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Calling out WTIC’s John Rowland on a 30-round magazine ban

The title of this post may sound a bit harsh, but I don’t mean it to be. I’m trying to ensure this post gets noticed and might result in a written response from the former Connecticut governor concerning his opinion on 30-round, and other high-capacity magazines for rifles and pistols.

Update: Plenty of traffic for this post, but I ask readers to step out of their comfort zone and share this post via Faceboook, social media and email not just with those who agree, but include the gun control crowd and ask for their response. Get the information out there!

During the last week or so, John Rowland’s afternoon radio show on WTIC 1080 has been filled with callers and discussion about high-capacity magazines and the Connecticut law that holds private, the names and addresses of those with Connecticut’s State Permit to Carry Pistols and Revolvers. I’ll admit I have listened to only a few minutes here and there, but it’s clear Rowland thinks permit holder information should remain private, and gun owners who want access to high-capacity magazines are wrong, stubborn, and have been doing such a bad job explaining their point of view, listeners may think it’s a good idea to have the permit information made public.

Rowland’s approach when taking callers who do not want high-capacity limits is pretty straight forward.

  1. Listen to the caller explain his or her point of view. Many callers do not support a ban on high-capacity magazines and provide a well though out, average or stumbling explanation as to why they should be available to the law-abiding citizen.
  2. Ask the caller if they think the public should have access to – as an example – automatic rifles, rocket propelled grenades (RPGs) or surface to air missiles (SAMs).

This simple turn in conversation is a diversion and a straw-man argument. Few people – if anyone – advocate citizens should have access to RPGs, SAMs, armed fighter planes, or nuclear weapons. The question throws callers off-message, and some claim they should have access to military weapons to protect themselves against government-sponsored tyranny. Rowland waits for this response, laughing-off the possibility the United States government would attack the people, and concludes the caller has lost the argument in the realm of public opinion because of the “we should have access to [fill in your favorite weapon system]” stance. The caller is doing harm to their own cause.

I too think it unlikely the government will turn arms against it’s citizens, but I also understand the concept of peace through strength. James Madison wrote…

Besides the advantage of being armed, which the Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation, the existence of subordinate governments, to which the people are attached, and by which the militia officers are appointed, forms a barrier against the enterprises of ambition, more insurmountable than any which a simple government of any form can admit of.

One may argue history has the nasty habit of repeating itself, as we recall dictators and governments who successfully restricted access to firearms and wreaked havoc on their subjects in modern time, but I suggest the American people have become more comfortable with our representative democracy, and as such, we have compromised on gun control for the last 75 years. The National Firearms Act of 1934, the Federal Firearms Act of 1938, the Gun Control Act of 1968, the creation of the ATF in 1972, the Law Enforcement Act Protection Act of 1986, the Gun-Free Schools Act of 1990, the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act of 1994, the Assault Weapon Ban of 1994, and the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act of 2005 were all federal laws designed to restrict the ownership of specific firearm categories, restrict ownership in general, or make us “more safe.” Of course, state laws have also been implemented as a compromise. The permit process in many states includes high fees, required training, multi-page applications, interviews with officers, interviews with law enforcement administrators, officers visiting your neighbors, yearly reviews, and finger printing in booking rooms among other requirements.

The Firearms Owners Protection Act of 1986 and the expiration of the 1994 Assault Weapon Ban came about thanks to the federal government’s infringement on existing rights, and legislation that did not solve anything or protect anyone. In short, I’m pretty certain the 2nd Amendment crowd is done compromising and additional legislation will not make us any more “safe” than we already are. Rowland agrees legislation including a ban on high-capacity magazines would not stop mass shootings but it would make people feel more comfortable.

Why would you want an assault rifle?

First of all, what is an assault rifle? New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg thinks they are fully-automatic rifles, defined as pulling the trigger back and multiple rounds are shot. Many politicians and talking heads suggest the definition revolves around a strange list of evil features and the number of rounds the rifle can shoot prior to reloading. In reality, there is no clear definition of an assault rifle, the gun control crowd likes to use the word “assault” since it sounds bad. I prefer to use the popular term sport rifle, self-defense rifle, or maybe even evil black rifle (EBR) in reference to the popular color and it’s purported evilness. It is strange the media and politicians refer to the same EXACT firearm as a “patrol rifle” when in the hands of  law enforcement, and assault weapons while in the hands of civilians.

So back to why you may want one… (in no particular order)…

  1. The .223/5.56 caliber versions are very good for varmint hunting.
  2. The .308 versions are very good for all-purpose hunting. And yes, AR-15 type rifles certainly are available in in different calibers including .223/5.56, .308, 6.8mm, .458 SOCOM and 9mm.
  3. They look cool.
  4. Ammunition is (normally) readily available and (normally) priced within reason. Present time excluded.
  5. Since they can be configured and adjusted for different missions, they are appropriate for short-distance shooting (less than 5 yards) as well as long-distance (200+ yards). The platform – by design – is appropriate for everything from personal home defense to military patrols in Afghanistan.
  6. They are very accurate.
  7. When properly maintained – just like most firearms – they are very dependable.
  8. You can purchase and mix/match five round, 10 round, 20 round and 30 round magazines depending on the mission. You may only want a couple of five round mags for hunting, or 20/30 round magazines for target shooting and self defense. The choice is up to you. Yup, you can purchase 60 round magazines and 100 round drums in some states, but from what I understand they are not all that dependable and make the weapon pretty heavy, defeating a primary purpose of the platform (light weight).
  9. They feature a reasonable recoil, making the gun much more comfortable to shoot as compared to many traditional hunting rifles and shotguns. With less recoil, you can also get back on target faster. A 112 pound female can be comfortable shooting a sport rifle thanks to the adjustable design and buffer tube that helps to reduce recoil.
  10. They can be customized to “fit” a variety of body types and shooting styles. A wide variety of accessories are available to make the firearm more comfortable to shoot.

I think that’s a pretty reasonable list, but what about using the rifle for home defense? Many of the reasons listed above help to make the sport rifle platform appropriate for home defense, but I’ll add a few.

Sidebar: During a home defense situation or if you think someone is in the house, it’s best to stay put and call for help. Depending on your home’s configuration, you may need to move or re-position family members to a safe location, but you definitely do not want to walk around with your pistol or rifle to “clear” your home. Even trained law enforcement officers will not clear their own home. They want at least two, preferably three or four trained professionals to clear small to moderate size homes or businesses. To continue, again in no particular order…

  1. You can mount a light and/or a red dot sight to the rifle to make it easy to used and aim during the day or night.
  2. It is easy to load and reload a magazine as needed.
  3. The most popular self-defense round in .223/5.56 is very appropriate for self defense situations within the home, even in an urban environment. Ballistic experts have found the rounds from these calibers “dump energy” quickly and break apart or begin to tumble after penetrating the first barrier. Will rifle rounds go through walls? You bet. Will pistol calibers like 9mm, .40 and .45 go through walls? You bet. That said, there is significant evidence the .223/5.56 self-defense rounds penetrate no more than, and often less than traditional handgun calibers and many shotgun rounds. (The type of round you select is important. Don’t use a full metal jacket target round for self-defense.)
  4. A rifle is much more capable of stopping a threat as compared to a pistol. Emergency response teams and law enforcement have been replacing shotguns and MP-5 (9mm carbine variants) with the patrol rifle (AR-15) for many years. If LEOs enter an active shooting scene they bring patrol rifles as their primary weapon because they are more accurate, are less likely to penetrate through multiple walls, and more likely to stop a threat with fewer rounds.
  5. Those rifles with pronounced magazines are a pretty good deterrent during an out-of-control riot. You may recall pictures of shop owners on the roofs of their businesses during the LA Riots in 1992.

Why in the world would you need a 30-round magazine?

I’m not sure I ever would – and I hope I never do – need a 30-round rifle magazine or a high-capacity pistol magazine in a self-defense situation. God, I shiver at the thought. That said, I’m certain that if you speak with anyone in law enforcement or the military who has been part of a two-way shooting gallery and asked them if they would have brought extra ammunition and magazines with them if they could, the answer would be a resounding YES … even if they only fired half of one magazine. I recently read

Nobody has ever survived a gunfight and then said afterwards, “Darn, I wish I hadn’t brought all that extra ammo.”

Onward…

  1. In a self-defense situation, you want to avoid manipulating the weapon at all except for pulling the trigger straight back. You’re concentrating on the target, the availability of the target, the space between you and the target, the space beyond the target, and your sights. By introducing additional firearm manipulation – clearing a jam or reloading – more things can go wrong and that’s not a good thing. Law enforcement and civilians do not favor high-capacity magazines so they can shoot more rounds, they favor them so they can manipulate their weapon less.
  2. One, two, three, four or even more rounds may not stop the threat. One mother shot a home intruder five times earlier this month and the guy was able to walk away to his car. She did stop the threat, but she only had a revolver and luckily she did not have to reload. What if she was limited to a 10 round magazine and was unable to stop the threat with 10 rounds? What if there were multiple home invaders? Ask any experienced ER docs, EMTs or nurses who have worked on patients who have been shot. Have they seen people with multiple gunshot wounds continue to be alert and combative? The answer will be yes.
  3. I’m not sure how my accuracy would be. I would hope that I would be on-target all of the time, but I really have no clue as to how I would preform in a situation like that. Neither do cops, and that’s where we find pretty good data indicating law enforcement hit rates are not as good as you would expect. Ten rounds may certainly not be enough. The numbers usually are less than 50 percent, with current law enforcement training referencing less than 20 percent.
  4. In training sessions or just plinking for fun, it’s a pain-in-the-ass to keep reloading 10 round magazines every few minutes.

If you take the above information to heart, you’ll have to admit reasons 1, 2 and 3 provide a strong case for completely avoiding magazine capacity limits. It’s better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it. If you still think it does not make any sense, may I suggest you go ask law enforcement why they need 30-round magazines for their patrol rifles? It is extremely rare – here is one example – for law enforcement to be in a defensive situation where they have used a full magazine or more, and it would certainly be extremely rare for a civilian in a home-defense situation to need the same. Explain why law enforcement can have multiple 30-round magazines for self-defense while civilians would never need the same?

When four armed men rush you in your house – again extremely rare – I’d rather not be limited concerning the number of rounds in my handgun or rifle thank you.

Those 30-round magazines make it too easy for mass shooters to kill people.

What has been totally missed during the past three weeks is the fact mass shooters have used pistols with standard capacity magazines (nothing more than 15 rounds). The Virginia Tech shooter killed 32 people and wounded 17 while carrying a Glock 17, 9mm pistol with 10-round and 15-round magazines and a Walther P22 (.22 caliber) handgun. This was the deadliest shooting incident by a single gunman in American history. The shooter had access to and could have purchased 17-round, 19-round and 33-round magazines via the Internet without a background check. The shooter just had more magazines; it’s reported he had 19 of them. There are many more similar stories.

If the Newtown shooter used the Sig Sauer 9mm handgun he carried that day with 10 round magazines to kill 26, what would we be discussing right now?

I encourage you to share this post via social media, not just with the like-minded, but reach out to those who would like to see additional gun control restrictions. Rowland has mentioned 80 percent of the people out there don’t think high-capacity magazines should be available, but I firmly believe there is a significant education and information problem concerning the subject. It does not help that gun control activists are telling viewers fully automatic weapons are used in crimes or are even easily available. I’m certain a significant number of those 80 percent – if that is a valid figure – would have a different opinion after reading this post … so share it!

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44 Responses to "Calling out WTIC’s John Rowland on a 30-round magazine ban"

  1. JollyRoger says:

    Not to promote a more curmudgeonly host who who sleeps with poodles, rather than Springer Spaniels, but I think prescription and non-prescription drugs play a huge role in these shootings.   The warnings on most pill bottles are alarming, and it’s opening a Pandora’s Box when they’re mixed with Red Bull, recreational drugs, alcohol, huffing agents…  Could there be a drug profile for these psychotic suspects?

  2. From page 74 of the official Review Panel Report on the Virginia Tech Mass Shooting

     

    The panel also considered whether the previous federal Assault Weapons Act of 1994 that banned 15-round magazines would have made a difference in the April 16 incidents. The law lapsed after 10 years, in October 2004, and had banned clips or magazines with over 10 rounds. The panel concluded that 10-round magazines that were legal would have not made much difference in the incident. Even pistols with rapid loaders could have been about as deadly in this situation.

  3. The other thing people bring up is the idea that AR-15′s and other “assault rifles” are too large to be useful in self-defense situations.  They ignore the fact that this is due to federal law, and the laws about short barreled rifles.

    • SBRs may be useful for self-defense and for clearing, but I don’t think it’s necessary especially since you should be limiting your movements around the house. Shotguns are also considered valuable self-defense weapons, and they have the same restrictions on barrel length. That said, I agree the ATF regulations and legislation can be pretty whacky when it comes to rules about barrel length and what is defined as a pistol or rifle.

      • The other part I always seem to stump liberals on is, what about people down on the border?  They’re going against people from drug cartels armed with AK-47 and other real assault weapons, you can’t tell me they don’t need the bigger weapons to defend themselves.

      • ricbee says:

        When it became apparent that my girlfriend was buying drugs from a local gang,I put away my Saturday night special & got a niner with a 15 round magazine. I knew I would need it if confronted by more than one hoodlum.

  4. JBS says:

    Steve, superb job, as usual.
    Rowland is exactly on the wrong side of this issue. It is not a debate as the arguments of the gun-grabbers are one sided. Gun owners, who were sitting quietly by, are being attacked by a pre-programmed liberal onslaught with confiscation as their ultimate goal. They really don’t want to waste this crisis.

    The 30-round, 20-round or ten round magazine capacity is a straw man piece of disingenuous, philistine, and hypocritical orthodoxy on the part of the grabbers. Their true goal is often stated; any allusion to magazine bans is purely incremental to that Liberal Utopian ideal.

  5. SeeingRed says:

    Well done, Steve.

  6. Danbo11B says:

    An excellent article. Mr. Rowland keeps asking for an example of why someone would need a 30 rd. magazine. Look at the L.A. riots after the Rodney King trial. The only shops that weren’t looted were the ones that the owners defended with AR’s and such with high capacity magazines. The home defense issue is also a good example. To quote from the movie “Unforgiven” when the one-armed sheriff carried 3 pistols, “I don’t want to get killed for lack of shootin’ back.” Which also brings up another point. The fastest reload is one that you don’t do. Limit capacity, and killers will just carry more guns. Or, just tape 2 ten rd. mags together end to end. A practiced shooter can do a reload in mere seconds.
    Ban the ownership of 30 rd. magazines? You’ll then turn thousands of soldiers who might have purchased them to supplement the basic issue into felons.  It would be a major slap in the face of someone who was willing to defend this country with his life (like myself).
    We need to stop blaming a tool for it’s misuse.

  7. Danbo11B says:

    On a personal note; Mr. Rowlad is close to losing a loyal listener over this.

  8. Anne-EH says:

    Here is an idea: ENFORCE the gun-related laws that are on the CT state/USA federal law books already.

    • JBS says:

      The liberals are yelling, “But, but, we have to DO something!”
      And, the grabbers are saying, “We can’t waste this crisis! Legislate now while emotions are high!  This is a golden opportunity to take a giant leap down the road to banning all guns altogether!”

    • Gary J says:

      Anne OMG OMG what an Idea. One problem with it is new and old legislators have to do feel good things to show people they care. If it means re-doing law and or policy,though it is already covered —-so be it. They all “feel good” when they go home and ask for more money to get re-elected.

  9. Dimsdale says:

    Rowland keeps making the point that the 30 rd. mag is only for the “convenience” of the gun owner, while simultaneously acknowledging that the mag can be changed in just a few seconds.  He argues against himself: if the proposed 10 rd. mag is only an “inconvenience”, then it is not an impediment either, which brings us back to the question, “what is the point?” other than for a pol to say he/she did something.

  10. John Puzzo says:

    Rowland, as the state’s still most prominent spokesman regardless of his status as a felon who may not posess firearms and can’t even vote, likes to tell the rest of us law abiding citizens how to live. His statements made live and on the air in his drive-by shows of  January 7th and 8th, 2013, that in a home invasion he would not defend his family. He said this repeatedly. What a contemptible coward. Of course had he gone to a real prison rather than Club Fed to serve his year and a day sentence he might have a different opinon. In a real prison the other inmates would have toughened him. They couldn’t have made him more compliant. My friend’s poodle, ‘Fifi,’ has more testosterone the the former Governor.

    • I would not call him a coward for not going on defensive in a home invasion senario. He’s just making a decision depending on the odds. If a robber is pointing a gun at you, there are two outcomes – the trigger is pulled or it is not pulled. He’s playing the odds in what he believes to be in his favor. Some, will not take the chance.

      • Dimsdale says:

        Isn’t his conviction forcing him to take those odds?

      • John Puzzo says:

        Rowland’s decision to not be prepared is what make him a coward. He does not believe that ANYONE would have the foresight to prepare for such contingencies as a home invasions which seem to occur with increasing regularity these days. And it’s next to impossible to separate the MSM from this issue – the Civilian Disarmament Issue (it’s not gun control), Rowland, VIcevich, Dunaway, and Headline Reader Angela Bias all work for CBS, a major player in the MSM…by the way, my Byline on the Air is ‘John From Plainville.’ For my background, please Google my name and do an image search, as well. I have spent considerable time in the protection business and know that Rowland is dead wrong on his assessment of ‘negotiate over tactics.’  

  11. John Puzzo says:

    Sorry I do need an editor: That was supposed to read, “…the State’s most prominent ‘Republican’ spokesman…”
     

  12. gillie28 says:

    From a natural point of view, I would be all for banning guns, especially the semi-automatic ones, except for the fact that those left with guns would just be the criminals.  You’ve gone too far without enforced gun control in the US to go back, sadly.  Spiritually, a person of faith, REAL faith in God and His will and plans doesn’t need a weapon   The Scriptures state that the Lord is my defense and my God is the rock of my refuge. And he shall bring upon them their own iniquity, and shall cut them off in their own wickedness: yea, the Lord our God shall cut them off (Ps 94:22,23 – whole chapter worth reading and pertinent to the subject). 
    Sorry, but the world is in such a mess that think it’s irreversible. without Divine intervention. 

    • Evil exists. You can’t negotiate with it, or get it to sit down with Dr. Phil for an anger management session either. It’s perfectly appropriate to fight back against evil.

      • gillie28 says:

        Steve, I totally agree with your comment about evil.  But, just have different approach about how to judge and condemn it.  The physical evil that people manifest is the result of spiritual evil that is inside.  God has a way of letting evil go to the limit before destroying or removing it, to reveal the motives and intentions of all.  Politics will never resolve any real problems, only put band-aids over them at the most.  God’s blessings and protections are removed when a nation doesn’t want Him….He tries to get our attention in many ways, but finally gives people what they want.  Unfortunately, most don’t truly want Him: don’t want the responsibility and accountability to live by His rules, so the result is an ungodly world, unblessed and unprotected. 

  13. Plainvillian says:

    Rowland is more qualified to pontificate about Mustangs than guns.

  14. JBS says:

    Rowland does not know what he is talking about. The 30-round magazine for the AR-15 style rifle is probably the most common magazine available. I don’t know how many are currently in circulation and anyone who would claim so is making a WAG.
    The original magazine issued and manufactured for use with the AR-15 was a 20-round magazine. 30-round magazines are just what is largely available. Larger than 30 round magazines are prone to difficulties due to their weight, spring length and strength, and magazine followers — not to get too technical.
    And, the AR-15 is a recognized Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) rifle. Liberals hate to admit this — Tens of thousands of individuals have competed in the various matches at such hallowed places as Camp Perry, Ohio, for the honor of being in the National Marksman rankings.
    By the way, the AR-15 is the leading seller in the US. There has to be, quite literally, millions. With a couple dozen manufacturers.
    Liberals cherish their fears.  They cultivate them and marinate them in the nightmares of their dreams. Liberals fear…

  15. JBS says:

    . . . everything.
    It must suck being a liberal.

  16. ricbee says:

    Rowland with his incessant harping has caused me to turn off WTIC. The man is an arrogant fool.

  17. Lucinda says:

    Thank you, Steve, for an excellent rebuttal. I was hoping you or Jim would call him out. It has been very frustrating listening to John Rowland these last couple of weeks as he uses phrases, questions, and straw man arguments straight out of the anti-gun handbook. He is rapidly losing credibility in my eyes. My answer to his question of why would anyone need a firearm with a 30-round magazine is one word: Insurance! I hope I never need it, but it’s sure nice to know it’s there in case I do.

  18. Lucinda says:

    And Rowland has been driving me nuts as he tries to lay the guilt trip on the law-abiding citizen, saying Newtown wouldn’t have happened if 30-round magazines had been banned, and that their only purpose (along with so-called “assault weapons”) is for killing lots of innocent people.
     
    He completely ignores the fact that all these shootings have occurred in “gun-free” zones, and they are being carried out by crazy and/or evil people.

    • I have not listened to more than one hour of his show on the subject, but I did not get the impression he said it “wouldn’t have happened if …” I think I actually heard him say it might not stop it, but it would make people feel better in the future.

  19. Gary J says:

    Wow Steve a 5 run home run. I always “had” WTIC on. After that afternoon show no more afternoon TIC for me. Then yesterday Rowland was on in the AM–click. Mr feel good can go elsewhere as far as I and my wife are concerned. Rowland is a super example of how even concervatives are caving to liberal ways.

    • Thank you. Although I used Rowland’s opinion as a jump-start for this piece, I really don’t think Rowland should be the topic. We all need to stop preaching to the choir and move out of our comfort zone and start discussing this with those who think more gun control is a good idea and will solve the issue.

      • JBS says:

        Steve, I’m trying to bring the light to people I come into contact with.
        There is a unbelievable amount of misinformation that many people hold as their truth. I often have to go back to elementary basics to even have a conversation with some people. It is a constant battle.
        Even as the Right has been described by Obama as “bitter clingers,” there are otherwise intelligent people who cling to the some truly wacky notions.
        It takes continuous educating and patience. Then there are those who refuse to even admit that conservatives could be right, that they have a point about anything. That is usually when the name calling starts.

      • stinkfoot says:

        Do you think it’s possible to get them to stop taking at face value the crap fed through the mass media by left wing propagandists disguised as journalists?  Arguing with some people is like talking to a brick wall.

      • We absolutely must keep trying. Make our message easy to understand. Let them walk away a little bit confused and then speak with them again.

  20. Aaron0084 says:

    I have grown very tired of listening to Rowland rant about a topic he obviously knowns nothing about and doesn’t care to know anything about.  His show is at it’s best when he talks about  the legistalative process in the state and how it works because he has an insiders perspective that most talk shows lack.  That is why I listen.  That being said, a difinitive report on the Newtown shooting has not been released and will not be fouthcoming in the near future because of the complexity of the investigation.  With out such a report, anything that lawmakers propose cannot be factually based and emotionally driven legislation is sure to fail.  I am also still perplexed that the focus is only on gun violence and not violence in general.  A question for Mr Rowland;  If Lanza had locked himself in a classroom, doused everyone inside with gasoline and set them on fire, would we be arguing for a ban on gasoline cans over 5 gallons?  If I recall, the Petit daughters were murdered with gasoline and I don’t recall any such call for limits on the size of gasoline cans.  I am going to say here what need to be said; There is no legislative solution to the issue of mass killing.

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