There’s an old saying that says to never attribute anything to malice that can be easily explained by incompetence. There’s something to be said for that. After all, people are more likely to screw up than be evil, by and large.

But then you see this bill out of Oregon and realize that at the end of the day, at least when it comes to politics, it doesn’t matter if it’s stupidity or evil. Either way, it’s an abomination.

Legislation submitted in the Democrat-controlled Oregon legislature would fundamentally change the state’s firearm laws, recasting them as the most restrictive in the country.

State Sen. Rob Wagner has submitted SB 501 for the upcoming session. Wagner’s bill would require licensing for gun owners prior to purchase, outlaw firearm magazines capable of holding more than five rounds and limit individual ammunition sales to no more than 20 rounds every 30 days.

Wagner conceded to local media that it was “probably a long shot that something like this passes in whole cloth,” but is proceeding with the measure on behalf of a group of student gun control advocates. A Portland-area Democrat, Wagner was endorsed by New York billionaire Michael Bloomberg’s Everytown group who also contributed directly to his campaign last fall.

Besides its restrictions on ammunition and requirements for licensing, SB 501 would also mandate that background checks be delayed for 14-days so that state police can research would-be buyers, fine gun owners who failed to report lost or stolen firearms and require guns be locked up when not in use. There would be no grandfathering of magazines affected by the ban.

Five rounds.

Right now, there aren’t many semi-auto magazines being manufactured with five rounds or less. Oh, they could be made, but this would require every magazine manufacturer to either write off Oregon as a market or start tooling up to offer five-round magazines.

And there’s a good chance Oregonians will have to say goodbye to their wheel guns, as Rep. Bill Post (R-Keizer, OR) notes, “That means your old six shot revolver would be required to be turned in or destroyed.”

Wagner refers to this as a long shot, and it is. It’s a major longshot, but the fact that he’s presenting this at all means he feels emboldened. He feels nice and safe and thinks he can get away with this kind of thing. Not just that, though. He also feels like there’s at least a sliver of a chance he could see this bill become law, even in a toned-down version.

What he’s done is given us a glimpse behind the curtain.

You see, gun control isn’t going to just happen one day. It’s going to be incremental changes to our laws. Proponents will call them “common sense” rules designed to keep people safe. They’ll even believe that. But since it won’t work, they’ll keep pushing for more and more regulations, all the while swearing they’re not coming for your guns.

Then, one day, they’ll pass a law that will come for your guns. They’ll start with “assault weapons,” of course, but then they’ll restrict everything you own out of existence until, at best, you’ll have a double-barrel shotgun and a hunting rifle. Maybe.

The fact that this bill would place such a heavy restriction on a firearm’s capacity is ridiculous. After all, the revolvers we’ve been assured weren’t likely to be banned anytime soon would either be banned or have to be specifically exempted, which would just push more people to carry six-shot revolvers.

What’s the kicker in all this is a common refrain. The bad guys will follow no such restrictions, and all you’ll be doing is hamstringing the good guys in the state.

Not that someone like Wagner necessarily believes anyone with a gun is a good guy.