Illustration of the folly

In New York’s knee-jerk rush to implement feel-good-do-something-for-the-children legislation, they also screwed their local law enforcement:

The ban on having high-capacity magazines, as it’s written, would also include law enforcement officers.

Magazines with more than seven rounds will be illegal under the new law when that part takes effect in March.

As the statute is currently written, it does not exempt law enforcement officers. Nearly every law enforcement agency in the state carries hand guns that have a 15 round capacity.

Now, state officials are coming out saying this doesn’t affect the police, they are not in violation, but the simple fact is laws are specific and must spell out exemptions if they are to be any. Any time a law isn’t to apply to police, they spell it out. The fact they didn’t, means this applies to police as well. And so, they are working to “fix” the law.

What this demonstrates is the folly of such limitations.

“Why does anyone need one of those?” Well, this is why. If the police need them, first, that’s “somebody” needing one of those. Second, if no one ever needs more than X arbitrary number of rounds, shouldn’t that go for the police as well?

From Reason calls the absence of a law-enforcement exemption a “loophole in the law,” but in fact it is the very opposite of a loophole: Cops are outraged at the possibility that they might be treated the same as “a regular citizen” under the law. One has to wonder: If, as Seabrook says, the new magazine limit will have no impact on criminals and if, as Seabrook and Palladino agree, more than seven rounds sometimes are necessary to “save lives,” what justification can there be for imposing this arbitrary restriction not just on “law-abiding retired cops” but on law-abiding citizens in general?

Indeed. Why should law-abiding citizens be restricted and the police not? What justifiable reasoning can be given? To say “they’re the police, they may need it” assumes the private citizen never needs it. I’ll keep thinking back to that one student of Tom Givens that needed 11 rounds in order to save his life. Obviously he needed more rounds than these laws would permit — are you going to look him in the eye and tell him nobody needs more than 7 rounds or 10 rounds? that his life wasn’t worth it? that saving “just 1 life” wasn’t worth it?

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