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The .223 Used Again

[ 204 ] December 25, 2012 |

Another horrible massacre, another high-powered rifle supported by the NRA used for the killing.

Chief Pickering also said that it was likely that the gunman used a semi-automatic rifle, one of three weapons recovered from the shooting scene, to kill the firefighters. He identifed the semi-automatic as a .223 Bushmaster rifle, the same weapon used in the school massacre in Newtown, Conn.

At the very least, can we make the ownership of this gun illegal?

Comments (204)

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  1. Brutusettu says:

    I think we’re all forgetting that the .223 isn’t even the most powerful caliber there is and some journalist somewhere called the AK-74 an “AK-47, a type of machine gun” plus mobile artillery are called tanks all the time by journalist and that shooter probably played video games, watched the History Channel at least once, is aware that there are atheist, truthfully didn’t pray in the streets enough like those good Pharisees, and probably shot at zombie targets, ergo arm the teachers and janitors.

    • Hogan says:

      And let’s not forget the literally thousands of times every day that Bushmaster .223s are used defensively, thus in the course of less than ten years saving the lives of every single American. Why do you want to see every single American dead? Is that an America you want to live in?

      • RepubAnon says:

        I’d be interested in more information on the “thousands of times each day that the AR-15 is used defensively. Are you counting the number of drug dealers who “defend themselves” from other drug dealers (or from the police) with AK-47s and AR-15s? How about all the US citizens killed or wounded from stray bullets?

        Here’s an idea: let’s give the Centers for Disease Control back the ability to conduct studies on whether firearms ownership saves more lives than it costs. Oh, that’s right, the gun lobby adamantly opposes non-biased studies on this topic.

        Here’s another idea: let’s ban marketing agreements between firearms manufacturers and video game companies.

        Links on the Medal of Honor site allowed visitors to click through on the Web sites of the game’s partners and peruse their catalogs.

        “It was almost like a virtual showroom for guns,” said Ryan Smith, who contributes to the Gameological Society, an online gaming magazine. After Mr. Smith and other gaming enthusiasts criticized the site, Electronic Arts disabled the links, saying it had been unaware of them.

    • wjts says:

      I think we’re all forgetting that the .223 isn’t even the most powerful caliber there is…

      Good point. Hell, somebody should probably go check – I bet those firefighters are still alive.

    • Major Kong says:

      It’s not the most powerful, but it combines power, accuracy, low recoil, plus it’s small and light enough to carry a bunch of them.

      It’s a lot of killing power in a small package and it doesn’t take a lot of practice to shoot it well.

      A 7.62 (.308 Winchester) is a more powerful round but you can’t carry nearly as many and it’s difficult to shoot them quickly because of the recoil.

      The old M-14 was supposed to be very difficult to fire on full auto for that reason.

      • Jon H says:

        “The old M-14 was supposed to be very difficult to fire on full auto for that reason.”

        Well, it also didn’t come standard with the forward grip, pistol grip, and other goodies that the AR has, though I guess you can get them for M-14s these days.

        • Eck! says:

          First try and get an M14. There are very few in public hands. The Military still uses them. The M14 is a the full auto in the same caliber as M1 Garand(WW2)with a few other changes. The caliber is the 30-06 same as the Springfield (WW1) rifle.
          The .308 is similar and also high powered.
          I’d consider the recoil notable but not uncontrollable but then never fired the M14 but then again the perps that committed the crimes didn’t shoot a machine gun either.

          FYI: the AR15 platform (or those evil black rifles that look alike) are available in every caliber from .22 up to big bore sizes. The .223 is common and has the most utility as a defensive and varmint weapon. A 30/30 lever gun is
          very close in power for short range and fire rates even for the 1894 versions
          can match most semi autos.

          For all intents though the shooter can do as much damage with the often considered lowly .22 cal rifle. Or start havoc with a can of gas.

          One small, little thing. The felon did 17 years for murder in the one case and back
          on the streets. What are the odds he would again?

          Eck!

          • asdfsdf says:

            Might as well get your facts straight. The M-14 is in 7.62mm NATO, which is 7.62x51mm. The M1 and BAR were in .30-06, which is 7.62x63mm. .30-06 is a long-range caliber suitable for sniping, but not really good for automatic fire without a heavy platform. The NATO ball ammos were designed for shorter ranges and lower recoil. The M14 went along with the various new NATO weapons of the 1950s and 60s, using 20 round magazines and medium-high powered rounds. Anything larger than 7.62×51 is sniper or big game ammo.

            The M16 and friends came about when the militaries decided that 7.62×51 was *still* too powerful for most battles, and a lighter round was necessary.

          • Random says:

            “For all intents though the shooter can do as much damage with the often considered lowly .22 cal rifle. Or start havoc with a can of gas.”

            Plenty of countries with no guns but readily available cans of gas, they just tend to have fewer murders per capita.

          • Jon H says:

            “A 30/30 lever gun is
            very close in power for short range and fire rates even for the 1894 versions
            can match most semi autos.”

            True, but tubular magazine lever-actions have smaller magazine capacity, and are significantly slower to reload since a full magazine can’t be swapped in so bullets have to be fed in one by one.

            And it probably takes a lot of practice with a lever action to get anywhere close to the firing rate of an AR-15 with any kind of accuracy.

            • Speak Truth says:

              Here’s the question no one is asking: “If the assault weapon ban is passed, would it have prevented any of these murders?”

              The ban was law for 10 years and yet, there is no evidence whatsoever that it prevented anything. In fact Columbine happened during that ban.

              What can you offer up that shows that an “assault weapon” ban would be more effective that it was in the past?

              And if you can’t, why would anyone wish to give up an explicit constitutional right if it doesn’t help anything?

              • Here’s the question no one is asking: “If the assault weapon ban is passed, would it have prevented any of these murders?”

                Depends on how it is written. The 1994 AWB was a weak, pointless piece of legislation, and it probably wouldn’t have prevented squat.

                Now, a ban on semiautomatic rifles and high-capacity magazines – a real assault weapons ban – would be a different story.

                What can you offer up that shows that an “assault weapon” ban would be more effective that it was in the past?

                The efficacy of actual assault weapons bans in other countries, like Australia.

          • Speak Truth says:

            One small, little thing. The felon did 17 years for murder in the one case and back on the streets. What are the odds he would again?

            LGM Commenters: “Who knew?”

            • spencer says:

              And yet he was still able to get his hands on a gun.

              Just like the (apparently) mentally ill Adam Lanza, who was unable to buy a gun legally in Connecticut and therefore had to steal legally-purchased guns from his mother.

              The gun laws we have just do not work, period. Guns still somehow manage to find their way from legit owners to people bent on using them for mass murder. The only laws that could have prevented Adam Lanza from getting his hands on those guns he took to Sandy Hook Elementary would be laws that prevented his “law abiding” mother from getting them as well.

              Do you not see how your own arguments make the case for much tighter controls on guns generally?

              • Speak Truth says:

                Do you not see how your own arguments make the case for much tighter controls on guns generally?

                Yes, but there is a constitutional right for individuals to possess these weapons and yet in your argument, you don’t address this. It’s like it’s so inconvenient to your agenda that you pretend it isn’t there. Also, there is no mention of the role of the system that won’t allow for forced hospitalization of the crazies.

                So, it doesn’t appear that you’re really interested in solving the problem, but rather have zeroed in on banning something and are using these murders as a convenient way to politicize and promote your anti-gun agenda.

                Fortunately, the second amendment protects me from people like you.

                Ted Kennedy’s car killed more people than my guns.

                • Malaclypse says:

                  Yes, but there is a constitutional right for individuals to possess these weapons

                  Like most rights, the Second Amendment right is not unlimited. It is not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose – Antonin Scalia, DC v. Heller.

                  My kingdom for a better quality of troll.

                • The Court’s opinion should not 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. Miller’s holding that the sorts of weapons protected are those “in common use at the time” finds support in the historical tradition of prohibiting the carrying of dangerous and unusual weapons. Pp. 54–56.

                  Even under Heller, there is no constitutional right to possess “these weapons.”

                  Also note that the Court provided no guidance on what “dangerous and unusual weapons” might mean, leaving it up to the legislature to define.

                • Hogan says:

                  Ted Kennedy’s Laura Bush’s car killed more people than my guns.

                  Updated that reference for you.

    • Halloween Jack says:

      It takes a very short trip to Wikipedia to note that one of the characteristics of the .223 (to a greater or lesser extent, depending on the specific cartridge and weapon) bullet is that it tumbles, that is, cartwheels through flesh, making a much worse wound than if it went straight through.

  2. Soylenth says:

    I’m curious how carrying a handgun would protect someone from a sniper. Or does the threat of snipers warrant drones circling the head of every citizen, ready to launch rockets in response to sniper fire?

    • Jon H says:

      Or “slap drones” ala Iain Banks’ novels. Tiny flying androids that hover near known criminals, waiting for them to do something wrong, in which case they take appropriate action.

  3. Adam Ek says:

    A Bushmaster .223 is not an assault rifle or a machine gun. It’s a practical hunting rifle for ranchers and farmers to kill coyotes, woodchucks and other vermin.

    As a convicted felon it was already illegal for the shooter in this article to own firearms. More firarms laws are not going to stop this problem. Enforcement of the existing laws are what’s needed.

    • Voice of reason says:

      It’s apparent that Erik knows little about the subject matter.

      • Hugo Torbet says:

        But you won’t change his mind with reasoned analysis. Nor can you change the minds of all of the other people who permit their emotions to convince themselves that the way to address social problems is to abridge the Constitution. These folks have no use for facts.

        One guy, allegedly, tried to bring a shoe bomb onto a plane. Now everyone must submit to shoe removal at the airport gate. This is emblematic of how America makes law today.

        • Jon H says:

          You seem to have abridged the “well regulated militia” right out of the Constitution, replacing it in your mind with “any yahoo who gets off on pretending to be a soldier”.

          • timb says:

            +2

            Read the Heller decision, gun nut, even ol’ Nino believes the Constitution gives the government powers to regulate the hell of out of guns

          • Speak Truth says:

            http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/07-290.ZS.html

            Held:

            1. The Second Amendment protects an individual right to possess a firearm unconnected with service in a militia, and to use that arm for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home. Pp. 2–53.

            (a) The Amendment’s prefatory clause announces a purpose, but does not limit or expand the scope of the second part, the operative clause. The operative clause’s text and history demonstrate that it connotes an individual right to keep and bear arms. Pp. 2–22.

            (b) The prefatory clause comports with the Court’s interpretation of the operative clause. The “militia” comprised all males physically capable of acting in concert for the common defense. The Antifederalists feared that the Federal Government would disarm the people in order to disable this citizens’ militia, enabling a politicized standing army or a select militia to rule. The response was to deny Congress power to abridge the ancient right of individuals to keep and bear arms, so that the ideal of a citizens’ militia would be preserved. Pp. 22–28.

            (c) The Court’s interpretation is confirmed by analogous arms-bearing rights in state constitutions that preceded and immediately followed the Second Amendment . Pp. 28–30.

            (d) The Second Amendment ’s drafting history, while of dubious interpretive worth, reveals three state Second Amendment proposals that unequivocally referred to an individual right to bear arms. Pp. 30–32.

            (e) Interpretation of the Second Amendment by scholars, courts and legislators, from immediately after its ratification through the late 19th century also supports the Court’s conclusion. Pp. 32–47.

            (f) None of the Court’s precedents forecloses the Court’s interpretation. Neither United States v. Cruikshank, 92 U. S. 542 , nor Presser v. Illinois, 116 U. S. 252 , refutes the individual-rights interpretation. United States v. Miller, 307 U. S. 174 , does not limit the right to keep and bear arms to militia purposes, but rather limits the type of weapon to which the right applies to those used by the militia, i.e., those in common use for lawful purposes. Pp. 47–54.

            • Hogan says:

              You always stop just before the good part:

              2. Like most rights, the Second Amendment right is not unlimited. It is not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose: For example, concealed weapons prohibitions have been upheld under the Amendment or state analogues. The Court’s opinion should not 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. Miller’s holding that the sorts of weapons protected are those “in common use at the time” finds support in the historical tradition of prohibiting the carrying of dangerous and unusual weapons. Pp. 54–56.

              • Speak Truth says:

                If you believe that authorities will ban everything but muzzleloading muskets, you’re dreaming, son.

                The trend has been to relax gun laws, not tighten them. D.C., Chicago, concealed carry across the nation.

                While the court didn’t rule it out…ain’t gonna happen.

                • Malaclypse says:

                  Shorter JenBob: the fact that even Scalia says the Second Amendment is not an unlimited right is further proof that it is indeed an unlimited right. This is central to my point.

        • Random says:

          “One guy, allegedly, tried to bring a shoe bomb onto a plane. Now everyone must submit to shoe removal at the airport gate. This is emblematic of how America makes law today.”

          If around 40,000 Americans were killed every single year with shoe bombs, nobody would argue the utility of making people take them off before boarding a plane. Please learn to count before making dumb arguments.

        • Halloween Jack says:

          Odd. I seldom see you and many of the others who show up in these gun-related posts on other occasions when civil liberties are being discussed and firearms aren’t directly involved.

      • sharculese says:

        Whereas derailing any conversation by indignantly stammering about ‘emotionalism’ is the sign of cold cold Vulcan logic.

        • DrDick says:

          Or NRA induced premanent traumatic brain damage. My bet is on the latter.

        • Hugo Torbet says:

          The reason why the American people are so repressed today is because very often in fits of emotion, the American people have agreed to or acceded to unwise restrictions on their Constitutional birthright.

          Look at the Patriot Act. The few people who spoke up against that atrocity were shouted down by people who convinced themselves they wanted to be safer and that the government could be trusted not to abuse its authority.

          It won’t be long before everything you say, write, do, and buy is monitored and logged in electronic files. Congratulations on your progress. I am certain that your forefathers are proud of you.

      • timb says:

        Erik does know a lot about trolls and their love of pancakes.

        I too love pancakes, especially with a side of home fires

    • wjts says:

      It’s a practical hunting rifle for ranchers and farmers to kill coyotes, woodchucks and other vermin.

      Vermin like firefighters and kindergarteners?

    • Turbulence says:

      Convicted felons in NY can fill out a form and request that the state allow them to own firearms again. Provided that they haven’t been convicted of new crimes since their release, the state usually does so.

      • Speak Truth says:

        Convicted felons in NY can fill out a form and request that the state allow them to own firearms again.

        Few conservative states give felons their rights back…and for good reason.

        • bradP says:

          for good reason.

          They are embarrassed they couldn’t kill them?

        • spencer says:

          Much of New York is actually fairly conservative.

        • Hogan says:

          Yes, the NRA would never stand for that.

          While previously a small number of felons were able to reclaim their gun rights, the process became commonplace in many states in the late 1980s, after Congress started allowing state laws to dictate these reinstatements — part of an overhaul of federal gun laws orchestrated by the National Rifle Association. The restoration movement has gathered force in recent years, as gun rights advocates have sought to capitalize on the 2008 Supreme Court ruling that the Second Amendment protects an individual’s right to bear arms. . . .

          When Senator David F. Durenberger, a Minnesota Republican, realized after the law passed that thousands of felons, including those convicted of violent crimes, in his state would suddenly be getting their gun rights back, he sought the N.R.A.’s help in rolling back the provision. Doug Kelley, his chief of staff at the time, thought the group would “surely want to close this loophole.”

          But the senator, Mr. Kelley recalled, “ran into a stone wall,” as the N.R.A. threatened to pull its support for him if he did not drop the matter, which he eventually did.

          “The N.R.A. slammed the door on us,” Mr. Kelley said. “That absolutely baffled me.”

    • Jon H says:

      Yes, that’s why the US military uses .223 rifles that are identical apart from the rate of fire.

      Because they expect the troops to encounter nothing mroe dangerous than an enraged marmot.

    • Jon H says:

      You can’t illegally obtain a firearm that doesn’t exist. You can’t steal an AR-15 that isn’t in the home you’re burgling.

    • Vance Maverick says:

      It’s a practical hunting rifle for ranchers and farmers to kill coyotes, woodchucks and other vermin.

      So how does buying one constitute a reissuance of one’s man card? Woodchucks are not very impressive mounted as trophies.

    • Sly says:

      This is probably the dumbest argument in all of the gun control discussion. “Because X can be used for Y, it follows that X must be legal because Y is legal.” You know what else is really good for clearing out coyotes and wild rabbits? Hand grenades.

      To effectively hunt vermin or small game, you need a weapon that fires at a flat trajectory and has low recoil. The AR-15 platform gives you that. It also gives you a high rate of fire and high capacity magazine support, neither of which are all that useful for shooting prairie dogs but they evidently come in real handy if your goal is to mow down a room full of six year olds or a crowded movie theater.

      Plus, the Bushmaster gives you the look, feel, and utility of the M4 carbine. It does that because it was designed to do that. None of which is useful for killing ground hogs or first graders, but does provide weird sexual validation.

      • Warren Terra says:

        I’m glad to see people coming around to my way of thinking: 300 million guns have inexplicably failed to stop the gun violence in our country, and the logical answer is: hand grenades.

        • asdfsdf says:

          Shrapnel is difficult to see, and thus lacks the proper deterrence effect. I propose White Phosphorus grenades. And god help the UN, they can pry my “chemical weapons” from my cold, dead hands.

          • RhZ says:

            chemical weapons are ‘arms’, right?

            Harrumpf on the white phosphorus, too.

            • Linnaeus says:

              chemical weapons are ‘arms’, right?

              The answer you will get is that “arms” means the standard equipment of an infantryman. Of course, this is not explicitly stated and is therefore an example of interpretation, which is precisely what we’re not supposed to be doing because of originalism, blah, blah, blah…

        • Bexley says:

          I never go anywhere without my mutated anthrax – for duck hunting.

    • Major Kong says:

      A .270 is equally practical for hunting vermin but I guess it doesn’t come with a man card.

    • pop says:

      Thirty years on the farm, and I nor anyone I know has ever said they were going woodchuck hunting. For us, hunting was reserved for animals you intended to eat whereas varmits were killed because they are a nuisance. I killed many a woodchuck as a boy and young man and no one I know ever used an AR-15 or other faux military rifle. Maybe because for us it was just another chore instead of a an opportunity to get one’s jollies.

    • Chet Murthy says:

      Do. Not. Feed. The. Troll.

    • TruthOfAngels says:

      A Bushmaster .223 is not an assault rifle or a machine gun. It’s a practical hunting rifle for ranchers and farmers to kill coyotes, woodchucks and other vermin. shooting small children.

      FTFY, dickweed.

    • DrDick says:

      Right. Because the original was developed and designed by the military to deliver a high rate of fire in combat situations against human beings.

    • A Bushmaster .223 is not an assault rifle or a machine gun.

      It’s a semiautomatic rifle. I’m not sure why you’re throwing around irrelevant terminology.

      It’s a practical hunting rifle for ranchers and farmers to kill coyotes, woodchucks and other vermin.

      What exactly does this sentence mean? You can use this rifle to kill coyotes, woodchucks, and other small animals? Ok, we’ve now confirmed that it’s a rifle…and? So are the many, many varieties of bolt-action rifles that don’t have high-capacity magazines inserted into them.

    • Belle Waring says:

      The bolt-action version of the .223 might be a good rifle to shoot varmints with. But if you need a Bushmaster semi-automatic with an extended magazine, and a grip that looks like it last saw action in Ramadi to shoot a goddamn woodchuck, you’re a dumbass and you should give up farming or ranching while there’s still time for someone to gently lead you inside when it rains, so’s you don’t drown. Christ, my dad can shoot a mouse in the eye with a .22 and you don’t see him whining about needing a semi-automatic. He just stays up all night reading and cradling the gun, with a bunch of saltines crunched up on the ground, like a real American. Something I suspect you wouldn’t know anything about, Adam.

    • spencer says:

      As a convicted felon it was already illegal for the shooter in this article to own firearms.

      What about Adam Lanza, who was a) not a felon, and b) still couldn’t manage to purchase a gun and therefore had to steal his law-abiding mother’s legally-purchased guns?

      Stricter gun laws sure as shit would have prevented *that* shooting – or at the very least, made it a hell of a lot less bloody.

      • Spud says:

        Stricter laws would have kept Lanza’s mom from stockpiling weapons the way she did.

        If the assault rifle wasn’t in general circulation to begin with, Lanza would not have been able to steal it.

    • Walt says:

      We need stricter laws because apparently fine upstanding gun-owners like yourself can’t help but provide them to criminals.

    • pseudonymous in nc says:

      It’s a practical hunting rifle for ranchers and farmers to kill coyotes, woodchucks and other vermin.

      Like small children? That’s harsh.

      It’s funny, though, how the gun-nutz have decided to piss all over Bushmaster’s marketing campaign by saying that the manly manly man-card-bestowing manly rifle for manly men is a mere varmint-botherer.

  4. Anonymous says:

    And everyone can start turning the gun and not substitute it with the next best thing.

  5. RepubAnon says:

    Another argument against the need for not-quite-military-grade hardware for self defense: New Orleans and the Danziger Bridge shootings.

    In a grisly account, prosecutors said four of the defendants — Sgt. Kenneth Bowen, Sgt. Robert Gisevius, Officer Anthony Villavaso and former Officer Robert Faulcon — had raced to the bridge in a Budget rental truck that morning, responding to a distress call from another officer.

    There they poured out of the truck and opened fire, without pausing or giving a warning, on members of the Bartholomew family, who were walking to a grocery in the largely abandoned city. James Brisette, 17, a friend of the family, was killed, and four others were gravely wounded by the police, who kept firing as the Bartholomews raced for safety.

    These were trained police officers – imagine what would have happened if a bunch of heavily-armed civilians were thrown into the mix – on both sides? Panicked armed citizens fleeing their homes confronted by other panicked armed civilians defending their homes.

    How would the news reports characterize whether the dead were members of armed gangs or heroic homeowners defending their families?

    • Jon H says:

      Didn’t Indiana just pass a law making it legal to “stand your ground” against police?

      And of course there’s also the problem of home invaders falsely claiming to be police, and police who don’t identify themselves during no-knock raids.

      • Murc says:

        I believe, but am not certain, that the Indiana law simply makes it explicitly legal to resist violently if the police are committing crimes against you, the same as you’d be allowed to do is any other citizen did.

        I personally don’t have a problem with this, assuming my understanding of said law is correct.

        • Warren Terra says:

          But you already had those rights, didn’t you? Doesn’t that make the law just a rather repellent example of anti-government paranoia?

          • Murc says:

            But you already had those rights, didn’t you?

            There’s some doubt about that, actually. Prosecutors have successfully convicted people on the grounds that if the cops, without a warrant, toss flash-bangs in your windows and storm your home without announcing themselves, YOU are guilty of all sorts of crimes if you defend yourself.

            The Cory Maye prosecution is one example of this.

            Basically, there is legitimate concern that cops, abetted by prosecutors, are trying to embed legal standards that basically say if you carry a badge, you can do no wrong. It is reasonable to push back against this legislatively.

          • witless chum says:

            It might be motivated by that, but putting that explicitly into the law might not be such a bad thing anyways.

        • Jon H says:

          Unfortunately, the people most likely to invoke this law in their own defense are the type who would open fire on police for “attempting to enforce Agenda 21″ when they’re just responding to a domestic disturbance next door.

        • Major Kong says:

          I’m sure it’s all too easy for the police to arrange things after the fact so that they weren’t committing crimes against you.

        • BigHank53 says:

          I’m sure that law will make you feel much better, too, after the cops call the SWAT team and shoots you thirty or forty times.

          Maybe your heirs will feel better.

  6. Incontinentia Buttocks says:

    If man-cards are oulawed, only outlaws will have man-cards!

  7. Simon says:

    Eric, this is one of your most uniformed post. If this post was meant to be just a rant and not a serious policy proposal, it should be label as such. Banning just one caliber or just one type of .223 rifle is not going to do anything. He could have used a different cartridge or a different rifle with the same result. This rant resembles some of the right wing rants that you frequently, and often hilariously excerpt

    • Major Kong says:

      True, but a .223 semi-auto with multiple 30-round magazines is designed to let you put as much lead downrange in the shortest possible time.

      We could at least limit the amount of firepower available for this sort of thing.

    • Jon H says:

      It’s interesting that pro-gun-control statements bring out the gun nerds.

      The nitpicking about details reminds me of ultra-anal Trek fans complaining that a writer got some obscure detail wrong in the discussion about the episode “The Corbomite Maneuver”, or Star Wars nerds arguing about proper details for a replica lightsaber.

      • Eck! says:

        Jon, If your going to write laws some knowledge is useful. OR you can trust it to the ones that think a barrel shroud is the thing that goes up.

        FYI even the .223(busmaster) and the 5.56 (mil/nato)are not fully interchangeable as the chamber shape is different and wrong ammo in one can damage the firearm.

        Of course if someone bans the .223 and stops there and XYZ gun company make a .226 it’s legal maybe and also unintended consequence.

        How about we ban the evil black rifle and all, is a mini-14 or maybe a long list of others in wood trim ok? For those non-gun people, look up Ruger mini-14.

        If you going to want laws and most here will do not one thing further than vote for their favorite guy you might what to at least hope he knows the difference between a bullet and a cartridge. After all the gun free zone this surely doesn’t work.

        Eck!

        • Warren Terra says:

          You are deliberately using minutia to obscure the issue we are actually talking about: rapid-firing high-capacity weapons designed to be fired from the hip are useful only in killing a large number of human beings. Even in terms of self-defense, they’re only really useful in a sustained firefight, perhaps with multiple opponents. The only reason these exist in the civilian market is to feed peoples’ fantasies of fighting off the government, or perhaps roving bands of thugs or zombies in a situation where there is no government. These features aren’t useful in hunting, in scaring off a burglar, or in other legitimate purposes. The precise details of the caliber and the wood trim simply aren’t interesting, or relevant.

          • GFW says:

            Bingo. Most burglars are scared off by motion activated lights, which are really cheap. But even if one were dealing with an exceptionally persistent burglar, the best home defense weapon would have high stopping power with limited potential to go through two walls (so you don’t hurt your neighbors). Hence, probably a shotgun with buckshot. The .223 is simply not designed for home defense.

            • witless chum says:

              Or a dog barking.

              My dog sounds like the one from The Sandlot, though he’s really just 65 pound golden/shepherd/??? mix with a somewhat overexpansive sense of his pack’s territory. I’m sure he contributes much more to my lack of being burgled than my 12 gauge, unloaded in the back of the closet does.

            • J. Pedersen says:

              High stopping power and limited ability to go through walls is contradictory. Buckshot will penetrate more than .223 as the rifle round. This was tested by the “box o’ truth” website. Non exactly scientific, but convincing. It is also what many SWAT teams have moved to. Just sayin’

          • Sherm says:

            Absolutely correct. The only prey one hunts with such a weapon is humans. Ban the fucking things.

          • DocAmazing says:

            The precise details of the caliber and the wood trim simply aren’t interesting, or relevant.

            Yet these are the sorts of things that find their way into legislation, thanks to lawmakers who don’t bother to study what they’re making laws about (see also: Healthcare). The Assault Weapons Ban was unpopular and less-effective exactly because so much of it was devoted to banning scary-looking things, like pistol grips and flash-hiders, and not paying attention to ways to get around the useful parts (it was, for example, quite legal to purchase all of the components of high-capacity magazines, but not legal to buy one assembled). Again, if you’re just off-gassing, write whatever you like, but if you’re interested in effecting real change, you need to pay attention to details. Additionally, there is a large shooting public who would support some firearms restriction as long as you don’t spook them. Making sweeping uninformed statements spooks them; so does using words like “ban”. If Uncle Ted with the old .30-30 lever action thinks that firearms laws are being made by people who a) don’t know enough about firearms to leave his old rifle alone, or b) want to snatch his old rifle, then Uncle Ted is going to vote for Wayne LaPierre’s candidates. That is not a preferable outcome.

            • Warren Terra says:

              There is a real question about pistol grips, which were the point of my line about shooting from the hip; this is the purpose of a pistol grip. Other than that, a lot of what you describe is the result not of incompetence but of sabotage: it was politically unfeasible to ban the extended magazines that have no purpose other than warfare and mass slaughter, so the ban on the sale of newly manufactured extended magazines was fatally flawed in a number of respects.

              • J. Pedersen says:

                I do not know what makes you think that a pistol grip is used for shooting from the hip. I am sure it is not experience. A pistol grip is generally regarded as being more ergonomic and offering better control. Traditional hunting rifles have pistol grips that differ more in appearance than utility from an “assault” weapon. Not trying to get bogged down in the minutaie but just wanted to point this out.

        • Thers says:

          If your going to write laws

          If you going to want laws

          Maybe you should not be writing anything.

        • Jon H says:

          “Jon, If your going to write laws some knowledge is useful.”

          I wasn’t aware that blogs had become part of the process of drafting legislation.

        • Major Kong says:

          The military uses high capacity magazines because most shots fired in actual combat are intended to pin the enemy down.

          Artillery is what does most of the killing. Infantry pins them down with small arms fire and then calls in the heavy stuff on them.

          I can think of few instances in civilian life where I might need to “fire to suppress”.

      • Bill Cross says:

        My favorite in this vein is Patton Oswalt’s Physics for Pets

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NGk-4m1PFo4

      • mds says:

        The nitpicking about details reminds me of ultra-anal Trek fans complaining that a writer got some obscure detail wrong in the discussion about the episode “The Corbomite Maneuver”,

        I think we can all agree that if only the Enterprise had been sufficiently heavily armed, Kirk wouldn’t have had to converse with a creepy dwarf.

    • DocAmazing says:

      There’s some truth to this. There are .223 bolt-action rifles on the market, and even single-shot .223 target pistols. The ammo isn’t the issue.

      Again, if you think this is nit-picking, tell it to the NRA’s lawyers–they triumph over badly written laws due to inaccuracies. Second, your credibility with the gun-owning public suffers–imagine if I, as a pedestrian and bicyclist, called for banning 91-octane gasoline because it is used by street racers.

      Call for a ban on the AR-15, by all means. Call for a ban on Bushmaster products. Calling for a ban on a specific type of cartridge is pretty wide of the mark.

      • Jon H says:

        And hunting rifles often use larger calibers. .308 Winchester is essentially the same size as the 7.62mm fired by the AK-47 or the M-60 machine gun.

        • Linnaeus says:

          Careful – someone’s bound to point out that the 7.62 mm cartridge that the AK-47 uses is slightly different than the 7.62 NATO cartridge that the M-60 uses. Not that it really matters in this particular discussion.

          • Erik Loomis says:

            OMG, I almost hate to bring up these gun issues precisely because so many commenters will indeed make a big deal out of something like this. Similarly, although I love teaching the Civil War course because I can set the agenda, I hate talking about the Civil War with random people for this basic reason.

    • Vance Maverick says:

      If your objection is literally only that Erik had some facts wrong, then straighten him out constructively, with reference to his words. (Was “high-powered” somehow technically inapt?) On the other hand, if your objection is actually to the policy tendency of his remark, then lay that out likewise.

    • herr doktor bimler says:

      Eric, this is one of your most uniformed post

      The epaulettes and the medals really made it stand out.

    • Snarki, child of Loki says:

      Okay, you can keep the .223 semi-auto, but only if you use 30-06 ammo in it.

      Satisfied now?

  8. c u n d gulag says:

    The killer used this gun, because he wasn’t an idiot – he was a killer, who wanted to kill.

    And it’s a lot easier killing people with one of these, then trying to bludgeon them to death with a game controller.

  9. Chris Walsh says:

    A .223 was not used in Connecticut. Watch your liberal news source on this as they had more than 15 errors on their “news” coverage.

    If you want to disregard our constitution, how about you get the fuck out of here? Maybe Australia where crimes have SOARED without guns? Stupid trash ass people.

  10. Pinko Punko says:

    Anyone remember the Beltway sniper used a Bushmaster XM-15 semiautomatic .223?

    Imagine what Bushmaster’s ad agency has to work with.

    • N__B says:

      “All the most famous murderous scum use ours…”

    • Warren Terra says:

      I had assumed (and haven’t checked) that the Beltway Sniper used single aimed shots at long range – i.e. what you could do with a weapon perfectly suited to hunting, and not designed for mass murder. If he happened to use a weapon poorly suited for this purpose, or better suited for mass-murder, it might speak to the militaristic marketing of the weapon but still wouldn’t be relevant to the way that weapon is designed to shoot multiple people at fairly short range. I don’t think we really want to start a debate about hunting rifles.

      • Jon H says:

        The AR-15 is probably easier to manage in the close confines of a car trunk.

        I don’t think the ranges were terribly long, probably not more than a couple hundred yards. It’s just that the cover they used (the car_ made it hard to see who was shooting or where it was coming from.

      • Pinko Punko says:

        Guess what, he used a Bushmaster and it was not designed for long range. He was a nutso shooting people out of his car trunk. Didn’t have to be that far away. Also was not shooting people from movie sniper type vantage points.

      • BigHank53 says:

        It’s not that hard to sight in a Bushmaster at a couple hundred yards. The .223 is a sub-optimal cartridge for long-range use–it’s a light bullet and tends to get blown around. It also loses velocity and drops quickly at extended range. Had John Muhammad been seriously interested in sniping, he would have purchased (or stolen) a Remington 700, a popular bolt-action hunting rifle. One of its variants is the M24, which is the US military’s sniper rifle.

        It seems pretty apparent the Bushmaster was selected for its resemblance to the M16, and its concommitant penile enhancement.

    • Imagine what Bushmaster’s ad agency has to work with.

      These episodes make their guns more attractive to Bushmaster’s target audience.

  11. 2liberal says:

    LINK for URI president comment re: loomis and NRA

    somewhat OT but also somewhat related

    “In Sunday’s statement, Dooley writes that the university believes Loomis’s remarks are intemperate and inflammatory, but also constitutionally protected.”

  12. gilgamesh says:

    Loomis adores the imperious nature of classroom protocols it’s a safer environment .

  13. Origami Isopod says:

    Speaky, just come out of the closet already, wouldja? It gets better!

  14. bradP says:

    The end game is extremely tough here and will be a complete failure with that kinda “whack-a-mole” regulation. I don’t know much about guns, but it seems like this Bushmaster .223 is a pretty popular gun, and I’m guessing a lot of that popularity has to do with its niche of edging up against existing gun regulations. Banning it may just cause the sales of a minutely less lethal weapon to skyrocket.

    A cursory glimpse at past prohibition efforts shows that simply making something illegal will not take it out of circulation. And if it something our society really has an affinity for, the costs of trying to remove it from circulation could have much, much higher social costs than tolerating it.

    • Linnaeus says:

      That may very well be the case. My stepfather made a similar point to me the other day; he said that you could stop making guns tomorrow, but there’s so many already out there that they’d continue to circulate. He’s not against gun regulation at all, but worries that it may be too late for some kinds of regulation.

      It’s possible that American society has just become too inured to gun violence. Particularly if it’s happening in other people’s neighborhoods.

      • bradP says:

        That’s pretty much where I’m at.

        Any sort of ban is going to be met with complete defiance by many, and the police are going to have to have some enforcement with teeth to make the ban meaningful.

        At that point, gun rights aren’t the only rights we should be concerning ourselves with.

      • witless chum says:

        Yeah, this is where I think we are, too. But I’m not sure it means we shouldn’t start trying to take some steps to try to reverse the trend. Banning or heavily restricting large capacity magazines seems like the place to start, as it wouldn’t really infringe on hunting guns. Making our spree killers reload more often isn’t much, but it’s something.

        • Linnaeus says:

          I agree. The fact that some regulation may not be possible or may be very difficult to enact doesn’t mean that other kinds of regulation shouldn’t be considered. I’d rather do that than accept mass shootings as something that “just happens”.

          • bradP says:

            I’d rather do that than accept mass shootings as something that “just happens”.

            From the other side, I just hope we take some lessons from past prohibitions, recognize that enforcing bans like this has some costs, and make sure you can actually have a plan to improve the situation before turning law enforcement loose with a new mandate.

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