BY LARRY ALAN BURNS
December 20, 2012
Last month, I sentenced Jared Lee Loughner to seven consecutive life terms plus 140 years in federal prison for his shooting rampage in Tucson. That tragedy left six people dead, more than twice that number injured and a community shaken to its core.
Loughner deserved his punishment. But during the sentencing, I also questioned the social utility of high-capacity magazines like the one that fed his Glock. And I lamented the expiration of the federal assault weapons ban in 2004, which prohibited the manufacture and importation of certain particularly deadly guns, as well as magazines that can hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition.
But if we can’t find a way to draw sensible lines with guns that balance individual rights and the public interest, we may as well call the American experiment in democracy a failure. — Larry Alan Burns is a federal district judge in San Diego.
The ban wasn’t all that stringent — if you already owned a banned gun or high-capacity magazine you could keep it, and you could sell it to someone else — but at least it was something.
Read it all at the Los Angeles Times