The tired old argument about magazine capacity surfaces again

The Los Angeles Times is resurrecting the tired old debate about whether “high-capacity” magazines should be banned or more strictly controlled.

Perhaps the single most important dereliction of duty by Congress in recent years is the expiration of the ban on assault weapons and large-capacity magazines, which was enacted in 1994 and lasted only for 10 years.

There were signs during the ban that it was beginning to take these especially lethal weapons out of criminal inventories. Gun violence experts believe that trend would have continued, had the ban remained in effect. Instead, Congress allowed it to lapse in 2004. The consequence has been increased use of these weapons in crimes of all sorts ever since.

. . .

Mass shootings such as the Las Vegas event account for a very small proportion of total U.S. gunfire violence, but tend to seize the public’s attention because of the sheer number of victims and the sense that they’re random victims, injured just from being in the wrong place at the wrong time, rather than inviting violence through an association, say, with drug dealers or organized crime. Assault weapons magnify the toll because of their murderous efficiency — they allow many more shots to be fired than conventional weapons, which translates into more people getting hit and more of them suffering multiple injuries.

. . .

The recovery of assault weapons with large-capacity magazines — the feature that best defines those weapons — has risen by almost 50% in Baltimore, where their prevalence was estimated at 11.1% of gunfire crimes in the first years after the ban expired and 16.5% by mid-2014. In Richmond, Va., their prevalence among seized firearms has more than doubled.

Weapons with large-capacity magazines, which are defined as those that can hold more than 10 rounds at a time, appear to be especially prevalent among guns used in murders of police — assault weapons accounted for up to about 16% of the weapons in those crimes, but large-capacity magazines were seen in more than 40% of those incidents.

There’s more at the link – not that it’s worth reading.  It makes the usual mistake of conflating feelings and opinions with facts.  Oh, it calls upon pseudo-scientific “facts” . . . but when you analyze them, and test them in the real world, they fall apart.

Former Sheriff Ken Campbell of Boone County, Indiana (now running Gunsite Academy in Arizona) conducted a pretty definitive test comparing higher-capacity magazines to lower-capacity ones.  He demonstrated that the time taken to use multiple smaller magazines, including swapping them out, was not appreciably greater than using fewer, larger-capacity magazines.  Here’s the video.  After a few introductory text screens, the action begins at 1m. 45sec.

The Las Vegas shooter would have been able to kill just as many people using smaller magazines as he did using the very-high-capacity units he’d purchased for the purpose.  It would have taken him perhaps two or three minutes longer to do so, at the very most.

So much for high-capacity magazine bans.  They’re nothing more than a feel-good panacea for those who won’t face facts.



    1. Fair point, that. It's still a ridiculous, spectacularly deceitful and ignorant article, but that fact really drives the point home.

  1. My favorite part is how they never fail to claim that "assault weapons" "allow many more shots to be fired than 'conventional weapons'…" because they definitely back up that ridiculous assertion with hard evidence, right? Right? … *crickets*
    Well, I'm sure they at least have a sensible explanation for claiming that "large capacity magazines" "are defined" (not *can be* defined, *are* defined) "as those that can hold more than 10 rounds at a time." Right? …
    *more crickets*

    Their confidence as they spout complete bull is impressive. It's almost like they are experienced at lying to the public. Like it's their job, or something… hmmm….

  2. I have no problem with facts, but do not be deceived into believing that facts matter to those who desire to take your guns.

    Facts only matter to the ignorant who desire to be educated, and are also willing to not form an opinion until they know, or are willing to change an opinion when presented with knowledge.

    Facts are irrelevant to the tyrant.

  3. Pfft. He would likely have killed *MORE* without the bump stock, given what it does to accuracy.

    The only saving grace was that he was not competent. Because someone more competent would have killed many more.

  4. The 1994-2004 AWB did accomplish one good thing. It stamped toxic on the subject of gun control in the minds of the Democrats by costing them Congress. You see they agreed to the ten year sunset provision with the expectation that the ban would prove so effective that it would be renewed permanently in '04. What happened was a bloodbath in the '94 midterms coupled with crime stats that proved that the mainly cosmetic features of the ban had no real effect on violent crimes. So, fearful of their remaining seats the Dems were forced to admit that renewing the ban made no sense.
    The gun control folks know what's best for us so they have no compunctions about lying. It's for our own good you see. And every time they say "just this one regulation more" know for a fact that they have already planned out the next restriction just waiting for a tragedy to ram it through on. Their ultimate goal is and always has been the complete and total disarmament of the public in the belief that once that has been accomplished they will have total control over every aspect of our lives and they can tell us what to do. It's really for our own good don't you see.

  5. It's a mistake to think that by debunking this assertion over and over and over again the truth will ultimately prevail. It's not an argument. It's a propaganda ploy designed to wear down the defenders of the Constitution (and induce them to spend time, money and energy refuting it while other attacks come from other directions) and to reinforce the growing idea that any intellectual opposition to the Left's agenda is in itself violent and deserving of violent suppression.

    This propaganda campaign is in place at every level of education. The linked article and video don't deal specifically with the large capacity magazine issue, but rather with the larger problem of pervasive Leftist indoctrination of the nation's youth.

  6. Uncle Lar nails it. Congress wasn't "derelict" in 2004, they knew what would happen if they voted on it. Quite frankly, they still do. Yes, there's a lot of noise and yammering about gun control, but the Democrats just use it for fund raising and turning out the base. They don't have any more intent to vote on it than Republicans intend to repeal Obamacare.

  7. Hey Peter;

    Uncle Lar was spot on, the debacle of the 1994 AWB cost the democrats congress and forced Bill to go moderate to hold a chance of reelection. The high capacity magazine debate is a farce, any halfway competent shooter can change magazines on an AR pattern rifle pretty quick. the Bolt automatically held open after the last round was shot helps this immeasurably. When a firearm is empty, we are vulnerable and people change magazines pretty quick. I know we did in the service, practice magazine drills.

  8. Yeah, I'm tired of hearing this also.
    BFYTW describes my feelings perfectly.
    I'm buying a few more magazines this weekend.
    Why? See above.

    – Charlie

  9. Molon Labe.

    We just saw the NFL begin to knuckle under, but we need to keep the pressure on. A thoroughly unprofitable season will send a strong enough message that We The People are the ones in charge.

    The same applies to liberal media and their pet politicians regarding their gun control hobby horse.

  10. I'd like to see the size of Vogue limited to 16 pages, Cosmopolitan too …

    Those are the kinds of magazine size limits I could live with.

    Maybe the New York Times could squeak it in every week with 24 pages.

    The Jeff Bezos Blog (aka Washington Post), being located near the center of politics, should make do with 8 pages per week.

    They've convinced me: if size matters when it comes to the Second Amendment, then it must also apply when it comes to the First Amendment.

    And so I'd like to see these magazines reduced in size on the same principle, newspapers too, and as for Tee-Vee, those teleprompters need to be licensed …

    After all, I don't want to be indoctrinated by Assault Media Riot Guns full of Potentially Harmful Fake News when I can get less dangerous and more interesting reading material from individual small publishers such as yourself.

    How DARE these High Capacity Assault Magazines try to compete with bloggers in such an unequal way, just because they have the funds to be able to afford such size!

    🙂 🙂 🙂

    Also, if anyone can instruct me as to where I can have "Areopagitica" micro-laser engraved on to an aluminium baseball bat, quite naturally in mirrored form, I would be much obliged … 🙂

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