Glock 19s for Everybody?

H

ere’s a less-than-pleasant quiz.

What type of weapon did mass killer Seung-Choi use to slay 32 people at Virginia Tech in 2007? What type of weapon did Jared Loughner use to kill a federal judge, a 9-year-old girl, four others and to wound 14 more people, including U.S. Rep Gabrielle Giffords, in Tuscon on Saturday?

The answer? A Glock 19.

Glock, of course, is the Austrian arms company that mass produces semi-automatic pistols for police and military services worldwide. The 9 mm. pistol was seen as a much-needed replacement for the old-fashioned six-bullet revolver that had been standard fare for cops. When they confronted criminals using Kalashnikovs, Uzis or MAC-10s with big magazines handling dozens of rounds, they need to up-gun.

And that is the problem. The usual Glock has a 15-round magazine. Loughner, according to media reports, used a 30 round magazine designed to spew out a maximum amount of bullets in a minimum of time. He had at least two of these 30-round magazines and a couple of 15-round back-ups when he went to Giffords political event.

When Cho went on his Tech rampage, he used exactly the same type of Glock with multiple magazines in addition to a Walther P22 handgun. He was able to buy the weapons easily even though a number of Tech professors and other personnel were intensely worried about his sanity and the possibility that he might hurt himself and others.

Congress considered banning the Glocks some years back from public consumption but backed down under pressure from the National Rifle Association and other right wing groups.

Yet the time has come once again to consider keeping these weapons out of public hands. I’d like to challenge the many conservatives who read this blog to give me a reason why automatic assault rifles or machine guns should be freely available. They are needed by police and military to kill an enemy. They have no purpose for hunting (I have been a hunter but I used a single-shot, bolt-action.22 cal. rifle). And, when it comes to personal defense, why does one need a weapon that can spit out from 500 to 700 rounds a minute?

Ditto Glocks. If you are being threatened, do you need a 30-round clip? Do you need to fire 91 bullets as police claim Loughner did?

I remember commenting on the need for better gun control at the time of the VT killings. I was told to “shut up” by a former blogger, a retired and highly-conservative retired Army colonel. Other attempts to pose the need for controls likewise have been shouted down by right-wingers
thumping the Second Amendment.

Unfortunately, the conservative culture is filled with the imagery and pageantry of weapons. Sarah Palin brags of her prowess in slaying Alaska’s wild animals and says we need to “reload” when it comes to politics.

When I attended the Virginia Tea Party convention in Richmond this October, there were plenty of gun nuts strutting about openly holstering Glocks or .45 cal., 1911-style ACP pistols. I remember getting into a discussion with one fanatic wearing a “Guns Save Lives” sticker. He told me that the good old .45 has more stopping power than a 9 mm. Hard right media gurus such has Bill O’Reilly regularly talk about shooting down their opponents and beheading Washington Post reporters. I blog on the Post and I wonder if I am included.

Even more moderate conservatives, like Jim Bacon, buy in to the gun culture indirectly. After attending the Tea Party extravaganza, Bacon praised it to high heaven, apparently ignoring the gun culture it generated.

It’s time to stop ignoring the gun culture. How many more Techs or Tuscons are we going to need before we wake up?

Peter Galuszka

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51 responses to “Glock 19s for Everybody?”

  1. I'm going to step back from the ideological threshold and not speak in a partisan context (I hope).

    The 2nd amendment says "well regulated"

    and in this case and others – it has been said that the perpetrator "passed" an FBI background check.

    It appears to me that even those who support govt background checks – would have to admit that said checks are not fool proof.

    I'd be curious to know how many FBI background checks are made annually and how many requests are turned down for mental fitness reasons.

    Is that number 10%…1% .01%?

    anyone know?

  2. I am pro Second Amendment but the simple fact of the matter is some people shouldn't be allowed to own guns.

    The Second Amendment, just like the First Amendment, brings with it a certain amount of responsibility.

    You can say anything you want but you need to be prepared for the consequences of what you say.

    If you want anybody and everybody who wants a gun to be able to obtain one then there are consequences for having that freedom.

    As far as the Tucson situation, I don't know, and haven't read anything indicating where/how this guy got his guns.

    But, given all the information that is coming out about his background and mental stability there is no way this guy should have been able to walk into a store and but a weapon.

  3. he got his guns locally at a hunting/fishing store and passed the FBI background check.

  4. Re: self defense.

    The one time I got mugged, it would not have mattered what seapon I had. It was over before I knew what hit me.

    Had I a weapon, they would have stolen that and my wallet.

    On the other hand, if I had been able to get off a shot as they ran away, I would have easily needed 30 rounds. I'm not a good shot to begin with, and when you are shaking with humiliation, pain,and rage, accuracy goes down a lot.

  5. I dunno. Remember the Ethiopian Guy who was accidentally or wrongly shot by police when he reached for his wallet?

    Something like 91 rounds fired in a hotel entry foyer, and all missed but four.

  6. Groveton Avatar

    Peter came closer than most in getting to a point on this.

    To hear the gun rights advocates talk … any regulation is an abhorrent restriction on our constitutional rights.

    To hear the gun control crowd talk … outlawing any and all guns would create a modern, crime free utopia.

    Both are obviously wrong.

    The Heller case was the first substantial ruling on the second amendment in recent memory (maybe ever?). Gun ownership is a personal right. However, even Judge Scalia opined that the right was subject to reasonable regulation. Limiting clip size seems pretty reasonable to me. Machine guns are already essentially illegal. The term assault weapons has essentially no meaning.

    As for the gun control advocates … many countries have a higher murder rate than the US. Brazil, Belise and Russia, for example. The world average is around 7.6 homicides per 100,000 people. The US has 5.0. Brazil has far more restrictive gun laws than the US and a higher murder rate. You are more likely to be murdered in Maryland than Virginia despite Maryland's more restrictive gun laws.

    Simply banning guns is clearly unconstitutional. In fact, a brad ban on handguns is unconstitutional. However, reasonable regulation is constitutional.

    The question should be about the extent of reasonable regulation. For example, should detachable magazines be legal? Should handguns with clips be legal (as opposed to revolvers, say)?

    This is where the debate ought to be held rather than the absurd extremes of no guns vs. no regulation.

  7. I pretty much agree with Groveton on this… yeah.. a shocker for sure…

    Our forefathers must never have adequately anticipated the deadly evolution of "arms" technology.

    when they said "arms" their world was single-shot weaponry – not 30-round magazines.

    Despite the 2nd Amendment and the vociferous blather of those who assert the sanctity of said amendment – the reality is that you and I cannot own an RPG or a stinger missile or be in the businesses of making IEDs or the like.

    so.. somewhere in the continuum, in the context of the 2nd amendment – some folks of saner thought have decided that certain kinds of weaponry are not classifiable as the "arms" the 2nd amendment was talking about.

    What dismays me is the vociferous nature of those who assert the govt is helpless in setting gun ownership standards and is bound by the 2nd amendment to doing – nothing.

    Of course we have this other big gap also and that is that irrational and unstable people are apparently, under current law, completely qualified to own 30-round magazined Glocks.

    all quite legal of course and all required by the 2nd amendment.

    I have this prediction.

    This whole 2nd amendment charade is going to self-destruct in …say within the next few weeks another prominent politician is dispatched by yet another waterer of the tree of liberty.

  8. J.Tyler Ballance Avatar
    J.Tyler Ballance

    Both Cho and Loughner were labeled by faculty as "disruptive" yet upon close examination, they were both ostracized for having expressed politically incorrect statements.

    In the case of Jared, had his pussy Algebra teacher negaged the young man and used his whacky speculation about codes in our language or other sci-fi references used by Jared, as examples in algebra class, or otherwise engaged the young man, instead of having him banned from campus, perhaps some constructive channels could have been found for Jared's anger over the political injustice and PC worship, of our times?

    As for, "why automatic assault rifles or machine guns should be freely available…"

    You are simply wrong. You need a Class III firearms license to legally purchase automatic weapons. A Class III license is not too expensive, but it comes with getting lots of special attention from the ATF.

    SEMI-automatic weapons, such as the Glock, merely means that the weapon uses the recoil to cock the weapon and chamber another round. All semi-auto pistols and rifles are single shot, and NOT capable of automatic fire, without being modified by a gunsmith.

    I have never had to shoot anyone here in the USA, but merely having a firearm has prevented an attack on me, and on another occasion, permitted me to shoo away some punks who were menacing another citizen.

    I talked with the VCDL today about creating an armed first responder corps of citizens who could use their concealed weapons in emergencies to stop shooters, while minimizing collateral damage to people and property.

  9. J. Tyler Ballance Avatar
    J. Tyler Ballance

    Both Cho and Loughner were labeled by faculty as "disruptive" yet upon close examination, they were both ostracized for having expressed politically incorrect statements.

    In the case of Jared, had his pussy Algebra teacher negaged the young man and used his whacky speculation about codes in our language or other sci-fi references used by Jared, as examples in algebra class, or otherwise engaged the young man, instead of having him banned from campus, perhaps some constructive channels could have been found for Jared's anger over the political injustice and PC worship, of our times?

    As for, "why automatic assault rifles or machine guns should be freely available…"

    You are simply wrong. You need a Class III firearms license to legally purchase automatic weapons. A Class III license is not too expensive, but it comes with getting lots of special attention from the ATF.

    SEMI-automatic weapons, such as the Glock, merely means that the weapon uses the recoil to cock the weapon and chamber another round. All semi-auto pistols and rifles are single shot, and NOT capable of automatic fire, without being modified by a gunsmith.

    I have never had to shoot anyone here in the USA, but merely having a firearm has prevented an attack on me, and on another occasion, permitted me to shoo away some punks who were menacing another citizen.

    I talked with the VCDL today about creating an armed first responder corps of citizens who could use their concealed weapons in emergencies to stop shooters, while minimizing collateral damage to people and property.

  10. Tyler – why is a 30-round magazined Glock not class 3 license firearm?

    wasn't the ORIGINAL intent of the more restrictive rules based on the idea that such weapons (as automatic) were capable of great harm and at the same time way more than was needed for personal protection?

    with respect to "paying attention" to wackos … would you have counseled that same approach to Cho?

    What kind of demands are you putting on other people to discern the motives and mental state of those they come into contact with?

    Is that THEIR responsibility?

    would you charge THEM with a crime for not doing…whatever it is you say they should have done?

    and no Tyler.. I do not want to see 20 people all draw Glocks in a classroom when one guy calls the instruction a crap-head.

    Tyler – you're going to have to confront some basic realities here and that is that right now our laws allow crazy people to buy 30-round Glocks…..

    and the solution is not to blame the victims…

  11. People living in Columbiana, Hamilton, Jefferson, Marion, Montgomery, Scioto and Washington counties face a greater than one in 10,000 chance of developing cancer in their lifetimes, according to the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency.

    State officials consider a less than one in 10,000 lifetime risk acceptable.

    How much would you be willing to pay to reduce your current risk to the level the state finds acceptable?

    =================================

    From Environmental Economics

  12. the reality is that you and I cannot own an RPG or a stinger missile

    ==============================

    You can, however, own some amazingly powerful weapons, cannons for example.

    Or a trebuchet.

  13. Calling bizarre and incoherent ramblings "politically incorrect" is kind of a stretch.

  14. well – you can actually own some of these weapons but not by virtue of a simple gun permit.

    The reality is that ownership of various kinds of weapons is already "graduated" and the more potent and powerful the weapon – the more requirements and scrutiny required.

    We just need to re-consider weapons such as 30-round Glocks should be obtainable by virtually anyone including those with undocumented mental problems.

    We could get through this with reasonable adjustments if it were not for the inflexible an unyielding attitudes of some of the folks who hold the 2nd amendment dear to their patriotic hearts.

    Eventually it will happen.

    If we have another Congressman maimed or killed but yet another whack job in the next few days and weeks – it will happen.

    Otherwise, it will drag on – until a series of horrible events are chained together closely enough for enough people to demand change no matter the gun nuts.

  15. eventually – in order to get a permit for the more potent weaponry – the applicant will have to affirmatively demonstrate that they are "qualified" and "fit" as opposed to someone claiming otherwise or some horrible event proves otherwise.

    Sometimes I think half the people in our country have signed up for daily doses of stupid pills.

  16. "…and NOT capable of automatic fire, without being modified by a gunsmith…."
    ==============================

    Yeah, well, there are instructions available on the internet for making some conversions. And one would not have to be much of a gunsmith to make some of the conversions.

    Not that it makes much difference. if you can fire as fast as you can pull the trigger, you can use a lot of ammo in a hurry.

    Just stand in my back yard and listen to target practice conducted by some of my neighbors the week before deer season.

  17. I don't know the rules, but it is apparently simple to own a cannon. The trick here is that the ammunition is classified as an explosive device.

  18. Tylers experience is different from mine.

    When someone warns you about impending behavior, like the whacko who walked up to my car at a light and demanded to know why a white guy was in his neighborhood stealing women, then maybe a weapon is some use. But even that incident was over before I could have reached the glove box.

    The professional mugging I endured was over before I knew what hit me, and I suspect that is the more common situation. I'm not swayed by the argument that an armed society is a polite one. history tells us otherwise.

  19. there is no practical way to stop all conceivable forms of violence ranging from IEDs, to rental trucks full of fertilizer and fuel oil or poisoned water supplies or gassed subways, etc.

    On the other hand – we don't do nothing either.

    It's a rational and measured response – that is is modified and altered as we encounter things we did not totally plan for.

    In my view – anyone who is going to own a weapon that can be easily concealed and at the same time is powerful enough to kill dozens of people within seconds …

    that kind of weapon – to be legally owned – should require the prospective owner to affirmatively demonstrate that he is of sound mind.

    The military does this. The bigger/badder the weapon – the stricter the qualifications for using it.

    What we are doing right now is just plain dumb.

    It's as if we would announce to all unstable people that if they wanted to own a tank with a live cannon and ammunition that it's okay with us… just pay for it.

    We obviously do not do this and so far..other than some real whack jobs.. I've never heard a huge outcry regarding restricting the 2nd amendment "rights" of people.

    like I said.. stupid is as stupid does.

    and as a society – we basically let the whack jobs determine our policies…. on weapons..

  20. I would argue that if someone has purchased property, based on the right to use that property, then if the right of use is removed the property is made worthless, and the owner is entitled to compensation.

    Various police departments offer voluntary gun buy back programs.

    ================================

    Above, I posted an apparently unrelated article about the risk of getting cancer in Ohio. Fundamentally, the gun issue is one of valuing risk.

    In the Ohio case, if someone can tell you how much they are willing to pay to get their risk below the one in 10,000 mark, then you can calculate how much they value their life.

    Tyler is willing to bear the risk and expense of owning and carrying around a gun in exchange for the small reduction in risk of mugging that the effort affords. And maybe the satisfaction of assisting someone else, should the opportunity arise.

    Based on the actual number of muggings reported as prevented, vs the number of weapons registered, Tyler must value his life at an astronomical rate.

    Therefore, one would expect him also not to object to highly expensive programs that reduce his probability of other causes of death. Gun advocates should logically be strong environmental advocates as well.

  21. It's not about Tyler determining – for everyone else – what risk we have to collectively as a society assume.

    There are lots of kinds of property that you cannot purchase unless you affirmatively demonstrate that you care qualified and capable of owning and operating them

    so you don't have a right to start with to own any kind of property …..no matter what as a basic "right".

    Having a national policy that essentially allows people who are classifiable as a danger to society and/or themselves to have access to deadly weaponry is just plain dumb.

    Why we can't recognize this and get on with correcting what is obviously an incredibly irresponsible policy is just beyond me.

    At some point – the "rights" of the victims need to be equal to the rights of crazy people to buy 30-round Glocks and use them at will whenever the mood strikes them.

  22. Gooze Views Avatar
    Gooze Views

    Tyler,
    To say that Chou and Loughner were victimized for making "politically incorrect" statements is simply downright tacky of you considering what they have done.
    And we get the idea of what a SEMI automatic weapon is. The point is that a SEMI automatic pistol with a huge clip that can spray 90 plus bullets in a matter of seconds is roughly the same thing.
    Please don't try to impress us that you haven't had to shoot anyone in this country which is to assume you served in the military. BFD (if you don't know what that means look it up). I've never been in the military but I have been in a few combat situations overseas in my work that involved real bullets and real assault rifles, real tank fire and real machine guns.
    I'm not going to bow to your supposed expertise.
    Peter Galuszka

  23. Haven't had to shoot anyone makes it sound like you can't wait for a good excuse.

  24. Groveton Avatar

    Gun control is a tough question.

    Let's say that 30 round clips are contrary to the public good and, therefore, represent a legitimate and constitutional area for regulation.

    What do you regulate?

    20 round clips?

    10 round clips?

    The begining of this clip shows a guy shooting and reloading a Glock with first a 6 shot clip and then (I assume) a 3 shot clip.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JbC5mEc6ipE&feature=related

    Bottom line – smaller clips do require more reloading. Theoretically, these moments of reloading would give people more time to run away, tackle the gunman or shoot back. However, even a 6 round clip can be reloaded very quickly by a practiced shooter.

    So, we get to the bigger question – should all clip fed pistols be highly regulated? You could still have revolvers as essentially unregulated handguns. Revolvers certainly take longer to reload. And you get quite a bit of personal protection from a six shooter.

    So, fewer bullets in the lightly regulated pistol magazines (i.e. clips)?

    No magazines in pistols?

    No magazines in any civilian firearms?

    What is the constructive answer?

    One thing for sure – if magazines in pistols are outlawed then some nut will bring a rifle with a magazine. If all magazines are outlawed then some nut will bring multiple loaded revolvers.

    This is where I think the debate needs to focus. Practical and probably constitutional gun regulation options.

  25. I actually agree with Groveton (again!) but it's painfully obvious that the man has never engaged the gun rights folks on these ideas because they are pretty much dead-set against them.

    We have an existing criteria for what weapons the public can have (and not have) – 2nd amendment not withstanding.

    Most folks cannot own a fully-automatic gun, nor can they own an RPG or stinger missile, etc, etc….

    they cannot own a plastic Glock nor can they purchase bullets than can penetrate body armor – at least easily.

    so we ALREADY have restrictions based on SOME – not widely understood – criteria.

    My view on this is that we should recognize what are reasonable criteria for weapons to be used for self-protection verses using weapons to kill dozens of innocent people in the span of a few seconds.

    Yes.. it's true – you could conceivably have a crowd of 50 blood-thirsty killer breaking down your front door so you need a 30-round magazine to keep them at bay but REALLY other than movies and TV shows, when has that actually happened in the U.S.

    On the other hand – how many mass killings have occurred in the years since high capacity magazines, once banned, were allowed once again?

    And folks – we have laws right now that allow people who would be judged as insane or mentally compromised to …legall buy a Glock with a 30-round magazine.

    And we let the gun-rights nuts an the NRA keep us from addressing these issues with some common-sense.

    We get what we deserve don't we?

  26. What is the constructive answer?

    =================================

    I've got a Mosby era percussion cap revolver. You load the powder, and ball and rem them home with a lever, and place a percussion cap on little nipples on the outside of the cylinder.

    It takes a while to load, and it is probably accurate to around 12 feet. Plus, it is so scary you would have to be really angry at someone to risk blowing your hand off with this contraption.

  27. We could just ban smokeless powder.

    After 3 or four shots you have to wait for the smoke to clear.

  28. constructive answer?

    don't have a system where crazy people can legally buy and own 30 round Glock handguns or for that matter any weapon that can be concealed and have the capability to kill dozens of people in a few seconds.

    Why in the world do we have a system that allows crazy people to own such deadly weapons?

  29. Groveton Avatar

    Regulating against crazy people owning guns is impractical. It works fine for somebody who has been adjudicated as mentally ill. However, it seems that many mentally unbalanced people have lived for years without being adjudicated as crazy.

    What to do about that?

    Arguably, the state could ask law enforcement to investigate the background of anybody who wants to buy a magazine fed pistol. It would have to be something like the way the government does background checks for security classifications. Go talk to the neighbors, demand references, etc. Of course, you have no constitutional right to a secret clearance while you do have a constitutional right to bear arms.

    Isn't regulating the weapons a better plan than trying to regulate the owners? Regulation within the constitutional limits imposed by Heller.

    No more 30 round clips.

    6 rounds max.

  30. there is already regulation that restricts weapons to qualified people.

    Most folks cannot buy a MAC10 or a plastic GLOCK or a fully automatic weapon so we know there are already restrictions but I'm not sure if they are law or regulation.

    I know there was a law (Assault Weapon) restricting high capacity magazines but it had a sunset and was never re-enacted.

    I would support having anyone who wants a high-capacity weapon that can be easily concealed to affirmatively provide evidence that they are of sound mind.

    that would take the monkey off the public and police's back for determining who to report as 'crazy'.

    I would assert that we do not want a system where I could call the Fairfax police and report Groveton for acting weird and then have the police go out and pick him up to take him to Inova to have him "evaluated" and at that point we don't even know if he has a gun or applied for one.

    So – no – I don't think we want a system where any citizen can report what they consider to be bizarre behavior to have the police investigate it.

    Would you even want the Fairfax Police going to Groveton's home to look him over to decide if he needed to take a little trip to a psychiatrist?

    Instead – we should have the person who wants to get a gun – provide affirmative evidence that he is of sound mind.

    or… we can continue the current charade of pretending that we won't sell guns to crazy people as I'm sure the NRA is advising.

  31. Gooze Views Avatar
    Gooze Views

    Larry G.
    How can we have Groveton picked up at "evaluated" at Inova when we don't know who he is or maybe he is a she?

    Peter Galuszka

  32. Brian Mays Avatar
    Brian Mays

    Eh … 30-round Glocks are for pu**ies. 😉 A real psycho needs only a truck and a knife to cause the kind of carnage witnessed last weekend.

    If we paid as much attention to the mentally ill as we do to the number of bullets in a magazine, then perhaps many of these tragedies could be avoided. In all of these cases, the signs were clear and available to see, but nobody thought to act.

    Is anyone really deluded enough to think that banning the Glock 19 or its 30-round magazine would have stopped this disturbed individual from going on his rampage?! He would have simply used another weapon.

    After all, it doesn't take much firepower to massacre an unarmed nine-year-old girl. Why should we pretend that it does?

  33. The type of weapon matters.

    Don't fool yourself on this.

    There is a reason right now why the average person cannot obtain a fully automatic weapon, a stinger missile, an RPG or even a truck full of fertilizer and fuel oil.

    While I agree that there are many available weapons for people who want to commit violence can choose from – a knife for instance.. may well take out a 9 year old but not a 9 year old, a judge and a Congressman plus a dozen others.

    If you really think the weapon does not matter, let's let anyone buy automatic weapons, RPGs and stinger missiles and stop searching people at airports or putting concrete barriers in front of govt buildings.

    Let's let crazy people choose between a knife, a 30-round glock a fully-automatic machine gun and an RPG.

  34. Brian Mays Avatar
    Brian Mays

    Hey Larry,

    Machine guns, RPGs, and stinger missiles are all red herrings. They are already heavily restricted by law and your attempt to equate them with a Glock or a knife is disingenuous, at best. The only person who is even suggesting removing these restrictions is you.

  35. Hey.. I was not EQUATING an RPG with a knife.

    I was comparing and contrasting what weaponry we DO RESTRICT and WHY and pointing out the the list of restricted weapons is not static and weaponry are added to that last as technology evolves and we recognize that there is a threshold reached where the deadliness of the weapon is such that we don't want it freely available in part because we know we currently don't have an effective way to keep such weaponry out of the hands of crazy people.

    The time has come to recognize that 30-round magazine weapons are just about as deadly as automatic weapons or even RPGs because in the hands of a crazy man – dozens of people can be killed an maimed in the time it would take for a single knife attack on one person – to be stopped.

    We need a better way to keep crazy people from getting their hands of weaponry of mass destruction.

    It's not to say that despite our best efforts some won't get them anyhow but it's a simple matter of keeping 98% of them from getting them rather than 2%.

    It comes down to common sense of which we seem to completely lose site of when discussing things like the 2nd amendment.

    We have folks who cannot reason rationally and proportionally to differentiate between clear threats to society – and the perceive "inviolate right" that requires us to let crazy people get their hands on weapons that are capable of killing dozens of people in a few seconds.

    I should not take all these words to succinctly say the above but I am not very good at expressing thoughts very efficiently at times.

  36. Gooze Views Avatar
    Gooze Views

    Groveton,
    I am not a gun fanatic, but I think 30 or 33 round clips should be kept from public hands.
    They have one purpose only to suppress a dangerous and heavily armed opponent in a polie or military situation.
    Even most cops who have Glocks, and there are a lot of them, have clips of 10 or 15 rounds (don't know exactly). If cops need more firepower, they call in their SWAT teams or other specialized units that are trained in more powerful weaponery.
    I don't know if you remember, but there was a horrendous case some years back in the LA area where a guy with an AK-47 and body armor terrorized a neighborhood for quite a long time. There is a terrifying video of it. Obviously cops need firepower to protect the public.
    And when I was in Moscow in the wild and whooly 1990s,there were plenty of mob hits, against with AKs. ONe happened across the street from my apartment where a mobster taking his daughter to kindergarten was assaulted by a bunch of AKs. A number of bystanders were shot — the man and girl killed.
    Don't know if you've heard an AK going off. Makes a distinctive sound.

    PG

  37. Cargosquid Avatar
    Cargosquid

    One – Congresswoman Gifford is the proud owner of….a Glock. And is quoted as saying she's a pretty good shot.

    Two – The only reason that the woman who stopped Loughner from reloading by grabbing his magazine was BECAUSE he had an extended magazine.

    Three – The time differential between firing a 30 round mag and 3 ten round mags is about a TOTAL of 4 seconds. I averaged 2 seconds additional time per mag when I tried it with my 30 mag.

    Four – Anyone that can afford one, pass a background check, and pay a $200 tax, can get a fully automatic weapon.

    Five – extended mags are great when you own a Kel-Tec carbine.

    The current attempt to ban magazines that hold more than 10 rounds will also impact weapons like tube fed Winchesters and other antique weapons.

    Like with Cho, if people are unwilling to commit crazies to institutions, then no amount of feel good laws will help.

    Loughner had run ins with the police. He lied to get his weapon. Like with Cho, the university was scared of him. And yet, no one followed up.

    If 30 rounds is too much, how about that 10 rounds? So 10 shots is ok? That means he would have 10 victims? That ok? Of course not. Its not about the rounds. Its about the person.

  38. J. Tyler Ballance Avatar
    J. Tyler Ballance

    PG says, "The point is that a SEMI automatic pistol with a huge clip that can spray 90 plus bullets in a matter of seconds is roughly the same thing."

    Again, you use language that betrays that you are not at all familiar with a semi-automatic weapon, which fires one round at a time, and will never "spray bullets…" anywhere. In fact, with most people, the faster one pulls the trigger, the less accuracy is achieved, so something around 1-2 seconds per shot is still very fast, even when facing a stationary target at a range.

    That is the problem when people let their fear rule, instead of approaching these events with rational objectivity.

    PG says that, while in Russia, gang hits were carried out by "several AKs" Not to parrot the NRA, but the AK-47s didn't kill Russians, the Russians killed the Russians. What difference could it possibly make whether they used AK-47s or Thompson submachine guns?

    Peter, your concern is obviously heart felt, and neither I nor anyone else expects you to "bow" to anyone's real or perceived expertise with firearms or tactics.

    Let us instead search for real solutions to the problem. We need thorough research into the factors that motivated the murderer, Jared. We need to identify ways in which his actions could have been mitigated, both through effective engagement at school, and at home, as well as steps that should have been taken to provide security measures for anyone holding an open meeting in a public area. For example, even our local farmer's market has a rent-a-cop on duty (primarily to facilitate parking issues) but he is still more of a deterrent than was provided for the Congresswoman.

    I totally agree that we should not live in a society where someone can walk up and shoot someone in the head, but some see as our only option, to take away the liberties of ALL citizens, or give bureaucrats the ability to deem anyone with an unpopular idea, as insane (just like the old Soviet Union.

    An alternative approach would be to provide more security measures, especially for commonly targeted people, such as Members of Congress. Examples of these measures would be having a few aids trained and armed, having the Congresswoman wear a vest (no help in this particular shooting) and restricting the area in which the public can crowd around the Congresswoman.

    One idea that I discussed with our Virginia State Police, a few days after the shooting, is the training of Concealed Carry Permit holders to voluntarily serve as an Armed Response Team (ART) so that people who are already armed and have some firearms training (as CCP holders do) could form a cadre of armed first responders to crime, as well as to serve as on-site security volunteers at community events to augment existing police and private security assets. ART groups would function in the same way as our EMT and volunteer fire fighters, but they would receive specialized weapons and tactics training, in addition to EMT basic, or First Aid.

    We are still in the early discussion phase, but the approach that I am taking is, that curriculum and perhaps subject matter experts, might be provided by the VSP, while actual training could be provided by citizen auxiliaries, such as the VCDL.

  39. " PG says, "The point is that a SEMI automatic pistol with a huge clip that can spray 90 plus bullets in a matter of seconds is roughly the same thing."

    Again, you use language that betrays that you are not at all familiar with a semi-automatic weapon, which fires one round at a time, and will never "spray bullets…" anywhere. In fact, with most people, the faster one pulls the trigger, the less accuracy is achieved, so something around 1-2 seconds per shot is still very fast, even when facing a stationary target at a range.

    That is the problem when people let their fear rule"

    and Tyler my man – the problem with YOUSE GUYS is that you don't even read what you wrote!

    Tell me again how squeezing the trigger quickly ended up with missed shots in Tucson…..

    I'm not sure what exactly you'd be arguing here when with all the "problems" that you cite – that one fellow with a 30-round magazine maimed and killed a high number of innocent victim and you are essentially arguing that a semi-automatic weapons with a 30-round clip is not very "effective".

    We have solutions that work when we do them.

    We do not let anyone who is not supposed get on a plane with a gun weapon.

    We do not let the average guy – crazy or not – buy and use RPGs or fully automatic weapons or plastic Glocks.

    On the "slippery slope" of "gun control" where are the gun advocates screaming about their "rights" being "restricted"?

    Don't you think if the forefathers REALLY wanted the citizens to be armed EQUIVALENTLY as the govt so that they could EFFECTIVELY keep the govt in check that citizens SHOULD HAVE RPGS, automatic weapons, 50-cal guns, etc.

    So do you or do you not support these kinds of restrictions?

  40. Gooze Views Avatar
    Gooze Views

    Tyler Ballance,
    I assure you that I know the difference between a semi automatic and an automatic weapon. Parsing words does not make you an expert, which seems to be the point you are trying to make. My point is that whenone has a 31 round clip and can squeeze off rounds as at about a second interval, the effect is much the same.
    Let me ask you a question. Have you ever PERSONALLY been under automatic weapons fire? With real bullets in a combat situation? I have.
    So don't hand me this crap that you are somehow an expert and I am a novice.
    Peter Galuszka

  41. The basic problem is this:

    Restrictive laws (on anything) impact only the law-abiding citizen. Criminals simply laugh at those laws. At this moment there are hundreds (perhaps thousands) of drunk, un-licensed and un-insured drivers on the road. A moderatly sized SUV can kill or mame dozens before coming to a stop. Yet, there are no efforts underway to further restrict the privelage (not right) to drive or own a motor vehicle.

    The fact that Cho and Laughner could purchase, not one, but TWO weapons falls squarly in the laps of those who saw the bizarre action and FAILED TO TAKE ACTION.

    Go ahead, outlaw 30, 25, 20, 15, 10, whatever capacity MAGAZINES and see waht thst does for you. The "Assault Weapons Ban" and teh "Brady Bill" had 0, zero, no, nada, zilch effect on violent crime in America. They are feel good bills that have no effect and cost municipalities millions of dollars.

  42. sorry. this is more loony tune logic from folks who demonstrate the lack of logic inherent in many of those opposed to reasonable restrictions.

    If what KaosDad was true – no one would pay their property or income taxes.

    Everyone who wanted a beer while driving would drink it and not be concerned when stopped.

    We'd have crazy people running around with RPGs and Stinger missiles or carrying plastic glock guns through airport security at will.

    And of course since we know for a fact that the law for background checks does not "work", we should do away with it entirely (instead of tightening it).

    I cannot believe that we have this level of idiocy involved in this issue.

    and if we followed this logic with respect to all of our "useless" laws – what this country would truly look like.

    Probably Somalia or Yemen.

  43. It's always easy to pick out the folks that want "gun control" but really don't know much of anything about guns. They are the ones that are sure that no one can own a "plastic Glock". Out in the real world, there is no such thing as a "plastic Glock" in existence, and since the heat generated by firing one would melt it going to the trouble of trying to make one would be impractical.

    Once you've joined the "plastic Glock" crowd, anything else you want to add to a rational discussion can pretty much be dismissed. Physics doesn't play favorites, so please go ban all the "plastic Glocks" you want. But at least learn the topic area before you think you're smart enough to infringe on other people's basic human rights.

  44. Les – if you were going to use a plastic gun for a "one-shot" deal on an airliner – would you care if the barrel melted?

    The point being made is that anyone can conceive of any number of variations of "arms" that could be manufacture for any range of "purposes" (like fully-automatic weapon is needed to repel thugs, etc.).

    The point is – that the 2nd amendment has NOT been "interpreted" to allow any/allow kinds of "arms" including those that would be most effective at repelling a govt run amok.

    Is your position that ANY "infringement" on "human rights" to own "arms" is illegal and that our laws and legal rulings are wrong?

    Do you think that I should be able to show up at an airport with a stinger missile in my trunk as my "right"?

  45. Before you make any further really stupid comments, it would behoove you to take a physics class, Larry. The only point being that your "plastic Glock" would melt in your hand, period. I realize it doesn't meet up with your world view, but that's the breaks when you try to defy physics.

  46. Les – it's not about the plastic glock (which are real).

    It's about the fact that the govt can and does restrict the kind of "arms" that you can own – ALREADY.

    I asked you – do you think the govt has the right to "infringe" on your right to own "arms" because Les, they do.

    The only issue is not whether they do or not – we know they do – the issues is what can they keep you from owing – as there is already a list of what they won't let you own – at least as a typical citizen.

    Where is your stinger missile Les?

  47. Libercontrarian Avatar
    Libercontrarian

    Yeesh.

    It's been years since I've seen such a collection of yammering ninnies who would very much like to take the armed legislative powers of the state and expand them to restrict the rights of 99.9999% of Americans, all on the off-chance that the nearly unmeasurable fraction of violent lunatics who could do such things might, somehow, manage to listen to the law – which they won't.

    When you fellows wake up from your progressive dreamworld, wherein you can fix unfixable problems (like "Why isn't life fair? We ought to make a LAW"), kindly give me a ring. I'll tell you about water being wet, falls hurting you, car-crashes – you know, all those THINGS that can happen, even though you don't want them to.

  48. " …armed legislative powers of the state…."

    doesn't this mean that you recognize that Government has this power?

    when you say "expand" what do you mean ?

    where in the Constitution and Law does it specify beyond the fact that govt has this power – what is an "expansion" and what is not?

    There is no progressive dreamworld here.

    75% of the American People believe that we should not have people owning guns who do not qualify to own them and who acquire those guns legally through loopholes in the laws.

  49. Larry – "it's not about the plastic glock (which are real)."

    Bzzzzt. Wrong answer, Larry. They are not real. Feel free to continue making yourself look stupid though. You apparently can't help yourself.

  50. " The Glock's frame, magazine body and several other components are made from a high-strength nylon-based polymer invented by Gaston Glock and called Polymer 2.[28] This plastic was specially formulated to provide increased durability and is more resilient than carbon steel and most steel alloys. Polymer 2 is resistant to shock, caustic liquids and temperature extremes where traditional steel/alloy frames would warp and become brittle.[28] The injection molded frame contains 4 hardened steel guide rails for the slide: two at the rear of the frame, and the remaining pair above and in front of the trigger guard. The trigger guard itself is squared off at the front and checkered. The grip has a non-slip, stippled surface on the sides and both the front and rear straps. The frame houses the locking block, which is an investment casting that engages a 45° camming surface on the barrel's lower camming lug. It is retained in the frame by a steel axis pin that also holds the trigger and slide catch. The trigger housing is held to the frame by means of a plastic pin. A spring-loaded sheet metal pressing serves as the slide catch, which is secured from unintentional manipulation by a raised guard molded into the frame."

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glock_pistol

    but you still miss the point Les.

    The point is – is it possible to produce a gun made out of plastic that would possibly get through standard metal detectors in places like airline terminals or courtrooms even if the thing was only good for one 30-round magazine before it melted…

    If such a gun were possible to make – would it be an "infringement" of your 2nd Amendment rights for the Govt to keep it from being manufactured and sold and for you to own one?

    It's no contest.

    The Govt has the right to do that.

    And that means the govt has the right to decide what "arms" to ban and what not to ban.

    You have no unlimited 2nd amendment rights and never had them to start with.

    I can name dozens of weapons …"arms" if you will that your 2nd amendment "right" won't make a whit of difference in terms of your ability to own them.

  51. No. It isn't. That is why guns have metal in them. A "plastic Glock" is a figment of your imagination.

    A "plastic Glock" does not exist. By claiming that they do or could, you're only further proving what I said in my initial posting.

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