Monday, February 11, 2013

WSJ on Gun Control

When some people believe they need to shoot several other people, there is no question that the lack of a magazine holding more than ten rounds would impair them.

When some people believe they need to shoot several other people, the impact of them not having a magazine holding more than ten rounds is questionable. "For a practiced and calm shooter, swapping magazines takes no more than a couple of seconds. And a swap may not even be necessary if the shooter has multiple guns..."

The cognitive dissonance, it burns.


Anonymous said...

You're missing the essential distinction between bad guys and good guys. Good guys are impeded by having only ten rounds in a clip, but bad guys aren't.

Why? Because when a good guy and a bad guy get in a fair fight, the bad guy wins... no, wait, that would mean the odds of actually defending your home with a gun (responsibly stored locked and unloaded, for the safety of small children), half asleep in the middle of the night, are next to nothing.

Let's try the other way around: when a good guy and a bad guy get in a fair fight, the good guy wins. No, wait... that would mean the good guy doesn't need more than ten rounds to take out one, or even two, bad guys.

OK, I've got it. How about we give guns to all the good guys and none of the bad guys? Then we don't have to worry about what happens when they meet in a fair fight.

Anonymous said...

Adam Lanza had 15-20 minutes of free time before the police made the 2.3 mile trip from the police station to the school. Just out of curiousity I conducted an unscientific experiment that I posted elsewhere. I thought you might find it interesting.

I have a Dan Wesson 357 Model 15-2. It was loaded with 6 Golden Sabers. I removed the cartridges and dropped them in my pocket(I don't have a speed loader for it), aimed at 6 random objects that I could see from next to my bed and gun safe, some were in the room, others in the bathroom or living room. I "fired", reloaded the cylinder, and walked to the other end of my house, approximately 16 average steps. I reloaded, closed the cylinder, opened it, and dumped the bullets back into my pocket. Again, I took aim, and fired away.

I repeated this until I had fired 60 times. Sometimes I would reopen the cylinder to make sure it was really empty. A couple times, I dropped a couple bullets and had to pick them up. Most of the time, I would make several changes of position, including at least 1 180 degree turn. I did not hurry when I walked, I did not hurry when I aimed, and I did not hurry while loading the cylinder.

It took 6 minutes and 10 seconds to accomplish this. I have not fired that gun in years, and I doubt I've dry fired it in years, either. I don't think I've fired a gun in 2+ years.

370 seconds for 60 rounds.

He didn't need a semiauto to do what he did.

And when you think about how kids were told to make a nice pile in the corner, it would have been even easier for him.

Will McLean said...

Here's the thing. The WSJ authors make two entirely contradictory arguments.

!)High capacity magazines don't make weapons more lethal, because changing magazines can be done quickly, if the shooter is calm, practiced, and not being charged by his potential victims while he tries to reload.

2)Ordinary citizens must have free access to high capacity magazines, because sometimes they might need to shoot multiple attackers, and it would be awkward if they had to change a magazine, which can be done quickly, if the shooter is calm, practiced, and not being charged by his potential victims while he tries to reload.

Anonymous said...

Will McLean: I think the argument is simply this: if you're facing an armed opponent (like a burglar breaking into your home), the couple seconds it takes to reload could cost you your life because the other guy can shoot you while you reload; but when Adam Lanza was firing away at unarmed six-year-old children and unarmed teachers, he had little to worry about while reloading (and little reason not to use a smaller clip size) because no one could have shot him during those couple seconds. The principal and a couple teachers tried to tackle him but were easily killed by Lanza - probably because a couple seconds isn't enough time to run up and tackle someone. That's why clip size makes little difference when criminals are slaughtering innocent people, but it can make a huge difference if you're defending yourself against a criminal who can shoot you while you reload. Anyone in the military will tell you that clip size matters in combat against armed soldiers, and it likewise matters in a fight against armed criminals.

Anonymous said...

Another issue is what capacity magazines do police department require? I think you will find that the vast majority of police and sheriff deparments use magazines with capacities greater than 10 for pistols and 20 or more for rifles. If the police require this kind ammunition load why can't us common folk have them?

Will McLean said...

Anonymous: Armed citizens using their guns in self defense apparently rarely need to change magazines:

Because most criminals don't want be in a firefight with an armed citizen. It's a bad career choice.

On the other hand, mass shooters tend to go through cartridges like popcorn. At least three mass shooters were subdued while trying to reload: the Long Island Rail Road shooter of 1993. the Thurston High School shooter of 1998, and the shooter of Gabrielle Giffords and others in 2011, in spite of the wide availability of high capacity magazines that allowed the shooter to fire many shots without reloading during most of the period since 1982.

Will McLean said...

Anonymous: the police are expected to go in harms way. They are expected to pursue armed criminals and neutralize barricaded killers. The common folk have no duty to do anything once a felon is in retreat.

Anonymous said...

Yes, police are expected to go in harms way. This is why they are issued multiple high capacity pistol magazines and why many also carry carbines with high capacity magazines.

Unfortunately, police don't have the ability to prevent criminal assault. While most criminals will flee early in a gunfight (or even before shots are fired), there many examples of victims needing multiple shots (emptying their revolvers or magazines) to stop attacks.

Even if you agree with the position, the goal is unattainable. There are millions currently in existence and an complete ban would cost 100s of millions of dollars. Criminals would not comply, machine shops could easily make more, and 3D printers can make more.

Sweet Dick Willie said...

How many rounds did Timothy McVeigh's magazine hold?