But I think the pendulum is swinging for me and many others like me. The simple fact is that if the guy in Sandy Hook had simply had to stop to reload there likely would have been far fewer kids killed.
I vehemently disagree with this.
What do you disagree with? I can assure you that the pendulum is swinging for me! That is is do easy for these crazies we've seen kill a bunch of people over the last 2 years or so has convinced me that we need to do something and I know quite a few people who feel the same way. And we're not talking about a bunch of commie liberals here like you might think I am. Some of these friends proudly call themselves gun nuts and are very active hunters and shooters.
I think the days of being able to posses magazine with capacity over, say 10 rounds, are limited.
Here, we disagree. Even during the tenure of the old federal Assault Weapon Ban, it was easy to come by 11+ capacity magazines. I can't think of any historical precedent for requiring a quarter of a country's population to turn in a newly-restricted (and non-serial-numbered) device. And you're doing so to inconvenience a handful of murderers that collectively form a statistical anomaly.
Many states already limit magazine capacity for hunting to just a few rounds.
There are lots of restrictions on hunting state-by-state, and it's of little concern because hunting is not a constitutionally protected activity.
True. And I know we are not talking about hunting here. But if we go down the list of why people should be allowed to have guns at all the list is pretty short - self defense, hunting, recreational shooting - and none of those require high capacity magazines. Even the Heller decision, which I think was extreme and far reaching, did say that some restrictions are reasonable.
Hunting uses are already restricted. I'm not sure that any court is going to deem target shooting to warrant extreme protection. It is only self defense that seems to be protected. Good luck to anyone who actually needs 30 rounds in a self defense situation!
You're right that there are a lot of magazines out there. But I don't think that a "taking" in the form of an outright ban including on existing items would be considered enough of a "taking" to violate the constitutional prohibition on that. For one thing the lack of serialization makes it more likely that a confiscation could be constitutional because it means they are somewhat of a commodity and have only limited value. Heck, as you probably know, you can buy AK47 clips for little more than their scrap metal value today!
I also think you are going to see owner accountability and liability laws. In others words, if you sell a gun or ammo to a whacko you have some liability for their crimes. We already have this sort of thing for alcohol, explosives, and similar dangerous things so that would not be a big change and could be don't behind the scenes.
Do you know how many gun buyers lied on their background check form last year? Of those, do you know how many were actually prosecuted for doing so? How bout we raise that ratio from one-in-a-hundred to something that provides more of a deterrent?
That's exactly why I think it will happen. If I have by taxes prepared, take out a mortgage, or even buy a stock, the preparer, broker, or loan officer has some liability if I lie. There are safe harbors and all that but reckless brokers, tax preparers, and mortgage guys do go to prison occasionally. Yet a Walmart clerk can sell a whacko a gun with impunity. If I want to buy Sudafed I have to register my purchase, speak with a licensed pharmacist who assesses my motivations and puts her license and career on the line for me. Yet a dealer can sell me a gun with not accountability beyond giving me a form to fill out and making a phone call for an instant check.
I disagree with that, too. But frankly my biggest concern is establishing universal background checks (closing the so-called "gun show loophole"), because that will create an invitation for the government to start preserving the transaction records (they never like to delete data), and then transition to universal gun registration. Short of that, if they want to (once again) pursue an Assault Weapons ban and restrict magazine capacity, I'll grab some popcorn and watch the fight - and I will not be turning in my own magazines or whatever they end up defining as an Assault Weapon, no matter what.
But it will happen, possibly with no actual change in the law. The dealers that sold the guns to these whackos will get sued. They'll need to prove they complied with the law with records. They will be seen as having massive liability exposure and won't be able to get business credit, insurance, etc. It's already happening. Communities that want to restrict gun shows get sued but so they just require very expensive insurance.
Anyway, that's my prediction, not necessarily something I advocate. As I've said, I am not anti gun. I don't think guns are dangerous when treated properly. But I don't think they are being treated properly when the likes of Jared Laughner, James Holmes, and the Sandy Hook kid, all of who were mentally ill or had other issues, can get their hands on guns as easily as they do.
It's really hard to argue that restrictions would have a serious impact on the other lawful uses of guns - hunting, self defense, or target shooting. A wait, registration, magazine capacity restrictions, and so forth would at best be a minor inconvenience.