Saturday, February 05, 2011

Steve Hunter on Extended Magazines... Sunday's WaPo:

Why 33 rounds makes sense in a defensive weapon

By Stephen Hunter
Sunday, February 6, 2011
Sleek, its lines rakishly tilted to boost the ergonomics that index grip placement to barrel, this automatic pistol has but one function: to eliminate human beings easily. That sinister intent is expressed most eloquently in the extended magazine that reaches far beneath the pistol grip, easily tripling the amount of ammunition available to the killer.

It's the Colt Super .38 automatic pistol, customized into a machine pistol by an underworld gunsmith so that Babyface Nelson could use it to kill an FBI agent outside Little Bohemia, Wis., in 1934. Maybe you saw the movie.

Even if you didn't, you can still see the point: There's nothing really new when it comes to guns. To the contrary, the extended magazine that Jared Loughner allegedly carried in his Glock 19 the day he is accused of having fatally shot six people outside Tucson and wounding 13 others, and that President Obama is likely to suggest banning in an upcoming speech, may be traced way back.

Read the whole thing, definitely!

And if you haven't read DEAD ZERO, one of the absolute best books in the legendary saga of Bob Lee Swagger, do so immediately!!!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad


Bic said...

Why should it be legal to purchse and use, for example, a .22lr rifle or pistol and yet a heinous crime to muffle the sound of another firearm to a similar level to protect ones makes NO sense,

justbill said...

After twice reading the Hunter piece, I'm not so impressed by the author's defense of larger capacity magazines. A large part of it is based upon the use of 10+ round magazines in war and by criminals. Don't these examples vindicate the hoplophobe's arguments against said magazines? IMO a good third of the editorial unintentionally adds fuel to the anti-gun fires.

Hunter goes on to say that extended magazines adversely affect a criminal's ability to conceal his weapon. True in the conventional sense but not so much of a problem if you think ever so slightly outside the belt holster. A Glock with 33 rd. mag. is easily hidden under the ultra loose garb typical of urban gang bangers. Would that goofy looking nut in Tuscon have appeared at all out-of-place if he'd tucked his weapon in a courier bag or "man purse" so common among today's youth? Nope, not worth so much as a second look. He could've easily gotten within arms reach of his target before revealing he was armed.

Not that it's as if those bent on mayhem even need extended magazines. As most gun enthusiasts know there are several pistol designs that give close to 20 rounds with flush-fitting or nearly so magazines. Think of the Springfield XDM in 9mm, the Glock 17 with +2 baseplates or CZ75 SP-01. There are even a couple of pistols that exceed 20 rounds right off the bat - the now infamous FN Five-seveN and Kel Tec's PMR-30. A lot of damage can be done with these concealable handguns. Some marginally gun savvy respondent to this Wash. Post editorial will get a lot of mileage from Hunter's failure to acknowledge such designs. These guns are not a problem for you and I but for the soccer moms reading the posted comments, they will be. Unfortunately it's those millions of easily influenced, MOTR soccer moms who decide elections. Their short-sighted votes are how we got the President we now have. Do any of you think their phone calls or e-mails wouldn't sway the less-than-stoic members of Congress when the McCarthy amended FAA bill comes up for vote?

Keeping our 10+ round magazines is going to be a tough fight. I think more so than many 2A supporters believe. In my opinion, Stephen Hunter's editorial didn't help us one bit. In several ways he added fuel to the anti's arguments against such magazines.

nj_larry said...

Justbill makes a good point re: Hunter's article. I have also had trouble trying to defend 10+ magazines etc. I see no reason to restrict them, period. The John Lott argument, from the point of an economist, that the weight of good vs. the weight of bad is how you should look at it. He makes the point that whatever you argue for bad people doing bad things also applies to good people doing good things. Personally, this dispassionate kind of approach just doesn't resonate with me. I think though this is what I'd use in "public". Every other argument seems to lead to a "I believe this with no proof" dialog, and gets us nowhere.

I believe that with Heller and McDonald we are going to have to resign ourselves to some set of restrictions. With these decisions there is no "well in the future we can argue it in court". It is done. We've had the case of a lifetime and it's a done deal. The court clear as a blue sky said that there can be restrictions. I don't like it, but it is in the decision. We will end up with something less than total and unfettered Vermont rights for everything smaller than a belt feed 30mm Vulcan canon. Question is what restrictions are you willing to live with, cause this time they are going to be argued in SCOTUS and literally chiseled in stone. They will be the clarifications of Heller. Every generation for the next 500 years hence will have to live with them. So pray for our five justices not getting sick or retiring.

Just some of the battles (probably lots more) I see in the near future:
type of weapon
bore size
ammo type and quantity
place of possession
number owned
age of owner
mental health

KM200 said...

Question is what restrictions are you willing to live with, cause this time they are going to be argued in SCOTUS and literally chiseled in stone.

Laws are never "chiseled in stone".
If they were, the antis would have had to stop their idiocy decades ago.

These dirtbags will continue to attack us no matter what the Supremes say.
While I agree that the last two major decisions left way too much wiggle (or weasel) room, even if they had come out and said "Anything that goes beyond the 2nd Amendment is hereby gone", we would still have the UpChuckies and the BoxStein twins trying to screw up basic human rights.
They will NEVER stop - neither will we.

Did you know that ex justice Stevens saw his father/family threatened with machine guns in a home invasion as a child?

The lesson he took from that is far different than the one we would have learned.

Anonymous said...

The argument FOR high-capacity magazines IS NOT that there are already other guns made to hold large amounts of ammo. The argument FOR large capacity magazines is that I WANT one from a tactical point of view, when I am considering protecting myself and my family. I live in a very rural area of Michigan and even though our township has a contract with the local Country Sheriff for one (1) police car in the area for each shift, the contract also allows that the one car may be dispatched to other areas of the county if any other emergency occurs.

Recently, I was summoned by a neighbor whose son came home from high school to find that their house was invaded and promptly reported it to the Sheriff's Department as a burglary-in-progress. My neighbor was still at work and needed to ensure that his son was safe and his property secured. Neither the son, nor I knew if the perps' were still inside, so I armed myself with a Third Generation S&W, with it's 15-shot magazine and we took a safe position to watch what was going on. It took the Sheriff's Department over two (2) hours to get there. Two (2) deputies finally arrived in two (2) separate cars, at the same time. One said "Sorry, it was shift change." The other said "Sorry, I had to transport a drunk driver to the county jail." Lucky that this young man hadn't walked-in on the invasion.

The moral of this story? It goes as we often hear: "When seconds count, help will be minutes, or even hours away." So, be prepared and properly equipped.

Life Member

Jerry The Geek said...

I would love to argue the points that "Justbill" made. I so completely disagree with him that I wonder why he's reading the Michael Bane blog.

Hunters article was bold; he obviously felt unashamed of espousing the reasons why a 33-round magazine should remain available to the general public. He is not apologetic, he allowed to reader to understand that the Gun-Grabbers are 'wrong'. They are the ones who don't understand reality.

Hunter wrote to address two questions: first, why do they exist; and second, to show that there were "legitimate" reasons why they should be available.

I admired his key statement: "When the question arises of who needs an extended magazine, the answer is: the most defenseless of the defenseless".

Hunter is so precise, so economical with words, this is just one more example of the quality of his writing.

I know good writing when I see it, because I invariably think "Gee, I wish I had said that!"

justbill said...


By questioning my motivation for reading this blog, you only expose your sad, true self. It's interesting to see that, by your standards at least, every opinion must be in lock step with MB. "The Cult of Personality" by Living Colour is a great song, you should listen to it some time.

Most sincerely,

shooter since 1983, NRA Life Member since 1999

Anonymous said...

Don't we remember the last two times around (the AWB & non-renewal)? All the need in the world goes out the door with the haters. "Take up Bowling instead". Don't think the non-renewal was anything but politicians afraid for their jobs.

The correct answer is "It doesn't matter.. I will vote you out of office if you do"

Cymond said...

A lot of people ask "Why do you need 30 rounds!?!?" Why do we need capacity? Because things don't always work out right and self-defense is a difficult challenge. Please consider the following scenarios:

What if you miss?

What if your hands shake with terror & adrenaline?

What if your tiny defense gun has terrible sights?

What if it is too dark to see whatever sights you *do* have?

What if the attacker has partial cover?

What if there's more than 1 attacker? (criminals often work in groups)

What if it takes more than a few shots? (it took 22 hits from a .40 S&W to stop Tim Palmer and Angel Alvarez survived 21 rounds of 9mm)

What if several of the above happen?

Spree shootings actually offer the worst argument for banning extended capacity magazines. More capacity is an advantage to attackers, but it is a much bigger advantage to the under-dog defenders. Spree shooters always seem to attack disarmed, defenseless people. Spree shooters have all the time they want to reload. The difference between 1 33 round magazine and 3 10 round magazines is small for the killer; he can take his time reloading while his victims cower. The butchers know their plan; they have the element of surprise and can bring as much ammo as they want. Meanwhile, the law abiding defenders are already at a disadvantage. The fight will start and end in a few moments, with only what they have IN the gun already. Overwhelmed and often outnumbered, it is the defenders who gain the most from the extra capacity.

And besides, since when do the criminals pay attention to bans? Gun bans disparately and adversely impact the law abiding. Bans completely disarm us, but only partially disarm the criminals. (A ban would lead to a shortage, so some of the criminals won't be able to find/afford a rare gun)

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