Washington Post columnist Stephen Hunter defends the extended ammunition magazine of the kind that Jared Loughner allegedly carried in Tucson, which Hunter says President Obama is likely to suggest banning in an upcoming speech. Hunter says the effect of the extended magazine does little to improve the pistol’s lethality except in extraordinary circumstances, such as Tucson. (Neither the Virginia Tech mass murderer nor the alleged Fort Hood killer used extended magazines.)
Hunter says extended magazines actually vitiate the pistol’s usefulness as a weapon for most needs, legitimate or illegitimate. The magazine destroys the pistol’s essence; it is no longer concealable. When the question arises of who needs an extended magazine, the answer is: the most defenseless of the defenseless, Hunter argues.