Higher-capacity magazines gave time to killer


Steve Singleton advises readers in a recent letter that “it’s fine to question NRA statements and actions.”

And so “with a tip of my hat” to Steve, I will.

Steve writes (as an Endowment/Life member of the NRA) in the same letter:

“Most NRA members know the only thing that could have prevented the Newtown atrocity — saving some or all of the kids — would have been someone confronting that murderer with his/her firearm.”

No, Steve is completely wrong about this. Furthermore it’s not just myself saying this, it’s everywhere we read and listen.

Rarely can a broad statement be made about something with regard to “what would have been done differently” when the “what would have been done” is hypothetical due to hindsight.

However, in the specific case of Newtown and Adam Lanza, it is crystal clear what would have happened “if” only one gun-related law had been in force at the time Adam’s mother was purchasing guns and gun-related items for herself (and Adam as a result).

It is clear that everything gun related to Adam’s mother purchased was legal at the time of her purchase.

It is clear to those who follow the news that it was reported that when Adam put together the arsenal he took with him to Newtown, he chose from the legally purchased items in his house. Furthermore, he chose only the higher-powered weapons and only the high-capacity magazines available in his home.

To be clear, from everything that has been written about what was officially found in the Lanza home with regard to ammunition magazines, Adam left behind at home the lower capacity magazines — and took the higher capacity magazines.

To be clear, and to counter Steve’s suggestion of “the only thing that could have prevented the Newtown atrocity ...”, if Adam Lanza’s mother had been legally allowed to purchase only low-capacity ammunition magazines, then with the time it would have taken to reload, fewer children at Newtown would have been slain.

It’s all about time, and the high-capacity magazines put time on Lanza’s side. With lower-capacity magazines, time would have been on the side of the children, at least some of the children.

Richard McFarland

Walla Walla



wwguy7 says...

Lower capacity magazines=more magazines. Gun magazines can be switched out very quickly and effiiciently. You're argument is ridiulously incorrect.

Posted 19 April 2013, 2:45 p.m. Suggest removal

Iopine says...

Mr McFarland - when will you people start from the beginning and not crucify the issues with false allegations. First - the school was locked down after a certain time and you had to appear in front of a camera to get in. Second - the intruder entered through a front window that he shot out. Third - if there had been an armed guard inside he would have undoubtedly responded to the gunshots starting outside the school and the entrance. Fourth - if at that point that guard would have been responding with a weapon in hand. Fifth - there would have been a wreck long before that intruder would have made it to the classrooms.

I realize this is a hypothetical statement but it makes more sense to me than expecting smaller magazines to do the trick.

Posted 19 April 2013, 6:41 p.m. Suggest removal

barracuda says...

You mean..... Many/multiple "smaller magazines"..... Right?

Posted 19 April 2013, 6:47 p.m. Suggest removal

Iopine says...

That was actually a facetious statement - but it really wouldn't make any difference the size of the magazine.

Posted 21 April 2013, 3:51 p.m. Suggest removal

treardon says...

Sounds like Mr. McFarland is giving up on prevention of Newtown-type incidents, instead focusing on reduction of casualties. As if 20 casualties would be a great deal better than 25. Seems to me that prevention should rather be the focus. Just one death is horrific- and clip size has nothing to do with that.

Posted 19 April 2013, 9:52 p.m. Suggest removal

PearlY says...

It is satisfying when something awful happens to believe that we know how it could have been prevented. But often that is just wishful thinking.

What would Adam Lanza have done if his mother had not had firearms with more than 10 round magazines? Or if she had had no firearms at all? You seem convinced that he would have proceeded to his destiny at the school with the 10 round magazines or skipped the whole event.

But Adam Lanza wanted to kill. Maybe without access to his mother's firearms, he would have killed her with a knife and proceeded to the school less well armed, or maybe he would have made a bomb out of a pressure cooker like the Boston marathon bombers, or out of a propane canister like the Columbine killers, or out of fertilizer, like McVeigh.

It's almost a tautology to say that someone who is determined to kill large numbers of people will choose the most powerful weapon available, whether that is a gun, a bomb, a poison, whatever.

Adam Lanza was probably strong enough to overcome and kill his mother with his bare hands, or a pillow, or a knife. Given that level of rage, he could have taken a propane tank off their BBQ, obtained instructions off the internet for making it into a bomb, loaded it into their SUV and taken out a school bus, or used any number of other methods for venting it.

Getting rid of guns won't get rid of the hatred, rage, narcissism or whatever else motivates these mass killers.

But strangely, mass killers seem to target places where they don't expect to find armed defenders. Coincidence?

Posted 19 April 2013, 10:48 p.m. Suggest removal

barracuda says...

Good entry Pearl5.....

Posted 20 April 2013, 9:44 a.m. Suggest removal

Iopine says...

Great post!

Posted 21 April 2013, 3:54 p.m. Suggest removal

Igor says...

I spent three years in the Army, including one year in Vietnam, so I know something about changing magazines. I takes a fraction of a second to eject a magazine and insert another. Limiting the capacity of magazines will do little to stop mass shootings.

Posted 21 April 2013, 12:10 p.m. Suggest removal

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