Are there any firearms restrictions that would have prevented the Westroads
Mall shooting (short of an outright ban). Not really. First, despite all the
hype abbout how the killer used an "assault weapon", that's a non-started. He
used a magazine-fed semi-automatic rifle in a medium caliber. In other
circumstances, this would be a hunting rifle. There are purpose-designed hunting
rifles with the same pertinent features (semi-auto, magazine-fed, medium
caliber) as the rifle that the killer did use.
compare the following firearms:
Both are legal for civilian ownership. Can anyone tell me what the
differences between the two are? (Other than different manufacturers and
aftermarket accessories). There aren't any - they are essentially the exact same
weapon with different "furniture".
The only "restrictions" that would have had any bearing on this
tragic incident would have been the complete banning of semi-automatic firearms.
And while I know there are people out there who want to do so - good luck with
It might have taken a few more seconds for the killer to load a
stripper clip into a M1
Garand or a hypothetical hunting rifle with a fixed magazine - which would be
designed and for sale the day a ban on detachable magazines passed. Or a few
seconds to reload a revolving magazine-style rifle with a speed-loader(there
were a few historically, and, again, a ban on detachable magazines would have a
revolving-magazine rilfe on the market quick as quick).
Even a ban on anything but single-shot rifles may not have helped. I have
fired a bolt-action rifle loading rounds individually. The rifle had a magazine
well, but no magazine, so I had to manually thumb the round into the chamber
rather than let it be pushed fromard by the bolt, and I could deliver aimed fire
of a round per second. As a 12-year old with minimal practice. (the targets were
NRA standard paper and soda cans on the range at summer camp - well-supervised
and -instructed). With a bandolier of ammo ready to hand, the killer might have
been slowed down slightly, but possibly not enough to matter.
Plus, the side effects of such a ban are really out of proportion for the
minimal benefits. And how do you get rid of the millions of arms already in