Why Can’t We Sue Politicians For Malpractice?

Diana DeGette is a Congresswoman from Colorado. She has been in Congress since 1997 and is the Democrats’ Chief Deputy Whip in the House. One of her signature issues is gun control. DeGette is the principal sponsor of legislation to ban standard-capacity magazines. Her January press release on the subject said:

“Since I came to Congress, I have been working to protect our children and our families from senseless gun violence,” Rep. DeGette said. “Recent tragedies have only heightened the need, and that is why Rep. McCarthy and I are reintroducing our bill to ban high-capacity assault magazines. While there is no single answer to stopping these massacres, this bill is a step that will go a long way toward making our country safe.”

The High Capacity Ammunition Feeding Device Act, as the bill is formally known, bans the sale or transfer of ammunition magazines holding more than 10 rounds.

It is therefore stunning that Ms. DeGette has–literally–no idea what a firearms magazine is, or how it works. Yesterday she participated in a public forum on gun control sponsored by the Denver Post. Asked whether her proposed ban on standard-capacity magazines would really be effective, given that millions of such devices are already in circulation, she gave an astonishing answer. DeGette said that magazines contain bullets, and once the bullets are fired the magazine is used up. Thus, she said, the magazines now in circulation will soon become unusable. She does not know that a magazine comes empty, not loaded with bullets, and it can be reloaded and reused thousands of times. Here is the video; you have to see it to believe it:

Here is the quote:

These are ammunition, they’re bullets, so the people who have those now, they’re going to shoot them, so if you ban them in the future, the number of these high-capacity magazines is going to decrease dramatically over time because the bullets will have been shot and there won’t be any more available.

The ridicule started almost immediately, and DeGette’s office backtracked by saying that the Congresswoman “misspoke.” But the video is absolutely clear, and the “clarifying” statement from DeGette’s office made no more sense than the original.

So we have here the spectacle of a Democratic Congresswoman authoring legislation on a subject where she literally has no idea what she is talking about. She has no idea what a magazine is, or how it works; and yet she has introduced a law that would ban most of the many millions of magazines that are now in use. Is this a rare occurrence? I don’t think so: I suspect that if you quizzed Ms. DeGette about the economy, her ignorance is just as impenetrable as her ignorance of firearms.

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