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View Diary: Instead of "Assault Weapons", how about a fire-rate restriction? (173 comments)

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  •  Definitions (0+ / 0-)

    The trouble with the original assault weapons ban was that manufacturers design around them.  As I recall, the rule was that an assault weapon had two military features:  e.g. a replaceable clip and a folding stock.

    It would seem like a certain rate of fire could be included in the definition of military style features, since a high rate of fire isn't typically required for deer.  In terms of details, I'd want to know if there are other classes of guns that have comparable rates of fire but aren't what we think of as assault weapons.  It may be that once the manufacturers change the fully automatic military weapon into a semi-automatic civilian version the rate of fire is no longer meaningful because the limiting factor is the speed of the trigger pull, not the speed of the mechanics.  Are there standard semi-automatic pistols with similar rates of fire?

    The follow up question, we already know that the manufacturers will engineer their guns to get around whatever the definition is.  If we tell manufacturers that they have to fire less than one round per second in order to sell their assault weapon lookalikes to nuts will that change in fire rate make any meaningful difference in a theater or a first grade classroom?

    •  In terms of "isn't typically required for deer" (0+ / 0-)

      the surplus 30.06 Springfield that I bought as a kid in the sixties had both a higher rate of fire, and a larger shell capacity than is really needed for deer hunting. I never emptied it during a hunt, and never missed something that I could have killed with a semi automatic.

      There can be no protection locally if we're content to ignore the fact that there are no controls globally.

      by oldpotsmuggler on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 11:33:22 AM PST

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    •  All Semi-Autos Have the Same Rate of Fire (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      BlackSheep1, DavidMS, JohnnyBoston

      And that IS however fast you can pull the trigger. A semiautomatic, whether rifle or pistol, cycles the action (forcing the bolt back to eject the just-created empty cartridge, gathering a fresh cartridge from the magazine and cocking the action) using the energy from the fired round (either mechanically or by tapping off a small amount of the expanding gasses created by burning gunpowder), and does it MUCH faster than you can pull the trigger.

      Technically, I'm not sure how a slower rate of fire could be accomplished, and practically it would do anything useful.

      I know I'll get flamed here, but so be it. The rate of fire actually used by these mass killers is FAR below what their weapons are easily capable of. Merely shooting as fast as possible does nothing but make noise, because there is a small but definite amount of time required to recover from even the small recoil of gas-operated semiautomatics and aim again, either at the original target or the next. Realistically, anything faster than about a round a second, about the rate most folks clap their hands when applauding, is not effective for actually engaging targets, and that rate of fire is quite achievable with some manually-operated firearms.

      Mechanically reducing the rate of fire of semi-automatic firearms won't realistically save lives. We HAVE to figure out some way to reduce the willingness and desire for the very few so inclined to engage in mass homicide, we simply cannot prevent them from acquiring some means to do so.

      Strange women lying in ponds distributing swords is no basis for a system of government.

      by The Baculum King on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 12:08:54 PM PST

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      •  Well (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        alain2112, splashy

        You're probably right about the rate of fire, but it's a fact that countries that do a better job keeping military style weapons out of civilian hands tend to have a lot less gun deaths even though they still have violent video games, movies and all that, Mexico and Switzerland notwithstanding.

      •  I'm not gonna flame you. Cyclic rate of fire for (0+ / 0-)

        M-16s (therefore true ARs -- and the .22LR versions, which depend on rimfire ammo, are NOT true ARS, which are gas-operated weapons) exceeds 600 rounds per minute.

        Which means that all the shots Lanza fired would have taken well under a minute, had the weapon been capable of fully-automatic fire.

        Here's a photo of one of the ones I know best:
        http://world.guns.ru/...

        that same site describes the original (M-17, Austrian made) Bushmaster here. I don't know which kind of Bushmaster Lanza had.

        If somebody knows / can post a link to the one he had I'll see what I can find out about its cyclic rate, although Lanza probably didn't approach that. Do we know whether there's any evidence he'd practiced rapid-fire / rapid-reloading techniques on his range trips?

        LBJ, Lady Bird, Anne Richards, Barbara Jordan, Sully Sullenberger, Ike, Drew Brees, Molly Ivins --Texas is no Bush league! -7.50,-5.59

        by BlackSheep1 on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 01:44:59 PM PST

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      •  Measure sustained rate of fire (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Roger Fox

        All sorts of practical measurement issues come up, but over the course of the several minutes it takes for the police to arrive, the average rate of fire is reduced by reloading time. Detachable magazines will be more relevant than the nature of the action.

        Now, your point was that we have to prevent mass homicides from starting, and that fractionally reducing the body count when they do is not a big help. I agree.

        •  Since I Didn't Say it Before (0+ / 0-)

          I ought to say that to the extent anybody in the pro gun community says that there are other parts to the problem we should be working on besides guns I completely agree with that.  I just get off the bus when somebody says that regulating guns can't possibly any part of the solution to the problem of gun deaths.  The NRA pitch of "it's everybody's fault but mine" just won't fly.

          I'm particularly interested in some recent discussions suggesting that there has been a correlation between the rise of prescription drug use for ADD/ADHD kids and increased incidence of mass violence when those kids grow up.  It may be that drugs like Ritalin mask problems without solving them, so that troubled kids grow up to be troubled adults without the problems really being dealt with, and leading to much more adult consequences.  Don't know if there's anything to it or not, and I know for sure it doesn't let the NRA off the hook, but it's another part of the puzzle that may be worth exploring.

    •  Because of the manufacturers doing this (0+ / 0-)

      Getting around regulations, I think that liability insurance should be required and let the insurance corporations be constantly on guard for safety features.

      After all, look at what they have done for safety when it comes to cars. They are much safer than they used to be, all because of the insurance corporations trying to lower their costs.

      Women create the entire labor force. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Sympathy is the strongest instinct in human nature. - Charles Darwin

      by splashy on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 10:54:26 PM PST

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