Denver Post Politicizes Murders to Push Gun Restrictions

Today’s condescending, factually inaccurate, and intellectually dishonest lead editorial from the Denver Post politicizes the horrible murders in Arizona by advocating more useless, rights-violating gun restrictions.

The Post wants to limit the capacity of gun magazines, yet the paper declines to tell us what number it deems appropriate. “The standard Glock magazine holds 15 rounds,” the paper notes. But the editorial also favorably mentions the so-called assault weapons ban of 1994, now expired, which restricted the importation and manufacture of magazines for civilian use to ten rounds. So which option does the Post prefer? Fifteen? Twelve? Ten? Four?

Of course, for the anti-gun lobby, ten rounds is ten too many. I’ve heard anti-gun activists argue that all guns that hold magazines should be banned, and at most single-shot guns should remain legal.

The Post incorrectly states, “It wasn’t so long ago that [the murderer] couldn’t have bought a gun magazine of that size,” under the expired ban. But sales of higher capacity magazines remained perfectly legal under the ban; what was banned was importation and manufacture for civilian sales.

The Post speciously claims, “The NRA is apparently worried Americans won’t be able to defend themselves against the possibility of a 33-person, home-invasion team.” The number refers to the capacity of the magazine used by the Arizona murderer. But the NRA defends normal capacity magazines, not just the higher capacity ones. The Post’s comment could only have been written by someone who has never devoted a serious thought to the problem of self-defense — or who is intentionally lying about it. Home invasions by multiple assailants are actually fairly common, so far as home invasions go (which thankfully are relatively rare due to high gun ownership rates in the U.S.). Home invasions often take place at night. The perpetrators often wear heavy clothing and sneak about. Because gun wounds usually aren’t fatal, a criminal might remain quite dangerous even if shot. For all of these reasons, having fifteen or more rounds might be essential for effective self-defense.

Self-defense — a fundamental human right protected by our Constitution — deserves more than derision by Colorado’s largest newspaper.

(True, for most tactical purposes, carrying a gun with a magazine that extends far beyond the grip makes no sense. But artificially limiting magazine capacity beyond the natural limitations of the grip size is insanity from a self-defense perspective.)

I found this line from the Post interesting: “A reader sent us an article which cited the Glock website where, we’re told, the Glock ‘pistol magazines can be loaded with a convincing number of rounds.'” That line has certainly made the rounds. The quote is accurate; however, the Post neglects to mention the qualifier, “up to.” I’ve verified that a 33 round magazine is available for the Glock 19.

Notably, the murderer bought four magazines. Ludicrously, a Brady Center spokesperson pretends that he had only one magazine and could not have used more than one magazine in the assault. Perhaps the Denver Post could enlighten us as to whether it believes carrying forty rounds total (ten rounds in each of four magazines) is just fine, whereas carrying 33 rounds in a single magazine must be outlawed. By the logic of the anti-gun crusade, guns with magazines per se should be totally outlawed, if not all guns.

The Denver Post is targeting guns because they make a convenient scapegoat. Nevermind the fact that the murderer suffered severe mental illness. Nevermind the fact that he had numerous run-ins with the authorities over a span of years. No, forget all that: the thing to do is restrict the ability of law-abiding, decent people to buy gun magazines.

The absurdity of the Post’s “case” is illustrated by juxtaposing two headlines: “Gun Sales Surge After Obama’s Election,” and “Violent Crime Falls Sharply.” While this does not demonstrate that the additional guns helped drive lower crime rates, it does offer a reminder of how weak the case is for imposing additional gun restrictions.