Why Gun Control (Still) Won't Work

Restricting the Second Amendment is not the answer to the Tucson shootings.

It has been a dismal decade for gun control advocates. They lost the federal so-called assault weapons ban when it expired in 2004. The Supreme Court made history by proclaiming an individual right to own firearms for self-defense. A Democratic president came into office vowing not to take away anyone's guns.

So it's no surprise that anti-gun forces would take the mass shooting in Tucson as a rare opportunity to reverse their fortunes. It's also no surprise that their proposals are models of futility.

Gun control has faltered mainly because it hasn't worked. And nothing in the new recommendations offers hope of success.

The first idea came from Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-N.Y.), who wants to ban all ammunition magazines holding more than 10 rounds—which was the rule under the assault weapons law. Her rationale is that the rampage ended when the shooter exhausted a 30-round clip and tried to reload, at which point he was subdued. With a 10-round clip, he could have been stopped sooner.

Maybe so. But Jared Loughner apparently put some planning into this attack, and had the laws been different, he might have planned around them.

Suppose he couldn't go to the gun shop and buy a new 30-round clip. He could have bought a used one, which could be legally sold under the expired federal law. Or he could have bought extra weapons to avoid the need to reload—like the shooter in the 2008 Northern Illinois University slaughter, who had a shotgun and three handguns.

Passing a law to head off a freakishly rare occurrence is probably a waste of time. Florida State University criminologist Gary Kleck says that of the hundreds of mass shootings that have occurred in this country, he knows of only one in which a gunman was stopped because he had to reload—a 1993 episode on the Long Island Railroad.

A measure offered by Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.), offers even less promise. He wants to make it a crime to knowingly carry a firearm within 1,000 feet of a president, vice president, member of Congress, or federal judge.

That would punish law-abiding citizens who have no aggressive intentions—say, someone who parks a block away from a campaign rally on his way to the target range. But it would have been only a paper barrier to Loughner, who ignored a host of laws on his way to shoot Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.

The group Mayors Against Illegal Guns fantasizes that King's bill "would give federal, state, and local law enforcement a better chance to intercept would-be shooters before they pull the trigger." Not unless the gunmen announce themselves, it wouldn't.

A more serious complaint is that Loughner was able to legally buy a weapon even though he was weird enough to induce fear at his community college. School authorities finally told him not to come back until he got a bill of health from a mental health professional. But none of this showed up in the background check when he went to buy a gun.

Right now, federal law excludes a purchaser only if he "has been adjudicated as a mental defective" or involuntarily committed to a psychiatric facility. But some states bar sales to those who have been voluntarily committed, which makes sense. No one would argue against better use of available records.

Stopping a troubled person whose behavior is not alarming enough to trigger action by his family or friends, though, borders on the impossible. We don't want to give every gun buyer the burden of proving mental stability—any more than we would require each taxpayer to take a polygraph when filing a 1040. The only real hope for keeping a lunatic away from guns is diligence by those who know him.

It's hard to imagine that stricter gun control laws would have any discernible value in averting tragedy. Homicides have actually declined since the demise of the assault weapons ban.

Utah has the nation's most permissive gun laws, according to the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, but it has one of the lowest murder rates in the country. California, with the strictest laws, has a homicide rate higher than the national average.

There are plenty of lessons to be drawn from the ineffectuality of firearms regulations. But gun control supporters are in no mood to learn.

COPYRIGHT 2011 CREATORS SYNDICATE, INC.

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  • Suki||

    Good morning reason!

    Yea! Chapman for freedom!

  • ||

    But gun control does "work". For different values of %work%.

    I think one of the biggest mistakes we make is thinking that we are talking about the same thing. Excuse the violent metaphor- that we are aiming at the same target.

    Gun control isn't about fewer deaths, it's about removing guns from society. That's the end product.

    So of course gun control can work. When your goal is to reduce gun violence, it doesn't. When your aim is to ban guns, control is exactly what you need.

  • Rich||

    Well said.

    Some gun-grabbers admit, either willingly or in moments of weakness, that banning guns is their actual goal. Getting them to spell out the actual *purpose*, however, is another matter.

  • ||

    absolutist rubbish. duh of course its to remove guns...& it has. the local drug dealer doesnt have a MG42 set-up to cover sales. >its a line-in-the-sand NOT total prohibition as absolutists mis-represent.

  • Rich||

    What is this "line-in-the-sand" to which you keep referring?

  • ||

    absolutists mis-represent gun control as all or nothing. in the real world, reasonable standards (the line-in-the-sand) are enacted like citizens dont need crew-serviced automatic weapons.

  • robc||

    I know better but...if the Brady Org only opposed crew-serviced weapons, there wouldnt be an issue. If that was the line, every congressman would have an A rating from the NRA.

  • Rich||

    in the real world, reasonable standards (the line-in-the-sand) are enacted like citizens dont need crew-serviced automatic weapons turbo-charged sports cars

    Am I starting to understand, OO?

  • ||

    rich - more absolutist rubbish & false analogies.

  • Rich||

    I really am trying to understand.

    Please list what you consider reasonable standards.

  • ||

    that's the on-going debate isnt it? auto weapons, extended mags, cop killer bullets, plastic guns, silencers, etc

  • Barely Suppressed Rage||

    Define "hi-capacity" magazine? Some manufacturers design the gun to accept a 7-round mag. Some have a 14-round mag. The Clinton AWB arbitrarily set the limit at 10 rounds, forcing several manufacturers to redesign and retool their processes to make mags artificially limited in capacity. For example, I have a Sig P228 9mm that I bought during that period. The "normal" P228 mag holds 13 rounds. Mine holds only 10 because Sig had to install a plastic block on the bottom of the mag to shorten its capacity, yet still fit the gun. "Hi capacity" is an arbitrary, legislated number. If 30 bullets is too many, why is 11 too many? Why isn't 10 too many? Why not limit all mags to only 5 or 6 rounds?

    WTF is a "cop killer" bullet? You've been listening to the bullshit rhetoric coming out of New Jersey for too long. Define the term and demonstrate it's a legitimate issue before advocating for a ban on something that doesn't exist.

    Ditto "plastic guns." Show me one. There is no such thing. And don't go showing me a Glock with a polymer frame - every other part is steel.

    Silencers already are highly regulated and require a special federal permit to acquire.

    It really does seem always to be those who know the least about guns, firearms technology and the existing laws who want more laws and bans.

  • ||

    Cop Killer bullets. Don't exsist
    Plastic Guns. Don't exsist

    Obviously you have been suckered in by mass hysteria press. The Plastic gun also known as the Glock while made of Compsoite materials have more metal in them then many other guns. There is no plastic gun that will not set off airport metal detectors.

  • Firearms Grammer Nazi||

    Thanks for not using 'clips'

  • ||

    and brady may be absolutist as well dunno. one absolutist is the same as another - all or nothin' !

  • somejerkwithasword||

    absolutist... you keep saying that word, I do not think it means what you think it means

  • JohnD||

    Fully automatic weapons (as in crew served) are already banned, so what is your point? And you sir, are wrong. It is absolutely the goal of the anti gun lobby to make gun ownership illegal.

  • ||

    that ban (on crew-serviced auto weapons) hasnt lead to a total prohibition. ur position is therefore false.

  • Barely Suppressed Rage||

    Full-auto weapons are not banned, but they are highly regulated and tracked by the feds.

    Please identify all of the instances in which legally-acquired full-auto weapons have been used in crime. We'll wait.

    Don't point to the L.A. bank robbers - they illegally converted their weapons to full auto.

  • ||

    crew-serviced weapons havent.

  • ||

    "Reasonable" is not a useful term for this debate. It is vague and subjective.

    To someone who believes that it's "crazy" to own a gun, any restrictions--including outright bans--seem "reasonable".

  • ||

    Now that you mentions, "reasonable" is never a useful term in any debate. It's usually just a tell that someone can't defend their position.

  • Andrew||

    Crew-serviced? How many armorers do you need for your firearms?

    For those who want a crew-served(*) weapon, you can purchase a semi-auto M-60 from U.S. Ordnance for around $10K.

    *real gunners AG themselves.

  • ||

    OhioMorin....how many alter egos do you have Tony? Err Edward!

  • ||

    Haha Fish you hit the nail on the head. This troll is all over the comment boards! It's almost getting entertaining.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: OhioOrrin,

    the local drug dealer doesnt have a MG42 set-up to cover sales.

    Nor would he find it practical otherwise, as the MG42 weights 25LBS and that without ammunition belt.

    its a line-in-the-sand NOT total prohibition as absolutists mis-represent.

    The line-in-sand metaphor is appropriate, OO, as any tyrant can move that line towards one with ease.

  • ||

    if ur objection is against tyrants, then take-up that fight. and the democratic process can move that line as well.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: OhioOrrin,

    if ur objection is against tyrants, then take-up that fight.

    "Take-up"? Ok, I just had an image of a Rexnord salesman. Anyway - my beef is with people saying "line in the sand", as such metaphor is used by petty tyrants, especially those that hide behind the "Democratic process" canard.

  • ||

    so ur saying that the debate on guns, which is the democratic process, has NOT lead to changes in the law? absurd

  • Firearms Grammer Nazi||

    Also, It wouldn't be easy to find enough 7.92X57 to make it worth it.

  • Metric Conversion Nazi||

    uh, do a search for "8mm mauser" and get back to me on that

  • nekoxgirl||

    My parents are die hard liberals and constantly insist that the Democrats would never in a million years want to take anyone's guns away.

    If I press the issue in just the right way though, they will say things like, "well I wouldn't want to government to take my flint locks away!" and "people should be able to hunt."

    In other words, they'd have no problem with a hand gun ban but they'll never come out and actually say it.

    I'm glad the majority of Americans are smart enough to resist this type of thinking. Banning handguns is how it started in Great Britian. Now they are even considering banning knives and swords.

  • robc||

    Considering?

    You are behind the times.

  • Ron||

    G.B. already has a Knife scar and knives with sharp points are already banned. How did this come about the criminals knew that no one had any guns so they only had to bring knives. it's like Obama says bring a gun to a knife fight in England no guns so you only need the knife

  • GB||

    Save a Life, bin that Knife!

  • Zeke||

    Gun control works very well at disarming victims of violent crime.

    Your chances of coming away unharmed from a mugging are higher if you're packing heat than if you fully comply with the mugger's instructions. Why do liberals hate crime victims?

  • ||

    since most muggings dont lead to physical harm, ur point is moot. >live in a suburb do we?

  • Barely Suppressed Rage||

    Can we please grow us a better troll?

  • Dr. Frankentroll||

    (sob) I'm trying as hard as I can!! (sob)

  • Ron||

    I live in the country side and one friend was mugged with a knife and a rather large relative was mugged with sticks if either one had had a gun they would have used them.

  • Doktor Kapitalism||

    It leads to loss of property, which I should be able to defend. But you like the income tax, don't you?

  • Realist||

    Because they are fucking idiots!

  • a penny a day keep obama away||

    Prohibition worked so well for booze, you'd think they'd learn.

  • derp||

    ... and other drugs.

  • Rather||

    GM APAD, Suki too

  • Rather||

    Michelle Makin agreed with Obama last night "right speech"-I think she's having a stroke

  • Rather||

    And speaking of strokes, I'm stroking myself right now thinking about Epi! Visit my blog! PLEASE!

  • Rather||

    Just to make it clear in your delusional little mind, I'd rather masturbate thinking of

    this guy

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Rather,

    Michelle Makin agreed with Obama last night "right speech"-I think she's having a stroke.

    Well, to be fair, this morning in the highly excretable Fox & Friends (except when the Judge or Stossel are invited - Woo Hoo!) she (Malkin) stated that the speech was "the right speech" at the "wrong time" and the "wrong venue."

    By the way, what was it with that medicine man? I almost expected to see Deepak Chopra speak by how things were going...

  • Rather||

    I was aware of Malkin's caveat but my point was Obama really hit a home run with this speech. The Democrats have successfully controlled the narrative, ergo making the Republicans look like fools. They have already lost their credibility from the election success by refusing to heed the tea party's anti-spending agenda.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Rather,

    I was aware of Malkin's caveat but my point was Obama really hit a home run with this speech.

    The woo-hooing and the man with the buzzard feather shouting out to the earth creatures and the whole circusy environment notwithstanding, of course...

  • ||

    Hey, I agree. The Hispanic/native American feather waving stuck me as performance art, nor have I ever heard "woo-hooing" at a memorial service. The right's spin that Obama can somehow be responsible for the crowd's unusual behaviors is idiotic-he's not a kindergarten teacher.

  • ||

    Who could ever imagine a few woo-hoo's in a 14,000 seat stadium on a college campus.

  • ||

    and he's no a college professor either-those kids are responsible for their own behavior

  • ||

    Yes, as Rahm Emanuel said "Never let a good crisis go to waste." The orgasmic dream of the "Ban the Guns" crowd has been to implement New York State style legislation regarding handguns, then move to New York City style legislation regarding all firearms (including registration of long guns), then to the legislation of Great Britian regarding all firearms (essentially a ban on firearms unless you are politically endowed and extreme restrictions on airguns).

    What has been the results? Great Britian has experienced double digit percentage increases in firearms related violence each year the ban has been in place. New York State has had variable results; however, the prevalance of firearms related violence is determined more by the number of pharmaceutical enterpreneurs operating in urban/suburban areas and economic conditions. In short, it hasn't made a significant impact on the current or future rate or percentage of firearms related violence.

    If the goal is to reduce the amount of random violent crime such as armed robbery and burglary; New York would be better served by severe tax cutting and severe restriction of regulations that impede business formation and success. Giving people the opportunity to participate in financial succes based on their intitative has had a positive impact on reducing criminal actions.

    The process of registering and tracking the "ballistic images" (from fired cases) of all handguns sold since 2000 has cost the state millions of dollars per year and has yet to contribute to the solution of one crime. Maryland abandoned this system as it was cost prohibitive a year ago; New York still flushes money this State does not have down that hole. The backlog of imaging is so severe that police departments doing direct purchases of new weapons are advised to use Registered Mail, Return Reciept Requested to send cases to the State Police. Otherwise, they are in violation of state laws prohibiting posession of unregistered weapons.

    Frankly, Rep. McCarthy should be glad that idiots want the "extra high capacity" magazines; my experience is that they have a much lower reliability rate than manufacturer's standard capcity ones; the one Lougher used refused to feed properly. I won't own them for that reason alone. As far as Rep. Peter King is concerned; well, look at his record of bloviating. If you want to find a poster face for inflamatory rhetoric, he is a very good choice. His 1000 foot boundary would be defeated by sniping incident. And what do you do for the poor law abiding gun owner who lives next door to the Federal Representative or Judge? Force them out of their property?

    Nopers is right. The proponents of more anti-gun legislation only want to prohibit firarms ownership. Unless you are the Government; then as Ron Bloom, our Commerce Czar stated in a quote from Mao Tse-Tung: "all power comes from the barrel of a gun". That is their endgame.

  • Pip||

    "Giving people the opportunity to participate in financial succes based on their intitative has had a positive impact on reducing criminal actions."

    [citation needed]

  • robc||

    [citation needed]

    The US has a higher standard of living than Somalia. Yet Somalia has more pirates.

  • JohnD||

    I have a differant take on King's proposial of a 1000 ft buffer . All this will do is insure that no law abiding citizen will have a gun within 1000 ft of a politician. Is anyone really dumb enough to think that would deter another Loughner? What unbrideled ignorance.

  • Jill||

    When I hear the 1000' I think longarm.

  • Devil Inchoate||

    No, it will just mean that law-abiding citizens will be charged with crimes for carrying in the wrong "safety zone".

  • mgd||

    If it's important to have a 1000-foot buffer, I suggest modifying the legislation so that it is a crime for any federal official to come within 1000 feet of a citizen with a gun. Any federal official that fails to maintain this distance would be guilty of a felony and subject to penalties.

  • ||

    Actually the ballistic matching system you spoke of was found out to be a hindrence to law enforcement professionals. They found out they were spending valueable time and resources searching the databse of millions of guns and not getting matches. The Database was too big for normal computer systems to search and compare in a timely fashion that they were often abandonned.

  • Derp||

    Interesting note about high-capacity magazines, they do tend to jam and are much more prone to malfunction. On that note, maybe it's better that criminals can get them?

  • ||

    I think so

  • Imp of the Perverse||

    This very sort of point struck me back during the Tec-9 "debate", when that particular gun was banned mainly for looking too cool and being gangster bait. I had always heard the Tec-9 was a piece of shit that would misfire and jam. Isn't that the sort of gun you'd want a thug to have (as opposed to a reliable and accurate Glock)?

  • MNG||

    I don't think gun control advocates want to disarm the public so they can be pushed around by the government. I think most of them honestly feel that having a lot of guns around are a danger. I'm not sure they are wrong about this either. Certainly having guns widely available is going to facilitate some amount of crimes. The Tuscon shooter for example would not have been able to simply go to a store and purchase his handgun and high capacity clip if such things were illegal as they are in many nations.

    I tend to oppose gun control measures but I don't pretend it is an easy question with only black hats on the other side.

  • nekoxgirl||

    I agree that most gun control advocates probably have good intentions. But you know, road to hell and all.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: MNG,

    I don't think gun control advocates want to disarm the public so they can be pushed around by the government.

    The Sith never reveal their true intentions.

    I think most of them honestly feel that having a lot of guns around are a danger.

    That may be so, but opinions do not justify policy.

    I'm not sure they are wrong about this either.

    No, they're not wrong about the dangers of guns. They would not be wrong about the dangers of having bottles of bleach in the home, but that does not justify a ban of either guns or bleach bottles.

    Remember: A ban is the undue taking of a person's choice by violent means.

    Certainly having guns widely available is going to facilitate some amount of crimes.

    And NOT having them facilitates OTHERS - like burglaries in habitated homes.

  • ||

    violent means? so u consider the democratic process, which currently bans certian weapons, to be "violent"?

  • Barely Suppressed Rage||

    He's referring to the actions necessary to put an all-out ban in place.

    E.g., if they ban certain firearms completely, how will they enforce it? Door-to-door searched by armed police? Because there will be a hell of a lot of people who simply do not turn them in.

  • ||

    an "all-out" ban has NOT resulted fm the restrictions already in-place.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    Because guns have not been completely banned, they cannot be completely banned?

    Here you go, troll. Learn something.
    Tautology

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: OhioOrrin,

    violent means? so u consider the democratic process, which currently bans certian weapons, to be "violent"?

    Imposing bans by vote does not make the act less violent, OO.

    Learn something for a change:

    http://oldmexican.blogspot.com.....-help.html

  • Helpful helper||

    democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what is for dinner

  • ||

    I am a smoker. Tobacco is not an illegal drug. Yet many states have banned me from smoking in public places and some cities have banned me from smoking on their streets. If I do it makes me a criminal. Also, many states have seat belt laws which state I have to wear my seat belt for my own good. Most people accept these laws and don't even question that they are taking away our freedom to choose. So, if I go to a public rally people can feel safe that I won't give them cancer by smoking near them, but I can't feel safe that someone with a gun won't accidentally (or on purpose) shoot me. How much do I have to know about guns to know, that is just not right? I guess I need a NSA (National smokers association)to become powerful lobbiest to protect my right to hurt you.

  • Michael Ejercito||

    The Tuscon shooter for example would not have been able to simply go to a store and purchase his handgun and high capacity clip if such things were illegal as they are in many nations.


    Just like people were not able to go to stores and purchase bottles of whiskey during Prohibition.

  • ||

    The Tuscon shooter for example would not have been able to simply go to a store and purchase his handgun and high capacity clip if such things were illegal as they are in many nations.

    Yeah, I'm sure if handguns and high capacity clips were banned, he'd have had been unable to buy any, just like he was unable to score any marijuana.

  • Destrudo||

    The Tuscon shooter for example would not have been able to simply go to a store and purchase his handgun and high capacity clip if such things were illegal as they are in many nations.

    This is ≠ to him not being able to easily procure a gun.

    I think most of them honestly feel that having a lot of guns around are a danger.

    But isn't this the point? The right doesn't exist so people can hunt or target shoot. The right to bear arms exists so that armed citizens can kill a lot of people when it becomes necessary.

  • MNG||

    "The right to bear arms exists so that armed citizens can kill a lot of people when it becomes necessary."

    Ok. Jared thought it had become necessary, y'know?

  • Destrudo||

    Except we all know he was deranged and unjustified. Any rebuttals that actually make sense?

  • MNG||

    That's my point. Saying the right is for when people feel they must kill a lot of people opens it up to people like Jared.

  • Destrudo||

    So you think it was placed in the constitution so jeb could plink soda cans in his backyard?

  • Derp||

    >Implying recreational use was not one of the reasons for the 2nd Amendment.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    Are you about to say something about fires and crowded theaters?

  • David||

    And to the non-deranged-but-honestly-mistaken as in the Shays' Rebellion. Having guns in the populace is a known danger of a known scale - manifestly much smaller than having cars in the population. The practical consequences of new laws and enforcement intended to limit them presents unknown danger of an unknown scale - possibly larger.

  • ||

    not yours

  • Devil Inchoate||

    And Jared was wrong and will be tried. He had a choice and he made the wrong choice.

    Do you want to live with a government that decides what we need and don't need, or be free to make the decision for yourself and live with the consequences of your choice?

  • ||

    We already do. Again I site the seat belt law.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Destrudo,

    The right doesn't exist so people can hunt or target shoot.

    Let me give you a little course on "rights". You have a right to things you already have, like your LIFE, your PROPERTY and your LIBERTY. Having guns is nothing more than an extension of your RIGHT TO PROPERTY. You cannot have a right to things you do not HAVE, like: A house that does not belong to you; or health services you have not paid; or education (as "education" is a state of things, a result, not a "thing": one becomes educated by virtue of one's own efforts.)

    The ban on guns is a violent abridging of your right to LIBERTY, as it takes away a CHOICE to ACT to exchange labor or goods for another good (a gun) for no good reason except that someone else thinks you should not have that good. In other words, someone's OPINION becomes a reason to abridge your right to freely exchange (the working definition of "ban".)

  • Destrudo||

    I completely agree OM. I don't believe for a second that rights exist only because any document gives them to us. Perhaps I could have worded it better, but the point I was trying to make is that the second amendment specifically references killing people as the purpose of an armed population and this is lost on or ignored by most liberals.

  • ||

    The second amendment was written to give the States the right to have armies and defend themselves outside of the federal government. That is why it was written. That is a point most pro gun people choose to ignore.

  • mgd||

    Wrong. I don't know the history behind the notion that the Second Amendment secures a right to the States, but it is erroneous. The entirety of the Bill of Rights is about enumerating rights of the people. Not a single amendment is about securing a right for the individual states. Why the sudden departure from that to secure a right to the States that was absolutely not in dispute, at all, by anyone?

    The Second Amendment was meant to enumerate the right of individual citizens to have arms. It was animated largely by British and Loyalist efforts to disarm the colonial Patriot militias--extra-governmental bodies of armed, individual, citizens.

    This would be the right secured for the States in the entire document. Since the text clearly enumerates "the right of the people to keep and bear Arms" and not "the right of the States to maintain armies", I really have no idea whence the notion that this does not apply to individual citizens.

  • mgd||

    This would be the right secured for the States in the entire document.

    Should read

    This would be the only right secured for the States in the entire document.

  • Destrudo||

    And by "killing people" I was referring to militia. Nobody believes they meant the type of militia that rescues kitty cats from trees.

  • JohnD||

    I beleive the founders thought armed citizens would help keep the government in check.

  • Doktor Kapitalism||

    It would certainly help around mid-April...

    Plus, the intention was to prevent armed rebellions (presumable unjustified ones) and violent crime. No thug is going to mug someone who they know is carrying a firearm.

  • ||

    What! So are you saying that because I am appalled and scared that republicans took over the congress, I can just eliminate them? Is that the same idea crazy Jarod had? What are thinking when you write stuff like that?

  • ||

    "What are thinking when you write stuff like that?"

    Probably that rational people don't go off the deep end the way you do when they don't get their own way. It's likely just as well that you don't believe in owning firearms. I think we're all a lot safer that way.

  • The Ghost of Thomas Jefferson||

    The beauty of the second amendment is that it will not be needed until they try to take it.

  • Ron||

    great comment, I'll try to remember that one.

  • Barely Suppressed Rage||

    Magazine, not clip. Please.

    And haven't you been reading the MSM journos? It was a 31-round "clip". I've seen it reported everywhere that he had a 31-round clip.

    Now I need to figure out who the hell makes a 31-round clip. That way, I could pack 32 rounds - 31 in the magazine and 1 in the pipe.

  • ||

    well thank God he didnt have to reload after having shot 16 people.

  • michael||

    I bet it was a 30-round clip with a 1-round extension. They also have 2-round extensions, so you could carry 33 rounds in a that gun.

  • Barely Suppressed Rage||

    I'm betting it was a 30-round mag, and with 1 in the chamber, the gun had a 31-round capacity. The MSM drones read this and translate it as a 31-round mag.

  • Derp||

    I'm surprised they haven't said he was carrying an AK-47 yet.

  • JD||

  • ||

    I lol'ed.

  • JD||

    The Glock factory 9mm extended mags have a 31 round capacity. They are often sold with a +2 extension already installed, for 33 rounds total. If you topped off the mag after chambering a round, you could have 34 rounds on tap.

  • Barely Suppressed Rage||

    Thanks. Not being a big Glock fan, I'm not familiar with their offerings in detail.

  • ||

    The Post's house dullard weighs in on the debate: Bad words keep us peaceful people from inacting "rational" gun regulations and that leads to more bad words and that leads to mountains of dead bodies. [or something like that - Dionne is a fucking idiot]
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/.....04601.html

  • Pip||

    After last night's spectacle in Tucson, it will be hard convincing foreign nationals that the US is not a Christian nation.

    And who's bright idea was it to have the Head of Homeland Security read from the book of Isaiah, a Jewish prophet???

  • Janet Napolitano||

    I had planned to shout "Allahu Akbar" afterward, but we were running a bit long.

  • PIL||

    So if you guys are so pro-gun why do some of you got so bitchy in that article about "Can we trust the GOP?" Guess what, it's not the GOP who hates the second amendment (except for that NEW YORK RINO Peter King), it's not the GOP that loves gun control, they're not the ones that bitched when the assault weapons ban expired.

    http://libertarians4freedom.bl.....blood.html

  • robc||

    There are more than 2 choices, you moron.

  • PIL||

    No, there are only two choices. Third parties rarely win, where's Jessee Ventura now? Where's Ron Paul? Where's that stupid treehugger who took votes away from Gore? Even Rand Paul can't open his mouth without getting in trouble, and I agree with him!

    Face it kiddo, it's either the donkeys or the elephants that run this country, and frankly, I like the elephants better.

  • ||

    no the corporations run this country.

  • Barely Suppressed Rage||

    Oh for christ's sake.

    Now I know you're just a pathetic troll.

  • ||

    takes one eh?

  • Anonymous Coward||

    Don't you mean CORPRARSHUNS?

  • Doktor Kapitalism||

    They may be the established parties, and *currently* the only ones with a chance of winning, but they're not you're only choice.

  • CommentARRRR||

    Not sure what the hell Peter King's up to, but at least with Carolyn McCarthy we know that the bill is nothing more than pointless posturing to win over some votes (that bill isn't going anywhere and she knows it).

  • ||

    Why do they call in gun control, anyway? Shouldn't it be called people control?

  • Barely Suppressed Rage||

    Excellent point, comrade.

    Stay where you are. Agents will be there shortly. They wish to ... speak ... to you.

  • ||

    I've seen a few stories in the MSM referring to "gun rights advocates," a term I didn't hear them use until recently. It used to be always "gun control opponents" or "gun owners." I think this is a positive trend--recognition by MSM that there really are gun rights.

  • Barely Suppressed Rage||

  • Chuck Schumer||

    That was taken out of context, and you know it!

  • Barely Suppressed Rage||

    I'd love to see you taken out ... of context ... senator.

  • ||

    "But some states bar sales to those who have been voluntarily committed, which makes sense."

    Actually no it does not. Anyone with a mental illness that seeks treatment through hospitalization should have no problem getting a firearm. They have recognized the problem and sought treatment. Let's not punish them. We risk forcing people to choose between a right and getting treatment in that scenario.

    Not to mention that many people voluntarily commit themselves for eating disorders, depression, anxiety, among other things. I can't imagine it would be acceptable to bar a person from owning a firearm for having been anorexic.

    And as another poster said, please stop with the clip stuff. It's a magazine.

  • Jill||

    I like the term clip yes it is slang who cares. Magazine sounds more like the place I store my ammo.

  • Meh||

    Can't we all just agree on 'bullet-thingy'?

  • ||

    The technical term is "bullet box", you dolt!

  • ||

    lol

  • Derp||

    Yeah and I call every MP3 player an Ipod.

  • Barely Suppressed Rage||

    I like the term clip yes it is slang who cares

    Anyone who knows the difference between a clip and a magazine.

  • Barely Suppressed Rage||

    Close the fucking html tag, ya moron.

  • ||

    that's the on-going debate isnt it? auto weapons, extended mags, cop killer bullets, plastic guns, silencers, etc.

    Full auto weapons and silencers are already functionally illegal for civilian ownership.

    Cop killer bullets are either a non sequitur or a fantasy.

    There's no such thing as an (all-)plastic gun.

    So, really, we're just talking about extended magazines.

    Define "extended", and explain why a bullet fired from an extended magazine is more likely to kill someone wrongfully, and we can talk.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: R C Dean,

    There's no such thing as an (all-)plastic gun.

    Hey! My airsoft S&W would like to have a word with you, mister!

  • ||

    reagan signed the ban on plastic guns & cop-killer bullets.

  • Barely Suppressed Rage||

    This is relevant how?

    Again, what's a "plastic gun"? Show me one, other than in a Clint Eastwood/John Malkovich movie.

    And what's a "cop-killer" bullet? Is there some kind of magick bullet out there that can tell the difference between a cop and anyone else? It's non-lethal when it hits someone other than a cop, but to cops it's a "killer"?

    Such fucking nonsense.

    And it also illustrates how cops are uber-citizens. Bullets that can be used to kill "ordinary citizens" - no problem. But "cop-killer" bullet? Whoa-ho!! Gotta ban those.

  • ||

    neither exist (in the us) because reagan banned both.

  • Barely Suppressed Rage||

    You're a fucking idiot if you truly believe that.

    And you've already demonstrated you're a fucking idiot.

    If I enact legislation banning the tooth fairy, does the non-existence of the tooth fair in the U.S. prove the effectiveness of the ban?

    Stop dodging the question - define the terms and show examples of them. What is a plastic gun and what are cop-killer bullets?

  • ||

    i dont know since both have been banned since 86 or 88.

  • Barely Suppressed Rage||

    Yeah, I'm sorry to have asked the question that clearly is beyond your level of cognitive ability.

    Your analytical skills are about the level of a 2nd grader - and a special ed one, at that.

  • Imp of the Perverse||

    They also didn't exist before Reagan banned them. They were always fiction. Just like "silencers". Nothing will make a firearm silent. Well except for a vacuum environment, I suppose. Ban firearms in space, you can't hear 'em go bang!

  • ||

    The whole "cop killer" bullet thing is a myth. The term refers to steel or tungsten alloy bullets (teflon coated I believe), for handgun cartridges, designed to pierce common body armor. Ownership by private citizens is now banned, though Im not aware of any police officer being murdered with such ammo, which by the way penetrates less than your granddad's 30-30 or 30-06 deer rifle.

  • Derp||

    Cop Killing bullets can also refer to hollow points, I believe. Ironic because most cops wear armor....

  • Imp of the Perverse||

    It was cookie cutter ammo, not just hollow point, but hollow all the way through the bullet core. Supposedly it will go right through kevlar... in a Ludlum novel.

  • ||

    I don't think gun control advocates want to disarm the public so they can be pushed around by the government.

    Foreseeable consequences are not unintended.

  • John keida||

    Good article!

  • ||

    If I were armed, and in a position to come to the aid of Peter King....

    I wouldn't.

  • Ari||

    Not that this has much to do with the subject of the article, but the husband and son of Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (mentioned in paragraph 4 of this article) were shot in the 1993 Long Island Railroad incident mentioned in paragraph 7. (Her husband was killed, her son wounded).

  • Barely Suppressed Rage||

    Yup, and on her platform of gun control - as her sole issue - she got elected to Congress and has remained there ever since.

    She was the dope who Tucker Carlson nailed by asking her what a "barrel shroud" was. She had introduced legislation to extend the AWB, including banning rifles equipped with barrel shrouds. He asked her to explain what a barrel shroud was and how it made the rifle too dangerous for citizens to own.

    She kept stammering and avoiding the issue while he kept demanding her to tell him what a barrel shroud was, and she finally lamely answered, "It's a shoulder thing that goes up."

    Video here.

    Demonstrating once again that those who seek to ban and control these things have no valid basis for doing so and don't even have the first clue what it is they're doing.

  • ||

    Yeah I saw that on You Tube. Ambush, low hanging fruit and all that, but it was still hilarious. More journalists need to persistently ask pointed questions like that. Nice to see a politician called on her BS.

  • Michael Ejercito||

    Demonstrating once again that those who seek to ban and control these things have no valid basis for doing so and don't even have the first clue what it is they're doing.


    Furthermore, she does not have a problem with all shootings.

    If you ask her whom Amadou Diallo, Patrick Dorismond, and Sean Bell were, you will get silence.

    If you ask if those responsible for their deaths should be disarmed, you will get silence.

  • Patriot Mike||

    Gun control isn't about guns, it's about control.

    Notice all the guns at the Tea Party rallies, and not a single person shot? Hmm...

  • ||

    overweight white hairs from the burbs aint the problem w gun violence.

  • Barely Suppressed Rage||

    Then why do you propose restricting their rights to own whatever firearms and accessories they choose?

  • Patriot Mike||

    Ever notice that mass murderers always choose large crowds of unarmed people?

  • sarcasmic||

    No way!
    'Gun Free Zone' signs are magic!

  • WillyP||

    Yes they are like candy to criminals.

  • ||

    selective enforcement is illegal.

  • Barely Suppressed Rage||

    You apparently don't understand what selective enforcement is.

    It is not the same as targeted legislation.

    Ooops! I used the word "targeted"! More violent rhetoric.

  • Imp of the Perverse||

    Careful, them's words!

  • Realist||

    Same old arguements, different day. Why argue with the looney left?

  • Rosie O'Donnel||

    No one should have a gun. Except my bodyguards.

  • Barely Suppressed Rage||

    If guns cause crime, I guess we can blame spoons for you being so fat, eh Rosie?

    Don't know what caused your brain damage, though.

  • ||

    guns dont cause crime. guns cause wounds duh.

  • Barely Suppressed Rage||

    None of my guns and none of the guns any of my friends own have ever caused any wounds.

    On the other hand, I have received wounds from knives and chisels. Those things are fucking dangerous!

  • Barely Suppressed Rage||

    BTW, the only way a gun can cause a wound would be if someone beat you over the heat with it. Which increasingly is becoming an attractive option.

    The bullet causes the wound.

    Of course, we could get into a discussion about proximate causation. But I'd really rather not. You're inane and boring enough already.

  • ||

    Guns don't "cause" anything. Guns are inanimate objects.

  • sarcasmic||

    No they're not! They're magic! They cause crime! They cause murder! All by themselves! Like SUVs! I see the headlines all the time 'SUV drives off road, two people killed'! They do it by themselves!

    Aaaaaaaaaaauuuuuuuuuuuuggggghhhhhhhh!

  • ||

    guns cause jobs

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: OhioOrrin,

    What's a "wounds duh"?

  • Barely Suppressed Rage||

    People run people over with cars, we don't hear about "car violence." We hear that a deranged man drove into a crowd and killed people. There is no call for new legislation restricting who can buy, own or drive a car.

    People beat people to death with baseball bats, we don't hear about "baseball bat violence". We hear that a person beat someone to death with a bat. There is no call for new legislation restricting who can buy or own a baseball bat.

    People stab people with knives, we don't hear about "knife violence." We hear that a person stabbed someone to death. There is no call for new legislation restricting who can buy or own a knife.

    People strangle people with lamp cords, we don't hear about "lamp cord violence." We hear that person strangled someone with a lamp cord. There is no call for new legislation restricting who can buy or own a lamp or lamp cord.

    People beat people to death with their bare hands, we don't hear about "fist violence." We hear "he beat him to death with his bare hands." There is no call for new legislation restricting the making of a fist.

    People shoot people to death, we hear all about "gun violence" and what law abiding citizens must give up to reduce it.

  • ||

    BSR, guns are loud. They hurt my ears! They're scary!

  • Ted S.||

    People stab people with knives, we don't hear about "knife violence."

    They do in the UK.

  • Doktor Kapitalism||

    Guns are specifically designed to kill something (usually a human), which is why they're singled out.

    I still support the 2nd Amendment.

  • ||

    The proposal to ban high-capacity magazines is just plain sad. Do these goobers not know what a magazine is? It's a box with a spring in it. Good luck banning those.

  • Barely Suppressed Rage||

    But if they write a law saying you can't make new ones, they'll all go away! Don't you get it? Their law will prevent anything like this from ever happening again, anywhere in the U.S. Get with the program.

  • ||

    Right! Just because a person ignores the laws regarding assault and murder doesn't mean they won't comply with a law banning the use of high capacity "clips" at all.

    [BTW, I got your sarcasm and was just running with it.]

  • JD||

    Works for drugs.

  • Bonhomie||

    I agree that no restrictions would have stopped Loughner's well-planned attack, but why make it easier for him? Tightened restrictions on magazine capacity would certainly have given him pause, maybe even influenced him to bring a smaller weapon, lest he draw attention to himself.

    I don't see a need for assault weapons. They are not designed for hunting, they are for shooting at people. Repeatedly. I don't have the statistics, but I suspect they are the weapon of choice in violent crimes.

  • Yeah!||

    Or he might have just driven his fucking car into the crowd.

  • Time||

    He took a taxi, what kind of tip do you think it would take to pull that off?

  • WillyP||

    So, what... now we should have the TSA grope taxi-riders?

  • Warty||

    No kidding you don't have statistics. That's because you're a lazy idiot.

  • ||

    Or it might have influenced him to bring several guns so he wouldn't have to worry about fucking reloading. Long-guns, "Assault Weapons" as you call them, are used in less that 10% of crimes involving firearms per the DOJ. Are your a retard?

  • ||

    So we peons could never have a legitimate reason to shoot someone repeatedly?

    No they are not the "weapon of choice" in violent crimes. Criminals generally want something small, light, and cheap that they can carry in their pocket and ditch without much of a loss. Cheap Ravens, Lorcins, etc.

    BTW if there is no legitimate reason for "assault weapons" (how do you define that term?) then do you think the police should have them?

  • Doktor Kapitalism||

    We could use assault guns when being attacked by a gang. Mowing them down is easier than picking them off, especially if there are a bunch of them.

  • JD||

    Who's talking about hunting, fuckwad?

    You may not have statistics but the Department of Justice does, and they say that "assault weapons" are used in 1-6% of all crimes involving guns.

  • ||

    bonhomie - dont talk reasonably to absolutists. these gunnuts believe ANY & ALL restrictions on guns is an affront to gawd. >praise jeh sus & pass the hand granades

  • Devil Inchoate||

    the inaccuracy is epic.

  • Devil Inchoate||

    People should not be allowed to own things that Bonhomie does not think we need.

  • Hooha||

    "I don't see a need for assault weapons. They are not designed for hunting, they are for shooting at people. Repeatedly."

    Yeah. Certainly not what I'd want to have around when the GIs quartered in my house start raping my wife.

  • Doktor Kapitalism||

    Good thing there's a Third Amendment. Of course, if they take the Second, they'll probably throw the whole thing out and institutionalize Their Whim.

  • ||

    I just made a new law. You can own any gun you want. Single shot; semi-auto, machine gun; tank; ANYTHING. what is banned is ALL ammo. See what I did, there?
    There, I fixed it. You're welcome.

  • Otter||

    Guns are not efficient methods for killing loads of people. In the absence of a gun, for whatever reason, a nutball murderer will still kill people. They will kill a lot of people.

    When it comes to a single nutjob perpetrator, the best bets for racking up massive kill counts are: A crash, a fire, a bomb.

    These three methods are the most effective ways a lone nut can kill lots of people, all at once. You can rack up the triple digits pretty easily this way. For example:

    The Our Lady of the Angels School fire, which killed 95. The suspected arsonist was never tried.

    Or maybe the the work of Jin Ruchao, who killed 108 people in Shijiazhuan with his ill-synced bomb attack? (4 bombs that went off at once)

    Or Zhang Pilin, who killed 112 by downing China Northern Airlines Flight 6136 all by himself? (Passenger, not a pilot)

    Or good old American Robert Dale Segee, who killed over 700 in a fire in Hartford? The circus grounds were so burnt the authorities still aren't sure how many he murdered.

    We could talk about Kim Dae-han, a 56 year old half-paralyzed man that killed 198 Koreans in the Daegu subway fire? He didn't need a gun.

    Gameel Al-Batouti went a little crazy and killed 217 when he crashed EgyptAir Flight 990 into the ocean. Not a gun in sight - though he was the pilot.

    Adilson Marcelino Alves killed over 300 in, you guessed it - another act of circus related arson. What is it about circuses and fire?

    Hell, a drunk chinaman by the name of Li Xianliang managed to kill 17 people with a tractor! More than our boy in Arizona with his scary gun.

    William Unek managed to whack 21 folks to death with an axe in an orgy of violence, which goes to show a dedicated killer will succeed even without machinery.

    (I'd have included McVeigh, but he had accomplices)

    Guns aren't the problem. Nutball murderers are. 'Gun Control' won't keep them from killing people, the best case is that it will change their method - at great cost, financially, socially, and to liberty.

  • Otter||

    I might even argue that the presence of firearms lowers the bodycounts of nutball murderers. A gun is very psychologically attractive, as its direct approach favors their narcissistic empowerment. Thus the gun is selected over other, indirect methods like arson. These indirect methods are more effective at racking up bodycounts, but generally less desirable to the non-rational nutball.

    Thus the presence of arms causes the nutball to self-select a method that is sub-optimal for mass killings, resulting in lower bodycounts.

  • Imp of the Perverse||

    "I'd have included McVeigh, but he had accomplices"

    For the children, we must ban accomplices!

  • Doktor Kapitalism||

    If you were serious, I'd ask you how, but as it is, you aren't, and I won't.

  • Doktor Kapitalism||

    aren't should read weren't

  • MrGuy||

    September 11th, 2001. No guns there! USS Cole, no guns. Khobar Towers, no guns. See even terrorists who are professional murderers don't use guns.

  • brightIdea||

    I've got an idea! Let's make a law preventing people from killing other people. That will stop all murder right?

    Oh, wait...we already have one? Then why did this stuff happen?

    These reactive laws are based in the misguided assumption that the people who would participate in these actions would actually by constrained by the law. "Whoops...you know I was going to go on a shooting spree but it would have required a gun within 1000ft of a judge. Guess I'll just stay home and cut out letters for creepy ransom notes until they pass a law banning cutting magazines."

    We're not talking about closing loop-holes here...murders aren't trying to find a legal way to accomplish their goal. And once you've shot someone in the head, is the additional punishment of owning a 30 round magazine really going to make any difference in sentencing?

  • David||

    The benefit to banning 30 round magazines is that hopefully either 1) they try to buy one *and get caught* letting us stop things earlier, or 2) they don't try to buy one *or find any other workaround* and there is hopefully less death as they do their thing with fewer bullets.

    Of course, there are other workarounds - off the top of my head: making their own extended magazine, carrying multiple weapons, carrying multiple magazines and training to be able to change them out quickly - and there are costs to banning something, both in money and liberty. But it's pretty clear what the idea is.

  • Devil Inchoate||

    The shooting happened at a supermarket. Let's ban supermarkets because selling all sorts of things at a centralized location forms crowds of a large size. The larger the crowd, the more potential victims. Smaller stores, each selling a single item, not within 1000 feet of each other. That's my logical solution.

  • Helpful helper||

    These damn freedoms cause so much trouble. Choices are just so pesky and difficult to make. If we can eliminate just a little freedom, we can achieve progress. If we can put all power in the hands of a ruling class and let them make all of our choices, we can achieve nirvana.

  • Doktor Kapitalism||

    USSR. And that worked *so* well.

  • David||

    Generally a good article, and I couldn't agree more that excessive legislation and effort (with the attendant unintended consequences) to try and reduce something so rare is a waste of time at best and perhaps even overtly harmful.

    That said, I do have a complaint.

    Utah has the nation's most permissive gun laws, according to the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, but it has one of the lowest murder rates in the country. California, with the strictest laws, has a homicide rate higher than the national average.

    Use of this fact to argue that gun laws are ineffective is sloppy at best, dishonest at worst. Utah doesn't have a gun problem because Utah never had a gun problem. California has gun control laws as an attempt to deal with the rates of gun crime in some areas. This is entirely unrelated to the question of the usefulness or desirability of gun control laws in any given circumstance, and I am disgusted by your attempt here to present it as such. Please do better.

  • ||

    Which means that if Utah enacted Draconian gun control laws they wouldn't have any effect, much like California's, Um, right?

  • David||

    Wrong. It may be that California's draconian laws have not had much effect, but this was not stated - just that the rate of homicides is still high. From the evidence presented, we can't say really anything about the usefulness since we don't know how many homicides there would be absent those laws. Now, it may very well be that they've not done much to bring it down - but if this is the point that's being made the evidence presented should be relevant.

    The one claim that a high homicide rate in CA does soundly refute is that gun control is a magical perfect solution that gets rid of all murders - but I don't think anyone thought that was the case going in, and it doesn't make it any less (or more) likely that it's saving a huge number of lives.

  • ||

    I was getting ready to make a similar argument. Comments like that ignore that there may be any number of other possible reasons to explain the percentages. Where is the evidence that directly links one thing with the other? California, for example, is the most heavily populated state. A higher population could explain a higher rate of violence. Utah has a majority population of Mormons right? Couldn't I as easily claim that their lower gun violence has something to do with the Mormon religion?

    Or consider this. The Christian Science Monitor lists Conn and Mass among the top 10 states with the strictist gun laws. If you do a search for states with highest percentage of gun violence, both of those states come in far down the list. So I could just as easily claim that this is evidence that stricter gun laws do indeed reduce gun violence.

  • Walking Bear||

    The person who left this comment on this site should receive a visit from the US Secret Service. It is a veiled threat to a former POTUS, shich is still a felony in this country.
    "Neil Freuen After long and careful consideration, I am reluctantly forced to agree with you, Claude. It's Bush's fault that this guy went nuts. I say we should post a picture of Bush with crosshairs over his face and let nature take it's course."

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