An internet diary
Published on December 9, 2007 By IanTyger In US Domestic

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:

Ruger Mini-14

AR-15

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 that.

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 civilian hands?


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