What happened? Did busloads of criminals arrive from all over the country? There are "only" 2.5 million felons in the entire country! Where did they come from?
Well, they didn't "come from" anywhere - they committed a felony right there in New York.
Oh my! What kind of crime did they commit? Was there a complete breakdown of law in the state? blood running in the gutters? Businesses and whole cities destroyed by looting? Do tell!
No, the crime they committed was owning a small metal and plastic box. A box that is sooooo scary, New York lawmakers have said that people who have such a box must go to prison for years and years to keep the "good" citizens safe.
Well then, what does this box contain? It must be something horrible! Um, the box contains a spring. That is the thing that is so horrible that society must protect itself from it.
And New York is not alone. Earlier this year, some 350,000 Connecticut citizens become felons for owning the same boxes. And if New Jersey lawmakers have their way, about 750,000 New Jersians will become felons later this year.
That's almost doubling the number of felons in the United States, in one year, for owning a metal box.
The reasoning behind banning this metal box is the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Connecticut. The idea is that if we ban magazines (a magazine is a metal box with a spring that holds ammunition) that can hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition, our schools will be safe. That's because the next time a madman opens fire on children, if he has to switch magazines more often it'll slow him down so that perhaps a child or two can run away.
Seriously? That's the best way to stop a madman with a gun? To slow him down so that after the first 10 children are shot one might be able to get away? More on that later, but let's go into why this won't work.
First off, let's look at how much time a bad guy loses in changing magazines.
I'm going to consider the bad guy an expert, because it seems the mass murders we know about have all spent lots of time rehearsing for their big event.
In the video above a shooter is timed firing 30 aimed shots at multiple targets using the following:
- 2 standard capacity (15 round) magazines
- 3 low capacity (10 round) magazines
- 5 low capacity 6 round magazines
|Magazines x Rounds||Time (seconds)|
|2 x 15||20.64|
|3 x 10||18.05|
|5 x 6||21.45|
Well, maybe the overall time wasn't that different, but could someone tackle the shooter? No. Not only is the magazine change too fast, but it you notice, the shooter does what Adam Lanza did in the Sandy Hook shooting - uses what's called a "tactical reload." In a tactical reload, you don't wait until you have fired all your rounds before changing magazines, you save at least one, which is loaded in the gun during the magazine change. So if someone tries to rush you during the magazine change you still have a loaded gun to fire at them.
So if you are a prepared shooter, carrying extra magazines, the size of those magazines is not a big impediment. What about a home defender, who wakes up in the middle of the night to an intruder breaking into his home and threatening his family?
Well, he is likely not carrying multiple magazines around with him, nor does he have a tactical vest with pockets to carry multiple magazines, so he is limited to whatever he has in the gun. In the case of these laws, 10 rounds (7 for New York). Isn't that enough to stop a home invader? If we listen to fiction author Stephen King it is. He wrote:
"If you can't kill a home invader... with 10 shots you need to go back to the local shooting range."
First of all, if you can't kill a home invader with 10 shots you can't go back to the local shooting range, you go to the morgue, so it's a little more serious an issue than King makes it out to be.
Secondly, as stated in the video above:
Nationally 75-80% of rounds fired by trained police officers in lethal force encounters miss their intended target entirely.
Numerous law enforcement post-shooting studies have shown that multiple good hits may be required to stop an attack.
Remember, these are trained police officers who are getting 2-2.5 hits out of a 10 round magazine, and that may not be enough to stop an attacker. Add to that the fact that in most of the home invasion stories I have seen there were more than one invader involved (usually 2 or 3).
So if trained police officers could not on average stop a home invasion with 10 rounds, what right does King (or our legislators) have to tell citizens that 10 rounds is enough for them? In fact these same lawmakers exempted police officers (and themselves) from the 10 round limit, so clearly they recognize the need for more than 10 rounds.
And citizens realize it as well, which explains the number of people who have refused to comply. As the saying goes, they would rather be "tried by 12 than carried by 6." They would rather run the risk of jail than death.
Oh, and for those of you who say these limitations are legitimate limits on the second amendment because "the founding fathers didn't have to face issues like 'high capacity' (sic) magazines," the image at the top of this post is the Giradoni rifle, in use since 1780, which had a 20 round magazine.
Now, let's get back to the issue of stopping a madman with a gun at a school. Our lawmakers have said this is a big problem that they intend to solve. Well, what stops a bad guy with a gun? A police officer? Why is that? Oh, he is a good guy with a gun? Yes, you are correct. The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun. So why have we banned good guys with guns from our schools? For that matter, why don't we allow school staff to be trained and armed? After all, they have already gone through background checks, and we already trust our children with these people.
I think it would be a more effective way to stop a bad guy than to tell our children to let him shoot their classmates until they guess he might possibly be out of ammunition and then hope he fumbles and forgot to save a bullet so they can run away while he switches magazines.
What do you think?