More and more of our political activity seems to be about making people feel good, so why should gun regulation be any exception? We were looking at the myriad regulations in Connecticut’s new gun law, for instance, and noticed its prohibition on loading more than 10 rounds into a large capacity magazine. The Scrapbook often encounters regulations it considers pointless, but this may set a new standard in naïveté: The law does not ban ownership of large capacity magazines, or using them—you just can’t load more than 10 bullets at a time. New York has a similar new regulation, which caps total bullets loaded at seven. Somehow we doubt would-be mass murderers will feel honor-bound not to fully load their guns at the beginning of a shooting spree, seeing as how they’re already unmoved by prohibitions on murder.
Obviously, such regulations will do nothing to prevent another Newtown and will succeed only in making life a little more difficult for the law-abiding. Fans of the BBC’s Yes, Prime Minister will recognize the trap legislators in Connecticut and New York have fallen into: “Something must be done; this is something, therefore, we must do it.”