Skip to comments.High-Capacity-Magazine Bans: Threatened shopkeepers used 30-round magazines to fire warning shots...
Posted on 12/19/2012 11:23:58 AM PST by neverdem
Threatened shopkeepers used 30-round magazines to fire warning shots and avoid taking lives.
Bans on high-capacity magazines (variously defined as those holding more than ten, fifteen, or twenty rounds) seem to be part of just about every law to ban assault weapons. The rationale is to prevent the ability to engage in killing sprees like the one on Friday in Connecticut.
Would a ban on high-capacity magazines (and not just a ban on new manufacture, as the 1994 federal law provided) make any difference in these massacres of the unarmed? I am hard pressed to see how. Detachable-magazine pistols and rifles have been in common use in the United States for more than a century. To replace an empty magazine with a fully loaded one typically takes one to two seconds, even under stressful conditions.
When magazine bans were first proposed, the theory was that they would make police officers safer when attacked by criminals. But even the Clinton administration’s 1999 study of the federal assault-weapons ban (which banned new manufacture of magazines over ten rounds) found no statistically significant differences in murder rates of police officers because of the new law. This justification for the ban on high-capacity magazines has not survived real-world experiment.
How much actual “advantage” does a high-capacity magazine give to a monster who is shooting unarmed people? Practically none. The victims have no idea whether he is about to change magazines and are therefore in no position to flee or engage in a barehand attack (even if one of them has the remarkable coolness of mind to try something that courageously foolhardy). For practical purposes, a mass murderer with ten-round magazines is about as deadly as one with 20-round magazines. I suppose if you were to impose a really low limit, such as two or three rounds, you would start to make a real difference in these horrors, but that brings us to the other side of the equation.
A recurring question that I hear from gun-control advocates is, Why does anyone need high-capacity magazines? The implication is that they have no legitimate function. If they don’t, they should be prohibited to police officers, who carry handguns for self-defense; their job is not to shoot people in summary execution. A police officer’s use of a handgun is not so terribly different from that of a civilian with a gun in his home or, if licensed, on his person. While it is rare for either a police officer or a civilian to need 15 or 20 rounds in a gunfight, it is not unknown, and in some cases it is the difference between life and death for individuals engaged in self-defense. (When I lived in the Los Angeles area, I knew two different couples who experienced multiple invasions of their homes by intruders, with horrendous results. Yes, this has made me a little sensitive to the problem.)
There is one other situation where a high-capacity magazine serves a necessary, even praiseworthy function. During the riots following the Rodney King trial, many shopkeepers in the Korean section of Los Angeles confronted mobs threatening to loot and burn the stores. Some of the shopkeepers used high-capacity magazines in rifles to avoid taking lives. Yes, you read that right. By firing two or three shots over the heads of the rioters, the shopkeepers were able to impress on these criminals that they should keep their distance or risk death. Because they had 30-round magazines in their rifles, they could afford to fire two or three warning shots. Had they been limited to three or five rounds per magazine, they likely would have had the choice of abandoning their stores or making every bullet deadly.
On a shooting range, it’s really quite easy to keep every shot on the paper. Things are a bit different in a high-stress, poorly illuminated gunfight inside your home, where it is possible that for every three or four shots you fire, only one delivers an incapacitating blow to an attacker. Yes, you can change magazines rapidly with a modern pistol or rifle, but it is better not to have that distraction in the middle of a gunfight.
It is true that where I live now, I don’t worry about intruders or even burglary. I also haven’t had a flat tire in more than 100,000 miles, but I still keep a spare in the trunk: The cost of doing so is low, and the consequences of not being ready for that rare situation are too high. A high-capacity magazine is like that spare tire.
— Clayton E. Cramer teaches history at the College of Western Idaho. His most recent book is My Brother Ron: A Personal and Social History of the Deinstitutionalization of the Mentally Ill.
I don’t have any high cap mags. They were all lost in that boating accident I had last summer.
I can see the sign now!
DUE TO ECONOMIC CONDITIONS AND MAGAZINE BANS
HO WARNING SHOTS WILL BE FIRED!
What’s a “HO” warning shot ?
An advance notice that a hooker is approaching? ;)
Warning shots fired at hos, of course.
Hi Cap Mags are fun. I can make heap big noise.
Yeah, ban high capacity magazines. That will solve the problem and prevent all deaths in a gun free zone. /sarc
they can not get around the taking without compensation clause of the constitution.
if they ban all they have to BUY ALL AT MARKET PRICE!
I remember in Vietnam getting a 30 round magazine for my M16. The first time I ever used it, it jammed. The gunny was right, high capacity magazines are crap.
The standard capacity magazine seems to be 15 to 17 rounds these days, at least for 9mm. Thirteen rounds has been the standard capacity for the 9mm Browning Hi-Power since 1935.
So what is a high-capacity-magazine? Who gets to define it? We let the other side define things too often.
That was then, this is now:
Try MagPul mags, they have anti-tilt followers.
Never a problem on feed.
I don’t expect a fire but I still have afire extinguisher for an emergence]y.
High capacity magazine failure to feed correctly has been noted in some of these tragedies, but the M16's action was prone to jam if not kept scrupulously clean.
IIRC, they initially also used the gunpowder originally intended for the 7.62 mm NATO round instead of the originally recommended gunpowder for the 5.56 mm ammo. They had different burning rates. The gunpowder for the NATO round took the heat initially for a design that's prone to getting dirty. My M16 extractor retaining pin broke on me over 40 years ago at just the wrong time.
It seems to me that a magazines is basically a metal box with a spring at the bottom.
Maybe I’m wrong but wouldn’t it be pretty easy for someone with even minimal metal working skills to make one to hold an arbitrary number of cartriges?
or even produce them en mase with no way to know when they were made.
The Dems have yet to figure out that there is a positive correlation between instituting bans on high-round magazines and buying MORE GUNS.
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