In early 2013, not long after the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) endorsed a series of gun reforms, including a ban on .50-cabliber weapons, saying there was no need for consumers to purchase these kinds of firearms. It was a sensible point – .50-cabliber weapons fire ammunition the size of carrots, have the capacity to pierce steel plate armor from several hundred yards away, and can even shoot down airplanes.
But when New Jersey’s Democratic legislature approved a ban on .50-cabliber weapons, Christie vetoed the bill. The pandering to the Republican Party’s far-right base had begun.
It’s an ongoing exercise.
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie vetoed a gun control bill on Wednesday that would have banned magazines with more than 10 rounds of ammunition.The potential 2016 GOP presidential candidate called the restriction of the number of bullets “trivial,” and denied such a limit could prevent future mass shootings.“Mass violence will not end by changing the number of bullets loaded into a gun,” Christie said in his veto message.
Well, no, of course not. But the point isn’t to end mass violence with one gun-safety reform; the point is to potentially reduce the number of casualties the next time a gunman goes on a rampage.
The governor must have some basic understanding of this, making his statement a classic example of willful ignorance.
I’ve never really understood why limits on high-capacity gun magazines are a problem for so many Republicans. These limits aren’t unconstitutional; they don’t affect hunters; and they don’t prevent Americans from buying firearms to protect themselves.
They might, however, help take the “mass” out of “mass shootings.” So what’s the problem? Other than the NRA telling Republicans that all reforms are bad reforms?
There’s some evidence that the shooter in Newtown paused to reload during the massacre. Nicole Hockley, whose six-year-old son Dylan was killed, said last year, “We have learned that in the time it took him to reload in one of the classrooms, 11 children were able to escape. We ask ourselves every day – every minute – if those magazines had held 10 rounds, forcing the shooter to reload at least six more times, would our children be alive today?”
It’s against this backdrop that Chris Christie vetoed a measure to limit magazine capacity, saying, “I will not support such a trivial approach to the sanctity of human life, because this is not governing.”
I haven’t the foggiest idea what that even means. What’s “trivial” about limiting magazine capacity in an attempt to save lives? If it’s “not governing,” what is it?
It’s a real shame to see what some Republicans have to do in advance of a GOP primary.