Okay, so let's say, for the sake of argument, we do renew the 1994 Assault Weapons ban like Obama favors. Given that the 1994 ban wouldn't have made a lick of difference in what happened in Newtown, what's the next step? Do we ban all magazines over 5 rounds? 3 rounds? Do we outlaw all semi-automatic rifles? The Virgina Tech massacre used two handguns, one that only had 10 round magazines.
Nothing short of a full repeal of the Second Amendment and a complete and total ban on all firearms stands any kind of chance of putting a dent in these episodes. Renewing the ill-conceived and horribly executed "Assault Weapons Ban" will do precisely nothing to stop this sort of attack - collapsible stocks and bayonet lugs, despite making gun-fearing wussies pee in their pants, have exactly zero to do with how the firearm functions.
Okay, so let's remove the grandfathering, then - no more high capacity magazines means fewer bullets, right? Well, there are several fundamental problems with this idea. First, there are literally millions of magazines already in existence, and none of them are registered or have any identifiable markings on them. It would be a herculean task to collect even a tenth of them. Secondly, it's a chunk of metal and a spring. *I* could make a crude but functioning magazines with little more than sheet metal and some hand tools.
Of course, we can't keep pot, cocaine, or heroin out of the country; it's folly to think that we could keep firearms out if we wanted to, let alone magazines. Also, unless we want wholesale violations of the Fourth Amendment, there's the thorny problem of compensation for those millions of magazines - at anywhere from $10 (AR) to $40 (Sig P226) per magazine, the cost for compensation alone could run well into a billion dollar figure.
And, lastly, the real meat of the issue. I am by no means skilled with a pistol or rifle. I can still swap a magazine in a second or two. Jerry Miculek can shoot a revolver so fast it sounds like a machine gun, with a reload in the middle - a skilled shooter can change a magazine so fast that one thirty round magazine would be indistinguishable from three ten round magazines. So rather than a killer walking around with ten 30-round magazine, he's got 30 ten-round magazines. Is this really much of a difference to a madman shooting children?
So, what then?
Do we ban all semi-automatic rifles with removable magazines? The scope of that project - of trying to account for all of the AR-15 and AK-47 pattern rifles, as well as FALs, Saigas, Mini-14s, M1 carbines, and every other semi-auto rifle ever made is staggering. Millions of rifles would be affected, from the $200 Ruger 10/22 to a $10K Barrett M82A1. It defies credibility to think that even a tiny fraction of these guns would ever be recovered - let alone their owners properly compensated for their confiscation.
And then what?
A lever-action .357 Magnum has anywhere from 9 to 15 round capacity. Are we willing to let over a dozen children die because these rifles are legal? Some shotguns can hold up to 10 rounds (with the mini-shells). Some revolvers have 8 rounds and can be reloaded very quickly with high capacity assault speedloaders - are we willing to risk that? Using the same cursory risk-assessment techniques as those hyping the 1994 AWB - which is to say, banning things that will do nothing to actually change how the firearm operates - will lead to no change in levels of violence committed with firearms.
Which means they'll be looking for the next thing. And then the next thing. Until we're in the same place as (formerly) Great Britain, where all handguns are illegal and only single-shot 22s and shotguns are allowed - provided they're stored in a locked room filled with concrete. And, like Britain, we'll see skyrocketing gun crimes. You see, when the focus is on the inanimate object, rather than the human, the human will never change. The tools might change, slightly, but the human will not - unless you address the root problems behind the violence, rather than the tools used to commit the violence.
Any measure that seeks to address the tools used and nothing else will fail. Whether this is a feature or a bug to the ghouls pushing these measures is an exercise for the reader; however it is impossible to see people claiming that we need a renewal of the Assault Weapons Ban to stop the next Newtown massacre when the 1994 AWB would have done nothing to stop this. In fact, it's highly likely that the rifle - if it was even the weapon used - was a ban-compliant rifle, as Connecticut has a ban on certain semi-automatic rifles.
To anyone that supports a renewal of the ban, please answer this one simple question:
That is all.