When U.S. District Judge Roger Benitez recently handed down his decision in Duncan v. Bonta declaring that California’s ban on “large capacity” magazines violates the Second Amendment, he provided several examples where having a magazine capable of holding more than ten rounds would have been incredibly useful to the victims of violent crime, or, conversely, where lawful gun owners used their “large capacity” magazines in self-defense.
“There have been, and there will be, times where many more than 10 rounds are needed to stop attackers,” wrote Benitez.
Yet, as the judge pointed out, the state of California says, “if you think you need more than 10 chances to defend yourself against criminal attackers, you must carry more magazines. Or carry more bullets to hand reload and fumble into your small magazine while the attackers take advantage of your pause.”
We now have another painful reminder of the fact that criminals don’t fight fair, this time in New York City, where a Queens man is in critical condition after eight suspects, at least one of them armed, invaded his home early Wednesday morning.
The 31-year-old victim was inside his home on 62nd Avenue near 138th Street in Flushing around 5:30 a.m. when eight mask-wearing suspects surrounded the house, police said.
Video obtained by investigators, through the homeowner, shows the crew splitting up into groups of twos and threes attempting to enter through the front, side and back entrances of the home, police sources said.
One member of the group ultimately broke the front window and made his way into the home, but the plucky victim tried to push him back outside, authorities said.
At that point, one of the accomplices standing outside the home opened fire, striking him in the chest and the arm, police said.
The crew snatched up $800 and an iPad before fleeing, authorities said.
To be clear, the homeowner in question doesn’t appear to have been armed himself, so a magazine of any capacity would have been beneficial to his personal safety, as long as it was inserted into a usable firearm. But even if the victim had gone through the ridiculously drawn-out and needlessly expensive process of obtaining a premises permit for a handgun, he would have been limited by law to possessing magazines that could hold no more than ten rounds.
I don’t know about you, but 10 rounds against eight attackers doesn’t seem like a lot to me, especially given the coordinated assault on his home. So why should the state decide how many rounds are acceptable to use in self-defense, especially when there’s nothing in the historical record to indicate any widespread or longstanding prohibitions on multi-shot firearms at the time of the Founding or the ratification of the Fourteenth Amendment?
As Judge Benitez wrote in Duncan:
One government solution to a few mad men with guns is a law that makes into criminals responsible, law-abiding people wanting larger magazines simply to protect themselves. The history and tradition of the Second Amendment clearly supports state laws against the use or misuse of firearms with unlawful intent, but not the disarmament of the law-abiding citizen. That kind of a solution is an infringement on the Constitutional right of citizens to keep and bear arms. The adoption of the Second Amendment was a freedom calculus decided long ago by our first citizens who cherished individual freedom with its risks more than the subservient security of a British ruler or the smothering safety of domestic lawmakers. The freedom they fought for was worth fighting for then, and that freedom is entitled to be preserved still.
Including the freedom to defend yourself against eight mad men with guns who are invading your home without being artificially deprived of your ability to effectively fight back by the state.
Not everyone will choose to arm themselves for self-defense, and states like New York have made it incredibly difficult to do so even when that decision has been made, but that doesn’t change the fact that we have the right to self-defense, even when the odds are overwhelmingly in our attackers favor. Anti-gun politicians like California Attorney General Rob Bonta can argue that the “average” defensive gun use results in fewer than three rounds being fired, but no one can guarantee that if you’re the victim of a home invasion, carjacking, or armed robbery it will be an “average” incident. You may get lucky and not need to fire your gun at all, or you could be faced with multiple assailants intent on taking your stuff and prepared to take your life in the process. New York’s prohibition on “large capacity” magazines didn’t stop this large-scale assault on a man in Queens, but it’s stopping every lawful gun owner in the state from being able to effectively fight back if they’re ever in a similar situation.