The Weaponry James Holmes Used: AR15, GLock 40 Cal, Remington 870

I am amazed at how many online and MSmedia journos and pundits, bloggers and facebook and twitter folks… have no idea about caliber nor shooting power of firearms, automatic, semi-automatic. Nor about the horror of devastating bodily destruction from bullets. Many appear to have no horrific images/memories in their minds, no gun oil on their hands, but plenty of dry dust opinions. Problem is many opine from a distance too far to see anything relevant that has to do with real and true ‘leave no human life uncounted.’

Since the slaughter at Aurora, Colorado, far too many in the blogosphere have been making all kinds of uniformed assertions all the way from ‘Holmes had only a one-bullet-at-a time rifle,’ [Wrong. The fact is Holmes had an AR-15 assault weapon and we do not know if it was automatic or semi automatic. Regardless it had a 100 bullet drum and even if semi-automatic could theoretically kill 60 people a minute, murder another 40 people in the next minute before running out of ammo and another drum added. Then another 60 dead in one minute, another 40 in the next minute. It's ridiculous to be asserting 'oh it was just a one shot weapon' as though the person would have many seconds between squeeze offs].

More fantasy from bloggers: ‘Oh Holmes only had a 22 pistol” (which kids used to use for shooting tin cans) [wrong],

More fantasy: ‘Holmes had a canister sub-machine weapon a la 1920 Mafioso ‘specials.’ [Also wrong.]

Here’s what has been reported so far by Aurora Police Department:

James Holmes used 3 different kinds of guns during his assault on a Colorado movie theater … including a high power assault rifle.

The Aurora PD says Holmes was in possession of an AR-15, a Remington 870 shotgun and a 40 caliber glock handgun when he was arrested this morning.

Cops say they found another 40 caliber glock in the shooter’s car, located outside the movie theater.

An AR-15 is a semi-automatic weapon, depending how configured … The firing power of the AR-15 — a version of the M-16 assault rifle, is enormous. Apparently Holmes had a 100-round rifle drum and the weapon’s firing capability, Chief Oates (Chief of Aurora police department) said he did not know whether the rifle was fully automatic or sem-automatic but “even if it was semi-automatic, I’m told by experts that with that drum magazine, he could’ve gotten off 50 to 60 rounds … within one minute.”

So there’s the skivvy we know so far. ‘Fog of war’ that occurs at disaster sites means corrections may be forthcoming. ANd, this is how it stands now.

CODA
I’d just add this sad note; At Columbine where I was a post-trauma recovery specialist to the high school and community for 3 years after the massacre, the procedure Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold used to murder 12 students, one teacher, and wound 24 others, often with spinal injuries putting them in chairs for life… was very similar to Holmes: first set off smoke bombs, try to arm propane bombs additionally, and then use a multiple-weapon arsenal to blast away at people sitting/standing/walking close to each other. At Columbine, most shooting and deaths took place in the stairwells, halls, library, where children were in close proximity, readying to or already eating their lunches. Two students were shot to death on the grass near the doors to the school where Klebold’s and Harris’s entered. Not boobytrapped like Holmes configured in his apartment, but Klebold and Harris’ homes were filled with sawed off shotgun, parts, ammo, pipe bombs, bombs ready to go. The love of incendiary and death is a story for another time, a story of the predictability of these fascinations in certain mental disorders.

For now, May there be peace for the families at the Memorial today (Sunday) and we hear President Obama is coming to help the mourners of which there are so so many. And we hope that pastor Fred and his ghouls are kept from boarding any airship on its way to Denver International Airport. He and his crew were at the Columbine Memorial holding a huge sign saying “God HATES Columbine.” We stood in front of him in our long dresses and held our skirts wide so he was blocked from the camera crews which were hanging like spiders everywhere. Pastor Fred. Speaking of evil and illness. Just my .02

Thanks all who commented on firearms here even though often conflicting info. A friend in law enforcement sent this re weaponry used by police departments: “General statements about what police carry will most often be wrong. It depends on the district, funds, Captain’s preferences, legislative money given and other factors. Just because someone owns a firearm or many firearms doesnt mean the average citizen knows what each police district carries now, or ever. Also law enforcement uses language to describe firearms that may be different from that used by the average citizen gun owner. Unless you’re a police officer, and again, depending on the language used in the district, descriptions may vary. At this time there is much public speculation that is opinion only as the photos of actual weaponry have not been released. The claim that Holmes’ gun jammed, is corroborated by only one person. Good investigation requires we gather all claims and sort through them factually before ‘jumping the gun.’”

Author: DR. CLARISSA PINKOLA ESTÉS, Managing Editor of TMV, and Columnist

47 Comments

  1. maybe the first smart step is to place stricter regulations on the firing power of weapons available to the public.

    why does anyone need an AR15?

  2. It is simple: no weapon sold should have a capacity greater than 11 rounds (10 in a clip, one in chamber).

    That should be plenty to deter bad guys as a personal protection device. We’re talking real-world here, not Hollywood movies or gun fetishist fantasies.

    This would not prevent gun violence, but it would certainly slow an event down enough to reduce mass casualties and provide people an opportunity to escape or fight back.

  3. “I am amazed at how many online and MSmedia journos and pundits, bloggers and facebook and twitter folks… have no idea about caliber nor shooting power of firearms, automatic, semi-automatic. Nor about the horror of devastating bodily destruction from bullets. “

    That’s certainly true. And this would probably be a MUCH more relevant spot for your graphic image (editorially placed into the Bill Moyer’s piece).

    @ShannonLee — I agree with you that I cannot understand why anybody would need such a gun. But it isn’t the specific weapon that enables these horrors, so much as the firing capacity. Banning the AR15 (for instance) would not prevent a similar event with another semi-auto.

  4. Our “founding fathers” needed firepower to ensure that native Americans and British-backed trouble-makers did not threaten them in the homes. They also distrusted all standing armies. Finally, they knew that the British crown held a huge advantage, militarily, over them during the war because the citizenry had been limited in the types of weaponry they were permitted to keep (along with the quantity of ammunition). Given these realities, it is unsurprising that they would be against limiting any firearms to the general populace–particularly in regard to militia.

    Why do people ‘need’ these items? Wrong question. A better question might be, “Why do people insist on having these items?” They do not, except in the minds of the extremely delusional and paranoid, need them. They often do want them, however.

  5. maybe the first smart step is to place stricter regulations on the firing power of weapons available to the public.

    why does anyone need an AR15?/

    In truth the power of the AR15 is less than many sporting rifles in all areas except one, mag capacity and in all honesty many civilian weapons have the same availability of large volume mags.

    It is simple: no weapon sold should have a capacity greater than 11 rounds (10 in a clip, one in chamber).

    Why? in the US this used to be law but has expired now and guess what gun violence has decreased anyway. There is absolutely no statistical reason for reinstating a law like that. Funny thing too. When the ban was active it encouraged the popularity of larger deadlier calibers. Nothing happens in a vacuum and just because it “sounds” good means little.

    but it would certainly slow an event down enough to reduce mass casualties and provide people an opportunity to escape

    Maybe but that’s a big maybe. These are nuts looking for the biggest body count. To think that something like a capacity limit would make a big difference is naive at best. There is a reason many shooters have multiple handguns, the quickest reload is a new gun so maybe they just carry another gun. In this case the shooter used a 40 which only has a 12 round mag at best anyway (there are higher capacity mags available but are expensive and are not standard) The idea that this would make some major difference is just not backed up by facts and seems more like wishful thinking that anything else.

    or fight back.

    With what? If some have their way only cops and Michael Moore’s bodyguards will be armed and certainly no one would be allowed to carry except those previously noted.

  6. Crap must of missed an endquote. Sorry I miss edit.

  7. I dont think clip size is of much help. Anyone can arm themselves with 4 handguns, a shotgun over the shoulder and something nastier in the hand. I dont think changing out clips would make that much of a difference. I am thinking more barrel size and bullet type. I remember my dad once bought a package of hollow points for his 357. Looking back, I wonder what the hell for?

  8. Why do people ‘need’ these items? Wrong question. A better question might be, “Why do people insist on having these items?” They do not, except in the minds of the extremely delusional and paranoid, need them. They often do want them, however.

  9. Why do people ‘need’ these items? Wrong question. A better question might be, “Why do people insist on having these items?” They do not, except in the minds of the extremely delusional and paranoid, need them. They often do want them, however.

    I’ve been using the term “adulthood” a lot in recent comments & tweets. Adults understand there are limits to everything. Adults recognize and apply the concept of personal responsibility. Adults understand you can’t have everything you want.

    We need more adults.

  10. EElis,

    (I’m not going to do block quoting anymore, so I’ll just address your points directly).

    Re: gun violence decreasing. There is no evidence that the amount of guns amongst the general public is having anything to do with overall gun violence. There’s simply no correlation (other than trumped-up NRA studies which cannot be trusted). Besides, I’m specifically referring to mass-casualty shootings, not spouse-on-spouse crap.

    Regarding “slowing down”: assume a 100-capacity semi-automatic. Assume 45 shots a minute, which I believe is low but let’s just use that. That’s 90 rounds in two minutes with some left over.

    I dare anyone except a highly trained professional to meet that rapidity of fire with multiple, 11-capacity weapons.

    I will grant you that there have been higher body counts in past incidents involving weapons that were not semi-automatics. But those were before today’s profligation of semis, they are much more readily available than they ever were.

    As far as “defending yourself/fighting back”, that’s directed to those who think a personal firearm and carry permits would have saved them. I’ve heard folks proclaim “see, if I could carry MY gun to the movies, I would’ve dropped him”. Heavily naive in the face of semi-automatic rifles, but perhaps more realistic if the enemy didn’t have a high-capacity weapon.

  11. “The semiautomatic assault rifle used by the gunman in a mass shooting at a midnight showing of the latest Batman movie jammed during the attack, a federal law enforcement official told The Associated Press, which forced the shooter to switch to another gun with less fire power.”

    something tells me i am going to eat my words on the clip size comment.

  12. There is no evidence that the amount of guns amongst the general public is having anything to do with overall gun violence.

    Yep that was my point also. So trying to educe violence by reducing guns seems a pretty stupid way of going about it. Tho I agree you have never said anything that I remember advocating that.

    I dare anyone except a highly trained professional to meet that rapidity of fire with multiple, 11-capacity weapons.

    Well you could try with a shotgun, use a more powerful gun and achieve a much higher mortality rate or, go the McVeigh rout and not bother with a gun. Since there seems to be a type of crazy who tries to maximize body counts I don’t think that 10 round mags will really solve anything.

    As far as “defending yourself/fighting back”, that’s directed to those who think a personal firearm and carry permits would have saved them. I’ve heard folks proclaim “see, if I could carry MY gun to the movies, I would’ve dropped him”. Heavily naive in the face of semi-automatic rifles, but perhaps more realistic if the enemy didn’t have a high-capacity weapon.

    To be honest those that want gun control the mag limint is the least of their goals. Even on this boad there have already been a few coments about how “It would be a start” which leaves me little confidence and less reason than ever to go along. As to the ability to respond. Honestly it’s so much of a mental thing rather than anything else that I don’t think it would be true. It wouldn’t be the hail of bullets but the need to overcome our societal programming to enable a person to fire back. There was a mall shooting a few ears ago and in the midst of the event the shooter walked past a store where a person with a carry permit was.The permit holder had his gun out and had a shot but didn’t take it because of concerns about being wrong, cops, etc and ended up being shot. This was in a interview he did for a gun mag years later.

  13. There was a mall shooting a few ears ago and in the midst of the event the shooter walked past a store where a person with a carry permit was.The permit holder had his gun out and had a shot but didn’t take it because of concerns about being wrong, cops, etc and ended up being shot. This was in a interview he did for a gun mag years later

    Fascinating. Although one anecdote is not indicative of reality, I’ve maintained that a gun as personal protection is total and complete nonsense. However, because I still believe there is responsible ownership & use of personal firearms w/low capacity clips, I tend not to proclaim it.

    Going philosophical for a moment, being a moderate means understanding the limits of policies in the face of realities of society. I feel a total ban goes beyond those limits, just as I feel total openness goes beyond the limits of sanity.

  14. Well, if we don’t want to control guns and magazines (oh, and now body armor and smoke grenades), perhaps everybody should get a psychological evaluation. Anyone found with murderous indications should be held in some kind of a facility for further monitoring and evaluation. Oh, and of course, the evaluators would have to be evaluated first.

  15. Our “founding fathers” needed firepower to ensure that native Americans and British-backed trouble-makers did not threaten them in the homes. They also distrusted all standing armies. Finally, they knew that the British crown held a huge advantage, militarily, over them during the war because the citizenry had been limited in the types of weaponry they were permitted to keep (along with the quantity of ammunition). Given these realities, it is unsurprising that they would be against limiting any firearms to the general populace–particularly in regard to militia.

    That was before warplanes, tanks, RPGs, lasers, etc.
    How does this logic apply to 2012?

  16. That was before warplanes, tanks, RPGs, lasers, etc.
    How does this logic apply to 2012?

    Whilst reading this thread, it has occurred to me that the Constitution and the founders’ sentiments really are relegated to the following:

    1) protection from foreign aggression,
    2) ensuring the states would “play well together”,
    3) ensuring that federal power was balanced and limited

    But the Constitution is really not concerned too much about how citizen-vs-citizen issues. I don’t think they thought much about the use of weapons against one another, or anything else related to us vs. ourselves. I think they were counting on regular codes & laws for that.

    I don’t think there’s any evidence that they even considered the possibility of the 2nd Amendment affecting the internal security of citizens from each other. I’d love to be proven wrong if anyone has any data from that period.

  17. @shannonLee, thanks, and we’ll see. You and I are on the same page. The actual facts are still being learned. One of the guns jammed ‘for a moment’ according to some of the witnesses of fact. We can report what law enforcement says, and then if need be, add to or/and make corrections as we go along.

    @Polimom: not sure what you meant: the image for Moyers article I chose was a gunshot victim for reasons I stated there at the top of that article, mainly having to do with people speculating without facts their favorite philosophy whatever it is, without speaking directly to the devastation. Not sure who put up the first image that went with it, if that’s what you meant. It has been a madhouse here for our little post trauma team, given 5 major forest fires and the slaughter at the theatre. I’ll run more images of gunshot victims, not as mild, in the interest of hoping some can comment about the primary issue: murder of innocents by brutal destruction of the body and person– by various violent means.

  18. Thanks Dr. E for these clarifications.

    Ellis ….” In truth the power of the AR15 is less than many sporting rifles in all areas except one, mag capacity and in all honesty many civilian weapons have the same availability of large volume mags.”

    In that this assault weapon AR15 seems to make its way into the hands of the most crazed on the planet and is know to be the weapon of choice that kill millions, i would assert your argument is akin to, ‘ just a little bit pregnant ‘…

    **************
    http://www.ibtimes.com/article.....lorado.htm

    The Kalashnikov is found on national flags, in the hands of children, and is perhaps one of the most ubiquitous machines every created by man. There are some 100 million copies worldwide. It has likely been used to kill millions — who can know for sure how many since its birth nearly 70 years ago?

    But if the AK is getting new attention in the U.S., over the past year it has undoubtedly killed many more in other countries around the world: Syria, Mali, the southern Philippines, Yemen, Sudan, Somalia, Pakistan and Afghanistan. The list could expand to include every conflict zone on the planet.

    Of the hundreds of millions of firearms in the world, experts have estimated that nearly a fifth are Kalashnikovs.

    The Kalashnikov’s resiliency and intuitive ease of use make it one of the most effective weapons ever made by man. Its reputation for ruggedness — being able to fire in freezing and blistering hot conditions, even after being submerged in mud and water — is world-renowned. Soviet designer Mikhail Kalashnikov created the weapon in 1945, first distributed to troops in 1947 (hence the name). It was considered a revolutionary design. In subsequent years, it was transferred to Communist allies, reengineered, redesigned, refined, and built in dozens of variants.

    When the Eastern bloc collapsed more than 20 years ago, stockpiles of the rifles were sold at bargain prices, helping to fuel the newly emerging ethnic conflicts cropping up in the global south.

    But how cheap is the weapon, really? Phillipin Killicoat of Oxford University estimated in 2007, writing for the World Bank, that the gun cost only $150 in 2005 in conflict zones in Africa. In the Western Hemisphere it can be bought for approximately $600 on average. A price tag less than a flight from coast to coast could deliver you one of deadliest weapons made by man, favored by the Taliban and insurgents everywhere.

    The increasing trade in illicit small arms across the world in recent years has likely deflated the price, and made it much more affordable than ever.
    No surprise, then, that essentially the same weapon used by child soldiers in northern Uganda can also be used in the Rocky Mountains to shoot at children inside a movie theater.

  19. @Barky

    The framers could not have possibly imagined the level of “murder tech” that we have today. I agree they were –necessarily– more focused on defense against ORGANIZED power than on the individual. At that time, the individual couldn’t do much damage other than shoot a key figure, or go on a “slow rampage” for a long time.

  20. The dearth of knowledge when it comes to firearms (in the press, blogs, and comments) is pretty glaring. I grew up around guns, own guns, hunt, and used to load my own ammo. This requires knowledge of ballistics, bullet and case design, powder burn rates, action types, etc. Bottom line, there is no good reason for anyone to own high capacity weapons/magazines. As has been pointed out, they are made for one thing, the destruction of other human beings on a large scale. Only once have I needed more than one shot to humanely dispatch a deer. In fact, most of the time I hunt with a muzzleloader, but the destructive power of even that one shot is quite enormous. That our society permits (under threat of political pressure) weapons in the hands of citizens that allow someone to fire bullets (10, 20, 30, 50, 100, etc.) as fast as they can pull the trigger without having to reload should be appalling to every American. Our gun culture and the cowardly congress that bows down to it goes to our deep sickness as a society.

  21. I don’t think regulating ammunition or gun ownership or magazine size would work as it would require new legislation that would be seen as random or capricious, but regulating the total amount of gunpowder contained in the ammunition would require simply expanding the coverage of existing federal explosive regulations. These regulations currently exempt most explosives contained in ammunition, but simply changing how the rules are promulgated could include them within existing law.

    If a user of ammunition had more than say 120 grams total of any explosive compound they would be required to have Low Explosive Users Permit (LEUP), have an ATF inspected and approved storage magazine, and be required to present the LEUP certificate number to purchase or be in possession of any ammunition that totaled over 120 grams of explosive compound.

    While this wouldn’t prohibit the ownership of 6,000 rounds of ammunition, it would set in place a few requirements and immediately highlight who purchased the ammunition and hence the explosive. Magazine logs would allow authorities to see what came into the magazine and what left, when, and by what method, potentially reducing to flow of explosive and, by the method it is contain, ammunition, to unauthorized people. And holders of a LEUP are public information, making it possible for all to see who is hording these explosives.

    FWIW, the ATF tried to do this to hobby rocketry. There was nothing illegal about it but they errored by attempting to regulate an explosive, ammonium or potassium percholrate, that did not meet the requirements of an explosive. 10 years of lawsuit were finally decided in favor of the hobby rocketry, with the ATF all but admitting that in 10 years they had been unable to get the compounds to explode.

    One thing these lawsuits pointed out is how much the current regulatory environment is controlled by the NRA. FFFFg black powder is very useful in hobby rockets to deploy parachutes, but under federal regulations you cannot posse ANY FFFFg black powder unless you have a LEUP, an approved magazine, and account for 100% of its usage which had better be in activities legal to use FFFFg (mostly ceremonial or religious activities, hobby rocketry isn’t.) But if you own an antique firearm that could use FFFFg you can posse 50 lbs, store it anywhere you want (under your kids bed if you so desire,) and do not need to account for any of its use.

    We need to take control of the explosive regulatory process, and we will have a powerful tool that will indirectly control firearm ammunition. Then anyone can own as many guns and as many bullets they want, but without the powder to make any of it work they would be useless.

  22. Studies have been done on murder rates in a historical context. http://goo.gl/S0r79

  23. Fascinating. Although one anecdote is not indicative of reality, I’ve maintained that a gun as personal protection is total and complete nonsense.

    Of course anecdotal evidence is useless for real analyses in this case it was more for demonstration of an area of concern. I also think the type of situation would factor in. I know many incidents where guns were used to prevent robberies and jackings and I think we are instinctively better prepared but the spree killing thing just is so hard for people to grasp that it literally takes people a while to come to grips.

  24. EE, on your last post, you are right about the preventative nature of personal firearms. There is evidence of their effectiveness. My prior statement of “total and complete no sense” is mot accirate.

    I will clarify that I think it’s exaggerated. It may help in cases of traditional crime in many circumstances. I still maintain, however, that in cases of domestic terrorism, personal firearms won’t be much of a deterrent or defense.

  25. “I maintain that in cases of domestic terrorism personal firearms won’t be much of a deterrent or defence.”

    Well I would counter that they have had some efectiveness in Isreal where these things are more expected but honestly I don’t think it matters. Who are you, or anyone else, to say that since there is only a slim chance being armed will help you will not be allowed the possibility to fight back. Die hiding of running away because someone decided they should make that choice. Now if there wasw any real belief that the laws would make any real difference then maybe but to pass them with the certainty it will not change squat? That’s wrong.

  26. Sure that study shows lower gun deaths. It doesn’t show lower crime or overall fatalities just in gun related deaths so if you think how someone dies izs the most important thing then great ,otherwise it’s partisan propaganda without much use

  27. ordinarysparrow says: Stricter regulation of guns is working for other countries…
    Why can it not work for us?

    The same reason Universal Health Care works for other countries but doesn’t work here… The Republican Party has sold out to corporate lobbyists.

    Some Democrat politicians have too but 100% of the Republicans are ‘owned’ and their pundits all the way down to right wing blog commenters think it’s wonderful.

  28. “Stricter regulation of guns is working for other countries…”

    Apparently “other countries” have better judgement and more good sense when it comes to grasping something as simple as the importance of limits on firearms in a civilized society.

  29. As a person trying to educate myself on both sides of the fence- I do not understand the ferocity in which people advocate for the NRA. A 6 year old little girl is dead and her mother is fighting for her life. I can not imagine her grief. I agree with Zephyr- regulation is working for other countries and it can work here- but only if bi-partisan politics is put aside.

  30. newatthis, this is a tragedy. I feel these victims both the living and dead. I personally would of waited a bit longer before bringing politics into this tragedy but so be it. While this was a horrible event where 12 were killed and these horrible spree killings seem to happen every couple of years I see no reason to flail around and have a bunch of laws passed that won’t do anything but make a bunch of reactionary idiots slightly less pissy. We have people dropping dead all around us at an amazing rate. There was a big accident here in Texas where 11 people were killed including 3 kids. The dead from this shooting won’t come to 1% of the suicides this year in the US. Want to start talking deaths caused by speeding, dui, anything else? No, what is important are these poor victims because we can use them. And the laws they push will most likely make no difference in stopping this type of event or even just lowering casualties. That is ok tho because even though the laws will not stop these events they will restrict law abiding citizens who only care about the restrictions because the evil hate filled NRA has told them they should. You care about gun violence then do something about the causes. Guess what it isn’t the guns. Over 50% of gun deaths are connected with suicides. 2/3rds involve suicide or drugs. Focus you energies on those areas and you’ll save more lives than gun control ever will.

  31. I agree with Zephyr- regulation is working for other countries and it can work here- but only if bi-partisan politics is put aside.

    Why would you think gun control works anywhere? There has never been shown to be any correlation between the access to guns and crime. Sure less guns will be involved but the crime rates, homicides, rapes, etc don’t seem to care about gun control at all. So unless it matters that you were knifed instead of shot I don’t see how gun control “works” at all.

  32. Dr Estes – When someone refers to the AR-15 as a “one bullet at a time” weapon, they are saying that each trigger pull results in one round being fired. You stated that we do not know if his AR-15 was semi or fully automatic. The AR-15 by definition is semi-automatic and does in fact fire one round for every trigger pull (unless altered illegally to fire more). If this model was fully automatic, it in fact would have been an illegal weapon as fully automatic weapons are heavily regulated and require special Federal licenses to own. But you probably already know that so just say what you really mean… all guns should be banned. At least you’d be expresing your opinions honestly.

  33. Boy, do you have dr.e incorrectly figured out. A NRA member, who knows her guns and knows that some people abuse them. I seriously doubt that she will give up her guns easily. I wouldn’t either if I lived in the right kind of area and people were responsible gun owners. No gun restrictions definitely doesn’t work in urban areas.

  34. ….these same people who rant about more gun control are the same people who will be shocked when there is no one else to protect you – other than yourself, it is actually more patriotic to be able to defend yourself, rather than expecting someone (public or private) to come to your defense in time of need – if all americans were of the mindset to protect themselves, then these flakes would not have the ability to victimize so many – think of what would happen in an event such as this if the “majority” of those people were “packing” – how many “victims” LESS would there be?….just a thought – for you ANTI GUNNERS – there is really no way to take the gun out of the criminals hand…legally – only the good citizen would give up the gun, then only the outlaw is armed – is this what we want? – I say, meet them on a level playing field – in FORCE, there are far more “normal” citizens than the lunitic fringe- I say, make them understand, if you attempt to victimize us, We SHOOT BACK!!!!!!!

  35. JJROSE: I know sometimes reading an article is a skim for many If you re-read the article, I am quoting the Chief of Police of Aurora. His statement is in quote marks. Your projection about what I think about firearms in general is in error. I come from families of people who in 1956 fought against russian tanks with their bare hands. I hold about citizen weaponry … strong boundaries as well. Not one without the other.

    JT: This is an evergreen topic amongst our shooters at the range: what’s a glock against a automatic weapon. Many who qualify for CC (this author does), would carry .40s, sometimes 48s. Though some have understandable emotional fantasies about’ Oh yeah, I’d take out any sub, yeah, I’d be armed in that theatre…’ the reality would likely be very different, for most law-abiding people arent going to take an automatic rifle through the ticket line at a theatre without being stopped and arrested themselves. Hand guns and automatic weapons unless one is a highly trained marksman and has some advantage unknown, dont equal one another in firepower, not in rapidity, not in any way… esp when the shooter is wearing, as in this case in Aurora, body armor… and presumably a person at a casual movie w/ CC, would not be wearing kevlar, especially in the 102 heat we’ve been having here. I do understand the impulse to think/hope that were we all armed we would be able to take down all bad guys. The actuality is different in each case. While I can point to ten cases easily where a CC or open carry security officer, got the bad guy (church in C.Spgs comes to mind.) I can name many more cases where CC person missed, had their weapon taken from them, shot themselves, shot an innocent person, or was shot to death either in crossfire or by the ‘bad guy.’ On paper we can say CC will always help. The reality is far different. Just my .02

  36. *** For readers unfamiliar, here (Colo) CC: Conceal carry license which requires extensive training, range testing, written exam, affirmation then by Sheriff of your county before issuance.

    General rules are dead set against emotionality, bragging, swagger: Dont flash your weapon as ‘deterrent’ to anyone for any reason like you’re some kind of Wyatt Earp of the west. You’re not. Dont think a weapon is an adjunct to your peevishness, your anger, your rage. It isnt. A weapon is not proof of your toughness or manhood or womanhood. It’s a weapon of destruction that you by yourself in your own body do not have the power to equal. You are not ‘more important’ because you CC. You are not trained as a police officer, law enforcement, security officer, para military or military because you have CC only. You are a private citizen who has passed training for only this. If you misuse CC, your carrying will be vacated by the Sheriff of the county you live in, and likely in criminal charges from the State DA.

    If you travel across state lines, you may be required to separate ammo from firearm and place one in glove box and other in trunk of car.(which effectively leaves a person with CC defenseless).
    CC is illegal in certain states. Know the laws in each state.

    ONLY pull your firearm in order to kill. It is not CSI, not COPS on TV, not used to deter, deflect. It is a killing weapon.

    This is the way we were trained by NRA qualified personnel for CC. Just saying. You see braggadocio, you see swagger about CC; it’s likely that person is either not certified and blowing smoke, or else isnt conforming to the ethics and laws re CC to the letter, as well trained people are disciplined to do. Discipline is the keyword in CC.

  37. Thanks Dr E for being patient enough to provide a bit of education for the presumptuous and misinformed.

  38. Former reserve LEO. NRA member.

    The poster who, using the vague tern “assault weapon”, compared the S&W, store-bought M&P 5.56 carbine to a Kalashnikov indicates part of the problem. To compare a FULLY-automatic Kalashnikov to a SEMI-automatic (one shot per trigger pull) “AR” is almost meaningless.

    My legal “AR-type carbine” is too small in caliber for deer hunting. I’d only use it on a bear if I had no other choice.

    The 60 rounds a minute figure assumes either serious training or just spraying rounds. I’d really like to see a new shooter shoot ten rounds in ten seconds out of an AR with any control at all. And I’m not surprised the drum magazine jammed or misfed. All the gossip I’ve heard is that they’re very unreliable. Even the standard 30 round mag is sufficiently finicky that I was trained to load only 28 cartridges in mine to reduce the chance of jamming.

    The Remington 870 in the picture has an add-on pistol grip stock. I suppose there are a lot of such stocks around, but I haven’t bought one yet.

    I do think a lot of both pro- and anti- gun folks indulge in magical thinking about carbines, handguns, and whatnot. I think it would be a difficult challenge but not an impossible one to stop someone wearing the armor that the bad guy was wearing.

    MY take away is that I’m going to spend more drill time on Mozambiques. I’d like “two to the body, one to the head” to be more fluid. I suspect that even if the “one to the head” hit the bad guys helmet, it would set him back a little.

    My two cents.

  39. “The 60 rounds a minute figure assumes either serious training or just spraying rounds.”

    It hardly requires any training to create a LOT of damage when “spraying rounds” at a crowded theater.

  40. Somehow I missed this thread when it was active. Reading through it and comparing it with other internet discussions on this subject shows me just how much better the discussions are here than anywhere else. The comments here are much more thoughtful and reasoned. I love this site.

  41. There are just a few themes throughout all of the comments. The most consistent is whether or not further gun control, further restrictions will have any practical effect. I would argue that this is not the point of further controls.

    There are other countries that have more guns person than the US. In fact in Switzerland not only do they have more weapons the majority of them are assault rifles, issued free to every adult male to enable a true civilian militia in case of invasion. (what is controlled is ammunition, though this has nothing to do with my point here. In other words ignore this.) In Israel many homes have fully automatic machine pistols in the front closet.

    What these countries don’t have is a high level of gun violence. What they don’t have is the same kind of gun culture, the same culture of violence that we have in the US. What we have to do is to reduce this societal cultural failing in the US.

    So yes, it is not the widespread availability of guns that causes the problem. It is the widespread culture of using the weapons to settle disputes and settle grudges that is the problem. It is this propensity to use the weapons that is the reason that we need to further restrict the access to at least the most destructive of these.

    The lone ranger who tames the west catching outlaws and killing Indians, the Randian [i]Übermench[/i] who can solve all of societies problems if the government would stop interfering, the special forces solder who can single handedly win the war if the politicians would just butt out, all of these myths have contributed to this culture of guns and violence in the US.

    I can’t think of a better place to start than to deflate these myths and to break the culture of violence in the US than to start to breakdown the gun culture. We have to break the iron grip that the NRA holds over politicians on the subject. The NRA is less interested in our civil rights than they are are in preserving the rights of the gun manufacturers, their true sponsors, to sell any gun that they want to anywhere that they want to sell it. This is a poor reason to allow guns to flood the country.

  42. Übermench, of course. Some discussion boards use brackets instead of the HTML standard less than greater than signs to trigger special handling markup commands. I usally get it wrong at least once in my lengthy tomes.

  43. I was raised with and around guns. My family owned a farm between Denton and Ft. Worth, Texas. I was granted the rare privilege of spending my summers there repairing fence, pulling mesquite, maintaining and repairing farm machinery, painting. cutting and baling hay and just generally enjoying the iconic, lazy days of summer in the country. Guns were simply another tool that we used to get a job done. I learned to shoot well using an iron open sight lever action Winchester rifle to kill the snapping turtles that were always in the tanks, man made ponds used to provide water for the cattle. The turtles would eat all of the fish that we stocked the tanks with. You would shoot the turtles in the head when they came up for air. The secret was too aim a little low and skip the bullet off of the surface into the turtle’s head.

    I hunted dove. I qualified with the M16 and the .45 ACP handgun in the Marines. I carried a Mossberg model 500 pistol grip pump action 12 gauge shotgun in a watertight fiberboard tube when I backpacked in the mountains of North Georgia and North Carolina because we would occasionally find patches of marijuana and we didn’t want to be at a disadvantage if we came across some of the people who planted it. I preferred the Mossberg to the Remmington 870 that this guy carried because the action of the Mossberg seemed to be more rugged and would stand up to more mistreatment than the 870. And it costs less. The Remmington is an hierloom. The Mossberg is just a shotgun.

    But with all of this I never really caught the gun disease like so many manboys did in Texas. Once again, they were just tools that were used for a purpose and otherwise they were just another heavy thing that had to be carried and cleaned and taken care of. I didn’t feel the need to go against my wife’s wishes and teach my son and my daughter about guns. They are dangerous and they kill. That is enough.

    But there are a large number of men that never got past the lone ranger mentally. We need to help them past it. I am sorry EEllis, there is no better way to start than to snatch back the debate over guns from the NRA and the gun manufactures than to ban the more lethal guns and ammunition.

  44. I was raised with and around guns. My family owned a farm between Denton and Ft. Worth, Texas. I was granted the rare privilege of spending my summers there repairing fence, pulling mesquite, maintaining and repairing farm machinery, painting. cutting and baling hay and just generally enjoying the iconic, lazy days of summer in the country. Guns were simply another tool that we used to get a job done. I learned to shoot well using an iron open sight lever action Winchester rifle to kill the snapping turtles that were always in the tanks, man made ponds used to provide water for the cattle. The turtles would eat all of the fish that we stocked the tanks with. You would shoot the turtles in the head when they came up for air. The secret was too aim a little low and skip the bullet off of the surface into the turtle’s head.

    I hunted dove. I qualified with the M16 and the .45 ACP handgun in the Marines. I carried a Mossberg model 500 pistol grip pump action 12 gauge shotgun in a watertight fiberboard tube when I backpacked in the mountains of North Georgia and North Carolina because we would occasionally find patches of marijuana and we didn’t want to be at a disadvantage if we came across some of the people who planted it. I preferred the Mossberg to the Remmington 870 that this guy carried because the action of the Mossberg seemed to be more rugged and would stand up to more mistreatment than the 870. And it costs less. The Remmington is an hierloom. The Mossberg is just a shotgun.

    But with all of this I never really caught the gun disease like so many manboys did in Texas. Once again, they were just tools that were used for a purpose and otherwise they were just another heavy thing that had to be carried and cleaned and taken care of. I didn’t feel the need to go against my wife’s wishes and teach my son and my daughter about guns. They are dangerous and they kill. That is enough.

    But there are a large number of men that never got past the lone ranger mentally. We need to help them past it. I am sorry EEllis, there is no better way to start than to snatch back the debate over guns from the NRA and the gun manufactures than to ban the more lethal guns and ammunition.

    (Sorry, if this is posted twice. I posted it once and didn’t see it or the anti-spam message that you get when you post too many comments in a row. I will stop now.)

  45. Yes, Merkin, allow me an observation. As a kid I watched the Lone Ranger (caps) and listened to The William Tell Overture on the RADIO (you could Google it), even had whatever gadget they gave out for cereal box tops. The LR’s life was saved by his to be best friend (no girls on this show), Tonto, an American Indian, after his troop was wiped out by bad guys (probably Republicans). An early example of racial harmony.

  46. Ok. Being the son of a father with a collection of guns numbering over 200 and being a somewhat avid but fairly knowledgeable shooter, I will weigh in on this. First of all, you must rationalize the term “assault weapon”. Any weapon you use to assault someone, whether it is a spoon or an atom bomb, IS an assault weapon. When you hear the term used in the media this way, you should really think nothing, because until you know what weapon they are talking about, you only know that it was used to assault someone. Secondly, if we are talking about a gun, it is important to realize both the muzzle energy of the round fired by the gun and the mechanical operation of the gun. All guns are either self-loading or manually loaded. That means, when you pull the trigger the gun reloads the chamber itself, or you, the shooter, reloads the chamber. A fully automatic weapon is just a semi-automatic weapon (self loading) that will continue it’s operation by holding down the trigger after the first burst. Most fully automatic weapons are really useless as far as accuracy is concerned past about 15 to 20 yards unless they are HEAVY or have some sort of a tripod so you can mount them on a ledge. Most US infantry troops utilize the SINGLE fire semi automatic capability of their M-4′s in combat. Most M-4′s also have a three round burst semi automatic capability because most people consider that after the 3rd fired round of fully automatic firing, your accuracy is so bad that there is no point in firing a fourth round. The operation of most semi automatic weapons is fast enough that you can pull the trigger fast enough after each reload to almost shoot as fast as a fully automatic weapon. If I were to shoot people in a crowded theater, I would not care whether I was using a full automatic or semi automatic AR-15 because the rate at which I would fire would be almost the same for both. If you think large 100 round drum magazines are so deadly, you should consider why US infantry troops use 30 round straight mags instead of drum magazines. They do not jam nearly as much and 30 rounds is more than enough to get the job done. Yes, James Holmes probably would have had to reload once, and the same number of people probably would have died. Most shooters I know don’t like large capacity magazines of the type Holmes used because they jam to often. If I was going to shoot people in a crowded theater I would only use the 100 round magazine If I had tested it numerous times and was absolutely certain it would not jam, otherwise 2 30 round magazines of the standard type are perfectly acceptable. Now, as far as muzzle energy of the AR-15 goes, it is LESS, that’s right, LESS than most of the rifles you can buy at Wal-Mart. The AR-15 fires the .223 Remington round, which is the same as a .22 long rifle round, only with much more powder behind it. Check this graph to compare: http://www.democraticundergrou.....215;222841

    Banning extended magazines will have zero effect in stopping mass murders of this type because PEOPLE CAN RELOAD. Adding additional background checks to try to stop murderers like Holmes will not work because HIS BACKGROUND CHECK WAS CLEAN. I am not sure about other states, but in my home state of Texas, convicted felons are not allowed to own guns. That means they must buy them illegally. If you want to know more about Guns, join a gun club and go shooting. If you want to know more about gun laws, purchase NRA books about them. As a member of the NRA, I know that they have multiple books devoted to keeping their members up to date on ALL NATIONAL, STATE, AND LOCAL gun laws. You will probably learn a lot, and then you can make better informed judgements on gun rights.

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