Your points are for the most part good, but I take exception with one.
estes.chris
11

Here’s the basic problem that you’re going to run into with the whole “reasonable limits” argument.

The first major federal gun control law, the National Firearms Act, was enacted in the 1930s. This was followed by the Gun Control Act of 1968, the hilariously-misnamed Firearms Owners Protection Act (1986), the Undetectable Firearms Act (1988), the Gun-Free School Zones Act (1990), the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act (1993), and the now-lapsed federal assault weapons ban (1994). On top of this you have state and sometimes local restrictions, as well as various executive actions, too numerous to list here.

Almost without exception, advocates for these measures describe them as “reasonable limits,” often without regard to what the laws actually do, and how they actually operate, in the real world. Various assault weapons bans are perhaps the quintessential, but hardly the sole, example: banning civilian semi-automatic rifles that happen to share enough cosmetic and ergonomic features with modern military rifles is described by gun-control advocates as a “reasonable limit.” Waiting periods, even for people who already own guns? “Reasonable limits.” Even Washington D.C.’s gun laws, which were tantamount to a complete ban on possessing a functional firearm in one’s own home before being declared unconstitutional in the D.C. v. Heller ruling, were characterized as “reasonable limits” in some precincts.

You suggest, for example, that some people consider restrictions on magazine size to be “reasonable limits.” The most commonly-proposed versions of these laws restrict the sale to civilians of any magazines with greater than a 10 (sometimes 12) round capacity. In actual effect, this prohibits the sale to civilians of factory-standard magazines for most full-size and many compact semi-auto handguns manufactured today. If these laws were enacted, I wouldn’t be able to get normal-capacity 15-round magazines for my SigSauer P229 anymore; I’d have to buy, instead, politically-correct crippleware. And to what benefit?

Gun owners have acquiesced — often grudgingly, I admit — to literally hundreds of what were until the moment of their passage “reasonable limits.” Barely is the ink dry on these measures when gun controllers are back, characterizing the old “reasonable limits” as loophole-ridden inadequacies and demanding a whole new set of “reasonable limits.” Most frustratingly, the people proposing these “reasonable limits” often have no earthly idea what they’re talking about: they demonstrate an understanding neither of firearms themselves (e.g., Rep. Carolyn McCarthy, D-NY, describing a barrel shroud, an entirely-innocuous accessory designed to protect a shooter from burning himself on a hot gun barrel, as a nefarious and ban-worthy “shoulder thing that goes up”), nor of the existing state of firearms regulation (e.g., incessant complaints about the “gun-show loophole” which does not actually exist).

To an increasing number of gun owners, all of these “reasonable limits” are, in aggregate, unreasonable, especially when we know based on their past behavior that gun controllers will simply pocket any concessions that we make before turning around and demanding new ones (consider that the President recently praised a mandatory gun buyback — i.e., a compensated confiscation — in Australia). We no longer believe, in other words, that people advocating for “reasonable limits” are good-faith actors.

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