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The Layman's Guide to High Capacity Magazines

The Layman’s Guide to High Capacity Magazines

©2000 by Curt Bolding

Curt Bolding is a 16-year police veteran with experience spanning four jurisdictions in Illinois. Still active in his
chosen profession, he currently serves as both a street officer and as a police control and arrest tactics instructor.

Ladies and Gentlemen of America: One of the facets of the ongoing firearm controversy has been over the existence of high capacity magazines, sometimes known as “clips.” For those of you who have acquired your knowledge of firearms from watching late-night reruns of the A-Team, the little doodad that hold the bullets and fits into our semi-automatic pistols and rifles is called a magazine, not a clip. This is for those of you who thought a magazine was something that sat on a table in your dentist’s waiting room. A clip was another device designed to hold, say, eight rounds at a time, and is often seen in firearms such as the M-1 Garand. Hopefully more of us have seen Saving Private Ryan than watch the A-Team. The thing flying out of the rifle along with the shell casings is a clip.

One of the complaints by the people who’d like to erase the Bill of Rights from the Constitution is that some magazines hold too many bullets. Fortunately, as of September 1994, this problem was alleviated by the tireless, self-righteous crusaders for gun control, and what a relief, huh? The world sure is a better place to live in now, isn’t it? Since September of 1994 there have been, at my last count, no less than 17 school shootings and almost never is the magazine capacity an issue. Does this high capacity argument actually even matter? Well, let’s see.

There have been cases in the past in which a person has needed a high number of bullets to defend him/herself. Such instances include dealing with multiple attackers and/or someone under the influence of drugs. Under such harsh survival conditions, even expert marksmen cannot count on each and every bullet even striking at attacker. PCP, commonly known as Angel Dust, does a number of things to the human body, such as disconnecting pain centers and giving the user superhuman strength. There have been many incidents of fights in which it took four or five officers to subdue one man on PCP. Likewise, they often keep fighting after being shot and taking wounds that would have had you or me dead right there. Even if the heart is destroyed, sometimes these guys keep fighting until enough blood pumps out, causing the body’s electrical system to short out and shut off. That’s why snipers often use the brain stem as a target in hostage cases; one properly placed shot there and the guy drops like a rag doll. Game over, and there’s no unfortunate body convulsions which might cause the trigger finger to spasm. Otherwise, even with the heart totally pulped, some attackers have been known to persist long enough to close with and even kill somebody bare-handed before expiring.

You wanna take this guy on with six or eight rounds? Not me. Better to have ‘em and not need ‘em than to need ‘em and not have ‘em. I’ve been to a lot of shootings in my career as a police officer and never once was the capacity of the magazine an issue. Either the thing was used properly or it wasn’t. Either it was used in self defense or it wasn’t. As long as a threat continues to exist, you keep firing. If you run into problems because you ran out of bullets, I recommend suing Sarah Brady, assuming you live through the incident.

Now let’s look at it from the other side. Creepy Dave is a disgruntled malcontent loser who’s been in and out of the joint a few times. He’s decided that it’s time to walk into a fast food restaurant and shoot the place up, which will Show Everybody. You see, when Creepy Dave was seven years old, his dad kicked his Tonka truck, and Dave’s never gotten over it. Sad, isn’t it. Now he’s on his way over to shoot up the local Burger Hut, because then Justice Will Be Served.

Creepy Dave’s got him one of them there semi-automatic pistols. He got it because he thought “semi-automatic” sounded really cool and dangerous. Plus, it looks just like the one he saw in The Matrix. Creepy Dave’s got a felony conviction on his record, so he couldn’t go to the local gun dealer and buy one, because the gun dealer has a different concept of serving justice. No problem; Creepy Dave just met up with his dope dealer, Skeevy Dick. Dave knows that Skeevy Dick can get him a gun, magazines and ammo because the vast black market that supplies such things doesn’t require background checks; only the law abiding saps have to go through that. Dave knows that if the state won’t give him a driver’s license, they sure as hell won’t give him a Firearm Owners Identification card.

Now that Dave’s figured out which way the bullets go in the magazine, he’s ready to go get him some Payback. Only one problem, though: Creepy Dave plans to get a body count of about thirty today and his magazine only holds ten rounds, thanks to the unrelenting efforts of the anti-self defense movement. But even a dimwit like Creepy Dave has the answer to this one: he’s got three full magazines. With an absolute minimum of practice, literally anyone can eject one magazine and insert another in under two seconds. Creepy Dave became proficient one afternoon while he was sitting on his ass watching Rosie O’Donnell, which comes on right after the A-Team.

There’s a huge crusade these days for “common sense gun laws.” I agree wholeheartedly. Except it’s the politicians and not the guns that are most in need of common sense. Many politicians, you see, are looking out for their own by hamstringing the public in favor of helping out the crooks. Common sense says we give the law-abiding citizens every possible advantage and opportunity to defend themselves. Common sense says we educate the public in safe gun handling and storage procedures. Common sense says we prosecute gun crimes to the fullest extent and hand down the harshest sentences possible, without exception, to the criminals and not the gun owners.

But don’t take my word for it. Ask State Representative Suzanna Gratia-Hupp of Texas. In 1991 she watched while some lunatic gunned down 21 people, including her parents, in a restaurant in Killeen, Texas. Her legally owned and carried firearm was outside in her car, where the law mandated that it be kept. Don’t stop there, either. Ask the school district in Pearl, Mississippi, what they think about gun control after a courageous school official got a gun out of his car and confronted the 16-year-old who shot nine students, ending the situation, and saving countless lives in the process.

A gun is nothing but a tool and it’s only as good as the person using it. Let me spell it out real simply for you. Imagine there are two groups of monkeys and they all have sharp sticks. Now imagine that a bunch of touchy-feely prudes want to take the sticks away from one group; namely the group that you just happen to be in. They’re picking on your group because it’s too hard for them to figure out where the other group is getting their sticks. What do you do, hotshot…. what do you do? Well, I know what I’m going to do:

Start hoarding sticks.

Printer Version

They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.— Benjamin Franklin Historical Review of Pennsylvania. [Note: This sentence was often quoted in the Revolutionary period. It occurs even so early as November, 1755, in an answer by the Assembly of Pennsylvania to the Governor, and forms the motto of Franklin's "Historical Review," 1759, appearing also in the body of the work. — Frothingham: Rise of the Republic of the United States, p. 413. ]

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