Loughner Judge Makes ‘Conservative Case’ for Bans on Guns, Magazines
At last month’s sentencing of Jared Loughner in Tucson, U.S. District Judge Larry A. Burns surprised some reporters by wading into the debate over guns.
On Thursday he showed that was no accident.
Burns, a self-described conservative appointed by Pres. George W. Bush, published a passionate op-ed in the Los Angeles Times Thursday calling for a ban on buying or even possessing “assault weapons” and high-capacity magazines. He wrote:
Bring back the assault weapons ban, and bring it back with some teeth this time. Ban the manufacture, importation, sale, transfer and possession of both assault weapons and high-capacity magazines. Don’t let people who already have them keep them. Don’t let ones that have already been manufactured stay on the market. I don’t care whether it’s called gun control or a gun ban. I’m for it.
Burns, who normally presides over a courtroom in San Diego, tipped his hand on the issue Nov. 8 in Tucson. In what appeared to be spontaneous remarks he said, “I don’t understand the social utility of allowing the public to have magazines with 30 bullets” and went on to ask that the country “balance the social utility of having those things against the harm caused in this case.”
Read the rest here at the blog of Tim Steller of the Arizona Daily Star.