Before the sun set on the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary, gun devotees across the country began their customary chant: "Guns don't kill people, people kill people."
We agree that people kill people, and that high capacity magazines allow them to kill lots of people. Today we are proposing to limit the capacity of magazines for pistols and rifles to seven rounds. ...
Today's semi-automatic pistols commonly come from the factory with 15- or 16-round clips, and aftermarket magazines can hold many more. Combat style semi-automatic rifles come from the factory with a 20- or 30-round clip, with even higher capacity magazines readily available.
We believe President Barack Obama's proposed 10-round limit is too timid. It would allow a perpetrator armed with two pistols to get off 22 shots without reloading. That's a lot of casualties.
All interchangeable clips should be limited to seven rounds unless in the hands of a sworn law enforcement officer or soldier. This would have no impact on hunters. Almost all sporting rifles hold fewer rounds than that. Those who keep semi-automatic pistols or rifles for protection would be limited to eight shots (if they had an initial round in the chamber) before changing clips, but that limitation seems reasonable.
Current owners of rifles or pistols equipped with magazines of greater capacity would be given a grace period, perhaps a year or two, in which to replace the clips or have them modified so they could accommodate no more than seven rounds. Once the high-capacity ban took effect, a person caught with an illegal clip would pay a steep fine, with jail possible for subsequent arrests. ...
It is reasonable for law-abiding gun owners to be inconvenienced as part of the solution all of us seek.
The situations facing Alabamians are not the same in every corner of the state. Although we all share some common concerns, demographic, geographic and economic conditions vary across different sections of Alabama.
That inescapable reality is one reason a proposal from the Alabama Medicaid Advisory Commission makes a lot of sense and deserves the serious attention of Gov. Robert Bentley and the Legislature.
The commission recommends dividing the state into 10 to 12 regions, with each providing a care model for Medicaid patients. ...
About 940,000 Alabamians, roughly one in five of us, rely on Medicaid for health care. ... The cost of Medicaid, which is shared by the state and federal governments, takes an ever larger portion of Alabama's perpetually strapped General Fund budget — more than $600 million in the current budget.
The commission's recommendation has the potential to both save money and provide more effective care. That's a critical combination that Bentley and the Legislature should find appealing. ...