Feinstein, Mass Killers, and Imagination
Senator Feinstein and her friends have a dream: to stop mass killings. So they're on a mission: pass an Assault Weapons Ban (AWB). They are as dedicated to passing the law as they are blind to its futility, because Feinstein and her friends have no imagination. Worse, they don't think anyone else does, either.
Mass killers also have dreams, and they, too, have a mission. Mass killers tend to be pretty smart guys who usually plan their killings down to the tiniest detail, as meticulous as any fine print in Senator Feinstein's proposed law. But, unlike Feinstein & Co., mass killers have imagination. They adapt, and they improvise. It's part of Mass Killing 101.
One target of the proposed AWB is the so-called "high-capacity" magazine, such as the popular 30-round design for rifles. Feinstein & Co. want legal gun-owners to have, at most, only 10-round mags. (The law will not affect illegal gun owners.) Many popular semiautomatic pistols also have mags that hold more than 10 rounds.
If the good senator and her friends get their weapons ban passed into law, we can presume they will be happy that they've accomplished great things -- until a future mass-shooter figures out that with some practice, he can learn to change out those smaller magazines with lightning speed, as shown in this video (3:08). Notice that the guy in the video doesn't even fire 10 rounds before changing clips. If a mass shooter is even partly as skilled as the good-guy pro, he can accomplish great carnage.
I can hear it now: "Don't give the bad guys any ideas with these videos!"
Hey, person who assumes too much, how uninformed do you think mass shooters are? As their malevolent history has taught us and as I've already said, mass shooters tend to be pretty smart guys.
Unlike a lot of people with a firm opinion on gun control, yet who often don't know the difference between a military rifle and a military-style rifle, or who think a semiautomatic can spray bullets, mass shooters know about their subject of interest. Anyone with access to a computer can learn almost anything about guns and shooting techniques. And nothing I show here is difficult for a reasonably intelligent person to figure out on his own, even without the benefit of YouTube.
Now, where were we? Oh, yes: illustrating the ineffectualness of the 10-round mag limit.
Several 10-round rifle mags can also be ganged into a jungle clip (3:24) of 40 rounds -- or more simply by taping multiple magazines together. The shooter who does this will lose a second or two during each mag change but, lucky for him, when seconds count, the police are still likely to be minutes away.
So after a mass killing with 10-round mags -- pistol or rifle, killer's choice -- Feinstein & Co. will get their shorts in a twist because obviously we gotta do sumpin'. Again. Someone may suggest outlawing adhesive tape, but that idea will never even make it out of committee. Instead, all magazines will be banned, perhaps as part of a larger Semiautomatic Weapons and Guns Painted Black Ban.
At this point, the only handguns that law-abiding citizens will be allowed to possess will be revolvers finished in Anti-Camo Hot Pink. All others will probably prefer to keep their traditional black semiautomatics.
But do Feinstein & Co. know how fast you can reload a revolver with a speed loader? Pretty darn fast (1:07). And, of course, if the shooter has managed somehow, some way, to acquire more than one revolver (it is possible, you know, in a country with more than 200 million guns and loads of gunrunning criminals), he'll be on Easy-Pickin's Street. He'll really like it there, too, until the cops show up to collect the corpses.
Breaking News: Revolvers Used in Mass Killing! Feinstein & Co. once again will be up in high dudgeon, and by the time the gavel comes down, we law-abiding citizens will be allowed to possess only bolt-action rifles. After all, gun controllers like to say, the Second Amendment is really only for hunters anyway.
Yet it is possible to lay off 12 rounds in under 10 seconds even with a standard old bolt-action Winchester .22, as you can see in this video (0:11). Certainly, after a bit of practice, a shooter with determination, a steady hand, and a bolt action rifle can clear a roomful of people within a minute or so, can't he? When multiple fatalities answer that question from beyond the grave with an unequivocal yes...
Outflanked again! Great anguish and gnashing of teeth on Capitol Hill! At this point, Feinstein & Co. will gather in an emergency late-night session to prevail upon President Obama, now in his third term and with a sympathetic majority on the Supreme Court, to sign an executive order banning all civilian ownership and use of firearms. He will do it immediately, as prearranged, in a nationally televised signing ceremony. The Senate will erupt in thunderous applause. Across the land, gun-ban supporters will wipe tears of joy from their eyes as they hug their children and teddy bears.
A bright day will dawn in tomorrow's America. Mass killings will be a thing of the past, and at last Feinstein & Co. can abandon their patronizing lip-service to hunters, who henceforth will be restricted to using child-safe slingshots loaded only with federally approved Nerf balls.
Finally, the great work is done: the scourge of gun ownership among law-abiding American citizens has ended.
In Washington, a jolly pod of gun-ban activists, satisfied that the country is now safe from mass-shootings due to their persistence, retire from the Capitol's Senate gallery to a nearby bar for a round of 16-oz. soft drinks and self-congratulatory back-slapping. Smiles abound as a toast is proposed and glasses are raised -- when a stranger suddenly bursts through the door, blocking it.
In one hand he brandishes a homemade machete honed to a fine, bright edge, and the handles of additional machetes extend upward from behind his back. The ad hoc ammo belt around his waist is festooned with Molotov cocktails. Atop his beret (this is a sophisticated killer) is fixed a flaming can of Sterno. He plucks off a Molotov, raises it over his head, and lights the wick.
Oh, I can hear it again: "Don't give the bad guys any ideas!" I didn't. The Beret Killer is actually the most vulnerable person in the room. With imagination, you can figure out why.
Here's a hint: "Poof!"
Robert Babcock writes from Lawrence, Kansas, where he ventures now and then to wrestle a few words into pleasant coherence. His e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.