Today, I was contemplating the story of the shooting at the Congressional Baseball practice session (and later in the day after another workplace shooting at a UPS facility in San Francisco), and something occurred to me about our priorities. Reports from the scene of the Congressional Baseball practice say something like 50 shots were fired, meaning the gunman had a relatively high-capacity magazine in what has been described as an AR-15 semi-automatic weapon.
Here’s what got me to thinking. My Grandfather’s shotgun, which came down to me and which I used for some bird hunting, was a “Sportsman” model. It gets the “Sportsman” designation because it is designed to hold only three shells at a time. This is to comply with Federal and most state laws regarding the hunting of migratory birds. (I’ve quoted Florida’s below, but North Carolina and most states have the same regulation.)
FEDERAL: With a shotgun of any description capable of holding more than three shells, unless it is plugged with a one-piece filler, incapable of removal without disassembling the gun, so its total capacity does not exceed three shells. This restriction does not apply during dates States haves selected under the Conservation Order for light geese (i.e. greater and lesser snow and Ross’s geese) or those selected for the control of resident Canada geese.
FLORIDA: Shotguns used for taking migratory birds in Florida shall be incapable of holding more than three shells in magazine and chamber combined (68A-12.002 FAC).
So just let this sink in for a minute. If I want to go duck or quail hunting, I get three rounds. If I want to go hunt people…no limit. We give water fowl more of a sporting chance than we give other human beings. When is this madness going to stop?