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View Diary: Firearms Law and Policy - Do consumers have standing to challenge laws regulating gun sales? (72 comments)

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  •  Seriously? (4+ / 0-)
    The utility of high capacity magazines is to lay down suppressive fire. In Adam Lanza's case he used suppressive fire to dismember first graders.
    Suppressive fire is not used to dismember anyone. Suppressive fire is used to suppress an attacker so they cannot return fire. The Sandy Hook shooter also did not fire until empty, which is what someone does when they're utilizing suppressive fire. The Sandy Hook shooter was reloading part-way through magazines.

    The 30-round magazine has been standard for the AR-15 family of rifles since its introduction to the civilian market since 1963. In the past fifty years, an AR-15 rifle or similar has been used in less than 20% of mass shootings (according to Mother Jones' data on the subject, which unfortunately does not get any more detailed than the nebulous and inflammatory "assault weapon" term).

    And of course the one thing that keeps getting skipped over is the assumption that 30-round or larger magazines have some sort of magical killing power that makes them more lethal than any other firearm. The Navy Yard shooter (8 round shotgun), the Cumbria shooter in the UK (2 round shotgun and 5 round rifle) and more than a few others have managed to cause just as much carnage as most mass shooters and have exceeded the body count caused by others. This assumption that making any magazine with a capacity greater than 10 or 8 illegal will mitigate future injuries and deaths is purely fallacious.

    •  So why would you want them then? (4+ / 0-)

      What are they good for.

      Absolutely NOTHIN. as the song goes.

      Why is it easier to buy a gun than it is to register to vote in most states?

      by 88kathy on Sun Nov 24, 2013 at 11:55:54 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Right, because if you don't like it (4+ / 0-)

        then it ain't no good. Never heard that one a thousand times before. Let me spell it out for you: I want them because there is not a sufficient argument against me having them. Just like terrorism isn't a good enough argument against the NSA not snooping through my email, like Muslim extremism isn't a good enough argument for the persecution and dirty tricks our Muslim citizens have been subjected to, a dozen or so criminal scumbags in fifty years are not sufficient justification to pull 30-round magazines off the market or make modern semi-auto rifles illegal or restricted. There's no "maybe it will work" here. We all ready have numerous examples of mass shooters who were able to slaughter just as many or more people without an "assault rifle" or "high capacity magazine" in the equation.

        But let's go after me and what I "need" rather than address any of the points I made. Make it personal. All part of the game. I'm sure the next bit will probably be something about asking me how many dead is enough before I consider it sufficient argument for more restrictions.

        •  I own them too but I'm real cynical about it (6+ / 0-)

          I think they should ultimately be phased out. I see no civilian need for them at all.
          If one bullet is killing power, then 30 is killing power times 30. I don't think its imposing on anyone's rights to restrict magazines to 20 rounds.
          if this would make an Adam Lanza stop more to reload so much the better. Understand I'm not against magazine fed rifles, I just don't see why someone can't be happy with 20 round magazines (killing power x 20)
          If they had 30 round magazines for the M16, they sure didn't during the Vietnam War until the very end. As a matter of fact for a while I carried an M2 carbine because it had 30 round magazines.
          I own an M1 carbine now with 30 round magazines. They're legal.

          thats how I think about it---I disagree with the law but I take advantage of it, same as the 2d amendment. I don't think the 2A is good for America but as long as its there, with the common interpretation as it is, I think liberals are foolish to cede all the guns in the country to the other side.

          Happy just to be alive

          by exlrrp on Mon Nov 25, 2013 at 06:21:45 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  " I do the worst, which I abhor" Seneca (4+ / 0-)

            Happy just to be alive

            by exlrrp on Mon Nov 25, 2013 at 06:23:12 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Good morning exlrrp, nice to see you (3+ / 0-)

            Care to explain your choice of 20 rounds vs. 10 rounds?

            E.g. DC has restricted magazines to 10 rounds, and that limit was recently upheld as constitutional by the DC Circuit Court of Appeals.

            If someone needs more than 10 rounds for self defense they are in a world of trouble. And I think that is a very unlikely scenario for civilian self defense.

            Accurate target selection and aim from the responsibility of the person bearing arms for self defense. I think 10 is a reasonable compromise, and more rounds than that creates a menace for others because it removes the burden of learning to shoot straight under pressure. Each of the extra rounds is a potential innocent bystander that didn't need to get shot.

            "They did not succeed in taking away our voice" - Angelique Kidjo - Opening the Lightning In a Bottle concert at Radio City Music Hall in New York City - 2003

            by LilithGardener on Mon Nov 25, 2013 at 06:45:19 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  This may help (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              LilithGardener

              https://www.youtube.com/...

              This shows exactly how quickly various shooters can fire given magazine capacity limitations.  

              I have been writing this for a long time but ever since the 1890s, rate of fire has been unrelated to magazine capacity.  Revolvers could be quickly reloaded with speed loaders, the first automatic pistol and military rifles used chargers.  The first modern pump-action shotgun was in production.  

              That horse left the barn 100 years ago.  

              Disciplined, accurate fire not volume matters.  You're not using the Devil's Pantbrush

              I'm a 4 Freedoms Democrat.

              by DavidMS on Mon Nov 25, 2013 at 07:43:38 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  It won't stop there though (0+ / 0-)

            You say 20. Lilith says 10 right below you, likely for the same reasons you say 20. NY state says 7, for similar reasons. This is the problem: there is no intention to stop at a number greater than zero. There will always be someone who has a reason why the number should be lower and they would rather talk about that than why people are getting shot in the first place. Why people are getting shot is unimportant. The gradual elimination of privately-owned firearms is.

            Naturally, someone will shout "slippery slope", because this is all just paranoid conspiracy talk despite it actually happening in real-time and as a matter of public record.

            thats how I think about it---I disagree with the law but I take advantage of it, same as the 2d amendment. I don't think the 2A is good for America but as long as its there, with the common interpretation as it is, I think liberals are foolish to cede all the guns in the country to the other side.
            The 2nd Amendment is neutral. It's the application and exercise of it that's the issue. Firearms culture in the US could stand to be much healthier than it is. Unfortunately too many folks have reinterpreted "healthy" to mean "nonexistent or nearly so". I'd like it to be better, with less of the toxic masculinity and other right-wing baggage that's still far too present. They'd like it to be gone, completely, and by force if possible. I'd like a society with fewer desperately poor people who turn to crime, with a more robust social safety net (you know, like the exact opposite of what Any Rand wanted) and with less stigma around mental illness that leads to people like the Sandy Hook shooter's mother pretending there was nothing wrong with him. They just want the guns gone and they'll work on that other stuff after. Unless it's too expensive or it conflicts with other rights they think are worth defending.
        •  Ahhhhhhh, Ayn Rand would be proud (6+ / 0-)
          Let me spell it out for you: I want them because there is not a sufficient argument against me having them.
          The libertarian argument of "I deserve to have what I want, just because I want it, and the risk of harms to others doesn't bother me."

          Here in the Firearms Law and Policy group we focus our justification not on personal whim, but on the arguments set forth in DC v. Heller. If you haven't read it, you really should? Like it or not, it's the law of the land.

          District of Columbia v. Heller - Opinion

          See section III, pp 54-55

          Like most rights, the right secured by the Second Amendment is not unlimited.  From Blackstone through the 19th-century cases, commentators and courts routinely explained that the right was not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose. See, e.g., Sheldon, in 5 Blume 346; Rawle 123; Pomeroy 152–153; Abbott 333. For example, the majority of the 19th-century courts to consider the question held that prohibitions on carrying concealed weapons were lawful under the Second Amendment or state analogues. See, e.g., State v. Chandler, 5 La. Ann., at 489–490; Nunn v. State, 1 Ga., at 251; see generally 2Kent *340, n. 2; The American Students’ Blackstone 84, n. 11 (G. Chase ed. 1884). Although we do not undertake an exhaustive historical analysis today of the full scope of the Second Amendment, nothing in our opinion should be taken to cast doubt on longstanding prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, or laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms.26

          "They did not succeed in taking away our voice" - Angelique Kidjo - Opening the Lightning In a Bottle concert at Radio City Music Hall in New York City - 2003

          by LilithGardener on Mon Nov 25, 2013 at 07:18:53 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I've never heard that version... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            MertvayaRuka

            "There are four characteristics among people: One who says, "Mine is mine and yours is yours," that is the mark of the average person; some say that is the mark [of the people] of Sodom. [One who says,] "Mine is yours and yours is mine," [that is the mark of] an ignorant person. [He who says,] "Mine is yours and yours is yours," [that is the mark of] a godly [person]. [One who says,] "Yours is mine and mine is mine," [that is the mark of] an evil person."

            - Talmud, Ethics of the Fathers, Chapter 5, Mishnah 10

            http://www.heritage.org.il/...

            I have made bold the libertarian credo.  I can't call your description libertarianism because at its core libertarianism is a ideology that desires to return to feudal misrule.  Under feudalism only nobles and their lackeys had arms.  

            Compare to Orwell:  Even as it stands, the Home Guard could only exist in a country where men feel themselves free. The totalitarian states can do great things, but there is one thing they cannot do: they cannot give the factory-worker a rifle and tell him to take it home and keep it in his bedroom. That the rifle hanging on the wall of the working-class flat or labourer's cottage , is the symbol of democracy.  It is out job to see that it stays there.  

            https://en.wikiquote.org/...

            Emphasis in the original.. Orwell correctly notes that the core of democracy is trust between the elites and the people.  Take that away, and the rest of our rights follow.  I cannot see how promoting gun control is anything beyond failing to trust the people.  

            I'm a 4 Freedoms Democrat.

            by DavidMS on Mon Nov 25, 2013 at 07:31:10 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  Well, then... (4+ / 0-)

          How many dead is enough before you consider it sufficient argument for more restrictions?

          •  Even simpler - How many shot? (4+ / 0-)

            120,000?
            150,000?

            "They did not succeed in taking away our voice" - Angelique Kidjo - Opening the Lightning In a Bottle concert at Radio City Music Hall in New York City - 2003

            by LilithGardener on Mon Nov 25, 2013 at 12:34:56 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  How many dead. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            DavidMS

            This is another one of the standard refrains here. "How many have to die?". Yet this is a question not asked of those who fight against invasions of our privacy and fight to maintain our freedom to not have every single communication we make electronically scrutinized and sifted through.

            Why? Are millions of sexually exploited children not enough for you to stop shielding the predators in your midst with your insistence on online anonymity and privacy? Are thousands dead from terrorism not enough when all you have to do is just give up a little bit of your privacy to allow the NSA to intercept their communications? Is it not a small price to pay? Is one life not worth the little inconvenience to you, worth giving up just a bit of what you've fought for? After all, it's for the children.

            But you can't. And you won't. You'll just say "guns kill people, my computer doesn't", as if that ends the argument, as if it somehow erases all the people who utilize the rights you selectively champion to harm others. You don't have to be held accountable for them and you will not allow yourselves to be held accountable for them. Your rights are sacrosanct. Mine are an abomination that should not exist in a "civilized" society.

            If you can't give me a number that would cause you to allow the abrogation of rights you hold dear, if you cannot in your mind justify curtailing those rights you currently enjoy despite all the harm done with them just because you don't get to see the bodies, because the human wreckage of it isn't splattered all over your television or computer screen but you would demand the same of me, you are a hypocrite. You take me to task for harm wrought by others and will not allow yourselves to be held to the same standard.

        •  So 20 dead children is not a good enough argument? (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Glen The Plumber, TheFern
          " I want them because there is not a sufficient argument against me having them."
          For most people with a normal capacity for human emotion, 20 dead children is a good enough argument against assault-style rifles and large capacity magazines.

          I guess I don't read enough newspapers: who ARE the other mass shooters who massacred 20 or more people without using an assault-style rifle or a high capacity magazine?  Enlighten me.

          "The fool doth think he is wise: the wise man knows himself to be a fool" - W. Shakespeare

          by Hugh Jim Bissell on Mon Nov 25, 2013 at 07:21:10 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Nice intimation of mental illness there (0+ / 0-)
            For most people with a normal capacity for human emotion, 20 dead children is a good enough argument against assault-style rifles and large capacity magazines.
            For most people with a normal capacity for human emotion, a 230 percent increase in the number of documented complaints of online enticement of children from 2004 to 2008 is a good enough argument against online privacy.

            For most people with a normal capacity for human emotion, almost 3000 innocent people murdered on 9/11 is a good enough argument in favor of the Patriot Act and the War on Terror.

            See, I can play this game too. Find the right facts and it becomes very easy to portray the people you're debating with as amoral sociopaths, only concerned with their own selfish needs no matter the cost to innocents. Certainly much easier than actually addressing what they're saying, so I can see the allure. Little too McCarthy for my taste though.

            I guess I don't read enough newspapers: who ARE the other mass shooters who massacred 20 or more people without using an assault-style rifle or a high capacity magazine?  Enlighten me.
            Off the top of my head, George Hennard and Seung-Hui Cho. Charles Whitman was stopped three short of twenty, in part by people returning fire. I'm sure you will find some fault with these examples, as I hold no illusions about enlightening someone who engages in personal attacks as a substitute for debate.
            •  I am enlightened (0+ / 0-)

              Thank you for telling me about the mass shooters George Hennard, Seung-Hui Cho; Mr. Whitman is a familiar name, of course.

              Now Mr. Hennard used a Glock 17 pistol in his attack, and the Glock 17 is named (I think) for the standard magazine that holds 17 cartridges.  So I suggest a magazine of 17 cartridges qualifies as "high capacity" (tho' yes, less than 30) so maybe he "cheated" during the commission of his massacre.

              But as you point out, it is possible to kill many people with even a bolt-action gun, which is why I suggest that ALL guns (not just "high capacity" guns) be strictly limited in sales and use.

              "The fool doth think he is wise: the wise man knows himself to be a fool" - W. Shakespeare

              by Hugh Jim Bissell on Tue Nov 26, 2013 at 06:12:24 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Too much "how" (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                DavidMS

                not enough "why".

                As we have all ready seen, you will tighten the grip of restrictions and people like Hennard, Cho, Whitman, Alexis and the rest will slip through its fingers. They will change tactics, change tools, adapt, shift, because they're playing a game whose rules they write as they go. You're trying to nail jello to a wall at room temperature. I would suggest reading the report from Sandy Hook that was just released. It goes into heavy detail about all the warning flags the shooter's mother ignored or excused, most likely due to the stigma surrounding mental illness. She preferred to pretend he was fine rather than risk being identified as the mother of a "defective" son. She enabled him to do what he did and would have enabled him to do what he did no matter what tools he would have had to substitute to accomplish his goal. Getting him help, not purchasing firearms for him, getting him flagged so he couldn't purchase them on his own, all of that would have made a greater difference than forcing him to choose a pump shotgun or bolt action rifle instead of an AR-15. It would have resulted in zero deaths instead of five or fifteen or twenty. That is what would have saved ALL of those children. Your half measures only accomplish something if saving lives isn't the actual goal.

    •  Thank you for this clarification (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Glen The Plumber, Smoh, WakeUpNeo

      Hello MR, thanks for dropping by.

      The Sandy Hook shooter also did not fire until empty, which is what someone does when they're utilizing suppressive fire. The Sandy Hook shooter was reloading part-way through magazines.
      Anyone who is trained to arms knows why Adam Lanza changed magazines before they were empty. For noobs, an empty magazine is the most vulnerable moment for a shooter.

      Adam had trained to be ready to deal with the police in such a way that he would be able to commit suicide in the end. His goal was to die famous, as an anti-hero. By reserving a few bullets in each magazine he was allowing for the possibility that the police could burst onto the scene at any moment and he would be able to shoot at them, to either kill them, or induce them to shoot and kill himself, or he would have the option to kill himself at the moment of his own choosing.

      Adam Lanza changed magazines before they were empty because he trained that way. He was prepared to die and was not willing to risk being caught with an empty gun in this his hands. He had plenty of ammunition, and had trained to keep his options open to the very end. His goal was to kill as many people as he could and to die by his own hand.

      Suppressive fire is used to suppress an attacker so they cannot return fire.  
      Let's unpack this for people who never fired a gun.

      First, according to Heller, the 2A covers small arms (colloquially known as "guns") for use by individuals when they exercise their right to self defense in their home.

      The competency and accuracy of the shooter matters. No one has any right under the 2A to create a menace with a gun when they exercise their right to keep and bear arms for self defense.

      It's arguable that because bullets easily punch through walls suppressive fire in a residential setting can easily injure others. For that reason, governments have a right to restrict suppressive fire in the interest of the general public's safety.

      If you can cite to any judicial opinion stating otherwise please link it; I would like to read it and write a diary on the arguments made therein.

      "They did not succeed in taking away our voice" - Angelique Kidjo - Opening the Lightning In a Bottle concert at Radio City Music Hall in New York City - 2003

      by LilithGardener on Mon Nov 25, 2013 at 06:26:21 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Yes, seriously (trigger warning) (4+ / 0-)

      When you call Sandy Hook a statistically insignificant mass shooting you are white washing what happened and are glossing over a central fact.

      Suppressive fire is not used to dismember anyone.
      IIRC, the average number of bullets was 11 bullets per body. Hollow point bullets, which are known to turn human flesh into mincemeat. John Lennon was killed with 4 hollow point bullets fired at close range. Modern medicine could not have saved him even if he had been shot on the operating table.

      Adam Lanza was an experienced rifleman. 2, 3 or 4 shots per body were sufficient to case death. The children and teachers were captive, they could not run, could not escape.

      You are failing to acknowledge that Adam knew exactly what he was doing with that gun. It wasn't just about killing, it was about mutilation of the bodies, many of them mutilated beyond recognition.

      It was a massacre, a pre-planned, intentional massacre of elementary school children. Adam Lanza didn't want to simply match or exceed the number of dead shot by the Norway shooter, Adam wanted to mutilate their bodies. And he used the suppressive fire capability for that purpose.

      That use of suppressive fire is not even lawful for the  military. I'm certain that mutilating bodies is a violation of the Geneva Conventions.

      "They did not succeed in taking away our voice" - Angelique Kidjo - Opening the Lightning In a Bottle concert at Radio City Music Hall in New York City - 2003

      by LilithGardener on Mon Nov 25, 2013 at 06:31:07 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  So which is it? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Mildly Unsuccessful Lurker
        It's arguable that because bullets easily punch through walls suppressive fire in a residential setting can easily injure others. For that reason, governments have a right to restrict suppressive fire in the interest of the general public's safety.
        So here's one version of "suppressive fire", indirect fire used to prevent an attacker from returning fire. In line with the definition of the term and recognizable to "Anyone who is trained to arms".

        Suppressive fire article on Wikipedia

        That use of suppressive fire is not even lawful for the  military. I'm certain that mutilating bodies is a violation of the Geneva Conventions.
        And here we have the visceral, emotional definition, the one that has nothing to do with the actual definition. Suppressive fire is not direct. It does not involved "mutilating bodies". What you are doing here is basically trying to frame this issue thusly:

        1). 30-round magazines are only useful for suppressive fire.
        2). Suppressive fire is what the Sandy Hook shooter used to mutilate children
        3). Anyone who wants 30-round magazines available either wants to mutilate children in a similar fashion or is an enabler for those who want to mutilate children.

        You use words in your posts that I never have and attribute them to me, words like "statistically insignificant". The idea is to make me look cold, unfeeling, calculating. You describe my argument as "libertarian" and try to make me out to be some devotee of Ayn Rand with absolutely nothing to back it up. This is pretty much the type of response I predicted: more words are being spent on painting me as callous and selfish or on bloody, heart-rending imagery than anything else. Virtually nothing of the meat of my arguments is touched. Your use of the term "suppressive fire" is incorrect. Your assumption that no one could achieve that level of carnage without a semi-automatic rifle and 30-round magazines is incorrect. And your push to legislate based on the actions of a criminal few is just flat out wrong, as wrong as those who point to a few dozen welfare cheats and demand that everyone on public assistance be drug tested.

        IIRC, the average number of bullets was 11 bullets per body. Hollow point bullets, which are known to turn human flesh into mincemeat. John Lennon was killed with 4 hollow point bullets fired at close range. Modern medicine could not have saved him even if he had been shot on the operating table.
        They're also known to not overpenetrate through walls and hit neighbors when you're utilizing a firearm in self-defense. More manipulative language. More re-framing of the issue to draw emotional lines rather than factual ones.
        You are failing to acknowledge that Adam knew exactly what he was doing with that gun. It wasn't just about killing, it was about mutilation of the bodies, many of them mutilated beyond recognition.
        You recognize that he knew what he was doing, that he was familiar with firearms, that he planned this massacre, but somehow you believe he would not have succeeded if he couldn't have an AR-15 with 30-round magazines. You don't believe he would have found a way around that. You don't believe it would have been as bad or worse if he'd walked in there with a plain old 8-round pump shotgun loaded with 00 buckshot. In the wake of the Navy Yard shooting, can you really believe that?
        •  My comments about Sandy Hook (4+ / 0-)

          refer to what actually happened. I'm not the least bit interested in your fantasies of what Adam Lanza could have done with a different gun. There is a different group at Daily Kos that might welcome your diary on that topic. May I suggest you Kosmail KVoimakas, the leader of that group.

          You've shown by your comments in my diaries a determination to whining and logorrhea that is ahem less than persuasive.

          Have a nice evening.

          "They did not succeed in taking away our voice" - Angelique Kidjo - Opening the Lightning In a Bottle concert at Radio City Music Hall in New York City - 2003

          by LilithGardener on Mon Nov 25, 2013 at 01:34:35 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I see (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            DavidMS

            pointing out scurrilous attacks on my character made in lieu of addressing my arguments is "whining" now.

            I'm not the least bit interested in your fantasies of what Adam Lanza could have done with a different gun.
            Yet your own assumptions of what was going through the Sandy Hook shooter's head at the time of the shooting are what, documented fact? There was nothing ever found regarding his plans. You have nothing but speculation regarding why he wasn't shooting until his magazines were empty. Just like you have nothing but speculation regarding what he would have done without an AR-15 and without 30-round magazines. You paint this florid picture of how he planned to go down in a blaze of glory, his mind always on potentially shooting it out with the cops, despite his never exchanging a single round with them even after seeing them.  

            The difference between you and me is, I'm not trying to make public policy out of my speculation as if it's fact.

            You've shown by your comments in my diaries a determination to whining and logorrhea that is ahem less than persuasive.
            I apologize that what I'm trying to get across can't be condensed down to pithy little catchphrases like "kill speed" or "murder weapons". I also apologize if I've given you the impression that I'm trying to persuade you of anything. I don't try to persuade true believers. I provide a counterpoint and nothing more. You lot end up doing more of the persuading than you realize in your overly-personal responses. Good evening to you as well.

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