Writing at CNN.com, two prominent criminologists advocate a ban on high-capacity gun magazines as “a common-sense policy change that is likely to generate modest but important benefits to society at a very small cost.” The mass shooting last weekend in Tucson was committed with a Glock 9 mm semiautomatic handgun equipped with a high-capacity magazine that held 31 bullets. Philip Cook of Duke University and Jens Ludwig of the University of Chicago said the shooting has prompted second-guessing about the decision by Congress in 2004 to allow the expiration of the assault weapons ban, which, among other things, banned the manufacture or import of new magazines holding more than 10 rounds.
Cook and Ludwig note, “The tragedy in Tucson seems unlikely to stimulate much sustained political support for major new gun regulations, given how quickly public interest in this issue faded out after other mass shootings. A small sampling of these notorious cases helps demonstrate the point: Killeen, Texas; the Long Island Railroad; Jonesboro, Ark.; Columbine High School; Red Lake High School; Trolley Square Mall; Northern Illinois University; Virginia Tech; Binghamton, N.Y.; and, last August, in Lake Havasu City, Ariz.”