Saturday, January 26, 2013

Why Magazine Capacity Limits Are Pointless

One of the three major gun control proposals (along with an Assault Weapons Ban, or AWB, and expanded background checks) is a 10 round limit on magazine capacity.  Let's examine this idea.

First, magazines that hold more than 10 rounds are not necessarily "high capacity".  Many firearms were designed, from the start, to use magazines.  Most semi-auto pistols designed in the last forty years were designed to hold 15-20 rounds.  Rifles, a bit more.  My point is simple: With the exception of 100 round drums and the like, we are talking about a restriction on normal capacity magazines - not some after market accessory like a silencer.

Second, let's consider the motive for this restriction.  The idea is that if magazine capacity is restricted it will help in two ways: First, fewer people will be shot because while the shooter stops to reload, people can get away.  Second, someone will be able to overpower the shooter while he or she is reloading.  One would think that a much better plan would be to allow people to actually be able to defend themselves - but the very people pushing these bans want to ban licensed concealed carry.  Apparently, it's a ban thing if someone trains and otherwise prepares for such a situation, but a good thing if - after around 10 people have been shot - an unprepared person is somehow able to overpower the shooter.

So, what about the larger issue: Will restricting the capacity of magazines to ten rounds do any good?  Let me give you the facts that the media won't.  There is actually quite a bit of information that a person unfamiliar with firearms and their use is not likely to know.

1) Magazines Can Be Changed Very Rapidly

Most people - even those who may have fired a gun a few times - have no idea just how rapidly a magazine can be changed.  How long does it take?   The answer is: Well under a second.

A member of the US Army's Marksmanship Unit demonstrates just 
how quickly a semi-auto pistol can be reloaded

In the video above, this expert changes magazines fast enough to shoot a target with a round out of one magazine, reload and shoot the same target again before it hits the ground.  While a less experienced shooter would take longer, with a little practice (which does not require firing - and can thus be done anywhere) times of 1.0-1.5 seconds can be achieved by just about anyone who can fire a gun.

An AR15 can be reloaded nearly as quickly

In the video above, the shooter reloads very quickly even though he "shoots the gun dry", rendering it completely empty and requiring more steps to reload it.

The bottom line is that reloading does not provide the window of opportunity that the advocates of magazine restrictions contend it does.

2) The Firearm Can Be Remain Ready To Fire While Being Reloaded

You may have noticed that in, the first video, the shooter merely ejects and replaces the magazine, leaving a round in the chamber.  What you may not realize is that by doing so, the handgun is able to be fired once during the reloading process. should the need arise.

In other words, by using this method of reloading, a shooter can be ready if someone attempts to approach during that time.  In short, there is no window of opportunity.

3) Magazines Are Not Difficult To Make

After all, they are little more than a sheet metal box and a spring.  It is not hard to make one - or to modify an existing 10 round magazine to increase its' capacity.

This video shows how to make a 30 round magazine
with basic tools

4) Many Mass Shootings Have Been Committed With Restricted Capacity Magazines

I live in California, where the sale and other transfer of magazines holding more than 10 rounds have been banned since 2000.  While criminals have no problem getting them, never the less, many mass shootings have been committed with 10 round magazines - most recently the Oikos University shooting.

5) A shooter can easily use more than one gun

Lets assume that the Sandy Hook gunman had been limited to ten round magazines.  What options would he have had when he fired the 11th round (a ten round magazine, plus one in the chamber) from his AR15?

Well he could have simply drawn one of his two handguns and fired 11 more times.  When that ran dry, he could have drawn his second handgun and fired yet another 11 rounds.  That is 33 rounds without a reload.

I fairly sure that somewhere in the course of firing all those rounds, he would have found time to reload - but even if he didn't, that's more rounds fired than people who died.

So, if you thought that limiting magazines to ten rounds was a great idea before you read this, chances aren't so sure about it any more.  Trust me, while you may not have known these things before you read this - most of the people who are pushing these restrictions on gun rights know full well they will have little to no effect.  In fact they are counting on it.

Long before any high profile shooting, they already have their "next step" proposals drawn up and ready to go.  When this doesn't work, they can push for more restrictions.  If you have any doubt about that, look at New York.  Before Sandy Hook, they had everything being demanded on a national level: AWB, ten round limit, mandatory background checks on all sales.  What did they do after Sandy Hook?  Did they say, "How good that we already have tight gun laws like the feds are talking about?"  Of course not!  The enacted even tighter laws - now the ten round magazines that used to be OK are banned.  Now the limit is seven rounds - at least until the next shooting provides an opportunity to lower it further.

The ultimate goal?  The honest gun control advocates - like Bob Beckel - will tell you: A total ban on all handguns, a ban on all semi-auto and pump rifles, a ban on all shotguns except single shots and double barrels and extremely heavy controls on the few guns they all people to own.  In other words - UK style gun control.  This is where they are going - the question right now is: How far will the be able to go this time in their quest to render the 2nd Amendment mute?

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