Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Do So-Called "Large-Capacity Magazine" Bans Actually Do Anything?

A common demand from the anti-gun crowd following any "mass shooting" event is to ban so-called "large-capacity magazines". The idea is that if mass-murderers have to stop "spray firing" their "semi-automatic bullet hoses" and reload more frequently, fewer people will be killed.

But does it actually help anything?

Criminologist Gary Kleck says no.

As it turns out, the killers who commit these heinous murders fire, to put it bluntly, take their time. Their rate of fire is slow enough that reloading is a trivial exercise — one that certainly doesn't require Jerry-Miculek-level skills.

Even so, in areas where standard-capacity magazines are already banned, it's equally trivial for the killer(s) to carry several limited-capacity magazines, or even multiple firearms.

Kleck's methodology was interesting; he narrowed his research to "mass shooting" events with more than six victims (in contrast, the "standard" anti-gun definition is only four victims). He did this to attempt to rule out most if not all shootings using standard six-shot revolvers, and thus to truly focus on the use of magazine-fed firearms.

The results speak for themselves. From the linked article:
Even with this restrictive definition of a mass shooting, Kleck found that large capacity magazines – defined as holding over 10 rounds – were used in only 21 of the 88 incidents (24%). So, in 76% of the incidents, a large-capacity magazine ban would have made no difference in any event.

Kleck then goes on to analyze further the 21 incidents in which a large-capacity magazine was used. In every case, the shooters carried either multiple guns or multiple magazines. Therefore, even without a large-capacity magazine, the shooters could easily switch guns or magazines.
So I can now expect the antis to act like grown-ups, apologize, and stop trying to enact bans that are scientifically shown to be ineffective. I will (continue to) be disappointed, but I can expect it.

And I am also looking forward to reading Kleck's full paper (which spans 60+ pages) when it's released.

Stay safe.

[Hat tip: A bunch of people; this one's been getting around.]

1 comment:

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