I have been favorably impressed with our Sheriff here in Custer County during the time since his election. That includes a letter he wrote to our paper about the local Marijuana Proposal. However, I took exception to a quote of his in an article about state gun law rulings. The quote was: “The laws passed in 2013 are in direct violation of the 2nd Amendment.” Now, I don’t know the entirety of those laws, nor the focus of the Sheriff’s statement, so I might have been criticizing him by mistake. My point was that the limiting of ammunition clip size is clearly not a violation of the 2nd Amendment. I don’t believe that most of the people who rail about protecting the 2nd Amendment have any idea what it says. Either that, or they don’t understand English. Here is the text: “A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”
Let’s ignore the first part about a well regulated militia because it never seems to be considered, although it is the stated reason for the Amendment. At the time of the writing, “arms” might have been considered to be knives, clubs, and firearms wielded by one person. It is doubtful that cannons were considered under this umbrella, as now one would not consider, say, a Black Hawk Helicopter. The size of an ammunition clip can not possibly be considered a prohibition of the right to bear arms. What an out-sized clip does is to remove the need to carefully aim before firing, so that the person shooting can just keep firing until he hits something he wants to hit. And all those missed shots go somewhere, perhaps into some unintended but vulnerable target. So this limitation is not a prohibition, but a judicious encouragement to aim. If a shooter needs extra ammunition, then they should carry a second or third clip. I can’t imagine a competent hunter needing to spray shots until he hits something. Terrorists, on the other hand, want to keep firing without pause.