Will he be willing to listen and learn since he might be representing all of America instead of just the liberal Commonwealth of Massachusetts? Of course he supports the 2nd Amendment, what the heck else is he going to say? But it is his actions – or inactions – as governor of Massachusetts we should be looking at, not what he’s saying now.
The Massachusetts Assault Weapon Ban
After the federal assault weapon ban expired, Gov. Mitt Romney (R) and the Massachusetts legislature thought it would be good to implement a state ban and make it permanent in 2004. As I’ve mentioned before, assault weapon bans that limit the features of a rifle is feel-good legislation that does nothing to reduce crime.
I’d like to ask Romney this question about the ban. Which of the two rifles shown below is illegal in states like Massachusetts that have a miss-named “assault weapon ban?” (Click on each for a larger view.) For this question, assume the rifles have a 10-round capacity magazine, not shown.
Both of the above rifles deliver one round each time you pull the trigger (semiautomatic), and both shoot 5.56 NATO and .223 Remington rounds. They both have the same barrel length. The rifle on the left includes a two-point sling, fore grip, a high-intensity flash light mounted on a quad rail, a red dot scope along with a 3x magnifier.
Believe it or not, the rifle on the right, hanging on the peg-board wall is banned in Massachusetts simply because the stock of the rifle can be adjusted into multiple positions. What kind of sense is that Mitt?
High Capacity Magazines
Along with the miss-named assault weapon ban, Romney also continued to support a high capacity magazine ban, limiting Massachusetts owners to 10-round capacity magazines unless they were owned by the resident prior to Sept. 1994.
Of course, this ban, not unlike the assault weapon ban, does absolutely nothing other than limit options for law-abiding citizens when it comes to protecting themselves and their family. Criminals do what criminals do; they ignore the law. But Romney like many other anti-gun types, is a big fan of feel-good gun legislation.
A year ago I wrote how carrying 10 rounds in a self-defense pistol may not be enough. And I brought statistics with me.
In stressful shooting situations, most studies show “hit rates” of less than 50 percent. A New York Times article from Dec. 2007 noted the hit rate for law enforcement in the city was 17.4 percent in 2005 and 28.3 percent in 2006. Los Angeles law enforcement shot placement was better than New York’s in 2006, with a 40 percent hit rate. Keep in mind these are law enforcement officers, who partake in regular training.
Civilians would be taking a more defensive posture, but the stress level is still there. In a situation where multiple attackers invade a home or attack someone on the street, it would be very reasonable to assume one defending himself or his family may run out of ammunition quickly if they were limited to a ten round magazine capacity. Certainly home invasions or attacks by multiple gun-toting criminals are rare, but mass shootings like Columbine and Tucson are even more rare.
Combine low hit rates in stressful situations with the fact one, two, three or even four rounds that hit the aggressor may not stop the threat, and you have a strong case to completely avoid a magazine capacity limit.
So what say you Mitt?
Romney had no problem with the Brady Bill’s Five-Day waiting period
When running for US Senate in 1994, Romney was ambivalent concerning the Brady Bill’s five-day waiting period, which again does nothing to thwart criminals, rather it just puts additional burdens on law-abiding citizens who want to have a chance to protect themselves. In a Boston Herald article on Aug. 1, 1994, Romney noted…
I don’t think (the waiting period) will have a massive effect on crime but I think it will have a positive effect.
Governor, show me the “positive effect” in Massachusetts. It’s impossible to prove a negative of course, but if someone wanted to shoot someone, that makes them a criminal who can get a gun if they want. I’m not going to try to research if someone who was threatened had to wait five days and got killed or injured, simply because it would be a rare outlier. That said, if you felt threatened and took steps to install exterior lights, and a security system and locked your house but wanted to take the added step of having a firearm for protection, how is making a law-abiding person wait five days good for anything?
The criminal wouldn’t have to wait.
Massachusetts’ use of consumer protection regulations to regulate the firearm industry
It all started in 2000, and Mitt Romney did nothing to combat the stupid regulations mandated by the commonwealth’s attorney general. The requirement of a loaded chamber indicator, a magazine disconnect and a 10 pound trigger pull on pistols sold by dealers in Massachusetts after March of 2000 resulted in an “approved state list” of firearms.
Again, Romney was ambivalent to these rules that were not law, rather executive branch mandates. They still exist to this day.
The loaded chamber indicator gives some the false impression that if they look and don’t see the flag, the weapon must be unloaded. This “look to check” breaks one of the most important rules in gun handling; always assume the weapon is loaded. The proper way to check to see if a weapon is unloaded is a visual and physical check with the chamber open, and the magazine removed if applicable.
The magazine disconnect ensures the gun can not be fired – and you can not defend yourself – if there is a round in the chamber and the magazine is removed from the pistol grip. Sure, a magazine disconnect might avoid a negligent discharge, but if that does happen, you’ve broken at least two out of three (or four) primary rules; assuming the gun is unloaded, and you put your finger on the trigger. There is the argument that in a close-quarters fight for control of a pistol, one could hit the magazine release to render the weapon useless as a firearm. Then again, ask a cop if he’s ever drawn his pistol and had the magazine drop out by mistake simply because it was not seated properly or the mag release was inadvertently pushed. That could be a disaster.
A 10 pound trigger? Have you tried to pull the trigger on a double action revolver or semi-automatic pistol with a 10 pound trigger? I’m telling you, there will be a significant percentage of the population who would have a difficult time with such a high weight. They may not be able to get a round off in a self-defense situation, let alone put one on-target.
These mandates simply discourage manufactures from selling pistols in Massachusetts and increases the cost to buy and maintain self-defense firearms. Thanks a lot.
Permits for Residents and Non-Residents
Not too good here either. No need to go into details, but let’s say Romney was not out to support the concealed carry movement.
Massachusetts, like Connecticut, refuses to honor any other state carry permits. You have to get a non-resident permit, and that’s never been easy to do. Ask a state resident who lives east of Worcester how difficult it is to get a Class A license to carry concealed.
I won’t blame Romney about the more recent regulations put on non-residents who want a permit for to carry in Massachusetts. Let’s just say his ambivalence over the years clearly made it worse for non-residents.
So what say you Gov. Romney? Are you willing to have a real discussion about your support of the 2nd Amendment?