Thanks to Governor Christie the Gun Debate Just Reached a New Low

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Tucson. Aurora. Newtown. What did these shootings have in common? The weapon and the ammunition. Or the types at least. Semi-automatic firearms allow the shooter to fire as fast as his finger can pull the trigger. Pair one of those with oversized ammunition magazines and he is capable of causing unthinkable damage in a matter of minutes. Rachel Maddow highlighted the correlation between the capacity of the ammunition magazine with the duration of the shooting spree and how many people are shot. But New Jersey Governor Chris Christie doesn’t seem to understand this correlation in the gun debate — that’s why he vetoed a bill that would limit the size of magazines.

mass shootings

For that, I am furious. Personally, I choose not to remember the names of the monsters who committed these acts because they should not be granted notoriety for their crimes — that would only make their twisted dreams come to fruition. We must pay attention to and deal with the issue at hand: mental illness and access to weaponry. I am no cheerleader for the NRA but I do believe in the right to bear arms. For self protection and even *shudder* hunting, we cannot deny our fellow countrymen (the sane ones) these rights.

Can we compromise?

Both sides are extreme, but I think we could come to an agreeable compromise. But not Gov. Christie, he’s definitely not on board with that. In his eyes we either abolish the Second Amendment entirely, or we continue allowing 15-round magazines to be produced and accessible to the armed public. Last week Christie vetoed a bill that would limit the size of gun magazines to ten rounds. This bill was petitioned by two families who lost children at the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting. Christie avoided them, even when they personally delivered the petition to the governor’s office. He denied them, point blank, period. And this was his weak defense:

So are we saying then that the ten children on the clip that they advocate for, that their lives are less valuable? If you take the logical conclusion of their argument, you go to zero. Because every life is valuable. And so why ten? Why not six, why not two, why not zero? Why not just ban guns completely?

This is a joke…right? I mean, if we can’t save five people in the next shooting, we should just let all 15 victims get shot because everyone’s life is equally valuable. Yeah, that totally makes sense. What’s the big deal about five bullets?

Size matters

The heroine of the Tucson story is a woman who bravely tackled the shooter in the moments when he ceased fire. He was equipped with a magazine that held more than double the standard amount of rounds (15). When the shooter paused to refill his Glock with another 33-round magazine, Patricia Maisch, then 61, wrestled the ammo from him while a few men threw the shooter to the ground. The number of victims from that shooting could have been fewer if he had had to reload sooner.

The same goes for the 2012 Aurora movie theater shooting. That shooter had a drum magazine capable of carrying 100 rounds attached to his AR-15 rifle. Could you imagine how the number of victims from that massacre could have been reduced if he were forced to reload about six times? Christie obviously cannot because that would be favoritism, or something.

Most importantly, I’d like to point out the difference this would have made at the Newtown shooting. The shooter in this case was armed with three different weapons and unfathomable amounts of ammunition, which he carried on his body. This guy came from a family with a long history of love for guns. He grew up with that whole culture and was granted access to guns, despite his Aspergers. The Daily Beast described the frightening amount of weaponry the shooter was armed with that day:

At the school, he emptied three magazines completely, leaving his 26 victims with as many as 11 gunshot wounds. Either because his weapon jammed or because he was overexcited, he ejected three more magazines when they still had 10, 11, and 13 rounds, respectively.

All told, he expended 154 rounds, killing 20 small children and 6 adults. The Bushmaster had one round in the chamber and 14 rounds in the magazine when he took his own life with one of two handguns he carried. A shotgun with two magazines containing 70 rounds was found in the black Honda he parked in the fire lane at the school entrance.

All that gore occurred in about five minutes. He could not have caused that many deaths in so little time with smaller magazines. How can Christie try to defend his veto with such illogical banter, to the parents of the victims of this shooting? Christie says it’s just a fundamental disagreement, though how his argument could be valid in any reality I do not understand. If the decision were up to you and you could choose between the hypothetical death of 15 children or 10 children, what would you do?

Natasha Paulmeno (@natashapaulmeno

Featured image courtesy of [Eugene Smith via Flickr]

Natasha Paulmeno
Natasha Paulmeno is an aspiring PR professional studying at the University of Maryland. She is learning to speak Spanish fluently through travel, music, and school. In her spare time she enjoys Bachata music, playing with her dog, and exploring social media trends. Contact Natasha at



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