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Gun Control and the Tuscon Shooting

Balloon Juice‘s mistermix offers a plan for “sensible gun control” in the wake of Saturday’s tragic shooting spree in Tuscon.

In these kinds of mass shootings, the shooter is most vulnerable when he’s reloading. It’s simple logic that the more times he has to reload, the better chance bystanders have to tackle him, which is really the only defense that unarmed bystanders have. (And the notion that armed civilian bystanders could have gotten off a clean shot in the chaos of humanity surrounding this shooting is a fantasy. )

Since Arizona is one of a few states where extended magazines are legal, the killer was able to walk into a gun store and purchase an extended magazine along with his Glock pistol. It’s clear that the easily availability of extended magazines contributed to the loss of life on Saturday.

I’m not a 2nd Amendment absolutist.  There’s no plausible reason why private citizens ought to be able to own bazookas, much less nuclear weapons, for example.   Nor do I oppose registration requirements, so long as they’re not particularly onerous.

But I’ve never understood the “assault weapon” rationale.  If citizens can own semi-automatic rifles and handguns — and we’ve rather firmly established that they can — the notion that we should limit them to, say, a 15-round magazine rather than a 30-round magazine strikes me as absurd.

Is it a good thing that Jared Loughner didn’t have a 31st round to fire?  Sure.  But, if you take Loughner as your model for limiting the rights of the 99.99 percent of gun owners who aren’t homicidal maniacs, we’d ban clips altogether.  Surely, we’d have been even better off if he had to manually load each round into the chamber individually?

Indeed, the notion that we’d say, “We’re fine with nuts being able to easily kill 10 innocent civilians before people have a chance to jump him but, goddamn it, we draw the line at 20!” is absurd.  The maximum number of people it’s acceptable to murder in any given situation, I’d think, is zero.   Which is why we make it against the law.

Thankfully, we don’t sell guns — any more than we do cars, knifes, or other things which could be used by an evil person to create mayhem — with the psychotic in mind.

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About James Joyner
James Joyner is the publisher of Outside the Beltway, an associate professor of security studies at the Marine Corps Command and Staff College, and a nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. He has a PhD in political science from The University of Alabama. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter.

Comments

  1. john personna says:

    The story is that he shot one clip, a woman (hero) he had already shot successfully wrestled a second clip from him, and he loaded a third.

    If we were to attempt a limit, it should be down around 5. But, that would be tremendously opposed, and there are a lot of bigger clips out there by now. The nuts all bought 10 so that they had them before Obama took office.

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  2. Jack says:

    You write, “There’s no plausible reason why private citizens ought to be able to own bazookas, much less nuclear weapons,” but then you write, “the notion that we should limit them to, say, a 15-round magazine rather than a 30-round magazine strikes me as absurd.”

    Why is that limitation on magazine size any more absurd than limiting owning a bazooka? If a line is drawn, then saying that moving that line to limit magazine size is no more absurd than having the line in the first place.

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  3. James Joyner says:

    @Jack:

    I’m not a fan of slippery slopes. Bazookas aren’t used for hunting or sport shooting and are tremendously more dangerous than a rifle, shotgun, or handgun.

    But there’s no rationale for banning 30-round magazines that isn’t a rationale for banning magazines.

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  4. sam says:

    “Thankfully, we don’t sell guns — any more than we do cars, knifes, or other things which could be used by an evil person to create mayhem — with the psychotic in mind.”

    Well, we do (to some small extent):

    Federal law establishes two categories of people who can be prohibited from buying a gun because of their mental incompetence:

    • Those who have been incarcerated in a mental health facility against their will.

    • Those who have been accused of a crime and found mentally incompetent to stand trial.

    Sadly, neither limitation captured Loughner. But you have to admit, I think, that an initial — and natural — reaction to the story that this individual could just walk into a store and purchase a firearm is, “WTF?” Unfortunately, MacDuff had it right: “There is no art to tell the mind’s construction in the face.” I’m not sure there’s any way to prevent this.

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  5. Jack says:

    I’m not a fan of slippery slopes, either, my question is this: Bazookas aren’t used for hunting or sport shooting and are dangerous. What is the rationale for having a 30 round magazine instead of a 15 round magazine limit? As was pointed out in the post at Balloon Juice there is a danger in having larger magazines. The slope is slippery on BOTH sides.

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  6. michael reynolds says:

    This is a nonsensical post.

    You admit that a gun with a 30 round magazine is more dangerous than one with a 10 round magazine. And you acknowledge that there’s no rational need for an extended magazine. And you acknowledge that there should be some limits.

    And then hey presto! you argue that limiting magazines is absurd.

    Sorry, no, it’s your argument that is absurd.

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  7. john personna says:

    “But there’s no rationale for banning 30-round magazines that isn’t a rationale for banning magazines.”

    How about this, when popular magazines were all below 8 (when a Colt 1911A was a criminal’s choice), then no one did the “walk into a mall and shoot as many as possible” thing.

    Who buys 30 round magazines now? Either “normal” people with fantasies of zombie attacks, or “not-normal” people who are actually going to use them.

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  8. DMan says:

    Why do you use nuclear weapons as an extreme example of weapons that should be banned? If your rationale is their potential for massive casualties, then I think you found a rationale for an assault weapon ban.

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  9. Axel Edgren says:

    It doesn’t have to be EASY to become a bearer of arms.

    Should you be able to buy guns by default or should this be earned via an easy (and free, I hope) certificate based on psych evals?

    This is not an issue totalitarian-minded people raise here.

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  10. PJ says:

    “I’m not a fan of slippery slopes. Bazookas aren’t used for hunting or sport shooting and are tremendously more dangerous than a rifle, shotgun, or handgun.”

    Does the 2nd amendment mention either hunting or sport shooting? I don’t think so. (And I bet there would be a lot of people interested in bazooka sport shooting…)
    Would a bazooka be useful for defense? You betcha. Would it be useful for a militia. You betcha.

    (Obviously the argument here would be arms vs artillery…)

    The real fun will start with laser weapons.

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  11. mantis says:

    Bazookas aren’t used for hunting or sport shooting

    Yet there are a lot of hunters out there that need to shoot more than 15 rounds from a pistol without reloading? What are they hunting? Swarms of rats?

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  12. Brummagem Joe says:

    “Thankfully, we don’t sell guns — any more than we do cars, knifes, or other things which could be used by an evil person to create mayhem — with the psychotic in mind.”

    Unfortunately Jim, guns have a particular appeal to the psychotic because of their efficiency as killing machines. Much more effective than bread knives, which is why roughly 11,000 people a year are mowed down in gun homicides. I don’t think you’d be able to achieve that casualty rate with a Chevy Malibu…do you?

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  13. PJ says:

    “Yet there are a lot of hunters out there that need to shoot more than 15 rounds from a pistol without reloading? What are they hunting? Swarms of rats?”

    Did you see Palin trying to actually hit that caribou? I think it also answer the question why, for some, a bazooka would be needed for hunting.

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  14. floyd says:

    Every conceivable argument has been made on gun control. This incident is merely an opprtunity to regurgitate them, to which there is no point.
    The idea of making an “OSHA” like protection for armed criminals has been the dream of “gun control” advocates for decades.
    The exploitation of this incident may hasten that dream and like the assault on other liberties, it appears to be only a matter of more or less time…

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  15. James Joyner says:

    @michael reynolds:

    The rational basis for a larger magazine is convenience. The fewer rounds a clip holds, the more frequently you have to reload. If you’re paying by the hour at the shooting range, you get a lot more bang for your buck with a larger clip.

    If people were walking into grocery stores and shooting until the ran out of ammo all the time, it might be a more interesting argument. But these things are, thankfully, so extraordinarily rare that each incident yields weeks of hand wringing in national debate over what to do about them.

    I’m happy to discuss coming up with better screening procedures to keep guns out of the hands of psychopaths. But limiting the freedom of the overwhelming preponderance of gun owners who are law abiding citizens in order to prevent against the actions to the odd nutball seems strange to me.

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  16. michael reynolds says:

    The rational basis for a larger magazine is convenience. The fewer rounds a clip holds, the more frequently you have to reload. If you’re paying by the hour at the shooting range, you get a lot more bang for your buck with a larger clip.

    Sorry, no sale. I’m one of those rare liberals who actually knows something about guns.

    Ammo adds to the weight of the gun which makes it harder to aim.

    No one deer hunts with 30 rounds in a nine. And no one but a moron target shoots with 30 rounds of ammo in a nine. Unless of course they are practicing to use that weapon in a deadly fashion.

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  17. mantis says:

    If people were walking into grocery stores and shooting until the ran out of ammo all the time, it might be a more interesting argument. But these things are, thankfully, so extraordinarily rare that each incident yields weeks of hand wringing in national debate over what to do about them.

    Grocery store rampages might be rare, but gun violence is not. The only difference is that the media pays a ton of attention when a nut goes on a shooting spree at his workplace or some public place in the suburbs, but very little when gangbangers shoot up a crappy neighborhood in the city.

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  18. PJ says:

    “If you’re paying by the hour at the shooting range, you get a lot more bang for your buck with a larger clip.”

    “But limiting the freedom of the overwhelming preponderance of gun owners who are law abiding citizens in order to prevent against the actions to the odd nutball seems strange to me.”

    I would really like to have some fun at the local shooting range with a bazooka, it sure would be a lot of bang (for a lot of bucks). Why wouldn’t I be allowed that right because some nutball used a bazooka to blow up car?

    Bazookas don’t kill people. People kill people.

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  19. michael reynolds says:

    By the way an extended clip also reduces the concealability of a weapon, and its ease of use in an emergency. (Easier to get your regular nine out of the side nightstand.)

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  20. john personna says:

    The rational basis for a larger magazine is convenience. The fewer rounds a clip holds, the more frequently you have to reload. If you’re paying by the hour at the shooting range, you get a lot more bang for your buck with a larger clip

    Wow. Sometimes I wonder if you play softball to build the traffic.

    You’ve shot at ranges. You know everything is centered around 5 shot increments. As an example:

    Three courses of fire are followed: Slow Fire, in which ten rounds are fired in ten minutes, Timed Fire, consisting of two five-round strings with twenty seconds for each string, and Rapid Fire, which has a ten second limit for each of the two five-round strings. All shooting is done one-handed, standing, with no support.

    I have friends that go with friend-of-friend SWAT officers for team-combat shooting. I don’t believe they go to for large magazines. Ah, I see it is 6 or 9 round regimes.

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  21. john personna says:

    This is really idiotic. SWAT trains with 9 round magazines, but the peoples need 30 rounds because (insert rationalization here).

    (Again, the practical reason we can’t ban them now is that it’s too late, there are too many out there.)

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  22. James Joyner says:

    @michael and @john:

    While I’ve shot pistols and revolvers quite a bit, I mostly shoot rifles. (Haven’t used a shotgun in decades.) But I can’t imagine that the popularity of larger clips is a function of people wanting to preserve for themselves the right to go shoot up innocents without being tackled. Presumably, then, there are a large number of people who enjoy having a lot of rounds in the clip, for whatever reason.

    I’m not making an argument for “need.” There are all sorts of things that people don’t need to do that they have every right to do.

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  23. MarkedMan says:

    I kind of like the idea that all guns should be muzzle loaders, with powder horns and flints. Strict constructionist thinking, that. Let’s see someone pull one of those out of a pocket and start spraying bullets around.

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  24. JKB says:

    Well, we’ve quite a lot of flights of fancy. First off, a bazooka isn’t comparable to a small arms because outside fantasy it isn’t a self-defense weapon. Sure, you might fear the person you kill with it but it’ll be a hard slog in court to prove that the guy a quarter of a mile away was an imminent threat of death or serious bodily injury.

    30 vs. lesser capacity. If you are fighting for your life, the more ammo you have the better although it should always be used judiciously. The correct amount of ammo to carry is one more than is needed to stop the threat as it actually happens not in some fantasy scenario. As for routine use, high capacity magazines are used at the range to avoid using up your time reloading your magazines instead of shooting, Properly practiced, reloading can occur long before someone can rush a shooter leaving the rusher exposed. These people are taken down because they are not practiced in remaining aware of their entire surroundings and avoiding tunnel focus.

    Registration – intellectually seems like a good idea. In practice, the registration is used by petty bureaucrats to deny individual their Constitutional right. Not to mention to facilitate confiscation and harassment by malicious government officials, and even those who “mean well.”

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  25. Scott P says:

    I for one would love to have a bazooka. I’d hope I would never need to use it, just like my baby Glock that I carry concealed. But if something happens where a bazooka would be instrumental in protecting my life, liberty, property, and loved ones, I’d be glad I had it.

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  26. john personna says:

    IMO this is only a theoretical discussion, because of the number of clips out there, but:

    Let’s just consider the “inconvenience” of not having, say, civilian clips over 10 rounds.

    What just happened for non-crazies? Not much. Target shooters are going to shoot in lower segments anyway, and stop to score, or talk to their friends in-between. Need to protect yourself? Well, I’d hope you that without firing any shots. Do you really think you are going to be in a shoot-out? Change your life.

    And the crazies? Yeah, they would need a satchel full of clips. Rather than 4 they need 12., or whatever. And, there are all those extra opportunities to tackle them as they swap.

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  27. john personna says:

    “30 vs. lesser capacity. If you are fighting for your life, the more ammo you have the better although it should always be used judiciously”

    Are you picturing zombie hordes?

    Or are you the local meth dealer?

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  28. john personna says:

    “I kind of like the idea that all guns should be muzzle loaders, with powder horns and flints. Strict constructionist thinking, that. Let’s see someone pull one of those out of a pocket and start spraying bullets around”

    Grizzlies would get a few more fishermen.

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  29. Ernieyeball says:

    People kill people with guns in this country because they can.

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  30. MarkedMan says:

    BTW, I’m fairly familiar with a significant group in PA, not organized, but quite large, who really do believe the numbers on the back of stop signs are there to let the UN know who on the street has guns. They feel people like me are idiots because we don’t ‘know’ that the black helicopters are out there. They train weekly for the coming armageddon and although many are hunters, they hunt with a standard rifle, not the fully automatic AK-47′s (illegal, yes, but single round guns are easily turned back into fully automatics), 50 caliber rifles and semiautomatic pistols they practice with. These guys are not frothing at the mouth by any means, and I know, and like, a number of them. But they really do bring out the heavy firepower and rant over that g-d socialist in the white house. So far, the only people hurt are the ones you would expect when a bunch of over-testosteroned guys go out into the woods with beer and massive firepower – i.e. each other. But as much as I would like to believe they aren’t going to hurt anyone else, I think it’s going to end in tears.

    So, James, when you make a statement like “But I can’t imagine the popularity of larger clipsis..people wanting to preserve…the right to go shoot up innocents”, bear in mind that not everyone agrees who the innocents are.

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  31. ponce says:

    “This is a nonsensical post.”

    I agree.

    It’s like saying, “If we allow people to drive at 60 mph on the freeway it’s stupid to say they can’t go 150 mph on the freeway.”

    Outside The Beltway sure has dropped the ball on this tragic incident…

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  32. JKB says:

    Are you picturing zombie hordes?

    Or are you the local meth dealer?

    I’m picturing anyone who is not discourage from continuing the attack by the infliction of holes in them or the fear of getting holed. Not to long ago near me, an ex-husband showed up, took two rounds but still started beating his wife until a neighbor came over and put some more holes in him. At least one, that ended his ability to continue. People can keep coming even with a lot of holes in them either till they bleed out or you hit something vital. Life is not like TV.

    Sure, there are plenty of scenarios that don’t require a lot of ammo, but their no one’s last thought is “I wish I hadn’t carried so much ammo.”

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  33. Brummagem Joe says:

    “against the actions to the odd nutball seems strange to me.”

    The odd nutball? Scarcely a week goes by without some mass shooting by an “odd nutball.” Most of course receive scant national attention, the death rate usually has to make it into double figures or involve a national figure before it vaults beyond the local gazette or a three hour mention by AP. And these of course are on top of the regular one off shooting murders by drug dealers, angry husbands, and so forth. But never mind, as Jim assures us if they didn’t have guns they’d use automobiles or bread knives. But then he’s such a lousy shot needing apparently two clips to hit a target, maybe he needs to hunt with a Chevy Malibu. He runs the target over.

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  34. PJ says:

    If you, as a law abiding citizen, end up in a situation where a 30 round magazine would have been needed, then you, and most likely the rest of the country too, have a lot bigger problem than the size of your magazine.

    And I bet in such a situation a bazooka would be a lot more useful than an extended magazine.

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  35. john personna says:

    Your story JKB, illustrates why a German Shepard is better than a gun. But if you have a gun, get a 12ga, and don’t try to punch lots of little holes.

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  36. john personna says:

    (I hear of people buying 12ga’s and putting sandbag rounds as the first two, then the double ought for the rest. I consider that a pretty good combination of personal protection and personal responsibility.)

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  37. PJ says:

    @JKB:

    “Not to long ago near me, an ex-husband showed up, took two rounds but still started beating his wife until a neighbor came over and put some more holes in him. At least one, that ended his ability to continue.”

    So, at least two persons where shooting a this man while he was still beating his wife?
    If you disregard the whole question about whether the situation actually justified using lethal force, if two need to shoot at least four rounds at a man to incapacitate him, then perhaps they should learn to aim better? And if their aim is that bad, then perhaps they shouldn’t have fired at the man, since they might have hit the woman? Perhaps they should have used a non ranged weapon instead?

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  38. Scott P says:

    Consider why the military uses 30 round magazines. Consider why law enforcement uses them. I want them for the same reasons.

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  39. An Interested Party says:

    “I want them for the same reasons.”

    So you live in a war zone? Or chase down criminals on a regular basis?

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  40. Michael says:

    But there’s no rationale for banning 30-round magazines that isn’t a rationale for banning magazines.

    There is a very obvious rationale as long as you drop this notion:

    Indeed, the notion that we’d say, “We’re fine with nuts being able to easily kill 10 innocent civilians before people have a chance to jump him but, goddamn it, we draw the line at 20!” is absurd.

    You create a false dichotomy by saying that “10 deaths is as bad as 20, and since preventing 10 deaths would put an undue burden on gun owner rights, then preventing 20 deaths would put the same burden on gun owner rights”.

    I think any rational person will admit that 20 deaths is twice as bad as 10 deaths. Any rational person would also admit that limiting a magazine to 15 rounds is less of a burden on gun owners than limiting a magazine to a single round. Therefore, as some point, it would make rational sense to draw a line on magazine size.

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  41. ponce says:

    “So you live in a war zone? Or chase down criminals on a regular basis?”

    I think Scott is saying his aim is worse than Sarah Palin’s.

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  42. Brummagem Joe says:

    Unfortunately, the “guns with no restrictions” crowd don’t comprehend when the irrational moves over into the satirical. Despite strong competition from JKB with his saga of marital dispute resolution I have to give the prize to Jim Joyner for his contention that denied access to semi automatic weapons with huge magazines, homicidal lunatics would substitute family sedans. Is it humor deficit or something less benign?

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  43. Brummagem Joe says:

    “10 deaths is as bad as 20,”

    Not if you’re deaths 11-20 it isn’t. Irrational or satirical? You be the judge.

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  44. Michael says:

    There is only one reason why people insist on having the right to have 30-shot clips. They are scared individuals who feel they will need it one day. They live in fear. There are many in my family, when I ask them this is the response I get. “You never know when you are going to need it”.
    Answer: You won’t! Ever! Unless you plan on killing 30 people in 10 seconds. That’s the singular reason. And when would you ever need to do that?

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  45. Egypt Steve says:

    On this, I’m a Constitutional Originalist. The Second Amendment allows you to own all the muzzle-loading flintlock muskets and dueling pistols you want. And swords. You can have swords if you want them. That’s what the Framers understood, that’s what they meant, and that’s what you can have.

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  46. Gustopher says:

    “This is really idiotic. SWAT trains with 9 round magazines, but the peoples need 30 rounds because (insert rationalization here).”

    To protect yourself from the SWAT team that comes bursting in your door, shoots the family pets, and waves guns around threatening to kill everyone, when they meant to get the house on Cherry Lane rather than Cherry Street?

    There are perfectly rational reasons some people don’t trust their government, and want to protect themselves from their government. Granted, the SWAT team would probably win any confrontation, but I can definitely see why someone might want bigger guns and larger clips.

    I don’t think those people should have their bigger guns and larger clips, because it will be ineffective for protecting themselves against the government, and it will just lead to larger tragedy when/if they have their psychotic break, but the desire for bigger guns and larger clips is perfectly understandable.

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  47. mantis says:

    On this, I’m a Constitutional Originalist. The Second Amendment allows you to own all the muzzle-loading flintlock muskets and dueling pistols you want. And swords. You can have swords if you want them. That’s what the Framers understood, that’s what they meant, and that’s what you can have.

    Yes, as long as you are also a member of a well-regulated militia.

    Oh wait. Our originalist overlords on the SCOTUS decided that that the militia part of the second amendment has no meaning whatsoever in D.C. v. Heller. They really believe in the original meaning of the Constitution, don’t they?

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  48. wr says:

    Here’s a little truth you might want to file away, Gustopher — If a SWAT team bursts into your house waving guns around, having a couple extra bullets isn’t going to keep you alive. At most you might be able to kill a couple of cops, if that’s what makes you happy. But the only way to survive the scenario you describe is to get your hands in the air and do what the crowd of armed people tell you to.

    Later, you can sue the hell out of them, and I hope you not only bankrupt the department, but that you find a way to make the people who authorized this outrageous assault on your and your rights personally responsible.

    But if you think that a SWAT team kicking down your door will reconsider their actions and leave you in peace once they discover that you are more heavily armed than they believed, you really ought to do a little more reading…

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  49. Scott P says:

    “So you live in a war zone? Or chase down criminals on a regular basis?”

    That wasn’t my point. My point was that weapons are tools, and some tools are more efficient than others. Having more rounds available to you without having to reload is simply a plus in most tactical circumstances. The same argument could be made for automatic weapons. Military and LE uses 30 round magazines and automatic weapons because of their usefulness and effectiveness. I too want access to effective tools. And to the point you brought up, it only takes one criminal to justify my need for owning an effective weapon.

    **Basically, why cripple yourself?*** Since this whole thing is theoretical, Imagine we’re talking about DSLR cameras. You can choose between a camera that shoots two pictures per second, or one that can shoot eight pictures per second. Two might be good enough most of the time, but why wouldn’t you want eight just in case? Maybe one day, you’ll shoot a sporting event, where that 8fps would be really useful in keeping up with the action. Likewise, why carry around two 4gb memory cards when one 8gb card is easier to manage?

    I just see guns and magazines as tools. Preferring a weapon that holds more rounds and fires faster is like preferring an 18v LiIon DeWalt to a 14v NiCad Black and Decker. Besides cost being an issue, I can’t imagine why someone wouldn’t prefer the better tool.

    TL;DR I don’t want to cripple myself in every day life, nor when my life is on the line.

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  50. mantis says:

    Anyone who thinks carrying a pistol with only 15 rounds in the magazine is being “crippled” needs to seriously reassess his/her life.

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  51. Scott P says:

    I was talking in general, not just about pistols. Your argument doesn’t actually have any substance anyway, and is only a personal attack. Don’t you have anything to counter my “Who wouldn’t want an efficient and effective tool” idea? What’s the magic number of rounds that is acceptable to you, and why? Is 640K enough memory for anyone?

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  52. Michael says:

    I too want access to effective tools.

    One tool isn’t inherently more or less effective than another, effectiveness can only be measured when it is applied to a task. What is more effective for the military and police applied to the tasks they face is not necessarily (or likely) going to be more effective when applied to the tasks that you face.

    In fact, having a larger, heaver gun for self defense is likely to cost you more in terms of effectiveness than you will gain out of the extra force and rounds. The exact opposite is true for tactical offensives, where the cost of extra size and weight is less than the benefit of extra rounds and penetrating force.

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  53. PJ says:

    @Egypt Steve:

    “And swords. You can have swords if you want them.”

    Would that include lightsabers? They really are swords, just a bit more modern. But if the second amendment allows the modern gun, then it surely will allow the modern sword.

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  54. mantis says:

    I was talking in general, not just about pistols.

    Then you miss the point.

    Your argument doesn’t actually have any substance anyway, and is only a personal attack.

    I’m attacking your absurd assertion that a pistol with only a 15-round magazine is crippling.

    Don’t you have anything to counter my “Who wouldn’t want an efficient and effective tool” idea?

    I would take this idea seriously if you had thought it through. As Michael points out, weight and size always factor into the effectiveness of a firearm. You ignore that.

    What’s the magic number of rounds that is acceptable to you, and why?

    How about zero? Because zero bullets kill zero people.

    Is 640K enough memory for anyone?

    The amount of memory I can carry with me is a) not dependent on size (a thumb drive of 8 gb can be the same size as that of only 2 gb), and more importantly b) not going to kill anyone!

    Come up with some serious thoughts, and I may give you more than a passing snark, chuckles.

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  55. Michael says:

    Would that include lightsabers? They really are swords, just a bit more modern.

    Lightsabers are currently prohibited by the laws of physics, so no. But maybe you can get the Speaker of the House to try repealing that too.

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  56. mantis says:

    Would that include lightsabers? They really are swords, just a bit more modern

    They aren’t modern. They existed a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away. Also, they’re imaginary.

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  57. Scott P says:

    “They are scared individuals who feel they will need it one day. They live in fear… Unless you plan on killing 30 people in 10 seconds. ” via Michael

    I get the impression you never served in the military or law enforcement, and have no idea they use 30 round magazines in the M-16 and M-4. They don’t use them because they are in fear. They use them because they are effective tools. And 30 people in 10 seconds, seriously? That’s not why you have 30 rounds. It’s common practice, such as in my military and LEO training, that you squeeze off a few rounds and reassess. It’s very naive to think you just shoot one time, then check to see if you hit the guy trying to kill you.

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  58. mantis says:

    I get the impression you never served in the military or law enforcement, and have no idea they use 30 round magazines in the M-16 and M-4.

    We’re talking about civilians, not military or law enforcement.

    And 30 people in 10 seconds, seriously? That’s not why you have 30 rounds.

    But it is most certainly why Jared Loughner had 30 rounds.

    It’s very naive to think you just shoot one time, then check to see if you hit the guy trying to kill you.

    It’s a lot different when you’re the one trying to kill people.

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  59. Scott P says:

    I agree the added weight can become a hindrance in some circumstances, which is why I said “in most tactical circumstances”. A 30 round magazine in a deer hunting rifle, for example, would be pretty awkward. But in situations where it is not a hindrance to have 30 rounds ready for the weapon at one time, then why wouldn’t you? It doesn’t mean you’re going to use them all. The ideal person hopes to use zero. But they’re there if you need them.

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  60. Zelsdorf Ragshaft III says:

    Reynolds, you are absurd. Any well trained or practiced shooter can learn to switch out magazines so quickly that the difference between a large capactiy mag and one that holds half as much is almost nonexistant. The statement a gun with a 30 round magazine is more dangerous than one with a 15 round magazine must be among the second 15 people intended as targets. Once again most here are looking the wrong way. People who are insane should not be allowed to own firearms. There were definite signs Loughner was mentally challenged. The fault lies with those who did notice and did notthing about it. They might as well have pulled the trigger. Surely his parents hold some responsibility?

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  61. Michael says:

    But in situations where it is not a hindrance to have 30 rounds ready for the weapon at one time, then why wouldn’t you?

    Perhaps you can give an example of when a civilian might be in such a situation? Responses involving zombie apocalypses will be dismissed, just to give fair warning.

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  62. Michael says:

    The fault lies with those who did notice and did notthing about it.

    And what would you have those who did notice do? Have him arrested on suspicion of being crazy?

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  63. Zelsdorf Ragshaft III says:

    Mantis, I know you probably need to take a remedial English class or two, but do you understand why and what that comma stands for when it is inserted between the two statements involved in the Second Amendment? Guess not. Having a well regulated militia is hardly a requirement for a right of the people. Notice what preceeds the part about a well regulated militia is about the necessity of a free state. Something you and your ilk oppose.

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  64. ponce says:

    “Any well trained or practiced shooter can learn to switch out magazines so quickly that the difference between a large capactiy mag and one that holds half as much is almost nonexistant. ”

    Um, one of the women this loon shot managed to stop him changing magazines.

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  65. Phallic Substitutes says:

    How small is your wang that you need to have a semi-automatic machine gun? The problems that people have with their small penises/masculinity should not be taken out on the rest of the law-abiding public. Take your psychodramas somewhere else and get a life.

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  66. Scott P says:

    “It’s a lot different when you’re the one trying to kill people.”

    Not everyone who owns a gun is out to kill you. And the ones that would go out and murder, like this Loughner guy, … it doesn’t make sense that he’d care about breaking a magazine capacity law if he’s got murder on his mind. Such laws really only effect law abiding citizens.

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  67. Pete says:

    Scott P, you’re arguing with the wrong bunch. The denizens of this site WILL NOT be moved by any of your arguments. These folks are some of the brightest on the planet.

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  68. Lou says:

    Your point, though well intended is uninformed. As a frequent participant in sanctioned tactical shooting matches several years back, I am able to switch out an unloaded magizine for a full one in under two seconds. I’m able to do this consitiantly, and under the stress of competition. If they banned 30 round magizines, and only allowed 10 round mags, as was done in the Clinton Assault weapons ban, someone could just use three ten round mags. The differance for someone at my skill level would be reloading delays after the initial eleven shots, of about three seconds, at 1.5 seconds per replacement magizine. You could try to ban semi-autos, allowing only revolvers which typically hold just six shots. If a nut could get one, he could likely get several. Four revolvers carried, would provided 24 shots, no reloading needed.
    About your referance to no need for weapons not suitable for sports like hunting? Understand, that the sSecond Amendment was NEVER intended to arm the common citizen for hunting, or even for self-protection. We are to be armed as a deterant to oppression. With our governent, even now police, armed with machinguns, and yes, with bazooks, we can’t achieve deterance armed with popguns.
    What if that nut had simply driven his car into the gathering, killing and injuring just as many? Would you now be calling for devices on all vehicles limiting them to 10 miles per hour? If he had made and used pipe bombs from match heads, would you limit the number of matches allowed per pack?
    Good intentions don’t insure good outcomes. As evil as this tragidy was, time and thought should be given before jumping to possible solutions. Sometimes the cure can do more than the illness.
    If just one person with a concealed carry licence had been there at the meet and greet, that nut likely would have gotten off no more than a few shots before going down. More guns sometimes actually can mean greater safety.

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  69. ghostwriter says:

    All this talk from those who are trying to justify larger clips for “saving time at the range” need to learn how to reload faster.

    Private citizens don’t need a military arsenal. If you really believe this country has been overtaking by Moozlims and Commies, then move somewhere else. See who else will put up with your crap.

    When is enough enough?

    The 2nd Amendment mans something when it mentions a “well regulated militia.” Guns should not just be difficult to get, they should be difficult to keep. Members of the military and the police aren’t just handed guns and then never seen again.

    If this mentally-unstable Loghner kid had been a gun owner in the context of a “well-regulated militia,” then someone might have noticed that he was a whack job BEFORE he injured and killed a bunch of people.

    If you kids don’t start playing nice with your toys, you can better believe that at some point, the grownups WILL come and take them away. So you can either police yourselves, or you can keep acting like spoiled little punks and someone else will have to “police” you.

    Ball’s in your court….

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  70. Michael says:

    Not everyone who owns a gun is out to kill you.

    That wasn’t what he was saying. He was saying that what you need a gun to do is different if your intent is to kill someone, rather than just to defend yourself. People pause between bursts when their concern is their own safety more than the deaths of others. If those priorities are reversed, like they were in this case, then you just want to shoot as many rounds as possible before you are stopped.

    this Loughner guy, … it doesn’t make sense that he’d care about breaking a magazine capacity law if he’s got murder on his mind

    True, but the sporting goods store would care, which means they wouldn’t sell them if they were illegal, which would make it much harder for Loughner (and those like him) to come into possession of one.

    Such laws really only effect law abiding citizens.

    By definition, all laws only affect law abiding citizens. That’s hardly an excuse not to have them.

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  71. ghostwriter says:

    “With our governent, even now police, armed with machinguns, and yes, with bazooks, we can’t achieve deterance armed with popguns.”

    Wow. Just….wow.

    Um, I hate to be the one to break this to you, but you can’t “achieve deterance (sic)” -by the way, those little squiggly red lines mean YOU’RE SPELLING IT WRONG.

    If the police come after you, do you really think you will EVER “shoot your way out of it”?

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  72. mantis says:

    Mantis, I know you probably need to take a remedial English class or two, but do you understand why and what that comma stands for when it is inserted between the two statements involved in the Second Amendment?

    Yes, and I know that a comma is not a period. Apparently you believe it is.

    You should probably refrain from lecturing others on English before you get a grasp on the language yourself.

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  73. Michael says:

    If just one person with a concealed carry licence had been there at the meet and greet, that nut likely would have gotten off no more than a few shots before going down.

    He likely got off more than a few shots within the first couple seconds after pulling the trigger. Even a highly-trained person wouldn’t have had his weapon in hand and trained on the attacker that quickly, even assuming he would have had a clear line of sight to him.

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  74. mantis says:

    Not everyone who owns a gun is out to kill you.

    I never claimed that.

    And the ones that would go out and murder, like this Loughner guy, … it doesn’t make sense that he’d care about breaking a magazine capacity law if he’s got murder on his mind.

    He bought his guns legally. If 30-round magazines were illegal, he wouldn’t have had any.

    Such laws really only effect law abiding citizens.

    One can obtain a weapon legally, and then use it to commit a crime. Such laws have effect in those situations.

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  75. wr says:

    All you mean gun haters — What if this guy had killed Giffords with puppies? You’d be trying to ban puppies, wouldn’t you? Puppies! I rest my case.

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  76. mantis says:

    Understand, that the sSecond Amendment was NEVER intended to arm the common citizen for hunting, or even for self-protection. We are to be armed as a deterant to oppression.

    Actually, it had a lot more to do with frontier settlements protecting themselves from American Indian tribes, if you are interested in the real history of the amendment. The United States relied heavily on militias as a means of national defense against hostile Indians. This, along with the reality of near-constant war on the continent in the decades prior to independence, and the recognition that wars on our soil were far from over at the time, and the founders’ belief that a standing army could be a tool of oppression, were the main reasons for the right to bear arms being included in the Bill of Rights. Of course, it didn’t take long for the country to realize that the militias were inadequate for national defense, and a standing army was necessary.

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  77. mantis says:

    If just one person with a concealed carry licence had been there at the meet and greet, that nut likely would have gotten off no more than a few shots before going down. More guns sometimes actually can mean greater safety.

    I’ve heard this for years and years, and despite the fact that Arizona has extraordinarily loose gun laws, allowing just about anyone to carry concealed weapons legally, nobody stopped Loughner until a wounded, unarmed woman tackled him.

    The repeatedly stated benefit of minimal or nonexistent gun restrictions, that of a well-armed populace deterring or stopping crime as it happens, turns out to be nonexistent in reality.

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  78. Pete says:

    Michael and Mantis, you are just plain wrong. Stop trying to make things up to support your ignorance.

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  79. Raoul says:

    Nobody “needs” 30 round magazines. The reason people want them is for the same reason people want to drive Humvees. And here I thought the military had taught Joyner something.

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  80. Michael says:

    Michael and Mantis, you are just plain wrong. Stop trying to make things up to support your ignorance.

    Well, your logic seem irrefutable, and all the math certainly adds up. I guess I’ll have to concede the point based solely on the strength of this argument.

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  81. ghostwriter says:

    “All you mean gun haters — What if this guy had killed Giffords with puppies? You’d be trying to ban puppies, wouldn’t you? Puppies! I rest my case.”

    LOL

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  82. ghostwriter says:

    “Michael and Mantis, you are just plain wrong. Stop trying to make things up to support your ignorance.”

    You’re free to offer alternatives. But they don’t appear to be wrong.

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  83. Jay Tea says:

    A few points that need correcting:

    The bazooka argument is bogus because the “bazooka” warhead (since actual bazookas have been out of fashion for a couple of decades, let’s presume we’re talking RPGs or LAWs) contains high explosives. They are not “firearms” in the traditional sense, but ways of hurling the equivalent of grenades or bombs. We already regulate explosives, so that’s covered.

    The arguments of the merits of large-capacity magazines (convenience vs. bulk, relative speed of reloading, and whatnot) are irrelevant. They are all subjective. One shooter might find the added weight impairs their use; another would find the more frequent reloading intolerable. Why not simply respect each shooter’s right to choose which works better for them?

    J.

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  84. matt bernius says:

    Lou wrote:
    ——————–
    As a frequent participant in sanctioned tactical shooting matches several years back, I am able to switch out an unloaded magizine for a full one in under two seconds. I’m able to do this consitiantly, and under the stress of competition. …
    ——————-

    Beginning with a statement — “As a frequent participant in sanctioned tactical shooting matches” — immediately separates your from most gun owners within the US. Unlike most folks, you actually train with your firearm (including deployment) under some very specific, pressure situations. I know a lot of lay-people who own guns. Few, if any, of them, engage in this sort of training.

    (For those who don’t know about tactical shooting, the events are far more “live simulations” [albeit there's no return fire] than standard range practice).

    The fact is, much like with fighting (boxing/martial arts/whatever), only a subset of the population takes the time to do ANY training. And frankly, of the group that does, there’s a lot of bad training out there (i.e. folks who never actually pressure test their stuff – i.e. taken a real hit and had to keep going).

    So saying that your can change clip in 1.5 seconds means very little. In many respects, you’re as much as on outlier as the shooter in Tucson.

    Lou wrote:
    ———————-
    If just one person with a concealed carry licence had been there at the meet and greet, that nut likely would have gotten off no more than a few shots before going down. More guns sometimes actually can mean greater safety.
    ———————-

    I cannot stress, as someone whose spent a lot of time studying self defense this statement scares me. I’m also saying this based on conversations I’ve had with police (and other LEOs) and based on reading a number of police reports.

    The problem with this scenario is it imagines that everyone has the same training you do (and that your training will work under *real* live conditions – i.e. unexpected event with live return fire). Taking you at your word that you’d be able to draw and accurately return fire, within a crowd, under fire (remember that police and soldiers, whose job it is to do exactly that have been known to freeze in *surprise* situations), there’s absolutely no reason to expect that a person who hasn’t been training themselves in the same was you have will be capable of the same thing.

    Given the pressure of this sort of situation, plus the fact that fine motor skills tend to go out the window (i.e. aiming) as the result of an adrenaline dump, the thought of having additional people (with limited to no training) returning fire doesn’t exactly fill me with confidence. In fact, at least in cases I’ve reviews in New York States, there’s a high probability (over 25% last time I checked) that additional bystanders will be wounded by the return fire.

    I’m not anti-gun. I’ve fired them in the past and trying tactical shooting is on my to-do list. But the idea that arming everyone would make us any safer is ridiculous and makes the gun into a dangerous panacea, especially given the limited number of people who engage in any real sort of training.

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  85. [...] that his next magazine’s spring was defective, that the shooter was limited to 31 shots.Joyner differs. Remember that Loughner left an image of that extended mag on his MySpace page. He was a very adept [...]

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  86. mantis says:

    Why not simply respect each shooter’s right to choose which works better for them?

    Six dead, fourteen wounded. That’s why.

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  87. matt says:

    I’ve been reading that the magazine he reloaded with failed. Extended mags like that tend to have spring issues and are known to potentially have failure issues as they age..

    Personally I like a 30 round magazine because it means I have to carry fewer mags when I go targeting shooting. It sucks reloading magazines without a re loader ugh…

    “He bought his guns legally. If 30-round magazines were illegal, he wouldn’t have had any.”

    Oh he would of easily had them due to grandfathering. There’s still a lot of pre-AWB magazines floating around even today. You’d have to outlaw private sales and all kinds of other things that would open all kinds of worms…

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  88. PJ says:

    @mantis:
    “The repeatedly stated benefit of minimal or nonexistent gun restrictions, that of a well-armed populace deterring or stopping crime as it happens, turns out to be nonexistent in reality.”

    Arizona needs a new gun law that would force every citizen to at all times pack at least one gun.
    Then these situations where there isn’t a well-armed citizen to stop crime will never occur.

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  89. PJ says:

    @Zelsdorf:
    “People who are insane should not be allowed to own firearms.”

    This I do actually agree with, even if the 2nd amendment never says anything about restricting gun rights for insane people or for former criminals for that matter.

    “Surely his parents hold some responsibility?”

    This I don’t agree with. There are mental illnesses that parents would never be able to diagnose.

    So what to do?
    Perhaps have some sort of test before being allowed to purchase a gun? No, that would infringe your 2nd amendment rights.
    Maybe have mandatory tests to check every citizen for mental illnesses? That would be a really, really bad idea. So, no.

    So, in reality, there’s nothing you can do (or really,be willing to do), to stop insane people from buying guns.

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  90. MarkedMan says:

    PJ,said “Arizona needs a new gun law that would force every citizen to at all times pack at least one gun.
    Then these situations where there isn’t a well-armed citizen to stop crime will never occur.”

    You may have thought you were being sarcastic. But I used to work in Kennesaw, GA and, well:
    “In 1982, the Kennesaw City Council in Georgia voted unanimously to pass a law that requiring all heads of households to own at least one firearm with ammunition.”

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  91. MT from CC says:

    Those of you who talk about how easy it is to change a magazine, which is why it really doesn’t matter if you have three 10-round magazines, or one 30-round magazine, there’s the part about how this nutcase was stopped because he was unable to successfully change his 30-round magazine. Sounds like proof positive that it does matter.

    One man’s sport or protection from tyranny is another man’s “second amendment remedy.” And one man’s “tyranny” is another man’s democracy. When I grew up in the late 50′s and early 60′s, the party that won an election with a 9 million vote majority was not compared to tyranny, but times have changed — I hear a lot of people these days using that word these days in referring to our elected President and our elected government. Makes we wonder about their mental health. And it gives innocent people like me and my family pause to hear so much poassion put into defending the right of individuals, outside of a well-regulated militia, to get a firearm accessory that allows one to fire off 30 rounds in a matter of seconds before one’s intended victims can react — because doing that protects gun lovers from their twisted versions of “tyranny.” Pretty mind-blowing to see the hair-splitting that goes on in by supporters of gun rights to protect so-called second amendment rights from events like the one which occured this weekend, which literally scream out for the government to intervene in order to protect law abiding citizens from people who obtain the most lethal imaginable weapons so easily.

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  92. PJ says:

    @MarkedMan:

    “In 1982, the Kennesaw City Council in Georgia voted unanimously to pass a law that requiring all heads of households to own at least one firearm with ammunition.”

    That’s just nuts. But it’s to nutty enough. That law is obviously flawed since people would just leave their guns at home and then they would be unable to foil crime.

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  93. Jay Tea says:

    If just one person with a concealed carry licence had been there at the meet and greet, that nut likely would have gotten off no more than a few shots before going down. More guns sometimes actually can mean greater safety.

    There was — Joseph Zamudio. He heard the shots and ran to the scene. Once there, he determined that drawing and using his gun would not be helpful, as the shooter had already been knocked down and was being disarmed. So he helped hold the guy down until police arrived.

    So no, he didn’t use his gun. But it’s certainly arguable that having the gun gave him the confidence to run TOWARD the shots, knowing that he might be able to make a difference.

    Amazing… a gun owner who charged into danger, ready and willing to lend a hand to those in trouble, and then using remarkable judgment on the use of said gun. Who’d'a thunk such a thing might happen?

    J.

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  94. An Interested Party says:

    “It’s very naive to think you just shoot one time, then check to see if you hit the guy trying to kill you.”

    It’s very paranoid to think that you need the same kind of firepower used by the military and law enforcement…

    “Why not simply respect each shooter’s right to choose which works better for them?”

    Indeed…like Loughner’s…

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  95. Michael says:

    Amazing… a gun owner who charged into danger, ready and willing to lend a hand to those in trouble, and then using remarkable judgment on the use of said gun. Who’d’a thunk such a thing might happen?

    Yeah, if he has been an unarmed woman there’d have been nothing he could do.

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  96. tom p says:

    This is the stupidest conversation we have had here in quite some time (I almost wish I had been here from the beginning.

    >>>>Indeed, the notion that we’d say, “We’re fine with nuts being able to easily kill 10 innocent civilians before people have a chance to jump him but, goddamn it, we draw the line at 20!” is absurd. The maximum number of people it’s acceptable to murder in any given situation, I’d think, is zero. Which is why we make it against the law.<<<<

    I really wonder sometimes… James, a few years ago the NRA came out in favor of armor piercing ammo because…. SOME CRIMINAL SOMEWHERE might actually wear a bullet proof vest. A law enforcement buddy of mine who actually DOES wear a vest was SO PISSED…ahhh never mind.

    The point is, common sense is still common.

    Who needs 30 rounds? Only the mass murderer. If it is an inconvenience for the others who have to change their clips a little more frequently… tuff shit.

    Myself? If I can't take care of the asshole breaking into my house with 15 rounds, I need to spend a little more time at the range.

    After all, if my Bussiness Rep could dispatch of his wife's stalker with one clip,

    http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=64119

    I think the random assassin should be limited to the same.

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  97. Jay Tea says:

    Michael, an unarmed woman was another of those who helped take down the shooter. It was a group effort. There were some true heroes revealed in the chaos.

    J.

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  98. mannning says:

    Several thoughts here:

    1. If you limit mags to 15 rds, then the guy carries two or three of them.
    2. If you are in a situation where you are assaulted by a number of bad guys in a firefight, you’d best go into it with two guns and 6 mags. Best you practice changing mags fast, too. (where this situation might occur, I have no idea, but our nutjob did!)
    3. The average guy can’t hit a car at 50 yds with a 9 mm. He might have a problem at 25 yds.
    4. Thus, average guys will fire a lot of rds to get a hit on any old target. I know!
    5. This nutjob was evidently a good shot.
    6. Here we go again blaming guns for what a nutjob does with a gun. Treat the nutjobs.
    7. Annually, there are some 3 million incidents, give or take, where a citizen with a weapon has foiled a serious criminal action. We do not want to take this protection capability away from the people, only to realize a significant increase in murders and the like that could have been prevented, as they are today. (source John R. Lott, Heritage Foundation speech).

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  99. anjin-san says:

    > 2. If you are in a situation where you are assaulted by a number of bad guys in a firefight,

    Lets take a straw poll. Has ANYONE that posts or comments on OTB ever been in this situation?

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  100. Rock says:

    I have and lost. Oh, I thought you meant a bar fight. Firefights, yes. Many of them. But Ma Duce usually settled the disagreements very fast and violently.

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  101. matt says:

    mt : the extended magazine is substantially larger then regular magazines. The lady would of had a much greater to impossible time trying to get a handle on a normal magazine and very likely would of been unable to wrestle it from the shooters grasp. Also like I said earlier a normal magazine wouldn’t of failed to load properly either which would of resulted in little to no time for the dudes that tackled him. Look up speed reload glock on youtube and you’ll find hundreds of videos of amateurs reloading incredibly quickly. We as a society were very fortunate this dude did not spend time doing simple practice. I highly doubt a blanket gun ban would be effective let alone stop something like this (just look how effective the ban on drugs has been)…

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  102. Jay Tea says:

    The Virginia Tech shooter had a simple solution to the same challenge: two guns, several magazines. Reload one while wielding the other. That, plus a combination of other factors (including the use of the “gun-free campus” giving him the equivalent of a game preserve, where he didn’t have to worry about any of his victims shooting back), let him rack up a body count five times what the Tucson shooter pulled off.

    J.

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  103. Michael says:

    Reload one while wielding the other.

    If you’re getting into a gun fight with Shiva, you’ve got way bigger problems my friend.

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  104. Jay Tea says:

    Michael, friend, that’s what witnesses said — the shooter held them at bay with one gun while he very carefully ejected the empty magazine and popped in another. If the loaded gun wasn’t trained at them at every moment, it could be in an instant.

    J.

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  105. matt bernius says:

    “the shooter held them at bay with one gun while he very carefully ejected the empty magazine and popped in another. If the loaded gun wasn’t trained at them at every moment, it could be in an instant.”

    This of course gets to the fallacy of the “if only someone else had a gun”. Self defense is always situationally dependent and dependent on the individuals at the scene. There need to be the will to act, and (often) the acceptance by those individuals that they’re going to get hurt.

    The people who restrained the gunmen in Tucson have, I believe, all said that they expected that they were going to be shot (or killed) but they were going to stop that shooter. Likewise, with VT there was the case of the professor (a Holocaust survivor) who committed to being shot in order to block a door while his students escaped through a window. Granted he wasn’t attacking the gunman, but what you see there was a commitment on the parts of these people to do whatever it takes to make sure others were safe.

    The idea that “just because someone else has a gun” they’d have:
    1. The will to use it under live fire.
    2. The ability to draw, remove safety, aim and return fire accurately under pressure.
    3. The desire to do 1 & 2 when there is already a gun trained on them?

    Is a bit of a stretch. And, in the scenario you just described, where the gunman has the drop on you, do you think that the average person (the ones who didn’t want to move with a gun pointed at them) would we willing to take the time to draw, making themselves more of a target?

    Again, I’m not against gun ownership. But somehow imagining having a gun would turn someone into a action hero savior (or the cure) for this sort of situation is just BS.

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  106. Jay Tea says:

    matt, you’re confusing a couple of points.

    1) The citing of the two guns and multiple magazines in Virginia was to counter the argument that the Tucson shooter’s large-capacity magazines made things worse. “If the Tucson shooter had been limited to 15-round magazines or smaller, he wouldn’t have shot so many” was cited above, but the VA Tech shooter was so limited — and killed over five times as many.

    Nutjobs will find ways to use the available tools the best they can. Limiting the tools simply means they’ll adapt.

    2) There was an armed citizen who responded to the Tucson shooting — Joseph Zamudio. He rushed to the fight, determined that drawing and using his gun would not be productive, and dove on the shooter to help restrain him. My own theory is that he felt more empowered by having his gun on him, so he ran towards the shots. Then he exercised exceptional judgment and decided that actually using the gun would not be as useful as just jumping on the guy — so he did that instead.

    J.

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  107. Michael says:

    “If the Tucson shooter had been limited to 15-round magazines or smaller, he wouldn’t have shot so many” was cited above, but the VA Tech shooter was so limited — and killed over five times as many.

    The VA Tech shooter was also in a much different situation, shot his victims over a much larger period of time, and seemed to be much more capable and comfortable in using his weapons. Instead of thinking how a smaller clip would affect the VA Tech shooter, think about how it would affect an amateur.

    My own theory is that he felt more empowered by having his gun on him, so he ran towards the shots.

    Your theory, then, is that he was less brave than the injured and unarmed woman who still ran towards the shooter. I’m sure he’d disagree with your critique.

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  108. matt bernius says:

    “2) There was an armed citizen who responded to the Tucson shooting — Joseph Zamudio. He rushed to the fight, determined that drawing and using his gun would not be productive, and dove on the shooter to help restrain him. My own theory is that he felt more empowered by having his gun on him, so he ran towards the shots. ”

    So basically the reason we should be armed is that we don’t need to use the gun, but so it makes us braver? So at that point what’s the need for the high capacity clip from a self defense perspective?

    Kuods to Mr Zamudio’s reaction (ie. realizing that returning fire wasn’t the best option … and also knowing [instinctively or otherwise] that you can take faster and more decisive action in the way he did… timing is everything in these situations, especially when dealing with a weapon thats already deployed <- again why a drawn knife at 15ft distance is far more dangerous than a holstered gun).

    But, aruging that because he *had* a gun on him, he was more willing to tackle a gunman seems akin to making the argument that because the shooter was exposed to violent rhetoric, it made him more likely to act violently. I think it's giving far too much credit to the object and far to little credit to the individual.

    I do agree that nutjobs will always find ways to use tools. Pretty much if someone want you dead in this world, it's very difficult to prevent that from happening. That said, I'd prefer tools that tend to make it easier for nutjobs to kill me harder for them to get/use. Again, I am not questioning the right to bear arms. But, like many on this thread, I am questions at what point, realistically, should those rights by tempered by realistic considerations.

    Personally, I'd support a licensing system that required, at a minimum, a basic safety and handling course/test. (and yes, I realize all the objections that can be raised to this)

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  109. Jay Tea says:

    Your theory, then, is that he was less brave than the injured and unarmed woman who still ran towards the shooter. I’m sure he’d disagree with your critique.

    Your theory on my theory is, unsurprisingly, full of shit. Mr. Zamudio says that he heard the shots, touched his own gun to confirm its presence, and then ran towards the shots. I spoke strictly of his conduct.

    The conduct of Ms. Maisch and Col. Badger was also heroic. I make no comparisons of their conduct, but laud them all. I am in awe that we have such people among us, and it is sad that it takes such horrific circumstances for them to identify themselves.

    J.

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  110. Michael says:

    Your theory on my theory is, unsurprisingly, full of shit

    Then perhaps you can explain it better. You said:

    My own theory is that he felt more empowered by having his gun on him, so he ran towards the shots.

    Your theory is in the form “Because A was true, then B was also true”, implying that if A (“having his gun on him”) was not true, then B (“he ran towards the shots”) would not be true.

    If there is a different, logical way of interpreting your theory as worded, please detail it.

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  111. Wayne says:

    The larger the clip the more likely the shooter will spray and pray, usually resulting in inaccurate shots with fewer kills. I saw a similar phenomenon with untrained and\or undisciplined troops shooting on full automatic. They could hit the targets on semiautomatic but once they went full auto they did little more than scare the targets. That is the main reason they went to the lousy three round burst standard rifles.

    Granted a discipline shooter will take a little extra time and take good aim which results in more kills. Also a discipline shooter can reload very quickly. Most crazies amazing enough lack discipline. Maybe larger clips would save lives.

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  112. Jay Tea says:

    Michael, at this point I’m done talking TO you. You have put on your +5 Armor of Clue Resistance. So I’m going to talk past you, to anyone who might still be reading this thread.

    Mr. Zamudio’s own words on his account: he was in a store, buying cigarettes, when he heard the shots. His first reaction was to touch his own concealed gun. To me, that was to reassure himself that he had his own gun on him. His second reaction was to run towards the shooting, to see what he could do to help.

    My speculation is that he wanted to make certain he had his own gun so he was as prepared as he could be to assist in however he could at the scene of the shooting. He had no idea what was going on, but was committed to rendering whatever aid he could. And that included using his own gun, if necessary.

    It was not. He arrived too late for the use of his gun to be of assistance. He immediately recognized that, left his gun safely holstered, and instead helped restrain the already-knocked-down gunman.

    What does that say about the heroism of those unarmed people who had already knocked down the gunman and gotten the gun out of his hands? Not a goddamned thing. And it’s utterly contemptible to attempt to twist what I said into that.

    J.

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  113. Michael says:

    Michael, at this point I’m done talking TO you. You have put on your +5 Armor of Clue Resistance. So I’m going to talk past you, to anyone who might still be reading this thread.

    Yes, that seems like a reasonable way to hold a debate…

    My speculation is that he wanted to make certain he had his own gun so he was as prepared as he could be to assist in however he could at the scene of the shooting. He had no idea what was going on, but was committed to rendering whatever aid he could. And that included using his own gun, if necessary.

    So what you really meant was that Mr. Zamudio’s actions would have been no different in the absence of his firearm, making it’s presence there a non-factor in the outcome we actually had. Your theory, then, rests on a hypothetical (but admittedly realistic) situation where Mr. Zamudio would have had need to use is firearm, in which case it could have been a factor in the outcome. Which is fine, by the way. However, possible outcomes to hypothetical situations are not a replacement for actual outcomes of actual situations when drawing conclusions.

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  114. Jay Tea says:

    So what you really meant was that Mr. Zamudio’s actions would have been no different in the absence of his firearm, making it’s presence there a non-factor in the outcome we actually had.

    No, what I “really meant” was what I said. The day I need you — or someone like you — to run around behind me explaining what I “really mean” is the day I will submit myself to a lobotomy.

    J.

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  115. Michael says:

    No, what I “really meant” was what I said.

    Well then maybe somebody else can explain to me what your point was, because the only 2 ways I can see to understand it you tell me are wrong.

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  116. anjin-san says:

    > So I’m going to talk past you,

    Yea, jay is big on that. Said the same thing to me and then continued to address me by name continually. Just not a bright bulb.

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  117. Jay Tea says:

    It means that I’ve recognized that you don’t discuss matters in good faith, that you’re not amenable to reason, so I’ve chosen to not bother trying — but to use you to talk to readers directly. My words are spoken to you, but the real target audience is others.

    It’s something I’ve picked up from reading fiction. It’s rather meta; you’ve been reduced to a plot device to rationalize exposition.

    J.

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  118. mannning says:

    Anyone in the crowd that was armed would have had a problem taking the shooter down, unless he had a very clear shooting lane to the nutjob and no one beyond the shooter that might take a rd,.plus being a very good shot under pressure.

    If he was close to the nutjob, and had a good opening to fire, he strill would have had possible people in the way, and you cannot be sure that your rds would not go right through the nutjob and then hit others. Physically jumping the guy, as was the case, seems to have been the best way to stop the carnage. As others have said, timing and distance are everything, as is crowd configuration and density.

    Taking a poll, as was suggested by someonel, is obviously a useless exercise since not only have there been a number of such situations to develop here, in the US, but also lots in combat situations, as Rock indicated. So the poll would merely test for the large majority of people that have never been in such a situation ever. Stupid idea, yes? What would be the point?

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  119. PJ says:

    @mannning:

    “3. The average guy can’t hit a car at 50 yds with a 9 mm. He might have a problem at 25 yds.
    4. Thus, average guys will fire a lot of rds to get a hit on any old target. I know!”

    So, while the criminal has multiple targets, the persons trying to stop them has only one. If the latter have a problem hitting a car at 25 yards, then perhaps the solution isn’t more bullets, but rather more training?

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  120. bob says:

    The terms “clip” amd “magazine” are not interchanable. The Glock 19 used in this shooting uses a magazine.

    A well practiced gun owner can drop a mag and load another in less that two seconds so the size of a magazine is really less of an issue than is being made.

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  121. anjin-san says:

    > It’s something I’ve picked up from reading fiction.

    Glenn Beck is writing books now?

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  122. mannning says:

    @ PJ

    Perhaps you misread what I was saying. I did not intend to imply that the armed citizen in the crowd needed more ammo; rather, that his choices are limited as to using his weapon at all versus using physical force to subdue the shooter.

    Of course, if he elects to draw and use his weapon, he best be damn proficient at it as I stated.

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  123. PJ says:

    @mannning:

    Thanks for clarifying, since that wasn’t what I got from it. Sounded more like a reason for more bullets.

    But from your clarification, it does sound like most people probably shouldn’t carry a gun everywhere, since most of them will most likely misjudge their own capability.

    Which points to the idea that those who carry also should be trained.

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  124. Wayne says:

    PJ
    Obviously the average guy where you live is nowhere near as accurate as those around here and especially those from around my hometown. If you can’t hit a car at 25 yards or even 50 yards without using lots of rounds, you may want to trade it in for a rock.

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  125. matt says:

    Wayne : My rural hometown was the same way…

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  126. PJ says:

    @Wayne:
    “Obviously the average guy where you live is nowhere near as accurate as those around here and especially those from around my hometown.”

    This wasn’t about where I live, rather were Manning lives. He made the arguments.

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  127. mannning says:

    I would claim that no one should carry a hand gun regularly if he has not had not only formal training but also a substantial number of rounds fired on the range with his weapon, say 200 rounds or more. Even that number may not be sufficient to ensure reasonable proficiency with the gun. Then, too, regular stints at the range are needed to keep up one’s proficiency.

    In my own case,the first time I used a handgun was when I was 13. I set up a target on a range at about 20 yards that was an 8 inch diameter piece of a log. Then I loaded the 45 and began firing. 50 rounds later the damn log was still intact. Much later, after about another 100 rounds or so spent, I could hit that target size with satisfying regularity, but only if I used the two-handed hold. I never had a five-shot group at that age better than 12 inches in diameter at 20 yds, however. Obviously, a 45 was far too much gun for me at that age, but my father’s Air Force issued 45 was all we had, and the base range down in Mobile furnished the ammo for it. Many years later, I was somewhat more proficient with the 45 and qualified by the AF.

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  128. mannning says:

    Guys, I was being somewhat dramatic with my car target idea to make the point that if you handed a handgun to a random person, he would not be very likely to hit anything with it at range, and hence shoudn’t be walking around with one without training and practice as I mentioned above.

    It turns out that five of us on my block here are regular shooters at the local range, and we do fairly well as a group. I use my 9mm, and the others use a mixed bag of 38, 357, 40, and 45.

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  129. birchbank says:

    birchbank’s response to JKB:

    What if the ex-husband came over at a legitimate time to pick up his children for visitation, they got into an argument and his “law-abiding-citizen” ex-wife tried to deny him that right, “snapped” and shot him? Or it was reversed: the “law-abiding-citizen” ex-husband snapped, came over and shot his ex-wife in a brief moment of regretful rage. In fact, I’ll bet the prisons are full of shooters who thought they’d always be a “law-abiding citizen” and gun owner.

    The fact is, none of us know when, yes, any of us might snap, due to road rage, getting fired, a quarrel with the wife, a fight at a bar… With a gun very handy, most of those that have lost it and shot innocent others would never have dreamed they’d do this before-hand. WITH a gun handy, it’s just too easy to “lose it”, pull and shoot. Very few at least one-or-two victim shootings of innocent people are done by “psychos”. Murder/suicides happen all the time, as when after a quarrel, a husband shoots his wife, despairs of his terrible act, and turns the gun on himself. Those who own guns for self-defense say a locked-up gun is a worthless gun. But especially with ready-to-shoot guns in nightstands, there are too many accidents, many involving children, which are especially tragic. Very few people (I hope) want to deliberately endanger another. But that’s why we have required seat belt usage (in MI) and speed limits.

    Unless you live in a gang-infested neighborhood or a high-crime area, one’s getting shot by a fellow “law-abiding citizen” are much more likely than by a criminal. And without extensive training and restraint, shooting in self-defense (or what appears might be self-defense but turns out not to be) can kill innocent bystanders or members of one’s own family.

    And since most criminals just want money, but are often armed and desperate, they may mug or rob you and not physically harm you, but if you whip out a gun you’ll be shot if you can’t beat them to the draw. Wanna play mugger’s roulette? And if an unarmed minor enters your home, you want to be responsible for killing a desperate child only looking for enough dough or salable item for his next fix?

    I believe citizens have a basic right to bear arms, especially for hunting, target practice, etc, but
    there should be:

    1) most definitely a ban on assault-type guns or extended clips, whose main purpose is to kill lots of innocent people (unless such weapons are stored safe at shooting ranges when not used there).
    2) a more extensive NATION-WIDE (so DCers can’t go to VA to buy guns, etc.) wait-a-week permit to purchase a handgun so that the applicant can be screened for mental health evaluations or involuntary commitments, ALL criminal records and past involvements with the police, restraining orders, and incidents of violence, etc. During that time, if the applicant is in a rage to shoot somebody, he has a chance to chill and rid himself of his temporary insanity.
    The applicant should also be required to take a course in firearms training, including training in practicing restraint unless one knows he needs to use deadly force, like cops and martial artists do.
    3) GUN SHOWS should be under the SAME regulations as other gun sellers.
    4) Concealed gun permits should be banned, unless the applicant can show a definite need for one, for all the reasons I cited above. Even the Wild West learned it was time for all cowboys to hang up their guns at the sheriff’s office upon entering Dodge.

    We have by far the laxest gun regulations compared to Canada, the United Kingdom and most of Europe, and our murder by guns per capita rate varies from 65 to 670 times that of these countries. The US rates fourth highest among ALL nations in murder by guns. The simplest child can see the correlation there.

    JKB says:
    Monday, January 10, 2011 at 11:38

    I’m picturing anyone who is not discourage from continuing the attack by the infliction of holes in them or the fear of getting holed. Not to long ago near me, an ex-husband showed up, took two rounds but still started beating his wife until a neighbor came over and put some more holes in him. At least one, that ended his ability to continue. People can keep coming even with a lot of holes in them either till they bleed out or you hit something vital. Life is not like TV.

    Sure, there are plenty of scenarios that don’t require a lot of ammo, but their no one’s last thought is “I wish I hadn’t carried so much ammo.”

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  130. bob says:

    That is why you should use personal protection ammo only in your carry weapon or any weapon you are using for self defense. Had the shooter has such ammunition I doubt Ms. Gifford would be alive today. Thankfully I suspect he had FMJ better suited to target practice.

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  131. matt says:

    It’s funny according to birchbank where I live should be in a perpetual state of a shoot out due to lax gun control laws yet somehow we have a much lower rate of gun violence then say Chicago where most guns are banned…

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  132. matt says:

    BTW birch real assault weapons have been banned for +20 years now. Assault weapon is just a scare word used by those that either should know better or don’t know better.. I like how you want to ban concealed permits despite the incredible low accident rate amongst concealed permit users (compared to non concealed permit users) and also the large amount of concealed permit users that safely prevent potentially deadly crimes..

    Just admit it Birch you want to ban all guns so you can start working on banning swords and knives like in England. Then maybe we can start getting serious restrictions on baseball bats and long pointie sticks…

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  133. [...] Gun Control and the Tuscon Shooting (outsidethebeltway.com) [...]

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