Gun Control - Now Discussing Tucson Shooting

Discussion in 'Archive: The Senate Floor' started by Lowbacca_1977, Dec 3, 2008.

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  1. Mr44 VIP

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2002
    star 6
    J_W, Tarkus, the problem is that you guys are asking your questions from the position of ignorance, and I mean no negative connotation for the word. Lowie has touched on the points, but for example:

    The 1911, the longest serving, and arguably, the most successful US military pistol has a "standard" magazine that holds 7 or 8 rounds,(even standard isn't set in stone) but it fires what is known as a large caliber or big bore bullet. The Beretta M9 pistol, which replaced the 1911 in military service, uses a standard 15-17 round (again, even standard isn't set in stone) magazine, but it fires smaller caliber, higher velocity ammo. Is it "better" or "worse" from the sake of perception, to have 8 rounds of large ammo, or 15 rounds of smaller ammo? It's all academic, because all sorts of factors come into play from shot placement to bullet design, and so on...

    The FN Five-seven pistol fires what is known as a micro-caliber, and holds 20 rounds in its standard magazine. Why do you need such a pistol? Because the trajectory of the bullet is nearly flat, and it has low recoil, so it is popular with distance bullseye shooters and/or shooters who compete for time.

    Even the magazine this shooter used wasn't modified in any way-I honestly don't know why the media reports it as such-it was simply the magazine taken from the model 18. (although see the prior post about the mysterious Hollywood "Glock 7 porcelain pistol" that never existed)

    But again, practically, none of this matters. Even a minimally trained person can eject a used magazine and replace it with a new one in less than a second. An untrained shooter can still replace a magazine in less than 2 seconds. How many people do you think could "swarm" a shooter in less than a second if they carried more than one magazine, even if each one was limited to a arbitrary number? The entire idea that this would even matter is simply a myth, but I think it sounds good to those who aren't familiar with how pistols operate. What if he simply carried two revolvers and then threw a pipe-bomb? What if he had a standard lever-action carbine under his coat but also had an illegal shotgun? The what-if's are endless.

    So it just seems like common sense reform, not even a partisan thing like most gun issues, to re-ban those clips.

    And this is the far end of the extreme that I don't get either, especially since it doesn't address any issues related to the topic. When has an arbitrary ban ever solved anything? So let's say the Glock 18 magazine was banned...Not one thing would have changed with regards to this guys actions. Focusing on the size of a magazine doesn't address the mindset of why someone would even do something like this in the first place.

    And BTW, for knowledge's sake, the term "clip" is incorrect. A clip is a non-spring loaded bracket that is either fixed in the firearm, or is loaded whole into the receiver. The M1 Garand rifle used a clip, for example. Modern firearms haven't used clips since WWII, unless they are relics. The proper term is magazine)
  2. LtNOWIS Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 19, 2005
    star 4
    You can't blame Bush for that. He was the president, and Congress passes the laws. He said he'd sign a renewal if Congress passed it, and Congress didn't.

    Anyways, extended clips were never truly illegal. You could still buy extended clips, drum magazines, and so forth, as long as they were pre-ban. I doubt an extra $50 in the purchase price would deter a determined mass murderer. That's the only effect a renewed Assault Weapons Ban would have had on this.

    It's also important to note that the Arizona shooting was one of a very few where the gunman was tackled while trying to reload. In most spree shootings, such as the Virginia Tech shooting, the shooter can reload freely and eventually gets caught by the police and/or commits suicide.

    It suppose there's an argument in banning 30 round handgun magazines while keeping standard 20 round magazines legal, even if it would affect very few mass shootings. But even that's tricky, because they make pistols such as the PLR-16 that can accept standard rifle magazines.
  3. Darth_Tarkus Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 10, 2011
    star 4
    Yeah, I am pretty ignorant about guns, no argument there! I actually feel like I learned a lot from that post, and I do appreciate it! While I accept that you bring up things I hadn't previously considered in addition to the relevant knowledge, there is one single point where I think you make a generalization that is disproven by the very reason we're talking about this, and I'm not at all saying that to detract from the rest of the post. If "practically, none of this matters" because any untrained gunman can change magazines (thank you ;) ) too quickly for anyone to intervene, then this guy wouldn't have been tackled and stopped while changing magazines. All the reports I heard that mentioned it said that's when he was taken down. So in this case, practically, it would have mattered.

  4. Mr44 VIP

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2002
    star 6
    f "practically, none of this matters" because any untrained gunman can change magazines too quickly for anyone to intervene, then this guy wouldn't have been tackled and stopped while changing magazines. All the reports I heard that mentioned it said that's when he was taken down. So in this case, practically, it would have mattered.

    I agree with you. In this case, the gunman was tackled and subdued. But I'd say, more than anything, that was the result of the mindset of those in the crowd. I mean, 2 airplanes were hijacked by people using nothing but boxcutters, and it was only the passengers on one plane that actually organized and tackled the terrorists. This, of course, is based on presumptions of hijackings up until that point, but typically, with uncertainty, fear, adrenaline all mixed in, gunmen aren't tackled in this fashion by the general public.

    But my point has more to do with the idea that "banning" anything would have mattered or changed the outcome. Let's say his specific magazine was already "banned..." The gunman simply could have carried two pistols-shot one until it was empty and then used the other one- no reloading required- and the practical result would have been the same. The gunman could have cut down the barrel of a standard, boring shotgun, which is already completely illegal, and caused as much harm. The gunman might not have been a gunman at all. Had he simply walked up threw a pipebomb, he probably would have harmed more people with a single act. I'd wager that it would have been more difficult to light and throw multiple bombs, but a single one is more powerful than any handgun.

    Things like the number of bullets and whatnot don't really matter in relation to the larger issue of why this guy felt so isolated that this was the outcome he choose to carry out.


  5. Kimball_Kinnison Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 28, 2001
    star 6
    There's an old saying about what is known as a "New York reload": "The fastest reload is another loaded gun."

    It's not that any untrained gunman can reload quickly, but it's that most spree shooters don't get stopped when changing magazines. Why? Because most victims tend to me more focused on escaping than on tackling the shooter. The only other shooter I can think of who has been tackled while reloading was Kip Kinkel, who shot up Thurston High School in Springfield, Oregon in 1998. At that time, one of the young men who helped tackle him credited his learning about guns in boy scouts and from his NRA-member father with helping him know that it was safer to attack the shooter because his gun was empty.

    If you outlaw large magazines, then you will see shooters do what Hasan (Ft. Hood) or Cho (Virginia Tech) did, and bring multiple guns. As a result, making the shooter stop to reload more often isn't a very effective way to combat shootings like this.

    Kimball Kinnison
  6. Darth_Tarkus Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 10, 2011
    star 4
    Right, I totally agree with you on that. No reasonable gun law was going to stop that maniac. In my opinion it's much more a failure of my/our country's lack of mental health infrastructure. The ammunition thing is certainly much less important, I agree.

    Yes, I don't think it would be any sort of panacea whatsoever. That's why I specified that in my opinion it wouldn't have to make a practical difference in the number of lives taken many times in order for it to be a worthwhile restriction.
  7. Gonk Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 8, 1998
    star 6
    BTW, has the notion of "Culture of Honor" been discussed in connotation with the gun control question here as yet?

    Just as a brief overview from Wiki:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Southern_culture_of_honor
  8. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 1999
    star 7
    I spent big chunks of my childhood in Alabama. I never heard the term culture of honor, but even among the working middle class and poor, Southerners placed a huge emphasis on manners, courtesy and etiquette. I imagine it's eroded somewhat with my generation and my generation's kids. Especially since a lot of the important urban centers of the south, like Atlanta, have lost much of their southern character. The rural Alabama I knew in my childhood has emptied out, and I think that undermines southern culture as well.

    And of course the elegant and lyric stuff about Alabama etiquette was all caught up in racial politics when it intersected with guns and the cliches, more or less spot on, about lynching black men for leering at white women, etc. in the pre-civil rights era, which I was born too late to witness first hand.
  9. Gonk Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 8, 1998
    star 6
    I think the term "culture of honor" is something being used by sociologists and the like. When I read into it, it stems back to a 1998 study.
  10. J-Rod Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 28, 2004
    star 5
    If many people say that a prohibition on booze and pot doesn't work then why would many of those same people say that a similar prohibition would work on guns and/or ammo? They kinda undercut one of their arguements for the sake of the other, don't they?

  11. SuperWatto Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Sep 19, 2000
    star 5
    - Guns don't grow on plants
    - Guns don't come out of fruits
    - You can't use booze or pot to commit a crime
    - You can't use booze or pot to threaten people
    - Booze or pot have never been recognized as a murder weapon... unless maybe when the booze was illegaly manufactured, a good reason for legal booze.
    - Booze and pot are addictive. Take it away, and people will find a way to get it anyway. Much less so with guns.

    The comparison is haphazard, you may as well compare guns to staircases.
  12. Mr44 VIP

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2002
    star 6
    I think J-Rod was referring to the costs of society vs the desirability of "banning it" as a way to address those costs.

    Sure, guns don't grow on trees, but what's the overall cost to society due to alcoholism? How many people die each year because of liver damage? or drunk drivers? What's the cost of lost wages and resources because of marijuana? I'm quite certain that the overall cost to society for allowing members of the public to "have a pint at the pub" is far greater than the costs associated by owning a gun, but prohibition was deemed to be ineffective as a way to address it.

    Maybe a more appropriate comparison would be to compare firearms to prescription drug abuse, because both are already highly regulated? Despite the fact that in order to get a prescription filled, one has to pass through multiple "buffers," involving highly trained personnel and specific regulations, and yet, countless scores of people are harmed by prescription drug abuse.

    The point isn't to directly compare guns to say, vodka, but to compare how much it makes sense to "ban" Absolut as a solution to its misuse.

  13. SuperWatto Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Sep 19, 2000
    star 5
    If the only vodka there was was Absolut, I'd be fine with a ban!

    If you've got 280 million guns, that's not 'highly regulated'. More like infestation.

    If J-Rod was only looking at the cost to society, then that's a too singular focus to make any comparison.
  14. Mr44 VIP

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2002
    star 6
    If the only vodka there was was Absolut, I'd be fine with a ban!

    Ah, but there's the key. Let's say during one spectacular incident, someone got drunk on Absolut, drove drunk, and ended up killing an innocent victim.

    Instead of looking at why the person choose to put themselves or others in harms way, or trying to change attitudes of drinking and driving, or promoting the idea that taverns utilize taxi services, the easy answer was simply to ban Absolut- leaving only arbitrary alternatives of watered down, tasteless vodka left. Of course, it should be obvious to anyone that the blame doesn't fall to Absolut vodka, especially if such a ban wouldn't prevent anyone from simply going and drinking any other alcoholic beverage in an irresponsible manner.

    Thanks Watto... Now the world is doomed to lifeless, bland cocktails...Where is James Bond when you need him?
  15. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 1999
    star 7
    Alcohol is a bigger public health problem than guns, that's for certain. Some western countries have solved their gun homicide problems more or less, but none have really solved their alcoholism problems. And of course alcoholism compounds the dangers of other major hazards like car driving and guns ownership. Suicides and gun homicides and gun accidents and vehicular homicide are all caught up with alcohol abuse.

    But that brings to mind one approach to gun ownership as an alternative to more restrictions: taxing it more heavily as a vice the way alcohol and cigarettes are taxed. Tax gun owners for the health hazards of handgun ownership in particular. If it doesn't take guns off the streets, at least it compensates society somewhat for the public health costs of guns. It's very simple economics to lower demand by raising the price.
  16. SuperWatto Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Sep 19, 2000
    star 5
    Guns? Who cares about guns? We have a much bigger issue here... there seem to be people here who think Absolut is good vodka.
  17. Mr44 VIP

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2002
    star 6
    But that brings to mind one approach to gun ownership as an alternative to more restrictions: taxing it more heavily as a vice the way alcohol and cigarettes are taxed.

    I'd question why it should be taxed "more heavily" than anything to begin with, but I think this also illustrates another misconception.

    I don't know if you realize how much firearms are, or aren't taxed, but in addition to the standard percentage of the sale, gun purchasers have to pay an additional fee for the background check at the time of purchase. (unless the gun shop itself voluntarily absorbs the cost.) If the firearm is an imported model, there is an additional, and quite steep, additional excise tax on the purchase. In Illinois, gun owners have to pay an additional fee just for the sole purpose of possessing a registration card. Class III firearm stamps are a means to an end, as they are upwards of $500 in additional taxes and fess per purchase. These are the issues that I'm not sure if the general public is aware of how the process actually works, as firearms are already comparably taxed, and I don't think your standard gun owner has a problem with any of them.

    However, if you mean to suggest this as nothing but a "back-door ban," as in levying an "additional tax" of $300 just to purchase a pistol that costs $500, or taxing bullets so each one costs $5, that's another story all together.
  18. DeathStar1977 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 31, 2003
    star 4
    Hi everyone. It's been a while and I hope everyone is having a good 2011.

    LtNOWIS

    You can't blame Bush for that. He was the president, and Congress passes the laws. He said he'd sign a renewal if Congress passed it, and Congress didn't.


    C?mon man, that?s a bit of a cop out. If it had been a priority, he would?ve pushed Congress for it. But for obvious political reasons, and I don?t mean this as a dig rather as a truth, he didn?t.

    Perhaps I?m wrong, but the President does have some influence over Congress [face_mischief]

    Mr44

    Normally I agree with you most on guns and gun regulation. I think you do an excellent job especially in regards to pointing out how Hollywood does an exceptionally poor job in regards to showing how gun are purchased.

    However (you knew it was coming) here I have an issue

    But my point has more to do with the idea that "banning" anything would have mattered or changed the outcome. Let's say his specific magazine was already "banned..." The gunman simply could have carried two pistols-shot one until it was empty and then used the other one- no reloading required- and the practical result would have been the same.

    What if he couldn?t obtain an extended magazine? It?s certainly possible he would indeed have been stopped after attempting to reload. A second or two can be a big difference in those situations. Certainly in a controlled environment an individual can reload very quickly, and it?s quite possible that it wouldn?t matter in a highly trained individual (i.e. Miami-FBI shootout). But it?s possible that stopping to reload after 10 shots instead of 31-35 would?ve made a difference. Even if people are trying to escape as opposed to stop the shooter (which I agree is more likely), stopping to reload does give them time, even if it?s a second or two, to get the heck out of harms way.

    And ok, what if he had two pistols? Firing two pistols isn't as easy as a John Woo movie. Also, I am fairly certain that at least here in Cali, we are limited to one handgun per month and there is a 10 day waiting period. Furthermore, they are indeed expensive (I paid $700 for mine). As you know, I'm not saying that these laws would've certainly prevented the incident in Tucson, but clearly there is a line to be drawn (more on that below).

    The gunman could have cut down the barrel of a standard, boring shotgun, which is already completely illegal, and caused as much harm. The gunman might not have been a gunman at all. Had he simply walked up threw a pipebomb, he probably would have harmed more people with a single act. I'd wager that it would have been more difficult to light and throw multiple bombs, but a single one is more powerful than any handgun.

    I guess he also could?ve used a flame-thrower, since AFAIK in some states flame-throwers aren?t illegal, just difficult to obtain.

    Obviously I realize that we can go back and forth with the what-ifs. My overall point would be...why make it so easy for people to obtain such weaponry? Clearly we all agree that a line should be drawn (don't make me drag out the "It's not like just anyone can buy a rocket-launcher or nuclear bomb" defense that you are so fond of).

    And there is no doubt the NRA does some terrific training, especially in terms of firearm safety. It?s their political arm that many (i.e. me) have a problem with.

    I would 100% agree that just banning large magazines or types of guns is not the most pressing problem. As I said a great many pages ago in regards to the guy in Pittsburgh who shot/murdered the police officers, I think it?s better to focus on who is able to purchase guns. IIRC that guy had a restraining order placed on him by his ex-girlfriend, and had been kicked out of the marines for assaulting a drill sergeant. Someone like that should have their right to a firearm revoked. If I heard correctly on the news today, even Senator Tom Coburn agrees regarding preventing such people from obtaining firearms.
  19. Fire_Ice_Death Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 15, 2001
    star 7
    Since I forgot who said it, but someone mentioned that if we banned guns that could shoot thirty bullets that the criminal psychopath would simply buy more guns ergo having one gun with many bullets was preferable. Or something like that. I'm curious as to what kind of logic this is. Okay. So the crazy guy has to buy more firearms thus putting himself on someone's radar as opposed to buying one gun and succeeding in his crime. Yes, I can see how that's preferable. We must not allow these people to have to reload or switch guns. That's just perfectly perfect. It's so perfect I think I laid a brick in my pants.

    I must ask...are you, yourself, crazy? In what kind of world does that argument make sense? "Well...he was going to shoot up the place anyway. Might as well make it as easy as possible for him." In no way is what you said a deterrent or even a proper argument. See, while the crazy guy is busy reloading or switching guns you can have some 'hero' run up and tackle them. Or punch them in the face. Maybe make some pigeon noises. Something! It gives you more time whereas...say...30 bullets in rapid succession...well...maybe that doesn't. But of course. No, we need the guns with lots of bullets because you never know when you might have to fight the army. Or defend your house from a bear with laser beams coming out of its eyes and the claws that just tear you to shreds if your eyes happen upon them.

    Yes, that's the really realistic scenario you're waiting for with guns that can fire 30 bullets or more. 10 bullets? Pft...that's for pansies. We need to feel secure and make sure what we're killing stays dead. Permanently. No zombies for us!
  20. Mr44 VIP

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2002
    star 6
    DS, FID, I don't know what you guys are asking with your posts. I just think they're the type of reactionary replies that a couple of people warned against earlier in the thread. The simple answer to all the above is that no one knows.

    Personally, what I think is folly is when people who seem to be unfamiliar with the very topic they are rallying against become fixated on a suggestion and come to view it as a near-mythic panacea. Ok. Limit the size of a magazine to 6, 7, 10, 15, or 20 rounds, and ban the rest. Maybe this time, some random number can be picked like 8 or 12, and it will blow everyone's mind. Because those are all just arbitrary numbers that have no relevance to anything. If one thinks this sounds like a good idea, then great. But it's not going to prevent anything like this from happening, because violence is a social problem, not one of math.

    Timothy McVeigh carried out his attack while the previous magazine "ban" was in place. Kleibold and Harris carried out the Columbine massacre during the same period as well. Lee Boyd Malvo and John Muhammad also carried out their sniper killings when the ban was in place, firing only one shot from their rifle at a time. Tragically, all three of the above attacks resulted in a greater loss of life than this one did. Of course, McVeigh didn't even use a gun, but his was a case of misdirected anger and personal failure. Kleibold and Harris schemed for months and let their isolation boil over, despite the fact that numerous people could have interceded and taken an interest in their lives, but didn't. The DC sniper was all about power and control. What's the solution for bad people who carry out harm in a free society? I don't think there is one, as that's the definition of free will.

    What is funny is that whenever this topic is discussed, someone always brings up flamethrowers or nuclear bombs and the like. I suppose it's the Godwin's Law of the gun control debate, which means the lights can be turned off for this one...until it's dusted off again.
  21. SuperWatto Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Sep 19, 2000
    star 5
    Godwin's Law sucks, it kills honest debate.
  22. Lowbacca_1977 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2006
    star 6
    I think the suggestion was he could quickly switch guns, rather than reload a single gun.

    Actually, at least based on how you described it, he DID lose his right to a firearm according to existing law. Federal law states that one of the categories that disqualifies someone from being able to own a firearm is anyone that is "subject to a court order that restrains the person from harassing, stalking, or threatening an intimate partner or child of such intimate partner". (Brady Act, 922(g))
  23. Alpha-Red Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 25, 2004
    star 5
    So what exactly do you need a gun with 30 bullets for? What's the justification for needing so much firepower? If someone's robbing your house or comes at you with a knife, you pull out your gun and kill/incapacitate him with what, 2-5 shots? That should pretty much do it as far as self-defense goes.

    http://www.courier-journal.com/article/20110118/OPINION02/301180038
  24. Lowbacca_1977 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2006
    star 6
    What bugs me with that logic is that the Bill of Rights, as I view it, is what the government can't limit, not what the government ALLOWS. That'd be like saying that there's nothing wrong with removing free speech on the internet, tv, radio, and phones because those didn't exist at the time the Bill of Rights was written. Similarly, freedom of religion only applies to religions already established at the time of writing, and not any after.
    All of which come from an attitude that I've personally not heard any strict constructionist take.
  25. Kimball_Kinnison Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 28, 2001
    star 6
    This isn't entirely accurate.

    There is no fee for the NICS check that is run by the FBI. However, some states (such as Virginia) have additional checks that they do charge a fee for. (In Virginia this is a $2 fee.)

    Most handguns don't have 30+ round magazines. The Glock 17/18/19/26/34 handguns use interchangeable magazine designs, so you can use a longer, larger capacity magazine in the smaller guns.

    For example, the Glock 26 is the subcompact 9mm design. It comes standard with a 10-round magazine. However, it can accept the longer 10- or 15-round magazines designed for the Glock 19 (which is the compact 9mm design). Both the Glock 26 and the Glock 19 can use the longer 10- and 17-round magazines designed for the Glock 17 or the Glock 34 (the full-size 9mm models, the only difference being the length of the barrel). Glock also manufactures the Glock 18, which is a selective-fire automatic variant of the Glock 17. It comes standard with a 33-round magazine, but the gun itself is only available in the US to military and law enforcement.

    There are also conversion kits available for a Glock, to convert it into a variety of other firearms. For example, MechTech makes a conversion kit that turns the Glock 17 into a 16-inch carbine. For a conversion like that, the Glock 18 magazines would be useful.

    You can also buy a Guncrafter Industries kit that will convert a Glock 20 or 21 into a .50 caliber handgun (using the expensive custom .50 GI cartridge), offering ballistics comparable to a .44 Magnum.

    Most of those conversions are targeted more towards the collectors market, and aren't meant for daily carry or personal defense use.

    Kimball Kinnison

    EDIT: The interchangeable magazines aren't just a Glock feature. My Officer's model 1911 can use the magazines from my full-sized (aka Government model) 1911. However, my full size 1911 cannot use the Officer's model magazines because they are too short.

    You can also find other magazine compatibilities, sometimes even between manufacturers. For example, Colt Mustang magazines will work in the Sig P238, and vice versa.
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