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Why "High capacity magazine" bans are pointless

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posted on Mar, 6 2018 @ 03:29 PM
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So recently, a bill was introduced in Congress to ban a number of things, including pretty much all semi-automatic weapons and detachable magazines which can hold over 10 rounds. The rationale behind the magazine ban is that gun-control advocates think giving potential shooters 30-round magazines makes them deadlier. There's no data to support this, in fact the data shows it doesn't matter (I'll address that below). However, at first glance, if you don't know anything about guns, it sounds like common sense. If he only has 10 rounds at a time instead of 30, this should make it harder for him to kill more people right?

Turns out, the shooter at the Florida school, to which this bill proposing limiting magazines to 10 rounds is a direct response, used 10-round magazines.

Source: Miami Herald



Cruz went in with only 10-round magazines because larger clips would not fit in his duffel bag, Book said.


I just have to point out here that magazines and clips are not the same thing, he means larger magazines wouldn't fit in the duffel bag. That must've been a small duffel bag. 30-round mags are not that big.

Anyway, so the Florida shooter had 10-round magazines, not "high-capacity" 30-round magazines. He killed 17 and injured 16, some of whom were hit multiple times. I've seen reports he fired about 150 rounds. Those of you with backgrounds in higher mathematics will realize this means he changed magazines at least 14 times.

That's just one example, so you could say that doesn't prove anything. Although it does prove you can pull off this type of shooting without 30-round magazines. But there is other information to show that magazine limits wouldn't do squat.

At the Virginia Tech massacre, the shooter exclusively used handguns. His choice of weapons was a Glock 19 and a Walther P22, a 9mm and .22 caliber handgun, respectively. The Glock 19 standard magazine is 15 rounds (there are other magazines available for it, including a 33-round extended magazine, but the information I've found indicates he was using the standard 15-round magazines) and the P22 uses 10-round magazines. At the end of the attack, the shooter had killed 32 people and wounded an additional 17 with gunfire (6 others sustained non-gunshot injuries). Police reported at least 174 rounds were fired. Even if we assume he barely used the P22, he had to have changed magazines at least 11 times.

In fact, despite what you might think from the media coverage focusing on "assault rifles" being the weapon of choice for mass shooters, the most common type of gun used in a mass shooting is a handgun. If you don't like that source, Mother Jones drew the same conclusion. Handguns generally have smaller-capacity magazines than AR or AK-style rifles, requiring more frequent magazine changes, yet mass shooters successfully use handguns to kill large numbers of people routinely. To understand why, you have to get into the mechanics of shooting and how these scenarios typically play out.

In most of these mass shootings, the majority of people killed are shot in the first few minutes. The reason these people go to public places like schools, malls, etc, is to have multiple victims confined in places where they will have difficulty escaping and you can shoot a lot of people in a relatively short amount of time. So the idea that well, if he had to change magazines more often it would give people a chance to get out, it just doesn't add up in reality. If you're huddled in a classroom taking cover, you can't get out of the school in the 2 or 3 seconds it takes him to change magazines. And that's assuming you knew he was about to change magazines and could get ready and run right as he runs out of ammo. Keep in mind, none of the victims were expecting to be shot at when they showed up to wherever this is taking place. The shooter has an enormous tactical advantage. He can be counting his shots, some guns have a magazine window where you can see how many rounds you have left. He knows when he's about to change mags, you don't.

At this point usually someone will say "when you hear him stop shooting he's changing magazines". Um, no. These shootings are not a non-stop barrage of constant gunfire until the magazine is expended. The shooter is walking around and aiming from one victim to the next. You'll hear shot-shot-silence-shot-silence-shot-shot-shot-silence etc. You can hear this in recordings taking during these events. Las Vegas is a notable exception because the shooter had a mass of 22,000 people to shoot at and wasn't really aiming most of the time, he was just firing wildly, emptying the mag, and changing mags or moving to the next gun. In general though, every moment of silence is not a mag change. If you're behind cover, you'd have to peek out from behind your cover to notice whether he's just aiming his next shot or if he's changing magazines. By the time you realize he's changing mags, he's done. You had no chance to flee and no chance to charge him. Also, if the guy has multiple weapons, he can exclusively use one, and keep the other loaded and ready for instances where someone tries to run or charge him during a mag change.

If the goal here is to stop these mass shootings from happening, the data and a realistic analysis of these type of situations tells us a "high-capacity magazine" ban won't help. As we've noted, the most common weapons in mass shootings are handguns, which generally have lower-capacity magazines already. In shootings where the shooter used a rifle with a 30-round magazine, many of them changed magazines multiple times. Making the shooter change magazines more often would be nothing more than an inconvenience for them. Is there some possible scenario where we can imagine one or two fewer casualties due to a magazine change? Sure. But there's no way to definitively say it would. You can't go back in time and give the Florida shooter 30-round mags instead of 10-round ones and see if he managed to kill more people. It's simply not a solution. I realize a lot of gun control folks on here will ignore this, but if just one person learned something here, it was time well spent.

ETA: Lab4Us brought up a great point I forgot to address. The 30-round mags are bigger, so you can't fit as many of them in easily-accessible places like ammo pockets. You end up having to store some in a cargo pocket or a backpack, someplace where it takes longer to get them out. So overall, that extra time to get out the larger-capacity mags after the first few might actually make it take longer for you to complete the overall shooting. The larger size and weight also makes them more cumbersome to handle, slowing down your mag changes.
edit on 6 3 18 by face23785 because: (no reason given)




posted on Mar, 6 2018 @ 03:33 PM
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Well, you can kill a lot more people with 30 bullets as opposed to 10. That's just basic math. That's as far as I'm going to go into the premise of the thread though.


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posted on Mar, 6 2018 @ 03:35 PM
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originally posted by: 3NL1GHT3N3D1
Well, you can kill a lot more people with 30 bullets as opposed to 10. That's just basic math. That's as far as I'm going to go into the premise of the thread though.


You would have a great point if there was a law limiting mass shooters to only bringing one magazine to their event.



posted on Mar, 6 2018 @ 03:37 PM
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a reply to: face23785

My point has nothing to do with that though, it has to do with the basic fact that 30 is a larger number than 10, multiple magazines or not.



posted on Mar, 6 2018 @ 03:41 PM
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originally posted by: 3NL1GHT3N3D1
Well, you can kill a lot more people with 30 bullets as opposed to 10. That's just basic math. That's as far as I'm going to go into the premise of the thread though.


makes sense to me
im with ya



posted on Mar, 6 2018 @ 03:42 PM
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originally posted by: face23785

originally posted by: 3NL1GHT3N3D1
Well, you can kill a lot more people with 30 bullets as opposed to 10. That's just basic math. That's as far as I'm going to go into the premise of the thread though.


You would have a great point if there was a law limiting mass shooters to only bringing one magazine to their event.


It's pretty straightforward actually:

You can send rounds down range faster with a 30 round magazine vs a 10 round magazine.

It's also pretty straightforward when it comes to laws:

The punishment to breaking the law exists to serve as a deterrent - the existence of the law does not mean that the law will not be broken.

You know that murder is illegal yet people still do it? The number of murders would increase if the law went away.

Regulation on capacity isn't meant to stop mass shootings from taking place - however it will potentially reduce the number of casualties - that's the basic math he/she was referring to.



posted on Mar, 6 2018 @ 03:43 PM
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a reply to: 3NL1GHT3N3D1




Well, you can kill a lot more people with 30 bullets as opposed to 10.


Apply recoil,aiming, and moving target then get back to us.


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posted on Mar, 6 2018 @ 03:43 PM
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originally posted by: 3NL1GHT3N3D1
a reply to: face23785

My point has nothing to do with that though, it has to do with the basic fact that 30 is a larger number than 10, multiple magazines or not.


I know exactly what your point is. Unfortunately it's a moot point because it would only have an effect on the number of people killed if he could only use one magazine. "Multiple magazines or not" is a cute cop out. In reality, if he has multiple magazines, the number of rounds per magazine doesn't limit the number of people killed. If you bring 150 rounds in 15 magazines or 5, you've still got 150 rounds.

This thread was for people who have an open mind and wanted to discuss reality, not a fantasy world where these shooters only have one magazine. I'll thank you to stick to real life scenarios with your replies.



posted on Mar, 6 2018 @ 03:44 PM
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originally posted by: AScrubWhoDied

originally posted by: face23785

originally posted by: 3NL1GHT3N3D1
Well, you can kill a lot more people with 30 bullets as opposed to 10. That's just basic math. That's as far as I'm going to go into the premise of the thread though.


You would have a great point if there was a law limiting mass shooters to only bringing one magazine to their event.


It's pretty straightforward actually:

You can send rounds down range faster with a 30 round magazine vs a 10 round magazine.

It's also pretty straightforward when it comes to laws:

The punishment to breaking the law exists to serve as a deterrent - the existence of the law does not mean that the law will not be broken.

You know that murder is illegal yet people still do it? The number of murders would increase if the law went away.

Regulation on capacity isn't meant to stop mass shootings from taking place - however it will potentially reduce the number of casualties - that's the basic math he/she was referring to.


Except my OP was discussing why that's false, and neither you nor he actually bothered to refute anything in my post. I addressed your arguments, you appear to have no response.



posted on Mar, 6 2018 @ 03:45 PM
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a reply to: 3NL1GHT3N3D1

But that isn't really addressing OP's point.

OP, I think you've hit this nail on the head. Aside from the Constitutional issues that arise when you go about banning things, your math adds up and mag bans are beyond useless. S&F



posted on Mar, 6 2018 @ 03:46 PM
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originally posted by: 3NL1GHT3N3D1
a reply to: face23785

My point has nothing to do with that though, it has to do with the basic fact that 30 is a larger number than 10, multiple magazines or not.


A rather moot point, though.



posted on Mar, 6 2018 @ 03:50 PM
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a reply to: face23785

No it doesn't.

No matter how many gymnastics you perform:

One 30 round magazine vs three 10 round magazines.

You'll need to reload twice, time you spend reloading you're not shooting.

Two 30 round magazines vs six 10 round magazines and the time you're not shooting is increased even more.

The fact that mass shootings occurred with hand guns or lower capacity means nothing here -

You say the guy in Vegas got off 150 rounds using 10 round magazines?

Prove he couldn't have gotten off 250 in the same time period using 30 round magazines.


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posted on Mar, 6 2018 @ 03:51 PM
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a reply to: face23785

Using logic against pissant gun-gtabbing anti-freedom weenies is like french kissing Michael Moore.

It will never make sense, it will always be unpleasant, and you'll just end up making the other person happy.
edit on 6-3-2018 by DBCowboy because: Spelling



posted on Mar, 6 2018 @ 03:51 PM
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originally posted by: AScrubWhoDied

originally posted by: face23785

originally posted by: 3NL1GHT3N3D1
Well, you can kill a lot more people with 30 bullets as opposed to 10. That's just basic math. That's as far as I'm going to go into the premise of the thread though.


You would have a great point if there was a law limiting mass shooters to only bringing one magazine to their event.


It's pretty straightforward actually:

You can send rounds down range faster with a 30 round magazine vs a 10 round magazine.


I'll address this specifically. If you bring 150 rounds, and can discharge at 2 rounds per second (you're limited by how fast you can repeatedly pull the trigger), and I give you a long-ass 5 seconds for a mag change, you can use up your 15 10-round mags in 145 seconds. That's 2 and a half minutes. With the 30-round mags, it would take 95 seconds.

So if someone could respond in less than 2 and a half minutes it might make a difference in how many rounds you could fire. Unfortunately, since we're relying on the police who are almost always more than 2 and a half minutes away, my argument stands. All you're doing is inconveniencing the shooter, no one has a chance to get away in the short time it takes him to change magazines.



posted on Mar, 6 2018 @ 03:54 PM
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a reply to: face23785

The law does sound a bit pointless in regards to the Florida shooting if he used 10 magazines but I'm willing to bet if he didn't have to take that extra time to reload his gun then more people may have been killed. Stopping to reload 10 times probably put a dent in his killing efficiency I would think.

But yeah, I do agree that banning high capacity magazines is a bit pointless seeing as 30 bullets is 30 bullets regardless of the number of magazines.



posted on Mar, 6 2018 @ 03:57 PM
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Ban smart phones!

No one needs to text that fast!




posted on Mar, 6 2018 @ 03:59 PM
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originally posted by: 3NL1GHT3N3D1
a reply to: face23785

The law does sound a bit pointless in regards to the Florida shooting if he used 10 magazines but I'm willing to bet if he didn't have to take that extra time to reload his gun then more people may have been killed. Stopping to reload 10 times probably put a dent in his killing efficiency I would think.

But yeah, I do agree that banning high capacity magazines is a bit pointless seeing as 30 bullets is 30 bullets regardless of the number of magazines.


This makes sense if you had a static environment like targets at a range. Obviously with higher-capacity magazines, you can hit more targets faster. In these scenarios, people that are in a position to flee flee, and those who aren't take cover. He's walking from one room to the next looking for the next victim. Changing a magazine during this time doesn't cost you any time at all. If you run out in the middle of shooting 5 or 6 people, the ones you didn't shoot yet can't escape during the short time it takes you to change mags. I addressed all of this in my OP. When your'e taking cover, whether it takes him a little longer to get to you because he had to change mags, the bullet is just as lethal when he gets around to you. And it's not a big difference in time, as I noted above.



posted on Mar, 6 2018 @ 03:59 PM
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A lot of you must never have shot/reinserted magazines. Takes seconds, not minutes, especially if you know you’re on a terminal mission. You hit the magazine release with your thumb, let empty magazine drop, insert new and loaded magazine. Hit slide release with thumb, 10 more rounds abailble, fire. 10 round magazines are small and can fit many in pockets or on belt in holders.

You don’t worry about damaging magazines, you just let them drop. Part of regular qualifying with weapons for LE are timed drills doing just that (even LTC qualification had reloading drills). If you’ve practiced, it is NOT time consuming.

We should all be thankful that these child murdering cowards, just like most terrorists, do not seem very intelligent in their preparation and deployment of their evil plots.



posted on Mar, 6 2018 @ 04:00 PM
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Limiting the number of rounds per mag will do little to nothing. Anyone even slightly proficient in firearms can change mags fast enough to put many rounds downrange before help arrives.
The first part is a handgun demo. If you want to go straight to the demo for rifles, skip to 7:30.




posted on Mar, 6 2018 @ 04:01 PM
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originally posted by: AScrubWhoDied
a reply to: face23785

No it doesn't.

No matter how many gymnastics you perform:

One 30 round magazine vs three 10 round magazines.

You'll need to reload twice, time you spend reloading you're not shooting.

Two 30 round magazines vs six 10 round magazines and the time you're not shooting is increased even more.

The fact that mass shootings occurred with hand guns or lower capacity means nothing here -

You say the guy in Vegas got off 150 rounds using 10 round magazines?

Prove he couldn't have gotten off 250 in the same time period using 30 round magazines.



It only takes like 1 or 2 seconds to change a magazine at most. The OPs point is that the time to change a magazine has zero effect on the total number of rounds shot. In the real world, you aren't going to be able to jump out from cover and get to the shooter in the second or two that he drops the magazine. Banning larger magazines sounds good but in reality will do nothing to prevent mass shooters.





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