So why must civilians be limited to an arbitrary limit in magazine capacity? Criminals won’t obey any current law yet you naively believe criminals will obey new laws. The only ones that this and any new laws will affect are the law-abiding gun owners by punishing them for the acts of criminals. To be a lawful gun owner they must purchase new non-standard capacity magazines at a cost of around $20 each. Do you really think a criminal is going to purchase these smaller non-standard capacity magazines to be compliant with the law?

In the Jan. 29 Washington Newspaper Association story regarding gun magazines that ran in the Whidbey News-Times, Dr. Fred Rivara states that, “High-capacity magazines are exceptionally lethal” and “They increase the fatality of any firearm to which they are attached.”

If this is true, then no law enforcement officer should be allowed to use them. The only lethal component in a gun crime is the person pulling the trigger, not an inanimate piece of plastic.

Alan Meaux

Oak Harbor