Charles C. W. Cooke: ‘Today’s Shooting Tells Us Nothing About the Law’Posted: October 24, 2014
From the CNN report on today’s shooting:
The gun used in the shooting has been traced to Fryberg’s father, a law enforcement source with knowledge of the investigation told CNN. It is a “high capacity” one, but did not have an extended magazine, the source said.
Investigators are executing a search warrant at the family home, according to the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
A Beretta .40-caliber handgun is believed to have been used, a federal law enforcement source with knowledge of the investigation told CNN.
First off, there is no such thing as a “high capacity” handgun that does “not have an extended magazine.” This is just nonsensical media-speak for “a standard handgun.” Handguns typically come with 12-18 round magazines, the average .40-caliber magazine holding 12 rounds.
“The shooter was 14-years-old, which means that he was not allowed to do anything at all with a handgun outside of his parents’ care. In the course of his crime, he broke the rules regarding possession…”
We don’t know which model he used, but Beretta’s offerings are well within the standard range: In .40, the Px4 Storm, comes with a 14-round magazine; the 96 comes with an 11-round magazine; the 8000 comes with a 15-round magazine. There is nothing odd or “high capacity” about these weapons. There are tens of millions like them in the country.
Second, if this report is correct and the shooter did indeed use a “Beretta .40-caliber handgun,” then we can stop debating what this tells us about the law before we even start. The shooter was 14-years-old, which means that he was not allowed to do anything at all with a handgun outside of his parents’ care. In the course of his crime, he broke the rules regarding possession: Federal law prohibits anybody under 18-years-old from possessing a handgun or handgun ammunition. He broke the rules regarding carrying: Washington State restricts the right to carry a handgun to those who have a permit, and permits are available only to those who are at least 21-years-old. And he broke the rules regarding schools. It is, of course, illegal in all 50 states for all minors to take guns into a school. Clearly, he also…(read more)