Jumping the Gun
Washington Times assistant national editor Robert Stacy McCain takes ABC News’ Brian Ross and Dana Hughes to the woodshed for using the tragic murder of 32 Virginia Tech students to further their anti-gun agenda:
High capacity ammo clips became widely available for sale when Congress failed to renew a law that banned assault weapons. Web sites now advertise overnight UPS delivery of the clips, which carry up to 40 rounds for both semi-automatic rifles, including 9mm pistols, and handguns. “High capacity magazines read extreme firepower and gusto. Stock Up!” is the headline of one of many gun shop Web sites.
Virginia law enforcement officials have not identified the weapon used in the shootings today at Virginia Tech, but gun experts say the number of shots fired indicate, at the very least, that the gunman had large quantities of ammunition.
“When you have a weapon that can shoot off 20, 30 rounds very quickly, you’re going to have a lot more injuries,” said Peter Hamm of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. It’s not one or two shots at a time when you’re putting 20 bullets, spraying them into a classroom or into a dorm room,” Hamm said.
As McCain notes, that post went up at The Blotter well before any details of the crime were made public, let alone any information about the weapon used. Indeed, more than two hours later, that information is still not public. Nor is it even clear that bullets were being “sprayed.”
The ad from Sportsman’s Guide used to illustrate their point isn’t exactly damning, either. They’re selling “high capacity magazines,” most of which appear to hold 10-20 rounds. There is one gigantic banana clip, which may indeed hold 40 rounds, but it’s not exactly chain-fed ammo for a machine gun. (Oddly, I can’t find the graphic in question at Sportsman’s Guide, which has a completely different look.)
Most weapons on the market are semi-automatic without being “assault rifles.” Indeed, unless a would-be mass murderer plans to fix bayonets after running out of ammunition, there’s not much advantage to an “assault rifle” over any other semi-automatic weapon. And changing out clips does is not particularly difficult: one depresses a button, the old clip drops, and a new clip is inserted.
UPDATE: Police report that the gunman used “at least two 9mm semi-automatic pistols,” not a rifle, assault or otherwise. ABC News persists, however, in sticking to their story: “It is unknown at this time if the guns had standard or extended clips, which can fire as many as 30 shots before the gun has to be reloaded.”
As opposed to six or nine or fifteen shots, in which case the 5 second change of magazine will have to be executed four, three, or one time(s) to achieve the same effect.
UPDATE: Hot Air‘s Ian Schwartz reports that “MSNBC is already promoing a special on gun control set to air on the channel’s resident ‘conservative’ show, ‘Scarborough Country.'” Naturally, he’s got video of said promo.