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To me it seems so obvious that I am at al loss to explain why it is never mentioned. I am seeking the assistance of my fellow Kossacks to help me understand.

I am speaking of gun control and the notion that high capacity magazines* should be banned. That is well and good, and as long as you are allowing external magazines at all, that is a great idea. But what has me flummoxed is why isn't the conversation centered on banning external magazines altogether.

The reason for my consternation is that it seems so obvious to me that when you have magazines that can be changed in a matter 5 or 10 seconds then it is not a big issue whether it holds 10 rounds or 30 rounds. For a magazine that takes 10 seconds to load only 20 seconds is added to the time that it takes to squeeze off 30 rounds total, and just as importantly no pause in shooting of more than 10 seconds is required. This still leaves scant time for the potential victims to either escape or overwhelm the shooter.

So hunters and people who are in a position of protecting their homes would multi-round capability but those who are bent on killing as many people as they can in as short a time as possible would be hampered. (The only ones who might not find 5 or 10 rounds adequate for home defense are those whose fevered fantasies include being stormed by bands of marijuana-crazed Black Panthers toting AK47s)

But I have to be missing something, because I can't understand why no one is advocating limiting gun sales to those that are not configured to take an external magazine, ones that perhaps can load 5 or 10 rounds in an internal magazine and then, in order to continue firing each bullet must be loaded manually and individually. Then there would be time for victims to react, to either escape or attempt to overwhelm the perp, or at a minimum, drastically slow down his firing rate while waiting for first responders.

So my question to anyone who can help is why is this not an obviously better solution than limiting magazine size, and why is no one who is in a position of broad influence advocating for this standard? If it is some reason having to do with the mechanics of weaponry please explain. If it is political please try to explain why it is not at least part of the conversation on the national stage. Sure, it is obvious that the NRA would have fits, and they are a formidible roadblock to progress in this area, but should we waver and give up because the fight might be difficult?

To be entirely correct, I have heard a few people advocate for this measure but mostly on forums like DKos. I have not heard anyone with access to a national media audience ever mention this solution which seems so eminently reasonable. This is what I find frustrating every time I hear the discussion. I need someone to help me understand why the only thing being advocated seems like a half measure, when the time seems ripe to make significant changes in the gun laws and when taking the half measure would preclude adopting this better, fuller solution for years to come.

And I want to clarify. My question is not at all intended to be rhetorical. I am sincerely seeking to understand why something that seems so obvious to me appears to have been over-looked in favor of the less effective measure.

*Note to gun people. I am not up on the most precise terminology and nomenclature for guns so bear with me. If "clip" is a more appropriate term for this concept than "magazine" then please let's not quibble. I think that the idea is what matters and not the precise terminology. The same holds for any other terms like "bullets" or "rounds", etc.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (4+ / 0-)

    The world is a den of thieves and night is falling. -Ingmar Bergman

    by Pirogue on Wed Jan 16, 2013 at 05:39:55 PM PST

  •  You have a point (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Wee Mama, theboz, annecros

    Made stronger by the fact that its takes only 2-3 seconds to change out a magazine(as opposed to 5-10). Reducing the capacity of magazines is more of a feel good measure than a practical one(to say nothing of the fact that magazines are primitive devices that can be fabricated or altered with simple tools).

    But take this a little further. Assume only internal magazines are allowed as you suggest. That does not prevent anyone from carrying more than one gun. Or using a speed reloading device. So even that does not effectively address the issue.

    •  no need to carry multiple weapons (0+ / 0-)

      internal magazines already have a larger capacity than some clips.  However we also need to quit referring to clips and magazines as synonymous; while all clips are mags, not all mags are clips.

      Also there are always pepperboxes for the multiple shot crowd  

      •  Wth respect. (0+ / 0-)

        and I mean this with respect, I can't see how it makes any difference at all for the purposes of this discussion. They both, unless I am seriously mistaken, allow for a quick reloading of multiple rounds in a gun with only a single act of inserting or attaching, as opposed to having to  insert each individual bullet by hand when reloading. Unless there something not covered in my description, the difference between a magazine and a clip is a question truly of interest only to gun enthusiasts. What matters is how easily they allow a quick reloading of multiple rounds into the gun.

        The world is a den of thieves and night is falling. -Ingmar Bergman

        by Pirogue on Wed Jan 16, 2013 at 07:34:25 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  with respect, I think what I am getting at is (0+ / 0-)

          precision of language in our discussion.  To call for a ban on clips is different from a call for a ban on magazines.  As we have seen, it is difficult to get effective laws unless we are very precise in our language.
          "With the increased use of semi-automatic and automatic firearms, the detachable box magazine became increasingly common. Soon after the adoption of the M1911 pistol, the term "magazine" was settled on by the military and firearms experts, though the term "clip" is often used in its place (though only for detachable magazines, never fixed).[16][17][18] The defining difference between clips and magazines is the presence of a feed mechanism in a magazine, typically a spring-loaded follower, which a clip lacks. Use of the term "clip" to refer to detachable magazines is a point of strong disagreement.[2][19][20][21]

          The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines a clip as "a device to hold cartridges for charging the magazines of some rifles; also :a magazine from which ammunition is fed into the chamber of a firearm".[22]"
          http://en.wikipedia.org/...

          •  Thanks, but I am (0+ / 0-)

            not drafting precise legislation here, only discussing the situation in very general terms and the concepts, IMHO, apply equally to both clips and magazines. As I said before, if there were a general term that subsumed both external loading methodologies I would gladly use it.

            The world is a den of thieves and night is falling. -Ingmar Bergman

            by Pirogue on Wed Jan 16, 2013 at 10:56:46 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  I'm interested to see what response you (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Wee Mama, UncleCharlie

    get to this. It seems a reasonable question to me and it's asked respectfully and thoughtfully.

    I'd be afraid to put myself out there, but good for you. I hope replies are respectful and thoughtful too.

  •  pretty much every rifle (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BlackSheep1, UncleCharlie

    made since WWII takes a bottom feed box magazine (the M1 Garand was the last to tkat a top feed clip, I believe), and every semi-automatic pistol since the 1911 Colt.  It is simple, safe and reliable . . . and at this point so "standard" that it's almost hard to imagine an alternative.  There's certainly no way to "retrofit" existing guns to a different feed system.

    It is also the case, as you point out, that once the bottom feed box was adopted there was no simple way to limit magazine size . . . so we have the proliferation of straight box, bananna box and drum magazines of ridiculous capacity that we see today . . . with no way to modify the guns to not accept them.

    Unless you've got a new idea for how to accomplish this . . .

    Fake Left, Drive Right . . . not my idea of a Democrat . . .

    by Deward Hastings on Wed Jan 16, 2013 at 06:07:34 PM PST

    •  I'm not sure (0+ / 0-)

      I understand your response. My question has to do with outlawing guns that accept any external clip whatever,  and in fact explicitly states that it seems that allowing any external magazines or clips at all is a half measure doomed to failure.

      The world is a den of thieves and night is falling. -Ingmar Bergman

      by Pirogue on Wed Jan 16, 2013 at 07:48:35 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  That would amount to (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        annecros

        a total ban and confiscation of almost all existing firearms (revolving chamber pistols excepted), and that's just not going to happen.  In the case of rifles it would accomplish almost nothing anyway, since while attacks with high capacity magazine rifles make for big headlines they account for only a tiny fraction of total gun deaths, and those few "spree killers" would just have used something else.  

        We have to find a slightly less absolutist way if we actually want to do something about the problem.

        Fake Left, Drive Right . . . not my idea of a Democrat . . .

        by Deward Hastings on Wed Jan 16, 2013 at 08:30:13 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  This diary (0+ / 0-)

          was not intended for a general discussion of the pros and cons of gun control. What I am attempting to find out is why, among those already convinced that some type of gun control would be beneficial, is there only discussion of clip capacities and no discussion of banning all and every loading mechanism  that allows for external clips in the first place.

          Whether gun control in general is efficacious is a worthy topic, but I am trying to find out why those who are indeed commited to such measures are limiting the debate in this way. I hope that is clear.

          Your point about confiscating all the firearms is valid and I think that this is, at a minimum, politically impossible so is not on the table in any real sense. But if we make the manufacture and sale of multi-clip enabled guns against the law, the supply in the hands of the criminal set will continuiously dwindle if law enforcement seizes the illegally obtained guns being used or held by perps and felons. With no easy source of replenishment those bent on using guns criminally will find it much harder to obtain them. This is my expectation anyway and such an outcome would make the attempt worthwhile.

          The world is a den of thieves and night is falling. -Ingmar Bergman

          by Pirogue on Wed Jan 16, 2013 at 09:45:10 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  That's what I'm trying to tell you . . . (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            annecros

            that banning removable magazines bans almost all guns in existence today.  It's not going to happen.  I could give you a lot of other reasons why I think it shouldn't happen, but it would be moot.

            So those of us who want working gun control will pretty much dismiss it as a non-starter, and put our energies to regulation that will accomplish what we want to, and can, accomplish . . . a substantial near-term reduction, tending to long term elimination, of gun deaths.  I believe that can be done without declaring illegal and confiscating 95% of the guns presently in America.

            Fake Left, Drive Right . . . not my idea of a Democrat . . .

            by Deward Hastings on Wed Jan 16, 2013 at 10:06:47 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  "... simple, safe and reliable ..." (0+ / 0-)

      Well, maybe simple and reliable.

      What about my Daughter's future?

      by koNko on Thu Jan 17, 2013 at 04:23:18 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  taking a standard M1 carbine, manufactured by (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ban nock, annecros

    General Motors in 1943, with its issued internal clip, I find no problem in switching clips rapidly.  Also I note Mossberg manufactures a shotgun with an internal magazine which can fire 8 buckshot rounds or slugs, which makes it a fearsome weapon.

    There needs to be much discussion as an external clip does not necessarily reduce either volume or speed in firing rate by an experienced shooter.  I would argue that such a clip could even slow down the firing rate since there is such a thing as a speed loader specifically for non-clip weapons.

    Earlier today, I was told that bolt action rifles were a thing of the past, something that went out with black powder and that most bolt actions today were shotguns.
    This reinforced to me the responsibility gunowners have to educate the general public.  The question is if the general public is interested in listening and learning  

  •  you've got the terminology right (0+ / 0-)

    for some applications, at least. Many people use clip / magazineinterchangeably, but it isn't really accurate to do so. That you're clearly interested in getting past that point strikes me as favorable. So that's encouraging to me.

    *Note to gun people. I am not up on the most precise terminology and nomenclature for guns so bear with me. If "clip" is a more appropriate term for this concept than "magazine" then please let's not quibble. I think that the idea is what matters and not the precise terminology. The same holds for any other terms like "bullets" or "rounds", etc.
    Bear in mind I learned my firearms nomenclature in the service ... so I'm not trying to quibble or fight. I'm trying to say I appreciate your taking time to use the correct names for the important items. If the terms I use don't match the ones you know, can we work toward understanding?

    Thank you for asking a good question in an encouraging way. Thank you for taking time and paying attention.

    I'm not engineer enough to have that new idea about overcoming the need for external magazines.

    I do think that there are good reliable firearms technologies not dependent on the removable-box variety of external magazines -- for example, there's my .22LR autoloading Remington 550.

    It's a bolt-action, meaning for the first shot I must operate the bolt manually; after that, until the magazine is empty, the rifle will eject each empty shell and pick up the next unfired round.

    The magazine is a tube under the barrel. This type of magazine is older technology than the box magazine. It limits the maximum number of shots between needing to stop completely to reload, and reloading it takes some effort and some time.

    I wonder -- not being an engineer at all -- whether there is some method of creating a block or false bottom or something to limit magazine capacity without substantially altering the mass / function the removable box provides to the entire firearm.

    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 Wed Jan 16, 2013 at 07:02:22 PM PST

    •  Please (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      BlackSheep1

      explain the difference between a clip and a magazine. I would be obliged.

      The world is a den of thieves and night is falling. -Ingmar Bergman

      by Pirogue on Wed Jan 16, 2013 at 08:33:18 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  if you google (0+ / 0-)

        "en bloc clip" you'll get a number of pictures and good explanations.  As noted in a comment above, the clip simply holds the rounds together for insertion into the gun's internal magazine.  They are sometimes called "spring clips" because the spring tension of the sides is what holds the rounds together.  The magazine spring (which pushes rounds into chambering position) is a part of the gun itself.  Everything falls out of a clip if it is not full (when not inserted in the gun) . . . it's all or nothing.  Most clip-loaded rifles will eject the clip automatically and lock open bolt when the last round ejects, to enable quick reinsertion of the next load.

        A box magazine fully encloses the rounds, and pushes them up with an internal spring mechanism in the box.  There is no feed mechanism for the rounds in the gun itself.  They are constructed in such a way that nothing falls out when not fully loaded . . . you can carry any number of rounds (up to its capacity) in a box magazine, and the top one will always be in the proper position for chambering (when the magazine is inserted in the gun).  This makes it easy to remove a partially spent magazine and either insert a full one or unload the gun with at most one cycling operation (to clear the chamber).  When the box magazine is empty the gun will typically lock open bolt but the magazine will not drop . . . a separate action is required to release the spent magazine before inserting the next.

        In combat situations clips were commonly wasted, while box magazines are almost always preserved for re-loading.

        Fake Left, Drive Right . . . not my idea of a Democrat . . .

        by Deward Hastings on Wed Jan 16, 2013 at 09:48:38 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  more generally . . . (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          annecros

          every semi-automatic gun requires a "magazine" . . . the mechanism which holds the cartridges and advances them into chambering position.  

          A detachable, or "external", magazine is loaded outside the gun and inserted into the gun for operation.  

          An internal magazine does not separate from the gun, and is (typically) loaded by inserting a "clip" of amunition into the magazine.

          Fake Left, Drive Right . . . not my idea of a Democrat . . .

          by Deward Hastings on Wed Jan 16, 2013 at 10:26:26 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Thanks. (0+ / 0-)

          I did go to the google for both and while there is a distinction that I am sure is important in both combat and personal use, for the present discussion I don't see a strong enough distinction because the important characteristic is that it enables a preloaded assembly of bullets to be easily and quickly loaded en masse as opposed to being individually loaded.

          Perhaps there should be some general term that would subsume both clips and magazines. I would be happy to use it if it existed.

          The world is a den of thieves and night is falling. -Ingmar Bergman

          by Pirogue on Wed Jan 16, 2013 at 10:28:02 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  There are several important distinctions. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            annecros

            The detachable magazine is far safer, since it makes the gun easy to unload as well as load.  An internal magazine generally requires cycling each round individually to unload, and, absent a clip, requires a (relatively) slow loading process.  As a result internal magazine guns (and revolvers) are far more commonly found loaded (generally so they will be "ready to use").  This is not a trivial matter given the number of "accidental" firearm deaths.

            "Safe storage" for a semi-automatic handgun generally means cleared chamber and magazine separated from the gun. Most people find this acceptable since the gun can be quickly brought to service by two simple operations.  A shotgun typically requires just the operation you describe, the tedious loading of shells one at a time into the internal magazine.  As a result a shotgun kept for defense will almost always be loaded . . . mine is.  I would prefer the handgun-like safety of a detachable magazine, but unfortunately shotguns generally don't come that way.

            The above should not be taken to contradict in any way the general "safety policy" that all guns are to be regarded as always loaded all the time whether they are or not.

            Fake Left, Drive Right . . . not my idea of a Democrat . . .

            by Deward Hastings on Wed Jan 16, 2013 at 11:28:44 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Since no one seems to have suggested (0+ / 0-)

              a general term that applies to both clips and magazines, let me take the liberty. Let's call it an ELA (External Loading Assembly, if this is does not seem to be the best please feel free to provide another one.)

              Now please understand that my question and the purpose of this diary is not to foster a discussion of the relative merits, capacities or functions of all classes of ELAs. It is an attempt to find out why those who already believe that ELAs should be limited in capacities do not follow the logic of their position and extend their ban to all ELAs without regard to the size or number of bullets it holds. To me this has little to do with all the mechanical distinctions between clips and magazines. It has to do with what is going on in the subjective mental processes of those who take this position. It is doubtful that someone who rejects the notion that there is a valid logic to the position that ELA capacity should be regulated would be able to explain why those people feel one is valid but do not follow what seems to be obvious logic to the next conclusion. But I thank you for your help.

              The world is a den of thieves and night is falling. -Ingmar Bergman

              by Pirogue on Thu Jan 17, 2013 at 06:18:21 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

      •  I'll be happy to try. In general a clip is (0+ / 0-)

        a device that helps load the weapon and can be entirely independent of the firearm -- like a charger or speedloader. The magazine is part of the firearm, and helps load the chamber.
        Yikes. I need pictures.
        The clip only partly encloses the ammunition, and it has no spring to help in feeding the action. Its function is to hold and/or position ammunition rounds so you can load them into the magazine, which is the weapon's ammunition reservoir.

        There are some firearms that substitute the clip for the magazine, so you absolutely don't have to have both. A clip-fed weapon strips the rounds directly out of the clip into the action. One such rifle used in US Military service was the Springfield 03-A3.

        A magazine encloses the ammunition entirely. This may be fixed, or detachable; magazines may be tubular, such as you have probably seen on a lever-action firearm like the famous Rifleman's weapon, or a .22 rifle similar to mine; the magazine may be internal, external or removable. Magazines usually assist in feeding the ammunition into the action, most often by some arrangement involving a follower driven by a spring.

        The rifles I'm most familiar with both have magazines, but they're very different types of magazines. My .22LR Remington has a tubular magazine, located under the barrel, that holds 15 rounds of 22 caliber long-rifle ammunition; if I chose to use standard or short .22 it might carry more, but .22LR is what I've always used.

        The other rifle I know reasonably well is the M-16 (not the A1, although I have seen and worked with some). The M-16 has a detachable box style magazine. The ones I handled were 20-round magazines, which the Air Force required we load with no more than 15 rounds (10 for training purposes). In this magazine a clip helps you position 10 rounds on top of the magazine spring, so you can push the top round only and thus force all of them into the magazine well. The magazine has a spring that pushes each unfired round up into position for the action to pick up.

        I've also handled a few examples of other rifles -- a bolt-action Mauser, half a dozen 03-A3-Springfields our parade unit used at Barksdale, and a Henry .22LR Lever action, along with a Ruger-built Colt 22LR "MP4/AR15" clone.  

        You absolutely can have a firearm that uses neither magazine nor clip. Some examples are single-shot firearms, black-powder muzzle-loaders, double-barrel shotguns, derringers and pepperboxes.  

        You can have a clip with no magazine.

        You can have a magazine without a clip.

        There are some weapons that use both.

        In general, "modern" weapons have a magazine, except for some shotguns and all revolvers. Revolvers carry the rounds in the chambers. Some shotguns have double-barrels, some single, and break-open actions. For these you have one, or if it's a double-barrel, two, shots before you have to reload.

        A clip feeds ammunition into a magazine, most commonly; a magazine is the firearm's ammunition reservoir, and it can be internal or external, integral or detachable.

        Um, here is a picture of the sort of clip I am most familiar with, which is also called a speedloader or a charger.

        Here is another kind of clip, the en-bloc, used in the M-1 Garand. This rifle has a fixed internal magazine, and the clip holds the ammunition inside the magazine. If you look carefully you can see why the clip is necessary to keep the ammunition aligned inside this essentially big open space within the weapon so the feed mechanism can access the rounds and operate correctly.

        Does this help?

        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 Wed Jan 16, 2013 at 10:13:36 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  tube magazines (0+ / 0-)

      work for rimfire and shot shells, but not for centerfire rifle (or pistol) cartridges.  Consider what's touching where in the tube . . .

      Fake Left, Drive Right . . . not my idea of a Democrat . . .

      by Deward Hastings on Wed Jan 16, 2013 at 09:15:04 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  You've hit on the big problem with the whole (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BlackSheep1, Deward Hastings

    debate. There are 300 million guns out there, millions of scary looking plastic things, millions of large capacity magazines for pistol and rifle. No one is going to say "turn them in". So they are out there.

    I'd say most hunting rifles are trap door magazines. Feed from the top, open the trap door at the bottom to unload, hold 3 or 4 rounds. But that's irrelevant. All long guns wether they look like scary Rambo guns or shotguns or hunting rifles are used in about 2 or 3 % of murders. People use handguns, and no one want to take them away because that's what they themselves have.

    No answers to the larger question here. My rifles are empty except when I hunt. No handgun, life is very boring where I live, like it that way.

    How big is your personal carbon footprint?

    by ban nock on Wed Jan 16, 2013 at 07:06:52 PM PST

    •  As a person with almost no interest in guns (0+ / 0-)

      except as hazards or annoyances to be avoided I am on somewhat shaky grounds when discussing the mechanisms involved. Having said that, the idea is that any gun (which unless I am violating some convention of terminology) including hand guns could be enabled to accept any externally loaded clip, magazine or whatever.  Now, I don't think that this would prevent a drunk bubba from turning his gun on someone who just pissed him off, but it would help to limit the firepower being carried by those with a more involved criminal enterprise of theft or mayhem.

      As for the problem of the number of guns already out there, I grant it is a daunting problem but we have to start somewhere and there will be an important attrition of guns available to the criminal population if we institute these restrictions and if law enforcement is empowered to seize any guns in the possesion of those apprehended for crimes or those in the possesion of people, such as felons, who are not allowed to have them.

      This would reduce the number of easily available high capacity guns to the criminal community because they would not be manufactured and those that were circulating in that milieu would continuously dwindle in number.

      The world is a den of thieves and night is falling. -Ingmar Bergman

      by Pirogue on Wed Jan 16, 2013 at 08:08:40 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  you stated 99.99% of the problem without, (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        annecros, ban nock

        it seems, realizing that you stated it, in your next-to-last paragraph.  If you can figure out a way to get guns out of the hands of criminals before you try to get them out of the hands of the law abiding the remaining "details" of gun control will be a cakewalk.

        Doing it the other way around produces the resistance you see now . . .

        Fake Left, Drive Right . . . not my idea of a Democrat . . .

        by Deward Hastings on Wed Jan 16, 2013 at 09:55:59 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Thanks, but this is (0+ / 0-)

          meandering off into a general discussion of the pros and cons of gun control. That is not why I started this diary.

          What I am trying to find out is this. If we assume that there is a logic to the position that high capacity clips or magazines should be banned, then why does that logic not dictate that banning any external clip or magazine would be a better solution?

          My guess is that you do not accept the premise that banning high capacity clips would reduce gun violence. Therefore you are probably not going to be able to give me the answer I am looking for. But I appreciate your efforts.

          The world is a den of thieves and night is falling. -Ingmar Bergman

          by Pirogue on Wed Jan 16, 2013 at 10:51:12 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Your "guess" is incorrect. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            annecros, ban nock

            I made the mistake of assuming that you were honestly looking for an answer to your question, but instead you are looking for the answer that you want.  You're not going to get it from me.

            Fake Left, Drive Right . . . not my idea of a Democrat . . .

            by Deward Hastings on Wed Jan 16, 2013 at 11:38:36 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Then please help me out so I can understand. (0+ / 0-)

              You said my quess is incorrect so I can only interpret that to mean that you do advocate banning high capacity clips because to do so would reduce gun violence. So may I ask you how that would be given that, as I am now told, it only takes 2 or 3 seconds for a well practiced shooter to change magazines or clips? It is hard for me to see how such a measure would significantly reduce fire power and therefore gun violence.

              I am sincerely interested in your response but that doesn't mean I am necessarily going to embrace it.

              Finally let me explain what I meant by "the answer I am looking for". I really should have said "an answer that focuses on the question in the way I had intended." What I mean is that I saw a couple of gun control advocates on the television recently talking about limiting magazine capacity as a means to reduce gun violence. What I really want to know what they would say if asked why they don't extend their advocacy of magazine limitation to an outright ban on all external loading mechanisms. Now, respectfully, I don't think these people are gun enthusiasts, and I am assuming you are, so I don't think their answer would be the same as yours. If I am wrong about your attitude toward guns then I apologize and I would have to backtrack a bit.

              The world is a den of thieves and night is falling. -Ingmar Bergman

              by Pirogue on Thu Jan 17, 2013 at 06:45:24 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  I own one "semi-automatic" hand gun. (0+ / 0-)

                The clip holds eight rounds.  I use the gun for target practice and home defense.  I don't need "fiftyeleven" clips for it.

                Has anyone thought about just limiting the number of mags and/or clips one can own for each weapon?

          •  I can just make something up if you'd like (0+ / 0-)

            I could care less what gets banned, has no affect on me, you just have no idea what you are talking about and seemed to genuinely want to understand. Stupid me.

            How big is your personal carbon footprint?

            by ban nock on Thu Jan 17, 2013 at 05:55:31 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  Just ban guns. (0+ / 0-)

    But that is too simple and sane, right?

    What about my Daughter's future?

    by koNko on Thu Jan 17, 2013 at 04:21:28 AM PST

  •  When you hear about people subduing gunmen (0+ / 0-)

    it is almost always when they are changing clips.

    Amateurs usually can't change clips nearly as fast as the theoretical maximum.  Their hands shake with adrenaline, they fumble it etc.  It is similar to why an amateur with a concealed weapon (and even many professionals who carry guns but rarely draw them, like security guards and many police) have trouble DRAWING a weapon when under fire.

    Clip size matters.  When a clip runs out, someone has to either draw a new gun, or do the equivalent (drawing a clip) plus several other steps (eject old clip, seat the new clip properly, in some cases lever a round into the chamber)

    If they're not someone like a Delta Force or Hostage Rescue Team operative, this is going to provide a window of time when they're not really armed that allows others to intervene.

    •  So wouldn't (0+ / 0-)

      the window of opportunity be even longer if the shooter is required to hand load each bullet into the magazine?

      And if that is the case why do you think that among the most visible and influential gun control advocates no one is advocating such a measure?

      The world is a den of thieves and night is falling. -Ingmar Bergman

      by Pirogue on Thu Jan 17, 2013 at 07:24:16 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  It's a lot easier to limit magazine size (0+ / 0-)

        than to recall and destroy all existing magazine-fed guns.

        Aside from revolvers and some hunting-oriented rifles and shotguns, pretty much all of the 200 million+ guns in the USA are magazine fed.

        There is also a gun-safety problem with guns that lack magazines....they're harder to unload and of course harder to make ready for use, so anyone with a self-defense reason for owning a gun will be very likely to store the gun fully loaded.

        If you look at the gun death problem as a whole, intentional homicides are a relatively small percentage of deaths and injuries, and rampage-type shootings are an even smaller percentage.  

        I'm just making numbers up, but to illustrate the point lets say that gun deaths break down something like this:

        Accidental deaths 30%
        suicides 30%
        Homicides where 10 or fewer rounds are used 30%
        Justified shootings where 10 or fewer rounds are used 8% (justified shootings needing more than 10 rounds are probably less than 1% outside of a war zone)
        Rampage shootings where more than 10 rounds are used 2%

        The gun magazine law is intended at limiting the damage of those 2% rampage shootings, while not making any of the other causes of gun deaths worse and also not restricting legitimate uses of guns.

        If we could magically turn all magazine fed weapons into either revolvers, or small internal magazine weapons (from 1-10 shots), what is likely to happen is the accidental death rate will rise.  

        To continue illustrating the point, with numbers randomly pulled out of thin air just to do get a sense of the scales involved.....lets pretend the following was true (and that all policies could be just as easily implemented).  Lets use 30K deaths and 50K injuries as a ballpark figure

        Limiting magazine size to 10 reduces rampage shooting deaths and injuries from 2% to 1.5% and does not affect any other category of death measurably (as in all other categories, less than 10 rounds are fired).   This is a reduction of ~400 deaths/injuries per year.

        Eliminating magazines alltogether (and lets say shotguns and rifles are limited to a 5 round internal magazine and pistols are limited to an 8 round internal magazine (or 6 shot revolver) reduces rampage shootings from 2% to 1%, a reduction of ~80
        0 deaths/injuries a year...ie lets say that your proposed measure is twice as effective as magazine limits.

        But if accidental deaths increase by 2% as a result of having loaded weapons available where they would have been unloaded with magazine fed weapons you get 480 extra deaths a year.

        So...again it is hard to precisely measure, but I suspect even a first order approximation of known death rates would show that any proposal which reduces gun safety even by a small percentage will more than wipe out any gains by limiting access to bullets in a magazine.   Combine that with the MUCH harder political lift and practical enforcement to implement an "internal magazine only" law, and you can see w hy this is a nonstarter.

        •  You make a compelling case. (0+ / 0-)

          What was so "obvious" to me when I started the diary is no longer so clear cut. I figured I might be missing something. You have gone a long way toward filling in the gaps and I appreciate the time you have taken to explain it so clearly.

          I can't say that I am entirely convinced but it is apparent that there are strong reasons why the "no clips" solution might not be as obvious as I initially thought. Thanks.

          The world is a den of thieves and night is falling. -Ingmar Bergman

          by Pirogue on Thu Jan 17, 2013 at 01:02:15 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  you're welcome (0+ / 0-)

            writing a comment like that forces me to clarify my own thinking too.  I'm glad that I did a good enough job that you were able to understand the argument.

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