Judge who sentenced Tucson shooter: Ban assault weapons
9:56 am, December 21st, 2012
Federal judges tend to stay out of legislative battles until a case on the issue comes before them. But the judge who sentenced Tucson shooter Jared Lee Loughner–who murdered a federal judge and five others, severely wounding U.S. Rep. Gabrielle
Giffords–calls for an assault weapons ban in an opinion article in the Los Angeles Times.
In “The conservative’s case for assault weapons ban,” Judge Larry Alan Burns of the Southern District of California, a 2003 appointee of President George W. Bush, writes:
“I say all of this as a gun owner. I say it as a conservative who was appointed to the federal bench by a Republican president. I say it as someone who prefers Fox News to MSNBC, and National Review Online to the Daily Kos. I say it as someone who thinks the Supreme Court got it right in District of Columbia vs. Heller, when it held that the 2nd Amendment gives us the right to possess guns for self-defense. (That’s why I have mine.) I say it as someone who, generally speaking, is not a big fan of the regulatory state.
“I even say it as someone whose feelings about the NRA mirror the left’s feelings about Planned Parenthood: It has a useful advocacy function in our deliberative democracy, and much of what it does should not be controversial at all.
“And I say it, finally, mindful of the arguments on the other side, at least as I understand them: that a high-capacity magazine is not that different from multiple smaller-capacity magazines; and that if we ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines one day, there’s a danger we would ban guns altogether the next, and your life might depend on you having one.
“But if we can’t find a way to draw sensible lines with guns that balance individual rights and the public interest, we may as well call the American experiment in democracy a failure.
“There is just no reason civilians need to own assault weapons and high-capacity magazines. Gun enthusiasts can still have their venison chili, shoot for sport and competition, and make a home invader flee for his life without pretending they are a part of the SEAL team that took out Osama bin Laden.”