170 Comments on “How many Americans have died from handgun violence since Newtown?”

  1. Mervel says:

    But don’t we really have two different situations here?

    Brian mentions two of the recent and more sensationalized (for good reason); mass killings involving the same structure; mental illness, assault weapons with large clips, and no apparent reason-random. These would include the school shootings, the Colorado shootings, Columbine, the Amish child murders, etc.

    These are far too prevalent in our society but they are still quite rare and make up a tiny percentage of the gun deaths in the US.

    The second situation, and the much more common situation is the fight settled with a gun, the gang or drug related fights and killings, the suicides and domestic violence killings, essentially the pathologies of our society.

    These are two very different situations and I think would require different responses. Taking away a ranchers handgun in Wyoming or making a hunter in South Dakota or upstate New York go through multiple background checks and enter some sort of data base; will have NO impact on either of those two situations.

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  2. Mervel says:

    If we pass an assault weapons ban and large clip ban, I would think that would be good and I think Obama is going to propose it; I would also like an affirmative statement from the President that he will introduce NO new legislation to limit rifles, shotguns or handguns, along with that law.

    Because of the lack of trust, most gun owners don’t believe it will stop with assault rifles, they believe the real target is handguns and then finally long guns. I don’t think that is true, but sometimes I honestly wonder as the majority of gun deaths in the US are NOT by assault rifles they are by handguns and long guns and if you are using all gun death data as a pretext and reason for gun control, well it would seem that you are going to after hand guns and long guns.

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  3. Brian Mann says:

    Larry –

    Again, just plain pish.

    Slate has reported carefully and expansively on the fact that it’s extremely difficult to track gun violence and deaths in America. They’ve done the best job of anyone in the country to provide up to date tracking of Americans killed by firearms.

    Their data lays out the most accurate real-time breakdown of age, gender, location, and background of death. They’ve provided links to their sources.

    And the results are shocking on every practical and moral level.

    Rather than grapple with the (admittedly complex and nuanced but also strikingly ugly) facts, you choose the route of talking about abstractions and conspiracy theories and picayune points of language choice.

    You would have it be that no debate is possible, either because everyone else in the conversation is dishonest, or because your interpretation of the Constitution holds that we are powerless.

    Which brings me back to pish. The United States and the various states have regulated firearms for more than a century.

    We have long acknowledged and passed laws specifying some forms of firearm and military technology are inappropriate for civilian use.

    The firearm technology widely available in America today has evolved and it’s long overdue to discuss whether these new highly-efficient weapons are appropriate on our streets.

    Various voices will raise various possibilities. Some will indeed advocate for a total ban on gun ownership. They’ll lose.

    Others will argue that all weapons technology should be allowed to everyone. They’ll lose, too.

    I suspect that the vast majority of conversation will land somewhere in the middle, where we reason our way to some common sense decisions.

    And then we’ll vote. And the courts will review the laws to determine whether they violate Constitutional protections. Those are important checks and balances.

    But I suspect — and I could be wrong — that trying to silence the debate, or shape it with the-liberal-media-is-out-to-get-us hysterics, won’t work this time.

    –Brian, NCPR

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  4. Two Cents says:

    “But people break laws more often if they’re easier to break.”

    actually i’d bet my left nut that more people break laws more often if they’re harder to follow!

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  5. The Original Larry says:

    Brian,
    Your progressively longer and longer rationalizations are pretty much what you’re accusing me of: trying to silence the debate. Nothing can change the fact that Slate headlined their data as “Gun deaths” and you headlined your article as “Handgun Violence”. Whether that was a mistake or purposeful I don’t know, but everyone understands the inflammatory nature (particularly now) of attributing deaths to “Handgun Violence” especially when a closer examination of the data reveals many of those deaths due to hunting accidents, suicide, “apparent” homicide, criminals shot by police during the commission of crimes, drug deals gone wrong and on and on and on. Bottom line: bad journalism. I don’t expect you to indict yourself but you shouldn’t try to re-direct the criticism.

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  6. Peter Hahn says:

    cmon Larry. “gun violence” includes lots of things. Many many people are injured or killed by guns. Most are accidents of one kind or another. Many though are intentional. Suicides, murders etc. People are also killed or injured by stray bullets. Many of the killed and injured are children, and their parents and neighbors have been demanding for many years that something be done.

    I dont understand what you are objecting to about Brian’s presentation.

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  7. PNElba says:

    Brian -

    The headline is inaccurate. Just change it.

    Larry -

    So I guess suicides in gun-owning homes shouldn’t be considered a danger of owning guns. I guess I get it now.

    Also, you have repeatedly claimed that “liberals” have an agenda to take away all guns.

    I think many people who own guns for “home protection” also have a secret agenda. They actually hope they get to use the gun to defend themselves.

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  8. hermit thrush says:

    I linked to the data, allowing all and sundry to dig into the numbers and see what’s there and to form opinions and views about them. There is no bending or shaping.

    that’s just not true. brian, your original post unequivocally asserts that, at the time you wrote it, 643 americans had died from handgun violence since newtown. but that’s not what the link says. the link only refers to total gun deaths. ignoring this bit of nuance certainly constitutes, at a minimum, “bending or shaping.”

    it’s true that people who go to the link and wade through the data will see what’s what. but not everyone is going to have the time or energy to do that, or to wade through the comments here. i agree that this is far from the most consequential point in the post-newtown debate, but forthrightness is forthrightness. the fix is easy. just delete “hand” from the title of the post.

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  9. Mervel says:

    But I thought the discussion was about assault rifles and clips?

    Now we are mainly talking about all guns, so I would assume as a person who does own shotguns and rifles, that I am going to be targeted in the future, tracked by the government as dangerous. So now I and I think people like me who are not the classical gun nuts, but like the vast majority of legal gun owners just have them for hunting or shooting; who do favor pretty severe restrictions on assault weapons and these crazy large clips, we now wonder well what is the agenda? It looks if we are looking at all gun deaths as a pretext that the intent really is to, if not take away, at least track and restrict all guns in the US. For me that forces me into the other camp.

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  10. PNElba says:

    Mervel –

    Yes. Obama is going to hire 1 million ATF agents and order them to confiscated 300 million firearms in the USA. That is the new secret plan.

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  11. Rancid Crabtree says:

    Brian M, I have to say the “pish” is with the assertion tracking gun deaths and violence in America is all that hard. How hard would it be for an outfit like Slate or NPR to take the stories as received and break them down by type, such as stolen gun used by ex-convict already barred from possessing any gun using it in a crime or legally owned gun used by terminally ill person to commit suicide or criminal killed by police after firing on police or stray bullet fired in drive by shooting? I know for a fact police agencies compile this data, there’s no reason Slate or the guy that is actually compiling this info couldn’t do that too. It’s long been noted that FBI stats that are often used by anti-gun organizations include raw numbers with no proper breakdown, or nuance if you will, given to the numbers.

    Isn’t it logical to expect all the facts to be provided in such an important discussion?

    This document is dated back to the Clinton years but it provides some insight into actual breakdowns- http://www.ojjdp.gov/pubs/gun_violence/contents.html

    Things have changed since then, but if even the Reno Justice Department could recognize that ILLEGAL guns and people barred from possessing guns (convicted felons, youths) were the problem, then surely we can see the same evidence today.

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  12. The Original Larry says:

    PNElba,
    If you’ve got anything beyond sarcasm, now’s the time to roll it out. You liberals throw out tangential information as if it were at the heart of the controversy and then squeal when you’re called on it. Ridicule and sarcasm can’t disguise intentional misrepresentation of the facts. I suspect that you will continue to ratchet up the hysteria until you get what you want. I will continue to be suspicious of your motivation and goals until I am more comfortable with your methodology.

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  13. PNElba says:

    Larry -

    It gets pretty tiresome when you complain about someone using the same tactics that you constantly use. The difference is, when it gets out of hand, the NCPR webmaster calls for the liberals to ratchet down the rhetoric, but let’s the angry white man group have at it. Personally, I don’t care if I’ve hurt your sensibilities. I feel safe however in that you guys, like James Yeager, don’t know who I am or where I live. I will not be surprised, if during this national debate, some gun-loving nut doesn’t go after someone who wants to see some level of gun control.

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  14. Paul says:

    “If we pass an assault weapons ban and large clip ban, I would think that would be good and I think Obama is going to propose it”

    As I have said I agree. I wonder what they consider a “large clip”. I heard Cuomo say that you don’t need 10 shots to kill a deer (or if you do you have no business hunting!). He is right. Now is a gun like this Marlin (see link below) going to be made illegal. It has been around since the 60s, used primarily for small game hunting. It is semi-automatic and fires 22 caliber bullets (like what killed John Lennon). It has a capacity of 18 bullets including one in the magazine. If you cheated and loaded it with shorts it could probably hold maybe 25 bullets. Is it an assault weapon? I have seen a 22 that looks like an M16 it has something like a 10 shot clip, not quite “efficient” (to use Brain’s word) as the Marlin. It is easier to reload than this other gun I have the link to. Now once you ban the one that looks deadly why wouldn’t a nut job just get a few of these other sporting type guns which I seriously doubt would be banned. Once they do that wouldn’t the next ban need to be these kind of small game hunting rifles? Or any semi-automatic gun that has even a low capacity clip. You can always have multiple clips. They only take a second to put in, that is how many soldiers have to do it. Then what would be next? If you are going to solve this problem through gun regulation you will have to take some of the progressive steps that most lawmakers are claiming would never happen?

    http://www.marlinfirearms.com/Firearms/SelfLoading/60.asp

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  15. The Original Larry says:

    Ridicule, sarcasm, name-calling and hysterical accusations do not lend any credibility to your cause. The sad fact is that there is enough legitimate data to encourage reasonable compromise on safety issues but it seems you would rather bum-rush people into submission. Don’t you understand that tactics like that, which you justifiably complain about so bitterly about when they come from the far right, make your opponents suspicious and mistrustful? I see the same sentiment in many comments: you just don’t care.

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  16. PNElba says:

    “Ridicule, sarcasm, name-calling and hysterical accusations do not lend any credibility to your cause.”

    True enough, unless you are the “Original Larry” and then we can ignore the ridicule, sarcasm, and name-calling.

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  17. The Original Larry says:

    Nobody’s perfect, least of all me, but I have never misrepresented facts, intentionally or otherwise, and then said “So what?” when called on it. That’s what this is all about.

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  18. Ken Hall says:

    Larry, Your contention that Brian is using misleading data, inaccurate “facts” and inflammatory rhetoric because he used the term “handgun” in his article is equivalent to straw grasping by a drowning person. The convention of describing pistols as “handguns” and rifles as “long guns” is nothing more than semantics. To my knowledge virtually all homo sapiens hold, aim and discharge both pistols and rifles using their “hands” to accomplish same. There may be a vanishingly small number of armless individuals somewhere whom have become so proficient in the utilization of their feet and toes such that they are able to hold, aim and discharge both pistols and rifles using their feet; however, I have never heard of same.

    Arguing about justified versus not, (accidents, suicide, unintentional, ., ., .) belabors Brian’s point that a large number of “American” are killed by guns daily which for some reason appears to be beyond your, and numbers of others, ken.

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  19. Paul says:

    What happened to my comment?

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  20. Paul says:

    Never mind it is still there.

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  21. Mervel says:

    PNE,

    haha yeah I know that is not going to happen in that way, I don’t think most people really believe that will be how it goes down anyway. So if none of this is about regular non-military guns why are we caring about gun deaths involving these guns in the context of a gun control discussion?

    What I could see happening as a first step is the registration of all guns, handguns, shotguns, rifles. So if you own one you would have to go down and get a registration and go into a database. Then there would be limits on how many, and the process would start.

    I would be in favor of severe restrictions on military style guns, but the fact is military style guns are involved in a tiny fraction of the gun deaths Brain and Slate are talking about.

    Other than that; maybe states with a lot of violent gun deaths should talk to the states with less of this happening and see what they are doing. These deaths are not random, look at the chart in slate, they are focused in certain metropolitan areas and certain states. We don’t need a national policy for a local issue.

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  22. Mervel says:

    The Fed’s could also slap severe taxes on guns we don’t want widely distributed.

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  23. Paul says:

    Look if someone wants to look at my comment on the Marlin and explain how what I said is ridiculous then it will go a long way toward dissuading any fears that a sportsman or woman (including some of the gun control naysayers here) might have that this is just a small step in a larger number of “necessary” restrictions? Since I assume the idea of the debate is to move the needle on the other side, quit the name calling of each other and take crack at the question I raised.

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  24. Paul says:

    Mervel, It looks like Biden’s task force is leaning toward a federal registry. They don’t say that but he does say that there is some sort of consensus on universal background checks. And here is the kicker, INCLUDING for all private gun sales. The only way that could possibly work is to have a system similar to what we have for handguns in NYS. That would require some type of federal registry. So for example if you want to gift or will a gun to someone you will have to go through the same process or quickly find your self in jeopardy of becoming what I would imagine is a felon. Let’s not forget to budget for the huge database project and the additional beds we will need in federal correctional institutions. I understand that these guys want to act fast when this is on everyone’s radar (or we are all in a tizzy depending on your perspective) but they gotta think this through a little. When we get done we will have little money to spend on any of the other measures that could (also, again depending on your perspective) make a difference. My comments may sound sarcastic but I am quite serious. I don’t have a problem with the handgun process we have in NY but to do something similar on a federal level for all guns is a gargantuan task and one that we better make sure will do something to solve the gun violence problem we are supposed to be addressing. Biden said this morning that “if we can only save one life” we will do it and it will be worth it. I hope they know what they are doing.

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  25. Kathy says:

    I just listened to a former ex Navy Seal or a special ops Marine (not sure which) on the Limbaugh show. Before any liberal on here rolls their eyes, read on.

    He is 33 years old and sounded like he was 70. He served 4 tours in Iraq along with other deployments. Seven months ago he lost his leg and arm, along with a disfigured face. He called in to thank Rush for keeping him going during his recovery since the individual he shared a room with listened to the program. He turned a corner in his mental/emotional recovery because he was inspired by the content on Rush’s program. It reminded him of why he signed up for the military and it gave him the fight he needed to live.

    Now I could end it right there. Because who are any of us to judge what occurred in this man’s mind that gave him hope? But I won’t. Because listening to him inspired me as well.

    If Gov Cuomo can deliver a passionate and emotional speech, so can I.

    Whether you like it or not, a strong defense is why our nation is #1. We are fearless and devoted to the cause. Men such as this is what protect our freedoms. It began with the American Revolution and continued throughout American history. Did we get it right all the time? No. But there was always something bigger than life driving men and women in our military to risk death. Call it patriotism, call it foolishness, call it whatever you want. But as Alexander Hamilton said, “He who stands for nothing will fall for anything”. Misdirected zeal is foolish. But zeal in the name of defending and preserving freedom is not misdirected.

    Now before I get comments regarding the necessity of being involved with Iraq and Afghanistan in the first place, don’t bother. Don’t spin this. The man was doing what he believed in, had history to back him up, had America to back him up, and is not suffering because he shouldn’t have been there. He is a patriot.

    People can sit on their high horses in their ivory towers, protected by their own personal security, and make all kinds of laws. But as this veteran pointed out, most of the lawmakers are in it for themselves. The corruption, greed, and power is out of control – on both sides of the aisle. Are the American people really being represented? Let me put it this way: is America really being represented? Are American heroes looking down from the annals of history, cheering us on? Or are they grieving – asking themselves, Did we die in vain?

    I am not ashamed to be a part of the population, howbeit imperfect, who will stand firmly on principle and our founding documents. I do not take lightly the personal sacrifice of the founders during the 1st and 2nd Continental Congress as they grappled with what they knew must be the bedrock of a nation and future generations. Not like today, when a health care law is implemented and no one has read it. Or a president who flippantly signs executive orders or pushes Congress aside to advance his agenda.

    I don’t like the flippancy regarding this gun debate – pushing through legislation at the speed of lightening. Newtown shooting – horrible. But so is the recent story of a mother hiding in her attic with her 9 year old twins because of an intruder. Thank God her husband just showed her days before how to fire a gun. Because she shot the intruder and protected herself and her children.

    While I think the Founders could not possibly imagine life today, I do think they had common sense and wisdom regarding human nature. Additionally, we may not have a war on our soil like the American Revolution, but we don’t know what the future holds.

    And some of us think there is more behind this than banning assault weapons. The agenda is also clear that banning guns entirely is not such a bad idea.

    Gov. Cuomo shouted, ““No one hunts with an assault rifle. No one needs 10 bullets to kill a deer,” he said. “End the madness now!”

    I don’t think that’s what the authors of the 2nd amendment and the Supreme Court had in mind Mr. Cuomo.

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  26. PNElba says:

    Paul -

    I’ll take a crack at your question. First, the marlin 60 has a tubular magazine. Looks like it might take a bit longer to reload than popping in a fresh clip. Second, which cartridge do you think would likely be more fatal, a 22 long rifle or a .223 round. Personally, I have absolutely no problem with this rifle or its magazine size.

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  27. PNElba says:

    Mervel -

    I like the idea of requiring gun owners to hold liability insurance. The type of weapon they own would determine the insurance rate.

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  28. Paul says:

    Kathy, that was a good speech. I agree with lots of the same things you do at least I think I do? I am certainly no liberal. The founders did understand, like you do, that they could not predict what the future could hold. That is why they drafted a document that could evolve with their growing nation. As it has. Lawmaking is certainly not a pretty process by any means but I think that the founders have given us a process that allows for a system, albeit far from perfect, that allows laws to be made in a way that avoids many of the pitfalls (made in isolation etc.) that you describe. Like you, I have questioned the speed of this process, but today the vice president met with the NRA (along with many other stakeholders). We do not really have a more powerful force in the country when it come to opposition to gun control regulations. Other tan the speed issue, which additional parts of ‘America’ do you want to have at the table? This is the beginning of a long process. Even if executive orders are used to do some of these things, if they are illegal you can bet that many lawyers will be ready and willing to help defend the second amendment if necessary. I don’t think folks need to retreat to their bunkers just yet.

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  29. Paul says:

    PNElba, thanks. Like I said in the comment that gun is not quick to reload so you are right. At the kind of close range that these incidents occur a .223 is overkill. The result would have been almost identical with a .22. The calibers are almost identical the 223 has a muzzle velocity of 2700 fps where a 22 is 1700fps (I looked this up by the way I don’t work for the NRA!) but at close ranges there is basically no “need” for the larger round. 18 rounds that seems to fit the definition I am hearing of high capacity, bring two of these small rifles and you have 36 rounds…

    Why wouldn’t this be a potential target for future restrictions? Why wouldn’t the smaller fast loading clips not be a target as well if they are used. If a nut job locks the door behind him on the way in (as in Virginia Tech) he has all the time in the world.

    As far as liability insurance that is a good question. Most gun owners have liability insurance already through their home owners policy. They are always looking for ways to raise your rates so if it made sense they would probably do it. They don’t even seem to ask about the number of guns in the home? They do as the number of dogs you have these days and the types. Is gun ownership as big of a liability issues as some are trying to tell us??

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  30. Mervel says:

    “It looks like Biden’s task force is leaning toward a federal registry. They don’t say that but he does say that there is some sort of consensus on universal background checks. And here is the kicker, INCLUDING for all private gun sales.”

    The “War on Guns”, we need a gun czar, plus with pot being legalized we may soon have a lot of DEA and ATF agents that need something to do.

    As Paul points out the administrative burden of what it looks like Biden is proposing I think is going to be crazy, it will also turn a bunch of people into criminals who don’t want to be in a gun owners database that; as we have seen recently can be published with names and addresses on the internet.

    We have moved quickly from banning assault weapons and large clips to far-reaching gun restrictions on hunting guns and regular hand guns, which is what many of the conspiracy people said would happen, I disagreed, but maybe I was wrong.

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  31. PNElba says:

    Paul -

    If someone steals my rifle and uses it to injure 3 people, does the homeowners liability insurance protect me or pay medical bills? I’m talking about insurance that would be based on the type and number of guns owned. A shotgun or .22 (even a marlin 60) would cost very little to insure. Assault style weapons and handguns with high capacity would cost much more. Discounts would be given if you proved you owned a gun safe, gun locks or had a gun safety course.

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  32. The Original Larry says:

    Mervel,
    A national registry? Like sex offenders? One doesn’t need to be one of the “conspiracy people” to see what is clearly happening. Assault weapons and large magazines? Yeah, right.

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  33. Walker says:

    “A national registry? Like sex offenders?”

    OK, how about state registries, like with motor vehicles. We would just need some federal guidelines to make sure that adequate records exist.

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  34. PNElba says:

    I’m surprised the conservatives have yet to point out (falsely) that Obamacare forbids a national gun registry. It’s all over the right wing blogsphere. It does forbid health insurance companies from charging gun owners higher premiums unfortunately.

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  35. Ken Hall says:

    Paul, I will take a stab (pun intentional) at your comments about the Marlin (I own one also). If I am of a mind to do a bit of target shooting (I gave up small game hunting as a teenager some 55+ years ago as senseless to my way of thinking) I am far and away more likely to do it with the .22 vice the 30-06 on cost alone not to mention sound pressure overload and the potential range of the big rifle versus the .22 in the off hand chance of an errant round.

    The muzzle velocity and energy of various 40 grain bullets available as commercial .22LR cartridges range from slightly subsonic (1080fps) to slightly supersonic (1330fps; sonic at 70F about 1120FPS) about 100 to 180 ft lbs of kinetic energy. It appears the most common .223 round used by Bushmaster enthusiasts is a 55 grain bullet with a muzzle velocity of 3240 fps and a K.E. of about 1280 ft lbs. An AK-47 uses a 7.62 mm 125 grain projectile with a muzzle velocity of about 2365 FPS yielding a K.E. of 1550 ft lbs.

    As most civilian weapons attacks take place at relatively close range I believe we can ignore the slight loss of energy due to velocity drop as a result of fluid drag on the projectiles as they pass through the air toward their intended victims. It is likely that any politicians looking at the Bushmaster and the AK cartridge ballistics vice the .22LR are going to recognize that the .22 K.E. is on the order of 13 to 15 times less for the subsonic rounds and 7.1 to 8.6 times less for the fastest of the common cartridge and are not going to apply the same restrictions to all three equally.

    Obviously a .22LR or even a short can/have kill/killed humans however I do not recall any mass murders opting to use a .22 rim fire cartridge rifle over a Bushmaster/AK-47 center fire style or high rate of fire pistol in a mass murder attack. Most common center fire cartridge pistols pack 2 to 10 times or more the K.E. at the muzzle that a .22 rim fire does.

    As the Marlin style magazine is not remove and replace it would provide a significant impediment to the want to be mass murder during the reloading of. At a first blush how about registration and tracking of all rifles and pistols as well as magazines for weapons so constructed. Perhaps a restriction to one replaceable magazine per weapon would be a good place to start. The thought of “Big Brother” sniffing about does not warm my cockles either; however, since we appear unable, or at least not so inclined, to control the inappropriate use of these high rate of fire moderately powerful weapons I reckon he is going to be sniffing about.

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  36. Peter Hahn says:

    The last assault weapons ban didnt even include the Bushmaster. You guys should relax.

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  37. knuckleheadedliberal says:

    So I suggested about a hundred comments ago that maybe we should all just agree to make sure existing gun laws are enforced rigorously.

    Of course it isn’t my idea, I hear it again and again from all the people who are against any sort of new laws. It is the kind of suggestion that the NRA types always make. And the comment got some “likes” but (without careful review) I haven’t seen a chorus of people saying “yes, right on!”

    So it makes me wonder. Seems like this whole conversation should have been over with a long time ago. We should all be able to agree that we absolutely need to make sure every single law that is already in effect is enforced fully and see what the result is before any new laws are proposed.

    Why aren’t Conservatives joining me on this?

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  38. Ken Hall says:

    Kathy, As a ten year active duty Vet. and a 17+ year DoD civilian I will suppress my opinion of Mr. “dittohead” and address some of your contentions. You contend that “Defense” is what makes us “#1″; I put my life on the line and then some did you, your husband, your children? Perhaps you are of the same opinion of the vast majority of “Americans” including those who call themselves “patriots” that it is better for America’s “lower class” peoples to supply the cannon fodder for today’s military, they believe as did Dick Cheney that they/he have/had better things to do with their lives than enter the military service. Hell’s bells people get killed in the military. What if they were killed; how then would they live out the rest of their lives to become “all they can be”?

    You claim to be not ashamed to stand “firmly on principle and our founding documents”. I assume you are referencing the US Declaration of Independence and the US Constitution and it’s amendments as the founding documents from whence you draw the principles by which you stand. From your previous comments I conclude that you are a true believer in the invisible sky deity and firmly stand by the principles laid down by which ever brand of religion you subscribe to.

    In your school attending years were you ever made aware that there was a time 500-600 years back when the great churches of Europe declared that the Earth was the center of the Universe and that everything observed in the heavens proved such since it appeared to revolve about the Earth. Does this sacrosanct principal was the “Law” of the land which in fact caused a great confrontation between Galileo Galilei and the catholic church when he attempted to put the orientation of the Earth and the Sun in it’s currently comprehended orientation. Which principle do you currently subscribe to the modern cosmological understanding or the dictated principle of the church 5-600 years back? You, I must believe, subscribe to the current cosmological concepts of the Universe and not the old church edicts which the church started to move away from in the early 1700′s and completed the move in the early 1800′s.

    So there we have a principle subscribed to by millions and millions of folks for hundreds of years that were ultimately discovered to be incorrect and finally discarded. Is there any room in your world view to perhaps recognize that principles conceived of 250+ years ago by the so called “founding fathers” may not be as definitively applicable in today’s world as they appeared to apply at the time to the folks who conceived them? Paraphrasing what someone commented earlier “the purpose of the US supreme court is to interpret how the Constitution applies today”; perhaps it was you. Would it not make sense to redo such documents periodically to ensure that they more closely reflect current existences?

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  39. mervel says:

    I would join you, I agree lets enforce what we have. It is true that so many of our propositions are muddied by the fact that we are not enforcing our current laws, so who knows what works or not?

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  40. Paul says:

    Knuck, I agree. I also think maybe we should do some more things.

    Ken, I totally agree with most of what you wrote. Yes these mass murderes have not opted for the 22s (many other killers have). I think I said that they would be able to use these guns as an alternative IF an effective ban keeps the other guns out of their reach. Then you have to ban these. That is the main point I was trying to make.

    Mervel has a good point. If the focus was on mass shootings why does it look like the focus has, in a matter of days, switched to restrictions mainly on the type of guns that almost everyone here agrees are not part of that problem? The restrictions that the VP is talking about apply to the gun I describe above that everyone here says is not an issue???

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  41. knuckleheadedliberal says:

    Great, now where are Larry, Rancid, and JDM?
    Because I suspect there is nothing they will agree to even if it is their own idea.

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  42. Walker says:

    Here’s a thought– this all seems to be tied up in testosterone… let’s say you can have all the assault weapons you want, but they have to be pink.

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  43. Kathy says:

    Mr. Hall,

    An incorrect position regarding the universe and/or physical laws 500 years ago without the aid of the technology we have today, and the principles set forth in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, cannot be practically compared.

    It is true, a correlation may be made regarding the potential for mankind to be incorrect.

    It is untrue to conclude, because of that potential, we defy principles set forth whereby man has lived by. They are not necessarily physical laws, but they have a place of laying a foundation in which to be built upon.

    Six centuries ago, there was no history to explain the universe. Two centuries ago, there was.

    You asked: “Would it not make sense to redo such documents periodically to ensure that they more closely reflect current existences?”

    Yes. And that is what amendments are for.

    However, I do not advocate a living constitution, which is much more than making an amendment. There is an under current agenda of veering off course from the intent of the Founders for this nation. Secular progressives, et al, wish to create a very different country than what was initially intended.

    You can put a new engine in an old car, but you better make sure it’s the engine designed for that car.

    Additionally, the same measure you are using in this discussion, should be used for Gov. Cuomo and President Obama. What is their error? The statement I quoted earlier in Gov. Cuomo’s speech has nothing to do with the 2nd amendment. And President Obama seems to be speedily pushing an agenda which appears to be an opportunity to perhaps ban all gun ownership in the future – since that is what many in his camp would like.

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  44. The Original Larry says:

    KHL,
    For the record, I agree with you completely that existing laws should be enforced. Also, safety principles should be legislated (many already are) and enforced.

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  45. The Original Larry says:

    “So I suggested about a hundred comments ago that maybe we should all just agree to make sure existing gun laws are enforced rigorously.”

    KHL,
    The reason this didn’t happen was that in the aftermath of the Newtown shooting, liberal anti-gun types immediately began to scream that we need to ban guns, that conservatives always stop the conversation by claiming we have enough laws, that existing laws are insufficient, etc. So, we’ve been treated to quite a lot of reactionary hysteria instead. Your suggestion is reasonable, but it isn’t the conservative, pro-gun folks who are against it.

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  46. Rancid Crabtree says:

    Ken- re your 1/10 2:33 post- the difference is that handguns are meant to be fired one handed and rifles/long guns are meant to be fired from the shoulder. It’s not semantics when the original argument was about here was about so called “assault RIFLES” not handguns. And since the question was also put in terms of ending criminal use of guns, who and how the gun was used is very important. If the police shot 30% of the people killed by guns in a year that would have a large effect on “criminal” use if we didn’t know those numbers were included.

    So now we’re down to confiscation being talked about by Cuomo and use of Executive orders to take our rights by the WH. Now we’re down to limiting shotguns, handguns and other non-”assault weapons”. But we’re told not to worry, no one is trying to infringe on your rights. Sure.

    Knuckle, enforcing current laws would be fine. But that won’t exploit a crisis and gain additional power for the gov’t and that’s what this is all about.

    Hey, all you “we can’t have armed police in our schools!” types. All our colleges and universities have cops. Why not our schools? Sports stadiums have armed security as do banks, hospitals, municipal buildings, the Social Security Administration. Why not start having armed guards at malls and theaters. More jobs is good, right?

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  47. Walker says:

    “All our colleges and universities have cops.”

    Yes, like Virginia Tech, site of the deadliest shooting incident by a single gunman in U.S. history, with 32 people killed and 17 wounded, April 16, 2007.

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  48. knuckleheadedliberal says:

    “But that won’t exploit a crisis and gain additional power for the gov’t and that’s what this is all about.”

    I don’t think most people would agree with that, Rancid. I think that most people just want their kids to be safe.

    Larry (and Rancid), I am glad we are in agreement. So why isnt the NRA working actively to make sure that all laws are enforced? They have a lot of power. Why was their reaction to Newtown “we need armed guards?”

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