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  • Robert Farago

Another Dumb Gun Law

Magical Thinking Saves Lives! Or not...

Imagine you want to stop a mass shooter. After friends, family, neighbors, therapists, social workers, law enforcement and the courts failed to act on the red flags indicating a lethal threat. When he’s about to/has begun his murderous spree.

The NRA wasn’t entirely right when they declared “the only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.” A crossbow arrow or heart attack would also do the trick, for example. But common sense tells us a ballistic solution is the fastest antidote to this kind of horrific attack.

Law enforcement certainly thinks so. Even those on the left who want to defund, sorry re-allocate police funding, don’t talk about disarming them. Nor neutering their go-to anti-mass shooter weapon: the AR-15. But that’s the GOSAFE Act’s plan for the rest of us.

This Senator Has A New Idea To Curb Mass Shootings —Gun Reformers Are Actually Optimistic proclaims.

Unlike the long-stalled assault weapons ban, the new bill regulates the internal mechanisms of firearms, leading to a simpler proposed law that reflects a more sophisticated understanding of how firearms work… Under the proposed law, new gas-operated semi-automatic rifles could only be sold if they feature a fixed magazine capable of holding no more than 10 cartridges… This capacity must be “permanently fixed” meaning the firearm cannot accept a detachable, high-capacity magazine that would increase the number of rounds that can be fired before reloading and make reloading easier.

The opposite of easier is harder. In this case, a LOT harder. Inserting cartridges into an AR-15 with a fixed magazine would require significantly more time; hand-feeding fiddly cartridges into an empty mag, one-by-one, is a tedious business.

There’s no denying that making it difficult for a mass shooter to quickly reload his AR-15 would limit his potential body count. Assuming, that is, he was using an AR-15 with a fixed magazine. Yeah, about that…

The GOSAFE Act would ban the sale of new AR-15’s with detachable magazines (except to law enforcement).

America is currently home to more than 20 million AR-15’s. The odds that a post-GOSAFE mass shooter would use a fixed mag AR are lower lower than a snake's belly in a wagon rut (as Texans say).

Not to put too fine a point on it, the GOSAFE Act is magical thinking. Applying simple math to the bill’s provisions, the political prestidigitation is obvious.

As the chart indicates, concealable handguns are far and away the mass shooter’s weapon of choice. The GOSAFE Act excludes them from its fixed mag fixation.

Legislators trying to “curb” (not prevent or stop) mass shootings by focusing on the AR-15 are like a drunk looking for his missing car keys under a street lamp because the light’s better. Talk about an idée fixe

“As lawmakers we should be able to draw a line between traditional firearms used for hunting, sport and self-defense,” Senator Heinrich asserts. “These weapons of war are designed to take human life.”

That’s a pretty fuzzy line there; Americans use AR-15’s for hunting, sport and self-defense. And any gun can take a human life. But we can draw a bright line between the politicians’ intentions and the probable impact of GOSAFE’s main provision

California already has a “make the AR-15 harder to reload” law. All AR-15’s in the Golden State must be equipped with a recessed “bullet button” that requires the use of a tool (e.g., the tip of a bullet) to release the magazine.

According the Gun Violence Archive, there were 231 mass shootings in California over the last five years. Out of those, 12 involved an AR-15. Making the GOSAFE Act a bad landing at the wrong airport.

And then there’s this little detail: the vast of American AR-15 owners wouldn’t surrender their detachable magazine-fed “military style” rifle at gunpoint.

Senator Heinrich and his bill’s supporters know that confiscating detachable mag AR-15’s is the Mother of All Non-Starters (a.k.a., a good way to start another Civil War). So, under the Act…

People who own existing semi-automatic rifles with detachable magazines would be able to keep them, transfer them to family members, or allow the government to buy them back.

Even that politically necessary accommodation won’t save the GOSAFE Act from the dustbin of history. And not just because it’s dumb as a box of rocks.

Once again, the Dems are busy pandering to their base’s ignorance, voting on another general “assault weapons” ban, knowing it won’t do anything other than flop around on the Capitol’s floor before asphyxiating.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) announced Monday that he planned to bring a proposal to reinstate the assault weapons ban to the floor for a vote this week. It’s unlikely, however, that he has the 50 votes needed to pass it into law, let alone the 60 votes needed to open debate on it under the chamber’s rules.

The GOSAFE Act has even less chance of making it into law than an AWB. If GOSAFE made it to a vote, it would get the same stick-a-fork-in-it GTFO response from politicians representing pro-2A states.

In short, the GOSAFE Act is gun control theater appealing to voters who want their reps to “do something” about “gun violence,” regardless of the Act’s impact on mass shootings. More precisely, the complete lack thereof.

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