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Gun Nut of the Day


Shorter Glenn Reynolds: “Data is the plural of anecdotes that don’t even prove my point.”

…then, of course, there’s this kind of anecdotal evidence.

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  • c u n d gulag

    In all fairness, one never knows when one will need a 30 bullet magazine.

    One day, one may have to expertly pick-off 25 team members, the manager, and coaches, with one bullet for each, of a ‘Joint Crips & Bloods Touring Baseball Team,’ who, after games with the local white-9, go on home invasion and killing sprees.
    Of course, if the players on IR are traveling along, one might still be screwed anyway.

    • DrDick

      If you need more than one or two shots to stop an intruder, you best not have a loaded gun in the house lest you hurt yourself or an innocent bystander. If you absolutely have a gun for self defense (a statistically stupid move), get a fucking 12-gauge shotgun loaded with #8 buckshot, so you do not actually have to aim.

      • Davis X. Machina

        I saw a debate case years ago that re-legalized sawn-off shotguns, and banned everything else shorter than 24 1/2″.

        Negatives were hard-pressed to come up with civilian purposes for firearms that were much shorter than that where the sawn-off wasn’t a better choice. Besides holding up liquor stores and such, that is…

      • Warren Terra

        Forget whether you should need 6 or 12 shots to bring the intruder down – honestly, do you even need to hit the intruder? Unless they’re seriously crazed, a warning shot or two should send them running; actually shooting them wouldn’t even seem to be the first priority.

        • The Tragically Flip

          For gun nuts, everyone who might break into your house must be assumed to be Hannibal Lecter wearing military grade body armour – a fearless psychopath intent on murdering your whole family in the most gruesome manner who can only be stopped by massive lethal force by the largest calibre rounds on the market in the greatest quantity possible.

          It’s Cheney’s 1% doctrine. They really are just in perpetual terror of everything.

          • cpinva

            for personal home protection, i have a 20mm, electric gatling gun, capable of firing 1,000 rounds a minute. a combination of armor piercing/explosive shells, with belt feed, seem to handle most forms of intrusion. it requires a two-man team, one carrying the gun/handling fire-control duties, the other carting the 10,000 round ammo case and battery. oh, every 6th round is a tracer, in case of night home invasions. sure, it might seem a little over the top, but you can never be too safe.

            it can also be mounted on the hood of my car, connected to a dash-mounted trigger, with power provided by the car battery.

            i was going to go for the 40mm version, but the ammo cost is a budget buster.

      • greylocks

        That’s not really the case, although I think what you really meant is that a shotgun is easier to aim. (See below)

        At close range, the shot hasn’t spread enough to significantly reduce the need for accurate aiming. As range increases, the spread increases, but so does the error of the shooter, so it’s something of a tradeoff.

        Having said that, I always had pump-action shotguns for home defense when I was living in the coutry and would never consider confronting an intruder with a handgun. Reasons:

        (1) One shot from a 12-gauge has 10x the stopping power of a single shot from a .38 or 9mm, and you may not get more than one shot, a point often lost on the handgun jerkoffs.

        (2) While you still have to aim, it’s a lot easier to aim any long gun than any handgun. Just point the barrel in the right direction and you have a decent chance (I assume this is what you meant). With a handgun, you’re probably going to miss unless you raise the weapon to eye level and use the sights. Even then, you’ll probably miss. Most police rounds fired in action miss.

        (3) A 12-gauge is a really fkn scary thing to be staring down the barrel of. It looks like a German 88 when it’s pointed at you.

        (4) The sound of the pump action cycling is a well-known audio deterrent.

  • DrDick

    They not only let this bozo teach law, they made him a “distinguished professor of constitutional law.”

    • dp

      He’s one of the few actual examples of an idiotic, teat-sucking government employee.

      • Warren Terra

        Serious question: is a state university “the government”? Aren’t they typically structured as non-profit institutions that get money from and have officers appointed by the state? The workers are typically not AFSCME, I think, and there are administrative barriers between the “government” and the university.

        • elm

          As a professor at a southern state school, I’m officially a state employee. When the state government changed it’s retirement contributions for all state employees, it affected all faculty (and staff) at the university as well. The state prohibits government agencies from paying moving expenses for new employees; thus, the university gets around this by hiring new faculty as temporary researchers the summer before they start their job and pay them whatever their moving expenses were. And so on.

          We do have a separate jpb categorization, so the government can target us (or exclude us) as it wishes, and we bargain through a separate union (which isn’t that odd. State police, for instance, aren’t represented by AFSCME, nor are other employees who have their own specific union), but we are legally employees of the state.

          I previously taught in the New York system, where this was also true. I had to take a loyalty oath to the state constitution and have it notarized before I could be employed.

          I believe the details vary from state to state and school to school (Penn State, for instance, has its own special relationship to the state), but I think the standard is that faculty and staff at state schools are government employees, though often in their own special categories.

          • Bill Murray

            That’s how it is in South Dakota — well without the loyalty oath

        • Rob

          They are state employees and in most states their salaries are public records

          • I believe that Reynolds makes around 140,000 a year from the last time I saw the record, but revealing public records is the greatest crime one can commit.

            • Hogan

              So he’s lower middle class?

              • DrDick

                Poor white trash, I believe.

  • RepubAnon

    One wonders whether a simple burglar alarm system wouldn’t have frightened the burglar before he managed to gain entry into the house. From the sounds of things, the burglar may have thought the house was unoccupied right up until until the homeowner started shooting. Wouldn’t an alarm system have better accomplished the goal of protecting one’s family by frightening away the burglar?

    If the burglars aren’t scared by home alarm systems in an area, it sounds as though homes in that area need to be better reinforced to slow down forced entry. Bars on the windows, steel-reinforced doors, etc. From the pictures of the home in question, it doesn’t look as though there were any practical perimeter defenses.

    I’m glad that the homeowner successfully defended herself and her children, and have no sympathy for the burglar. However, I think that she would have been better protected by an alarm system and better perimeter defenses intended to keep the burglar outside until the police arrive than having a firearm as her sole defense. What happens if the next burglar is armed, and ready for battle?

    • mch

      Excellent point about alarm systems (sick as I am of the calls we keep getting from people trying to scare us into getting one — they target people over 60, figuring we’re getting all scared), which can be linked to local police. In the news story I read through the links here, the woman didn’t take time to call the police when she became aware someone was trying to break in — which I found strange, though perhaps the situation didn’t give her opportunity or time.

    • Anonymous

      A .38 is a less then ideal choice for defense against human-sized targets, which is attested by her need for 6 shots (5 hits)to stop him. It’s certainly lethal, but is doesn’t have the stopping power you want in a situation such as that. Smaller cal guns are best when they only need to be displayed to ward of Bad Guys. A 9mm or a .40 is a better choice, when it comes to actually needing to pull the trigger.
      Of course, I haven’t read detailed reports, and the article doesn’t specify -where- she hit him, so using this situation as proof-positive of the need for high-cap mags (you could, theoretically, kill someone with one shot from a .22) is rather dubious. This is doubled by the fact that most .32s are concealed-carry guns, so while the cal is small, so are the frames and the mags, so you still only get 7-8 shots.
      Glenn’s assertion that .223 is an ideal home defense round is both stupid and mind-bendingly irresponsible. Bullets don’t just stop existing when they miss their targets, or hit drywall. A round fired from a long gun can easily travel three quarter mile in open air, and can punch through exterior walls it relative ease. Then the bullet keeps going, potentially causing damage, harm, or death, to what ever else it hits.
      Hallow point hand-gun, or shotgun of mid-range power, will do you fine, with minimized (not 0%, because that’s imnpossible) chance to do collateral damage.

      • Some Guy

        Oh. For what little it’s worth, that was me.

        • Vance Maverick

          Ah, the internet, where Anonymous feels obliged to clarify that he is actually Some Guy. I was sure you were What’s-Her-Name!

      • you could, theoretically, kill someone with one shot from a .22

        It’s more than theoretical. I haven’t seen the stats from the past decade, but in the ’90s and ’80s, .22 was the numbah-one handgun homicide round (probably due, in fairness, to its ubiquity rather than physics).

        • Dave

          Back of the neck, upward angle, scrambled brains comin’ up… 2 shots if you want to be really thorough.

        • DrDick

          It was the preferred tool of professional hit men for a long time because it did not make much noise. The .22 & .25 were the most common weapon of criminals in the 60s and 70s owing to the ready availability of cheap Saturday Night Specials (automatics in those calibers).

      • Hogan

        the article doesn’t specify -where- she hit him

        Deputies arrested 32-year-old Atlanta resident Paul Slater in connection with the crime. Chapman said they found him on the ground saying, “Help me. I’m close to dying.” Slater was taken to Gwinnett Medical Center for treatment. Chapman said Slater was shot in the face and neck. . . .

        Channel 2’s Amy Napier Viteri learned from Chapman late Friday night that slater has been placed on a ventilator and suffers from punctured lungs, a punctured liver and a punctured stomach.

        He said if Slater survives the night, doctors will try to operate in the morning to repair the damage.

        Chapman said Slater has four exit wounds.

        • Joseph Slater

          I disapprove of people with this last name being shot.

      • The Tragically Flip

        We don’t know she “needed” 5 hits to stop him. She more likely panicked and just kept pulling the trigger until she ran out of bullets. It’s not even clear he had time to react to her pointing the gun at him, and it’s possible he would have fled had she not just opened up.

        • greylocks

          One can safely infer that she stopped him with the first round, as he apparently never touched her. But I think what Some Anonymous Guy meant was didn’t kill him, because in Gun Psycho Land, you’re not stopped unless you’re dead, especially if you’re a big male blah.

          And yes, there’s a good chance she panic-fired the rest. There’s also a good chance her idiot husband or gun instructor told her to empty the weapon, even though this is a Really Bad Idea ™ with a six-shot revolver, for several reasons I’m sure the saner people around here can figure out. Nevertheless, “empty the weapon” is the technique taught by many self-styled “experts”.

          • The Tragically Flip

            I’d never heard that, once again the abject stupidity of gun nuts has amazed me. It’s not a fucking fire extinguisher.

      • DrDick

        Oddly though, that was standard police issue for a long time in this country.

        • And it was perfectly adequate as such. There is a long and revolting history of the up-gunning of US police forces in response to the perceived unstoppability of drug-crazed suspects (insert obvious racial profile here). In the ’20s, wild Negroes on cocaine prompted police forces to abandon .32 revolvers; in the ’70s and ’80s, PCP was the flavor of the decade, with occasional nods to crack later in the ’80s, occasioning abandonment of the .38 revolver for the .40 S&W automatic. (If you want some actual data to support the police arms race, Google the Miami shoot-out, wherein suspects dressed in heavy clothing managed to survive a number of hits with .38s and fire back, initially causing the FBI to adopt the unwieldly but grizzly-stopping 10mm–the .40 S&W is a cut-down 10mm.)

          It has gotten to the point where some police agencies openly announce that their sidearms are “one shot, one kill”.

          • Hogan

            I saw a “gun advice column” in the Village Voice in the ’90s that went something like this:

            “What’s this I hear about the NYPD making the 9mm the standard issue sidearm? When I was on the job, I was so shitfaced most of the time I could barely handle something as childishly simple as my .38 revolver!”

            “Hey, it’s a war zone out there. It would be morally wrong to have our police less well armed than the other drug dealers.”

          • greylocks

            Without getting into the issue of caliber, there are advantages (to police) to carrying pistols instead of revolvers. The switch to semiautomatics was not entirely due to a desire for more stopping power. Slimmer profile, higher capacity, and faster reloading were pretty high on the list of reasons.

            I really don’t think police need to carry anything heavier than a .38 or 9mm. The shift to bigger calibers coincided with a shift in mentality from wounding anc capturing suspects to killing them and saving everyone the trouble of a trial. That should concern us greatly.

          • DrDick

            And it was perfectly adequate as such

            Which was pretty much my point.

          • cpinva

            it depends.

            And it was perfectly adequate as such.

            the .38 was the standard issue sidearm, for the US Military, up until WWI, when it was replace by the colt .45 semi-auto. the reason (or at least the stated reason): the .38 didn’t have sufficient knock-down power, in the heat of combat. possibly due to adrenaline rush, entire loads would be emptied into charging german soldiers, who still wouldn’t go down. this was considered a problem, especially if you happened to be the person behind the .38 at the time.

            conceivably, i can see how this might be an issue for police, depending on the situation. as noted above, it’s faster to reload with a magazine, than with a “speed-loader”, and a .45 (and 9mm) magazine has more than 6 rounds.

            for home defense, you really can’t beat a 12g pump, with buckshot. at close range, you’re going to hit something, and that something will be in lots of pain, if not dead. it certainly won’t be coming at you anymore, which is the whole point.

            of course, a 12g pump isn’t nearly as cool as a .223 semi-auto, with a 30 round magazine, and no way near as profitable to the manufacturers, which is really what the argument is all about.

            in atlanta proper, and its suburbs, home alarm systems are standard, as are barbed/concertina wire topped, chain-link fences, around parking lots, of most businesses. it surprises me that this house didn’t have one. the first time i ever visited the city, and realized that, was when i decided i would never move there. anywhere that requires that, is nowhere i want to live.

      • Actually I’d rather have “six for sure” with a revolver than an automatic.

        You pick it up, pull the trigger and it goes “bang”. If it doesn’t, keep pulling the trigger until it does.

        If someone’s trying to kick my door in at 3:00 AM I don’t really want to be messing around with a safety or trying to work the action on an automatic.

        • greylocks

          > fire Glock 21

          You fire the pistol with your shaking sweaty hands.

          A GRUE is trying to break down your door.

          > fire again


          > lantern on

          The light is on.

          > Examine pistol

          You see a .45 casing sticking out of the ejection port

          > Remove casing

          The GRUE breaks through the door.

          YOU’RE DEAD.

          • cpinva

            as the revolver slips out of your hand, shooting you in the foot.

            You fire the pistol with your shaking sweaty hands.

            you forgot to mention the fact that, even if you did get a shot off, it would most likely hit something other than what you were “aiming” at, with those shaking hands.

        • The Tragically Flip

          How are safety catches not mandatory on all guns?

          I get wanting a lower propensity to jam, but safety features are there for important reasons, and if you’re adequately familiar with your weapon, taking it off safe should not pose a problem.

          • Double-action revolvers have never had safeties as far as I can remember.

            That’s purely a feature associated with semi-automatics.

            The relatively long trigger pull required to work a revolver is normally considered sufficient.

        • herr doktor bimler

          If someone’s trying to kick my door in at 3:00 AM

          — it’s probably the police anyway. Or angry chickens.

          • Davis X. Machina

            Or a GRUE.

  • Alan Tomlinson

    Wouldn’t a shit catapult be a much better intruder defense weapon? Intruder enters dwelling, receives a face full of shit, game over.


    Alan Tomlinson

    P.S. I have yet to hear Glenn Reynolds deny that he has had multiple sexual relationships with minors of both sexes.

  • Fuck you – I’m not getting out of the boat. I’ll glean the context fro the other witty commenters [commentors?].

    • Warren Terra

      Have some confidence, or check – the link is to a post by Thers at Whiskey Fire; to really get out of the boat, you’ll have to follow the link from Thers’s post.

  • Derelict

    Even if we take Professor Corncob’s tale at face value, he STILL has to reckon with the scoreboard of (on average) 12 to 15 gun-related murders that happened during the 24 hour period surrounding this one incident of a woman defending herself.

    But, as the gun nuts are quick to point out, the deaths of hundreds or even thousands of innocents every year is an insignificant price to pay for the continuing possibility that once in a great while someone, somewhere, will use a gun to defend him or her self.

    • Timb


    • Ken

      the deaths of hundreds or even thousands of innocents every year is an insignificant price to pay

      People always say that until you have them on the flaying rack and are trying to explain in your most reasonable tone of voice that this is the only way to keep the Great Old Ones from coming back and then they get all “but why me” and there’s just no reasoning with them.

    • But a self reported study done by some wingnut professor says that guns are used 2.5 million times per year to prevent crimes. To borrow from Scott, the plural of self-reported anecdotes is data.

  • Hogan

    She fired 6 shots, put 5 in the attacker and he was still kicking.

    Where by “kicking” I mean “on the ground, shot in the face and multiple vital organs and begging her to stop shooting.”

    • The Tragically Flip

      Exactly. His survival is exceptional and aberrational, not evidence that a .38 is somehow not powerful enough to stop an intruder.

      • Davis X. Machina

        Some folks say barriers. Some folks say firearms. But why do we have to choose, for defending our castles? Claymores. They‘re your answer.

    • Warren Terra

      This is kind of the vital point. The only sense in which he was “still kicking” is that he may yet live to consider his actions.

      Heck, if she’d had a slower-firing gun, rather than her actual weapon or the rapidly-firing, high-capacity gun Reynolds wants her to have had, she might not have unloaded the whole thing into the intruder; she might have had more shots in reserve in case of the hypothetical second intruder Reynolds is so worried about. Conversely, it seems very likely that if she’d had 30 shots she’d simply have pumped more into the intruder and done no-one any good thereby, herself included – and she might still have emptied the gun before Reynold’s theoretical crazed fearless second intruder entered the scene.

      • bph

        My memory (your mileage may vary) is that most Police shootings end with the officer either firing once or emptying the weapon. So, yea, it is a good thing she did not have a 15 round extended magazine on a Glock else there would rounds whizzing all over the place.

  • Warren Terra

    I continue to propound that, our ever-increasing superfluity of firearms having inexplicably failed thus far to diminish our incidence of handgun violence, the logical answer must be hand grenades.

    I am reinforced in this belief by this story, in which shooting six rounds (and hitting with five of them) was apparently in some difficult-to-understand way insufficient to dissuade an intruder (who was taken from the scene in an ambulance), even though an air horn would probably have worked about as well (though admittedly the intruder would probably have gotten away). A couple of hand grenades: no more intruder, and back to sleep.

    • Bill Murray

      the logical answer must be hand grenades.

      or horseshoes. Those are where close counts IIRC. I have removed the backseats of cars because they are hard to throw

    • Hogan

      And you won’t have anything left worse stealing, so you’ve not only prevented one burglary, you’ve prevented all of them.

      • Hogan

        worse s/b worth, and Hogan s/b smarter.

  • herr doktor bimler

    You are unfair to Reynolds. He is not really arguing by anecdotes, but by hypotheticals and counterfactuals.

    For any given restriction on weapon calibre or firing rate, he can always dream up a situation where more and larger weapons would be useful; legislation should follow his imagination.

    • Dave

      Until only a nuclear-armed hover-tank will really do…

      • herr doktor bimler

        This is, after all, the same doctrine that brought back torture because TICKING TIME BOMB.

      • Aaron B.

        You know what, an America without a nuclear hover tank in every garage isn’t really free, is it.

      • Pestilence

        Battleship, please … a knock-off KGV would do, maybe even a titchy little Graf Spee. PLUS you no longer need flood insurance.

        • Battleship, please …

          That’s going to be my new response to silly questions from now on.

  • Here’s what Glen Harland Reynolds is missing – she kept firing until the gun was empty.

    This actually happens a lot, even with trained professionals. When they get in their first (and usually only) real-life gunfight, they just keep pulling the trigger until the gun goes “click.” If she’d had a 10- or 15- round pistol, she’d have fired 10 or 15 times, and most of those would have been misses as well.

  • Aaron B.

    I know the author was trying to make fun of Glenn Reynolds, but now I feel like I won’t be free until I can blow up wolves with a bazooka.

  • Woman Defends Herself From Partner Assault With Toilet Plunger

    Would guns have made this better? Did she need a semi-automatic toilet plunger?

    • Pestilence

      why do you hate the full-auto Plunger?

    • When plungers are outlawed, only outlaws will be able to flush.

      • Warren Terra

        Well, no: anyone can flush once. It’s the re-un-loading speed that’s at issue.

        • The phrase “ammunition dump” never seemed so necessary…

        • herr doktor bimler

          I dimly recall a Bloom County in which Opus runs amok with a plunger but someone else will have to find it and scan it.

          • Warren Terra

            I have a vague recollection. Didn’t the others pacify him with Twinkies to stop the carnage?

            • And now we have none, thanks to the communist unions! We are disarmed! We are vulnerable to plunger rampages, unless we all can carry large plungers in our pants at all times!

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