Why Buffalo shooter's magazines are irrelevant

(AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul has made a point that the Buffalo shooter’s gun was “modified” with magazines purchased out of state.

For many, the ability of the alleged killer to buy so-called high capacity magazines is a moral failing in this country and evidence that such a ban is needed at the national level. After all, if the dipstick didn’t have so many rounds, he couldn’t have caused so much carnage.

That argument, however, is just awful and awfully stupid.

In all, 10 people were killed in that Buffalo grocery store. Now, that’s awful, but could the killer have killed as many with just a 10-round magazine?

Probably.

For evidence of that, let’s just look at another high-profile mass shooting. In this case, Parkland.

In that incident, 17 people were killed. The killer also used a so-called assault rifle.

Of course, in that atrocity, the killer only had 10-round magazines.

See, what people need to understand is that mass shooters, such as in Buffalo, have the initiative. They start the attack and can keep the attack going. People are panicking and running, so he’s got all the time in the world to reload.

Do you think that round capacity is going to stop him at a time like that?

Of course it won’t.

Now, do you want to know who does get hurt by magazine restrictions? The guys who may find themselves fighting back.

You see, as an armed citizen, you basically accept that you’ll never have the initiative. You don’t get to set the terms of the engagement because you’re the good guy. You don’t get to start the fight and still be the good guy.

In a case like this, a mass shooter has the opportunity to kill people with impunity, but if someone tries to fight back–especially with a handgun against someone armed with a rifle–they’re on the defensive. They haven’t set the terms of the fight so they’re having to react to what the killer does.

Why make it harder for them by restricting them to fewer rounds?

After all, we saw that it didn’t help in Parkland, so why would it have made a difference in Buffalo?

The truth is that New York’s magazine restriction law failed to do what proponents claimed it would, so now Hochul and others are trying to blame someone else for their legislative failings. Since the magazine ban failed, they figure they need to blame everyone else who didn’t pass such a ban.

Yet they haven’t provided a single shred of evidence that such a ban would have actually made a difference. The Parkland killer didn’t need 30-round magazines to kill 17 people, and he could have legally gotten them. If he didn’t, then why would the Buffalo killer have been slowed down if that’s all he could get?

Maybe the problem isn’t the lack of gun control, but the fact that we have people so fundamentally broken that they would do such a thing in the first place. No magazine ban can fix that.