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That is a line from this New York Times story on the amount of ammunition the Aurora shooter had been able to obtain.

I was a Marine.

While I never saw combat, many of those with whom I served did.

None of them were ever issued anything close to that amount of ammunition, even in a combat situation.

Yes, those operating M-60 Machine guns or their equivalent, whether in infantry or on helicopters, had lots of rounds.  But not 6,000.

The shooter also had a 100-round drum.

What if he had been using that?

What if his rifle had not jammed?

How many might have died?

He had a Bushmaster AR-15.  It fires a .223 round, something drilled into my memory since firing military AR-15s and M-16s in the Marines.

The DC snipers used a Bushmaster XR15, firing .223 rounds.

If I may quote from Pete Seeger's "Where have all the flowers gone" -

When will we ever learn>

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Comment Preferences

  •  By all accounts he did use the 100 round drum. (4+ / 0-)

    But I haven't checked the news yet today, there may be more news on that now. Anyway, somebody forgot to tell him that those things are prone to jamming, especially the fancy but probably cheap aftermarket "beta" shaped double drum type that he was said to have had.

    If you don't have a big supply of loaded reliable magazines, then something you can load with stripper clips would be more of a threat. Like an SKS. Only holds 10 rounds, but can be reloaded in a second or two if you have a belly pack full of stripper clips.

    But this is nitpicking compared to the awful mayhem that he did achieve regardless.

    Moderation in most things.

    by billmosby on Mon Jul 23, 2012 at 05:01:10 AM PDT

  •  It is a sad commentary on our "civilized" society (13+ / 0-)

    when something is clearly so wrong but not one leader will speak up on this because they know they will be obliterated by the NRA money.  I understand the practicality of the Obama campaign saying gun control is off the table since one word of support for any sensible regulation would explode into non-stop attack ads against Obama, but the NRA will still be pushing Mitt Romney.

    We do focus a lot on Grover Norquist and how he has just about all Republicans in the US Congress in his pocket, but the NRA has even more (just about all Republicans and a huge number of Democrats) - plus they have much better control of the state legislatures than Grover Norquist could ever dream of.

    Some people want an either/or solution:
    - either eliminate all guns and make them illegal,
    - OR do nothing to change the status quo where so many (deadlier and deadlier as the cheaply available technologies can allow shooting more rounds faster) guns are so easily accessible to people they shouldn't be.

    I must say that either is dangerous.  Making guns illegal would certainly create a tremendous criminal enterprise just to take care of the demand that will not go away.  Just look at how well Prohibition worked and the consequences it brought.  Continuing the status quo is also madness, but it is more likely due to the grip the NRA has on elected officials.  It is madness because it is leading to making it easier every day for people that should not put their hands on a firearm - the internet makes it so much easier that straw purchases (which still continue untouched, in states like GA and VA, to take these "legal" guns to New York/CT/MA) may soon look like a quaint idea.

    If we do not find a way to reach reasonable regulations on firearms, we will be faced with choosing between maintaining a civil society or the readily accessible firearms, we really can't have both.

    To the people that think that nothing short of outlawing all firearms and to the people that think that any regulation on firearms is an unacceptable violation of their constitutional rights there is nothing that can be suggested that will be reasonable.  For the rest of us I propose reasonable, national (it has to be federal/national because the mish mash of laws that exist is exactly what makes it impossible for any state to truly regulate firearms) regulation.

    Here are what I consider reasonable regulations (that IMHO do not violate the Second Amendment):
    1) People that want to purchase and maintain firearms must obtain training
    2) These people must pass an exam proving that they can use guns they intend to purchase safely and get a license indicating so
    3) All purchases need background checks and there is a database of who owns what gun/serial number (clearly the definition of who should not have access to a gun will be contentious, but that can be worked out)
    4) Pass the assault weapons ban permanently and outlaw any clip/magazine/semi-automatic that can be used to turn many guns into automatic weapons (for all intents and purposes).

    Now I don't see how that "infringes" on anyone's Second Amendment rights, but the gun fetishists will insist it does.

    Then they came for me - and by that time there was nobody left to speak up.

    by DefendOurConstitution on Mon Jul 23, 2012 at 05:20:34 AM PDT

  •  Who in DC will have the courage to take on the NRA (14+ / 0-)
    Pass the assault weapons ban permanently and outlaw any clip/magazine/semi-automatic that can be used to turn many guns into automatic weapons (for all intents and purposes).

    Daniel Ellsberg, “It was always a bad year to get out of Vietnam.”

    by allenjo on Mon Jul 23, 2012 at 05:26:10 AM PDT

    •  Virtually no one.... (8+ / 0-)
      Who in DC will have the courage to take on the NRA
    •   Profits are the sole motive that the NRA does (8+ / 0-)

      their "outreach."  Sure, they exploit the individualist sentiments that define us as Americans, but they go further.

      In my view, the purpose of the "stand your ground" laws that the NRA has written and passed in many states is to expand their market for firearms.  Only about 1 in 5 Americans own firearms, a pretty small minority, so it is all about market penetration (as my marketing professor said in business school).  The "stand your ground" laws will lead to senseless killings (e.g. Trayvon Martin), people will get afraid so they will buy more guns to protect themselves, and more armed people - especially in urban settings - will very likely result in more violence. Rinse and repeat - the fear that more deaths will bring will ensure that more people arm themselves for protection.

      As a marketing strategy it is brilliant. As a person that would like to continue enjoying a civil society it scares the crap out of me.

      Then they came for me - and by that time there was nobody left to speak up.

      by DefendOurConstitution on Mon Jul 23, 2012 at 05:49:29 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  One in 5? So the average gun owner has 5 guns? (4+ / 0-)

        I keep hearing there are over 300 million guns in the country, and there are about 314 million people, so that's pretty close to a gun per person.

        (Well, I guess those numbers would include gun stores too, come to think of it, which probably brings down the average if we don't count gun store owners as 'owning' all of the guns they sell.)

        •  Believable, if you are a hunter. (10+ / 0-)

          Up in my neck of the woods, you might have a .30-30 or .30-06 and/or 12-gauge for deer hunting. (It's shotgun only hunting in southern Wisconsin because of the higher population, rifle rounds travel too far.)

          Possibly a smaller gauge shotgun for smaller critters & waterfowl.

          4-10 and/or 22 for varmints & practice.

          If you're a family with several hunters, you might have several of each.

          The thing that never crossed my mind growing up was a handgun, though. Handguns were for killing people. Why would you want one?

          •  And why a semi-automatic? (0+ / 0-)

            202-224-3121 to Congress in D.C. USE it! You can tell how big a person is by what it takes to discourage them. "We're not perfect, but they're nuts."--Barney Frank 01/02/2012

            by cany on Mon Jul 23, 2012 at 10:50:20 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Nothing extraordinary about semi-automatic. (7+ / 0-)

              If you're hunting deer, or varmints for that matter, you want a semi-automatic. That just means the next bullet is loaded in the chamber automatically.

              It would be nice if you could always count on the first round taking down your quarry, but sometimes you need another shot. If you have to manually put the next round in the chamber, you're unlikely to get that second shot, and your wounded game goes off to die, slowly.

              HOWEVER - if you think you need a 100 round magazine for deer hunting, I don't want to be in the woods within 2 miles of you.

              •  Thanks for the explanation. so why should we allow (0+ / 0-)

                guns that can shoot 100 rounds?

                202-224-3121 to Congress in D.C. USE it! You can tell how big a person is by what it takes to discourage them. "We're not perfect, but they're nuts."--Barney Frank 01/02/2012

                by cany on Mon Jul 23, 2012 at 11:43:16 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  You're asking the wrong person. (4+ / 0-)

                  I didn't say we should.

                  I'm in the firm middle on guns. I think that we should be able to place some reasonable restrictions on firearms, and the size of the magazine is one such restriction. Just as we regulate the caliber of firearms, and ban the sale of fully automatic weapons.

                  I do think that to make any progress towards reasonable regulation of firearms, we will need to bring the majority of hunters and honest gun owners on board.

        •  Quite believeable. (7+ / 0-)

          Most gun owners I know don't have A gun, they have several.

          My husband has his grandpa's shotgun, for example, which hasn't been fired in ages and probably needs a good breakdown and cleaning, and he's got his own shotgun. He's got a couple rifles in sniper configuration that are on the edge of being hunting rifles; if he were hunting bear, elk, or boar, that'd be the way to go. And he's got maybe three handguns. One's a very tiny pocket .22, and he's got a Vietnam-era Chinese pistol, and I think the other's your standard law enforcement 9mil, from when he was doing security.

          When you come to find how essential the comfort of a well-kept home is to the bodily strength and good conditions, to a sound mind and spirit, and useful days, you will reverence the good housekeeper as I do above artist or poet, beauty or genius.

          by Alexandra Lynch on Mon Jul 23, 2012 at 07:47:05 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Yup, I hear there are 60+ million owners (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          greengemini

          and 300+ million firearms.  That where I got the number.

          For this reason it is clear that more market penetration would mean significant sales increases. (say they increase market penetration by 50% to 90+ million owners the number of weapons will not go up 50%, but weapons may increase to 350 or 400 million.

          Then they came for me - and by that time there was nobody left to speak up.

          by DefendOurConstitution on Mon Jul 23, 2012 at 09:49:40 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Obama will not push for new gun control measures (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Cartoon Peril
      Obama will not push for new gun control measures

      White House press secretary Jay Carney told reporters aboard Air Force One on Sunday that the Obama administration has no plans to push new gun control measures in the wake of the deadly shooting rampage at a Colorado movie theater

      Carney said that includes a reauthorization of the Clinton-era assault-weapon ban that lapsed during the George W. Bush administration.
       

      Daniel Ellsberg, “It was always a bad year to get out of Vietnam.”

      by allenjo on Mon Jul 23, 2012 at 06:06:02 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Or at least call them what they are (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Cartoon Peril

      An organization of criminal enablers. When people begin to brand them this way, maybe the tide will turn.

      I'm no philosopher, I am no poet, I'm just trying to help you out - Gomez (from the song Hamoa Beach)

      by jhecht on Mon Jul 23, 2012 at 06:06:04 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  The courage...... (0+ / 0-)

      http://www.bradycampaign.org/

      The know the word 'lobby" is a bad word sometimes

      and sometimes its not

      Jul 20, 2012
      We Don't Want Sympathy From The President Or Other Elected Officials; We Invite Americans To Join Our Campaign To Hold Politicians Accountable To Act

      •  Rather Please the NRA than Enforce the Law (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        cactusflinthead, xanthippe2

        from your link.......

        Some State AGs Would Rather Please the NRA than Enforce the Law

        Lining up public officials in support of legislation is standard fare for interest groups advancing their agenda on Capitol Hill. But the letter signed by 23 state Attorneys General in support of the National Rifle Association’s bill to nationalize concealed carry of handguns suggests that, for those public officials, pandering to the gun lobby is far more important than doing the job they were sworn to perform.

        Call me naïve, but I had always thought that a State Attorney General had a solemn duty to enforce the laws of his/her state. Apparently some Attorneys General recognize a “gun law” exception to that obligation.

        The legislation supported by the “Gang of 23,” the so-called “National Right-to-Carry Reciprocity Act” (H.R. 822), would force states to recognize the concealed carry permits of visitors from other states, even if the permit holder could not have qualified for a permit from the state he/she is visiting. Under this bill, Congress would be barring states from enforcing their restrictions on concealed carry against out-of-state visitors. In other words, the considered judgment of a state legislature that certain restrictions on concealed carry are required for the protection of the public would be nullified by H.R. 822. I would have thought these Attorneys General, as the chief law enforcement officers in their states, would want the authority to enforce these laws.

        Daniel Ellsberg, “It was always a bad year to get out of Vietnam.”

        by allenjo on Mon Jul 23, 2012 at 07:08:06 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Obama and Romney - voices that will not be heard (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        xanthippe2

        on this issue.........how sad is that?

        President Obama and his Republican challenger, Mitt Romney — has expressed shock and sadness over the shooting, but has resisted placing it in the context of gun control policy.

        Daniel Ellsberg, “It was always a bad year to get out of Vietnam.”

        by allenjo on Mon Jul 23, 2012 at 07:15:20 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Why do I think (0+ / 0-)

      in the end it will be the voters and taxpayers---not the current crop of elected officials.

      "But the protesters were only armed with chalk---the cops had guns and batons----and they were beating the protesters."

      by lyvwyr101 on Mon Jul 23, 2012 at 04:49:38 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Isn't ammo like a buck a round or somesuch (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cartoon Peril, Alexandra Lynch

    for civilians?  If you were in the military, I'm sure the cost of all sorts of ammo is part of what bumps up the cost of training you, but I can't imagine wanting to sink 6k into ammo unless you truly believed civilization was about to collapse, or you were so wealthy you could just as soon light the cash on fire.

  •  I always liked Pat Moynihan's idea of imposing (10+ / 0-)

    large taxes on ammunition.  He noted (20 years ago) that there was a 200 year supply of guns, but only a 4 year supply of ammunition.  I suspect the numbers have changed, but the point is still valid.  

    In metabolic biochemistry it's been long known that reactions that have a high turnover are the most critical points for controlling a pathway's function.  In addition to a large tax, I would suggest requiring ammo manufacturers to make gun powder that has a relatively short shelf life.

    But, alas, none of this, and even more basic approaches to gun control, will be championed by today's politicians. Moynihan was one the last of the real statesman.

    The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt. Bertrand Russell

    by accumbens on Mon Jul 23, 2012 at 06:03:32 AM PDT

    •  Globus Pallidus - I too favor a tax (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      accumbens, Cartoon Peril, myboo

      I too favor a large tax on ammo.  Some of that tax should be dedicated to hospital costs from gunshot injuires.

      Afterall, 30,000+ Americans die every year due to gunshot injuries (that's more than 82 gunshot deaths every day), and the majority end up in a hospital.  

      So those who enjoy gun and shooting guns should be asked to pay for the medical care of people who get injuried by such sport.

      "The fool doth think he is wise: the wise man knows himself to be a fool" - W. Shakespeare

      by Hugh Jim Bissell on Mon Jul 23, 2012 at 06:27:07 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  New York-Presbyterian Hospital (0+ / 0-)
        Gunshot wounds to the head have become the leading or second leading cause of head injury in many United States cities.

        They are also the most lethal of all firearm injuries. It is estimated that gunshot wounds to the head have a greater than 90% fatality rate for United States civilians, and at least two-thirds of the victims die before ever reaching a hospital.

        http://nyp.org/...
    •  A dime per round with all money to local law (5+ / 0-)

      enforcement. ALL--to county and city police. This could make up for crazy uneven drug seizure money.

      They could buy cars and up-to-date communications equipment. Have extra training and get kevlar and faster computers.

      Hell, they could probably add more personnel--or pay out a bonus or two.

      What a hissy fit the NRA would throw for that propoasal!

    •  Thinking about this for years and writing this (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Cartoon Peril, BachFan

      comment has prompted me to put up a diary.  I'd really like to see this idea gain some currency.  Based on your comments, I will edit it to include the point about additional revenues. Thanks!

      The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt. Bertrand Russell

      by accumbens on Mon Jul 23, 2012 at 06:47:44 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Another indictment... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    xanthippe2, Cartoon Peril

    ...Ken, of how corporations, in this case, gun manufacturers and the NRA, have perverted legislation in their favor...and as you have noted on numerous diaries before...they are doing it to public education too!

    Educational experience based on behaviorism is mind control.

    by semioticjim on Mon Jul 23, 2012 at 06:19:46 AM PDT

  •  The Bushmaster was outlawed under the (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    happy camper

    assault weapons ban that expired

    "I'm sculpting now. Landscapes mostly." ~ Yogi Bear

    by eXtina on Mon Jul 23, 2012 at 06:45:38 AM PDT

    •  Only sales of (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cactusflinthead

      new weapons was prohibited. If you had one already, you were fine. Additionally, some manufacturers simply changed enough of the cosmetic features of the gun--which was really what was outlawed, anyway--to make it legal to continue selling.

      "A lie is not the other side of a story; it's just a lie."

      by happy camper on Mon Jul 23, 2012 at 04:15:25 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  6000 rounds in 100 round magazines at 3.3 lbs (5+ / 0-)

    per magazine would weigh almost exactly 200 pounds.  Probably a person wouldn't own 60 magazines, but hey, you can never be too prepared when it comes to the zombie apocalypse.

    You have exactly 10 seconds to change that look of disgusting pity into one of enormous respect!

    by Cartoon Peril on Mon Jul 23, 2012 at 06:54:54 AM PDT

  •  Why is there an ATF? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cactusflinthead

    Seriously.   If all these guns are legal..these assault rifles
    are WMD's compared to a 22.   I am surprised the NRA is not pushing grenade launchers, grenades, or something or anything to up the kill ratio.  Who are these people who immediately go to a scene after tragedy hits..besides Phelps and open shop.  Why pay for law enforcement if everyone is packing and we have turned into the old west.  last man, woman and child standing.
    I don't get it.  
    I can see where the NRA actually had a purpose with training in their membership and collectors.  I get that.
    I don't understand the enthusiasm for more dangerous times.    They need some serious competition for gun lovers.  Some org with pockets not so deep and power not so strong.

    We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

    by Vetwife on Mon Jul 23, 2012 at 07:00:41 AM PDT

  •  Fear of Obama has done more to boost gun sales (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    myboo, Oh Mary Oh

    than Russia ever did. Out of curiosity I googled the XR-15. One of the hits turned up this thread from 2009. Notice that the man bought a case of ammo, 1000 rounds, when he bought his rifle.  I mentioned it on facebook this morning that I had to report large quantities of fertilizer of a certain kind to Homeland Security, I have to sign for antihistamines, but I can buy all the ammo I want all day long.

    Got my first XR-15, have questions....

    Putting on the spectacles of science in expectation of finding an answer to everything looked at signifies inner blindness. -- J(ames) Frank Dobie

    by cactusflinthead on Mon Jul 23, 2012 at 07:02:11 AM PDT

    •  Why does 1000 rounds scare you? (0+ / 0-)
      •  it is the ease with which we buy ammo (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        concernedamerican

        If I tried to buy the same number of pseudo ephedrine pills I would be in jail. If I buy a large amount of the fertilizer in question it is registered with the feds. Why not ammo?

        Putting on the spectacles of science in expectation of finding an answer to everything looked at signifies inner blindness. -- J(ames) Frank Dobie

        by cactusflinthead on Mon Jul 23, 2012 at 07:24:26 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  You might start with a simple question. (0+ / 0-)

          Is 1000 rounds a lot?

          •  Depends on what kind of round (0+ / 0-)

            .22 no. .223 yes

            Putting on the spectacles of science in expectation of finding an answer to everything looked at signifies inner blindness. -- J(ames) Frank Dobie

            by cactusflinthead on Mon Jul 23, 2012 at 07:38:53 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  May I ask how you came to that conclusion? (0+ / 0-)
              •  same logic as the fertilizer (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Mike Kahlow

                One is inherently more dangerous than the other. While a .22 has the potential to be deadly, the .223 or any other long rifle round is far far more capable of it at farther ranges. I don't have to register all purchases of fertilizer or chemicals, just the ones that are precursors to other things that are deadly or drug related. I would put all shotgun shells in the same category as long rifle rounds that have the potential to tag someone at 100 yards with deadly effect. A .22 mag is borderline. See Day of the Jackal.

                Putting on the spectacles of science in expectation of finding an answer to everything looked at signifies inner blindness. -- J(ames) Frank Dobie

                by cactusflinthead on Mon Jul 23, 2012 at 08:29:19 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Well, then let's put it this way. (0+ / 0-)

                  The .22 Long Rifle has half the power of the .223 Remington.  So if 1000 rounds is, say, the upper limit of .22LRs you'd hold at one time without considering it to be a lot, would you say 500 rounds is the upper limit for .223?

                  We'd also need a way to couple how "dangerous" a given amount of ammunition to the potential lethality of a given amount of fertilizer before we start talking about what is and isn't a lot.

                  My point is that these arguments from incredulity always hinge on some sort of gut feeling about how dangerous certain things are.  Unfortunately, in this case, I feel as if this is a case of big numbers are getting in the way.

                  •  Half the power? i don't think so (0+ / 0-)

                    You are really going to maintain that a tiny .22LR has half the power of a .223? Right.  Tell that to the hog next time you shoot it. I can go get the ballistics if you want to argue this further.

                    Putting on the spectacles of science in expectation of finding an answer to everything looked at signifies inner blindness. -- J(ames) Frank Dobie

                    by cactusflinthead on Mon Jul 23, 2012 at 08:46:18 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  You're right. (0+ / 0-)

                      A tenth of the power.  

                      So 100 rounds is the upper limit for .223?

                      •  Maybe, open to discussion (0+ / 0-)

                        I know we can go through that many in a weekend without even trying. Unlike pills we are gonna fly through them in short order. But like pills there ought to be some time frame. I can see buying a thousand rounds of them, but I would want somebody to know I am doing it.

                        Putting on the spectacles of science in expectation of finding an answer to everything looked at signifies inner blindness. -- J(ames) Frank Dobie

                        by cactusflinthead on Mon Jul 23, 2012 at 09:13:16 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

            •  Maybe ammunition sales over certain amount/number (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              cactusflinthead

              should be made available only for sale from shooting ranges. If you're only going to use it for target practice why do you need to stockpile it at home? Just curious.

              America is a COUNTRY, not a CORPORATION. She doesn't need a CEO. Vote Obama.

              by manneckdesign on Mon Jul 23, 2012 at 08:14:17 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  They aren't all the same caliber or kind (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                manneckdesign

                Some are mostly just for target practice, some more for hunting, various sizes and types, etc. The cheaper ones I can goof off with at the range and don't cost a pile of money. Some rounds are more expensive than others. 500 .22 long rifle shells are dirt cheap. 30-30 rounds are a bit more and 30-06 more than them. .375 rounds are considerably more.

                Putting on the spectacles of science in expectation of finding an answer to everything looked at signifies inner blindness. -- J(ames) Frank Dobie

                by cactusflinthead on Mon Jul 23, 2012 at 08:32:41 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Thanks for the reply (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  cactusflinthead

                  So then narrow it even further to define just the ammunition for these types of high-powered assault type rifles. Considering you likely don't have the expectation you are going to use it to defend yourself, and you are simply target shooting as a hobby, why not regulate that type of ammunition that way? Has to be purchased at a shooting range, and consumed there.
                  Being someone who lives in Chicago and is faced with multiple reports of people being shot every day, I am more on the side of the "let's regulate some of this activity", than not.
                  My BIL is a big hunter, and has multiple shotguns and rifles for that purpose. ( I have no problem with this as they eat what they shoot.) He's very anti-Obama since he's heard the right-wing meme of Obama "wants to take our guns."
                  I have told him that no one including President Obama wants to take those away from you. It's the street and assault type weapons people want regulated. (He has no handguns.)

                  America is a COUNTRY, not a CORPORATION. She doesn't need a CEO. Vote Obama.

                  by manneckdesign on Mon Jul 23, 2012 at 08:47:45 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  There are sooo many kinds of rounds (0+ / 0-)

                    Plus the fact you can 'roll your own' at your own bench. Most gang bangers are not going to go to the trouble to crank out rounds. Hunters and serious target shooters do. I would suggest treating it like we do antihistamines, which is why I keep bringing that point up. In an effort to track who is buying big quantities of drug precursors we have to show our license and sign for it now. If you want to buy a box of something capable of killing someone at long range or has the knockdown power to kill them close up, you get to sign for them too. The gun lobby would absolutely pitch a wall-eyed fit, but if Holmes had to give some sort of identification and then hit some number of rounds purchased a big red flag would have shown up like it does with ephedrine based drugs. He would have gotten a visit from his friendly local police. Sorry my fellow hunters, you want to buy gunpowder, dies and bullets, you get to sign right here. Vato, if you want that case of AK-47 shells I am gonna need some ID.

                    Putting on the spectacles of science in expectation of finding an answer to everything looked at signifies inner blindness. -- J(ames) Frank Dobie

                    by cactusflinthead on Mon Jul 23, 2012 at 09:09:02 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  Switzerland (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    greengemini, cactusflinthead

                    That's how it is done there. You buy ammo at the range and the ammo has to be consumed at the range.

      •  btw, I own several firearms (3+ / 0-)

        And I have a few hundred rounds at the moment. Buying a 500 round brick of .22 LR shells is far different than buying a case of .223 rounds. I can go down to Cheaper than Dirt, heck, I can go online and order them just like Holmes did all day long. Do I have to give them my driver's license like I do when I buy pills for my allergies? No. If I buy a ton of ammonium nitrate Homeland Security knows about it. But, nobody knew he had 6000 rounds until the damage was done.

        Putting on the spectacles of science in expectation of finding an answer to everything looked at signifies inner blindness. -- J(ames) Frank Dobie

        by cactusflinthead on Mon Jul 23, 2012 at 07:31:04 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  A ton of ammonium nitrate... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          cactusflinthead

          how many rounds of .223 would you need to give a ton of smokeless powder? I looked up some .223 loads and found that a number of them use 28 grains of powder. At 7000 grains to the pound, it takes 250 rounds to give a pound of powder. Or 500,000 rounds to make a ton of powder. I don't know how the energy content of an ammonium nitrate/fuel oil explosive compares to that of smokeless powder, but I imagine 1000, or even 10,000 rounds of .223 would be far less powerful than a ton of ammonium nitrate.

          Of course thousands of rounds of .223 or any caliber would potentially be capable of killing a lot of people. But it would still probably pale beside the potential effects of a large truck bomb. That may be why fertilizer is more closely tracked than ammunition at the moment. I expect more will be done to track large ammunition purchases in the future, though, if it can legally be done.

          Moderation in most things.

          by billmosby on Mon Jul 23, 2012 at 10:36:17 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  You can buy gunpowder in bulk (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            billmosby

            You don't have to get the bullets to get the stuff to make it go boom.
            25 one pound cans to the case

            Putting on the spectacles of science in expectation of finding an answer to everything looked at signifies inner blindness. -- J(ames) Frank Dobie

            by cactusflinthead on Mon Jul 23, 2012 at 03:42:42 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I know, I was more interested (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              cactusflinthead

              in trying to figure out what kind of hazard a few thousand rounds presented in comparison to a ton of ammonium nitrate in an attempt to see if there was any sense in closely regulating ammonium nitrate in those quantities and not regulating ammunition in the quantities that seem to some to be excessive and yet not attract the attention of the authorities.

              Not really easy to compare the two things, though, at least in ways I have thought up yet.

              Of course, the bullet lobby may be stronger than the fertilizer lobby in this respect. That may explain things...

              Moderation in most things.

              by billmosby on Mon Jul 23, 2012 at 10:11:49 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

  •  Just end the secrecy (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cartoon Peril

    You can argue for gun ownership but where does the 2nd Amendment say that you should be able to do so secretly? A national database that linked together purchases of weapons, ammunition and bullet-proofing gear, etc, would flag terrorists and demented individuals, allowing local police the opportunity to follow up with individuals who suddenly turn violent. No system can be made proof against malice but you can create intelligent hurdles that do not infringe the Constitution.

    The universe may have a meaning and a purpose, but it may just specifically not include you.

    by Anne Elk on Mon Jul 23, 2012 at 07:43:20 AM PDT

  •  Absolutely. Here's another perspective An M60 tank (5+ / 0-)

    (which I drove) carries 5,950 rounds for the 7.62 coax machine gun, 900 rounds for the 50 cal, and 63 rounds for the main gun. That is full combat load. This guy had more ammo than we carried for our 7.62 coax.

    Further, affiant sayeth not.

    by Gary Norton on Mon Jul 23, 2012 at 08:42:11 AM PDT

  •  It's not what you fling... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cactusflinthead

    It's the fling itself.

    My wife correctly assesses, in my estimation, that it's not guns we should be talking about, but America's culture of violence.  Does anyone believe that a shooter would have gone on a killing spree in a theatre showing a romantic comedy or a nature documentary?  
    America is caught up in a frenetic whirl of violence which has become part of our culture, part of ourselves.  Almost all of us accept within ourselves the permission to be violent under certain circumstances; circumstances which have experienced enormous "mission creep" in the our own lifetimes.
    Each of us should examine that internal permission and resolve to lessen the extent of that permission, and, oh, by the way, make clear to others by our deeds that we are not giving them permission to be violent.
    It's violence, not its manifestation, that needs addressing.

    •  I don't think the movie mattered (4+ / 0-)

      And I don't think this argument should be about gun control, it should be about access to mental health care.

      From what I've read, it seems the shooter had planned this for months and knew that the Batman premier was more likely to draw a huge crowd, as opposed to Must Love Dogs, and police response would have been slower at that time of the night.

      I do agree that the culture of violence in America is despicable, and we're constantly allowing ourselves to be entertained by death and mayhem. You won't see a summer blockbuster about science or a rag tag bunch of losers building a wind turbine or switch grass biofuel plant in their back yard that completely shows up the rich kids and their hydrofracking plant. Nor will you see a movie about love, romance, or feelings generating the kids of receipts you'd get from a movie that is non-stop explosions and killing.

      I also agree that this culture must be changed, and I feel that the first step would be making available the physical and mental health care we all desperately need.

    •  I'm not so sure that's always true. There was a (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cactusflinthead

      shooting at Cal State Fullerton back in the 70s. I believe it started in the library.

      A son of one of my profs was killed in that shooting.

      202-224-3121 to Congress in D.C. USE it! You can tell how big a person is by what it takes to discourage them. "We're not perfect, but they're nuts."--Barney Frank 01/02/2012

      by cany on Mon Jul 23, 2012 at 10:53:26 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Maybe in-person ammo/gun sales only (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BachFan, cactusflinthead

    and mental health screening training for sales staff.

    Financial (unemployment insurance notification) and academic record screening might also be done.

    Would you sell ammo or guns to guy who looks like this?

    http://www.cbsnews.com/...

    Holmes allegedly set off gas canisters and used a semiautomatic rifle, a shotgun and a pistol to open fire on theater-goers, Oates said. Holmes had bought the weapons at local gun stores in the past two months. He recently bought 6,000 rounds of ammunition over the Internet, the chief said.
    On CBS' "Face the Nation" Sunday, Oates said Holmes' arrest immediately after the shooting was the result of observant police officers who noticed something off about the man dressed in black tactical gear.

    "There was one particular piece of equipment that he had on him that was out of place, and I am so proud of my officers that they spotted that right away and challenged him," Oates said.

    That piece of equipment was a non-regulation gas mask. Holmes was arrested at the scene

    In other words, he might have gotten away after killing all those people.

    In Iraq, the US Army spray-tested people for gun powder residue.

    •  also (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cactusflinthead
      the owner of a gun range told the AP that Holmes applied to join the club last month but never became a member because of his behavior and a "bizarre" message on his voicemail
      •  Which no one reported? (0+ / 0-)

        "But the protesters were only armed with chalk---the cops had guns and batons----and they were beating the protesters."

        by lyvwyr101 on Mon Jul 23, 2012 at 05:26:53 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Yeah, I saw those too (0+ / 0-)

        Very glad the cops had the presence of mind to notice him. I still think he never should have been able to buy armor. If you aren't a cop, security or military you ought to have to get the same sort of license a person has to get as a collector or dealer to purchase it.

        Putting on the spectacles of science in expectation of finding an answer to everything looked at signifies inner blindness. -- J(ames) Frank Dobie

        by cactusflinthead on Mon Jul 23, 2012 at 05:36:21 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Here's a thought. Regulate "assault weapons"... (0+ / 0-)

    ...the way they do machineguns.  I can buy a machinegun here in Ohio. Anyone with a clean record can.  In fact, the vast majority of states allow private ownership of fully automatic weapons.  Since the National Firearms Act of 1934 we have approximately 1/4 of a million machineguns in private hands in this country.  However they have been used in crimes exactly twice, and once was by a police officer.  

    Why?  Because they are highly regulated.  You have to fill out a mountain of paperwork and obtain a federal tax stamp to own one.  If "assault weapons" were regulated the same way they'd be more difficult and costly to obtain.

    On the Ammo issue, I go through between 5-7k rounds a year as a competitive shooter and firearms instructor.  It sounds like an awful lot but in reality it's not all that much.  That being said I see everyone going on about the fact that Holmes had bought 6,000 rounds.  Realistically, how much of that did he shoot when he committed his crime?  100 rounds?  200 rounds?  

    If we're concerned about ammunition sales, and I'm not saying we shouldn't be, then regulate that too.  

    What about mental health issues?  They're certainly stigmatized in this country.  That's another serious discussion we need to have.

    Chris

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