On January 8, 2011, a young man opened fire on Congresswoman Giffords’ Congress on Your Corner constituent event. The shooter used a Glock 19 semiautomatic pistol paired with a 33-round high capacity magazine.
Over the course of roughly 15 seconds, the assailant emptied his gun, producing exactly 33 wounds. As he tried to reload a second extended magazine into his handgun, a woman grabbed it, and he was tackled and subdued.
Gabby was the first victim. But Christina-Taylor Green, a nine-year old girl who was born on September 11th, 2001 and didn’t live to see her 10th birthday, was shot with bullet number 13 or after. Christina and others could have had their lives spared had the shooter not been using such a lethal ammunition magazine.
High capacity magazines are a deadly factor in gun violence. According to the Department of Justice, they are used in between 14 and 26 percent of gun crimes and between 31 and 41 percent of fatal police shootings. And the data has shown that limiting such magazines helps save lives. According to the Washington Post, during the previous ban on high capacity magazines (which has since expired), there was a 60 percent decline in share of recovered crime guns with high capacity magazines. After the ban expired in 2004, that share increased from the 2004 low – more than doubling by 2010.
Congress should act to limit the sale of high capacity magazines, which are not needed for hunting or self-defense, but have proven very lethal.