Judith Miller, identified as "an adjunct fellow at the Manhattan Institute and a City Journal contributing editor," has an op-ed piece in the New York Daily News calling on President Obama to enact stricter gun control laws following the Tucson shooting. She writes:
Aided and abetted by the Supreme Court, gun-loving Americans can now carry pistols on Amtrak trains and in national parks.
If Ms. Miller wants to mount a campaign to amend the Constitution and revise the Second Amendment, that's one thing. But until she does that, it's not really sporting to blame the justices for failing to rewrite the Constitution the way she wants. Once you start giving justices license to edit rights out of the Constitution on their own, it's a slippery slope.
More from Ms. Miller:
Nine months after the LIRR attack, Congress, with then-President Bill Clinton's support, banned assault weapons, as well as the large capacity clips that Ferguson used, and restricted civilians to owning 10 rounds of ammunition, more than enough to kill a deer or an intruder - hell, even a gang of intruders.
But in 2004, then-President George W. Bush permitted the 10-year bill to expire...
Ms. Miller may be an excellent shot. But it took the trained law enforcement professionals of the New York Police Department 41 shots to fell Amadou Diallo and 50 or 51 shots to fell Sean Bell, so I don't see how she can be so confident that 10 bullets is enough for an ordinary homeowner to kill an intruder, let alone have a decent practice session at a firing range. Besides, at least some of the Founders, when they considered the Second Amendment, had in mind the right to bear arms not as a defense against deer or criminal intruders but as a check on the possibility of a tyranny.
Finally, Ms. Miller's piece inaccurately describes the contents of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994. She says it "restricted civilians to owning 10 rounds of ammunition." In fact it did no such thing. What the law did do, in section 110103, was to make it illegal to transfer or possess (existing owners were grandfathered in), a "large capacity ammunition feeding device," which the law defined as "a magazine, belt, drum, feed strip, or similar device manufactured after the date of enactment of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994 that has a capacity of, or that can be readily restored or converted to accept, more than 10 rounds of ammunition." The ban applied to civilians but not to government law enforcement or military personnel.
Whatever one thinks of gun control — and I understand and sympathize with those who want to react to the horrible shootings in Tucson by making it harder for such events to take place — it would be nice to have a discussion of it that's grounded in fact rather than in imagination.