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The False Hope of Gun Control

October 7, 2015

Whenever some madman commits a horror like the recent shooting in Oregon, we hear renewed calls for further gun control legislation. Sometimes, they get passed. And they uniformly fail to deliver on the promises made to encourage their passage.

Recently, I read an online article regarding the futility of trying to do something about school shootings by limiting magazine capacity and the rate of fire of which a weapon is capable. Sadly, I don’t remember the author’s name*. I want to take the scenario the author presented and make it even more restrictive to illustrate how ineffective suggestions related to magazine capacity and rate of fire really are.

For this scenario, let’s assume the following are true:

  • Our shooter is armed with a weapon that holds only a 5 round magazine (half of what many gun control proponents advocate)
  • The shooter takes slow and deliberate shots, averaging 5 seconds per shot
  • The shooter takes a full 5 seconds to reload when a magazine is empty (this is really slow)
  • After reloading, the shooter takes another 5 seconds before taking another shot
  • Instead of the 9-12 minutes many authorities claim, this scenario will only last 5 minutes. The clock starts at “0” with the first shot and ends at 5 minutes.

0     1 shot

5     1 shot

10    1 shot

15    1 shot

20    1 shot

25    reload

30    1 shot

35    1 shot

40    1 shot

45    1 shot

50    1 shot

55    reload

60    1 shot (and the “0 second” for the next minute)

This gives us a total, in our 5 minute scenario, of 50 rounds fired and, potentially, 50 victims. Incidentally, it also gives a rate of fire of 10 rounds per minute! All this in the absence of both rapid fire and “high capacity” magazines. The fact is, a person who practices at all can fire and reload much faster than this with a single barrel shotgun and pockets full of shells.

Allow me to suggest, then, that further gun and magazine bans and restrictions will serve no useful purpose other than to arguably set us up for further legislation when these, too, fail to live up to their promise.

*If you know the author’s name, please contact me with a link so I can attribute his work to him more thoroughly

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