17014 Broadway ave.
Snohomish, WA 98296
Sunday, January 23, 2011

Rep. Jay Inslee
FAX: (206) 361-3959


Representative Inslee:

I am writing this letter to call on you in the strongest terms – “demand” wouldn't be an overstatement to oppose H.R.308, which seeks to ban firearm magazines that contain more than ten rounds of ammunition.

Cases where determined violent criminals continued to fight after being shot more than ten times are common. For example, in the famous 1986 FBI shootout in Miami, eight trained FBI agents fired nearly 100 rounds to stop two bank robbers. One of the robbers continued to fight until shot 12 times. “One-shot stop” is a Hollywood fantasy.

People who propose private citizens' self-defense is adequately served with magazine capacity limited to ten rounds need to read the literature and talk to professional self-defense trainers rather than believe what they see in the movies. A ten-round restriction on magazine capacity will result in many needless injuries and deaths of innocent people unable to adequately defend themselves.

Even if we ignore the obvious and justifiable need for magazines holding more than ten rounds, our Constitution contains what is called a Bill of Rights not a Bill of Needs.

People who claim the price of freedom is too high should try suggesting that to their friends and neighbors with dark-colored skin or different religious beliefs before suggesting that to the 80 million lawful, peaceable gun owners in this country. The price we paid and continue to pay for freedom from slavery, for religious tolerance, and for the right to keep and bear arms was and is great but it is far less than the cost of not having those freedoms.

If most violent crime were committed by people with black skin there wouldn’t be talk of “reasonable restrictions” which encroach upon the 13th Amendment.

Tens of millions of innocent people have been murdered by students of Karl Marx, but no one is advocating a ban on the possession of his books to prevent murderous tyrants from arising.

Even when 19 religious fanatics murdered thousands of people in coordinated attacks on our country no serious consideration was given to banning their religion.

In this country we have principles which we hold to even if the cost is sometimes great. We value freedom even when some people abuse that freedom. We hold individuals responsible for their actions, not the group to which they belong, the tools they used to carry out their actions, or the freedom itself.

The characterization of magazine capacities exceeding ten rounds as “large” or “high” ignores the reality of modern firearm design. The standard capacity for any firearm magazine is as much as will fit without interfering with function or handling. For physically small calibers such as 9mm, this means a pistol grip sized to be comfortable for most adults' hands will accommodate a magazine holding sixteen or seventeen rounds without the magazine projecting abnormally past the bottom of the grip. Magazines of this capacity are the standard equipment provided with the firearm by the manufacturer. That capacity is normal, not unusual.

 Nearly all police officers in this country carry magazines of greater than ten rounds. Ask your local police officers if they carry magazines with capacities of more than ten rounds. If they find them useful and appropriate, then so do the tens of millions of others who use them for self-defense and sports. These are not “high capacity magazines” that are being targeted. These are normal capacity magazines.

The proposed ban of magazines of greater than ten rounds is a proven failure. The DOJ studies on the effects of the 1994 to 2004 ban of these magazines showed this. Even after nearly ten years of being banned, the DOJ sponsored study concluded “Should it be renewed, the ban’s effects on gun violence are likely to be small at best and perhaps too small for reliable measurement.”

The proposed ban of magazines of greater than ten rounds would affect tens of millions of gun owners and ban hundreds of millions of magazines. The proposed ban would apply not only to millions of handguns sold every year, and to the most popular rifles, but even to some shotguns. These magazines more than satisfy the “common use” requirement for protection as outlined in the 2008 D.C. v. Heller Supreme Court ruling.

To ban magazines of greater than ten rounds would not only be pointless from a public safety perspective, such a ban would be overturned by the courts, and would subject this country to a long and divisive conflict when we need to focus on other issues of much greater importance. We don’t need to re-learn the lessons of Prohibition, the War on Drugs, and the 1994 “Assault Weapons” ban. We are better students of history than that.

Those advocating the ban are either ignorant of the uselessness of it and how common these magazines are, or they know and don’t care. Actions advocated by ignorant people cannot be considered anything but foolish. Actions advocated by people who know they are pointless must have an ulterior motive.

Oppose H.R.308.



John Hardin