Congress should ban large-capacity ammunition clips for handguns.
If accused shooter Jared Loughner had had fewer bullets in his gun, the numbers of dead and wounded in his attack on Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and innocent bystanders would have left fewer dead and wounded in Tucson.
The clip Loughner used with his Glock 9 mm semi-automatic pistol contained 33 rounds. It's a specialty item purchased in addition to the gun that comes with a 15-round clip as standard equipment.
Loughner was tackled by bystanders when he went to reload—he had three more clips—but that was after he'd already killed six people and wounded 14 others.
U.S. Rep. Carolyn McCarthy of New York, a Democrat, is championing an effort in Congress to introduce a bill limiting the size of ammunition clips. McCarthy's husband was killed and her son seriously injured in a shooting on the Long Island Railroad 17 years ago. That shooter also used a large-capacity clip.
Idaho voters are resolutely opposed to laws that impinge upon the right to bear arms, but they should support this proposal. A law limiting the size of ammo clips wouldn't curtail the rights of law-abiding gun owners, hunters or sport shooters. It also wouldn't limit their ability to defend themselves. Smaller clips and good training are adequate for that task.
Such a law would reduce the carnage when a disturbed individual manifests the nightmares of an unhinged mind.
The modest proposal is not a stalking horse for outlawing gun ownership. It's a commonsense compromise that could make life a little safer in the U.S.A.