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Posted at 10:22 PM ET, 01/25/2011

What are these weapons for?

By Linda Haile, Winchester

The Jan. 23 front page article “In Virginia, high-yield clip seizures rise” included a list of “high-profile mass shootings in the United States involving high-capacity magazines” that was chilling.

Can anyone tell me what the purpose of these weapons is, other than to kill as many people as possible in a matter of seconds? More important, how many more of these mass shootings do we have to witness before our elected leaders do something to stop the sale of these weapons? If not now, when? What will it take?

By Linda Haile, Winchester  | January 25, 2011; 10:22 PM ET
Categories:  Virginia, crime, guns  
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Comments

Can anyone tell me what the purpose of these weapons is, other than to kill as many people as possible in a matter of seconds?
---------------------------------------------
If your life was at risk, how many rounds of ammo would be too much in your weapon of choice?

You need to define how many are too much - keeping in mind that the standard number of rounds in semi-automatic magazine weapons currently being sold almost always exceed 10 rounds. For some weapons, there are no magazines available that are limited to 10 rounds.

Posted by: GHF_LRLTD | January 26, 2011 2:03 AM | Report abuse

With such a small caliber, it helps to have more rounds, Note that with a larger caliber, and fewer rounds, yes fewer people would have died, but Giffords would be dead.

I think that people could agree on banning these were this the sole objection to the gun laws the Brady special interest group had, and their ilk. However, as they would only use it as a basis to demand more and more, there is little point to appeasement of the "gun control" nuts.

Posted by: Nemo24601 | January 26, 2011 3:06 AM | Report abuse

The issue isn't what the magazines are for or how many rounds are necessary, it's that if we allow government to say how many are enough they can be back next week with a different number. What's so magical about 10? I'd be willing to bet that it was the first 10 rounds in Tuscon that did the most damage. What size magazines did the Va Tech shooter have? Where does it all stop?

Posted by: ronjaboy | January 26, 2011 6:03 AM | Report abuse

We are talking about one simple law, not all of gun control. COnsider it on its own merits.

And those are that when it comes to self-defense, it is true that the first few rounds are in all likelihood the ones that count. Other than in zombie movies, one is typically not confronted with a mass of attackers. If, however, your goal is to spray a crowd indiscriminately, then it is true that having a magazine limited to 10 rounds is a problem. In a number of mass shootings, the shooter was stopped when he had to re-load.

This is eminently common sense. Gun rights advocates have an opportunity to show they care about public safety as well as individual rights.

Posted by: krickey7 | January 26, 2011 9:27 AM | Report abuse

"Handguns are made for killing. They ain't no good for nothing else."

Ronnie Van Zandt
Lynyrd Skynyrd
from the song "Saturday Night Special"

Posted by: malcolmyoung1 | January 26, 2011 9:38 AM | Report abuse

Hey gun people: you won. No one's taking away your guns. Relax and let a few common sense laws get made.

Posted by: jhnnywalkr | January 26, 2011 9:46 AM | Report abuse

krickey7 said:


We are talking about one simple law, not all of gun control. COnsider it on its own merits.

________________________________________________
Not that simple. What happens on this law affects the next one and the one after that. Note that the so-called assault weapon ban is still being dragged from its grave at every opportunity by the Post.

Posted by: Nemo24601 | January 26, 2011 9:48 AM | Report abuse

Even New Jersey, the most anti-gun state in the country, allows its residents to own standard-capacity pistol magazines up to 15 rounds.

That is because (despite the unsupported claims of gun control supporters) the fact remains that in a self-defense situation you do not know how many rounds it will take to stop an attack. Not KILL the attacker(s), but merely stop them from attacking. And when there is more than one attacker, you need every round of ammunition you can get.

But gun control supporters don't tell you that the standard-capacity handgun magazines hod between 12-17 rounds of ammo. Instead, they focus on exotic outliers like the 30-round magazine of the Tucson shooter. Who did manage to reload his pistol, but (luckily) the exotic magazine's spring failed and jammed his Glock. See http://www.kold.com/global/story.asp?s=13811346 If he was using standard capacity magazines, his reload would have been successful, and he would have killed even MORE people that day.

Posted by: k_romulus | January 26, 2011 9:50 AM | Report abuse

Really, Nemo24601?

If you haven't noticed, all the momentum has been the other way. There hasn't been encroaching regulation for decades. It's all been loosening, to the point where we are down to debating guns on campuses and in bars.

You absolutely can consider a common-sense regulation without worrying about a slippery slope. No national figure is calling to ban guns, period. Your rights are safe. How 'bout we make other things safe, too?

Posted by: krickey7 | January 26, 2011 10:08 AM | Report abuse

What's hugely ironic is that if the anti-gun people truly cared about reducing the violence they'd just shut up or adopt a less confiscatory or confrontational stance. Because GUARANTEED all this talk has spurred the sales of guns and high-capacity magazines.

Posted by: ronjaboy | January 26, 2011 11:44 AM | Report abuse

Dear, Linda,

Guns and their magazines don't kill people. Guns only expel a bullet. What that bullet hits in it's flight path is determined by a person. A high capacity magazine only means that the person can shoot longer without needing to reload. That is true whether shooting at paper targets, cans, or other targets including people. If you have taken any combat training, either in the service or in private, you will be always taught that it is better to reload when you can than when you have to. Kind of like getting gas on a trip when you can rather than waiting until the gas gauge is on 'E'.

Posted by: ahashburn | January 26, 2011 12:04 PM | Report abuse

krickey7 wrote:
"Really, Nemo24601?

If you haven't noticed, all the momentum has been the other way. There hasn't been encroaching regulation for decades. It's all been loosening, to the point where we are down to debating guns on campuses and in bars"

And in the mean time, the instances of violent crime have decreased over the years. A coincidence or is your common-sense all wrong?

Posted by: ahashburn | January 26, 2011 12:10 PM | Report abuse

ahashburn
Actually, it is a coincidence. Those who have looked into the reason for the decline attribute it to larger demographic forces. And in any event, relaxation of state open-carry laws is not like a federal ban on a particular type of magazine--it's apples and oranges. And finally, I welcome more data to help unravel the actual impact of having more guns. Tell the NRA to stop objecting to the CDC conducting any research into the public health effects of gun ownership--their lobby had a law passed that says that alone among public health issues, this one aspect cannot be researched if it might lead to gun controls.

Posted by: krickey7 | January 26, 2011 12:48 PM | Report abuse

Go read the Federalist Papers.

Posted by: robertmthomasjr | January 26, 2011 12:50 PM | Report abuse

malcolmyoung - Gee, i'll bet you are a real rocket scientist there pal!

Posted by: PZ007 | January 26, 2011 1:53 PM | Report abuse

What's hugely ironic is that if the anti-gun people truly cared about reducing the violence they'd just shut up or adopt a less confiscatory or confrontational stance.

Posted by: ronjaboy

Such as? Seriously. Because of the gun lobby we can barely get any kind of gun "banned" in this country, we apparently can't even limit the amount of bullets one holds at once, we can't get any kind of decent licensing system or some kind of mandatory gun-safety training like a drivers-ed type course or some kind of comprehensive gun-registration laws. The gun rights lobby will fight any and all regulations whatsoever. So, what? What would be an acceptable regulation to you all?

I'm not against people owning guns, I'm not even FOR all the stuff I've described here, but to the gun-rights people NOTHING is acceptable. Because they're convinced there's some "slippery slope" and the government's gonna take all the guns away and turn this country into some kind of police state. Please.

Posted by: jhnnywalkr | January 26, 2011 2:16 PM | Report abuse

"malcolmyoung - Gee, i'll bet you are a real rocket scientist there pal!
Posted by: PZ007 "


How can I "sound" like anything, when I was using a quotation? Using a quote is a common debating technique -
citation and authority). I hope you're not insulting Ronnie Van Zandt! And the quote was apt, as it directly answered the original post's question ("what are they for") with a to-the-point answer in the colloquial vernacular.


Contrast this with your post (an ad hominem attack - weakest of debate tactics) with the clever "rocket scientist" (my, how original).

My main issue with guns isn't from the individual owner perspective (though there should be some limits), but the basic macro-economic and public health fact that the U.S. has manufactured and
sold between 1.3 million and 2 million handguns per year, every year since at least 1967 (a relatively new phenomenom - not a U.S. tradition). (See ATF
reports on, "Commerce in Firearms in the United States").

These items are highly durable (a tribute to the gun manufacturing industry), and thus the number in circulation is cumulative and constantly growing. Anyone can get one at almost any time. Just from a public health standpoint, this is going to lead to gun violence on a massive scale (exactly what we have).

You could reduce this to a much lower level - something much lower than 2 million per year, without any impact on availability to lawful owners or even market price (there would still be 250 million plus still in circulation), and reduce gun violence - but the industry and those it has hoodwinked through scaremongering are a powerful political force).

Posted by: MalcolmYoung | January 26, 2011 3:45 PM | Report abuse

Guns were developed in order to kill people. While they have been used for many things since then their initially use was solely to kill people. This isn't something new.

If you decide to restrict ownership of high capacoty magazines based on the fact that they have no purpose other than death then you have created the precedent to outlaw handguns as they have no other purpose other than to kill people.

We might as well disband the military on that basis as well. The purpose of soldier is to kill people or support those that kill people. That's it. No other reason.

Posted by: BradG | January 26, 2011 5:22 PM | Report abuse

People interested in upholding the "shall not be infringed" of the 2d amendment have been compromising since 1934. It's time for the gun control people to have 80 years of losses. After that, we'll revisit the issue.

Posted by: paperregister | January 28, 2011 2:07 PM | Report abuse

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