Primary Arms

Gun Magazine Bans And Restrictions Are Dangerous

Carry as much ammunition as you can.

About a week or so ago, Mr Saleh, the manager of a MetroPCS store in Norfolk, Virginia, successfully defended himself from an armed attacker on the premises of his shop during daylight business hours. Trouble can strike anywhere at any time. It’s up to you to shoot back

I’m not going to do the blow-by-blow analyzing what Saleh did right and wrong during the attack. John Corriea (sidebar: I was today years old when I found out his name was pronounced “Korea”, not “Core-eh”) of Active Self Protection, breaks it down in an excellent analysis of the encounter.

It’s a prime example of a defensive gun use gone right. Saleh evidently has been trained to an extent. He swiftly engaged the threat, even managing to work through a malfunction, and kept himself in the fight until the end. Even his co-worker did what she could and took cover. The engagement ended when Saleh’s fifth shot found it’s target, and caused the attacker to flee the scene. Saleh is fortunate that, for now, his state allows the legal possession of standard-capacity magazines. It could have gone way worse - though.

A Magazine Restriction Or Ban Could Have Contributed To His Death

Let’s break down Mr Saleh’s encounter from a different perspective. The gent in the video was armed with a 9mm pistol, purportedly loaded with 150-grain hollow point rounds. Taken by surprise, he fired four shots - missing each time. The fifth shot connected, albeit striking the assailant in the hip, and not center mass. The assailant fell, dropping his weapon, and was able to crawl, and then limp out the door. His arms and hands were still very much functional - as was his brain. Saleh flipped the script as it were, coming from a point of disadvantage, to a point of advantage.

However, the assailant could have chosen many other paths when he fell. He could have played possum. He could have grabbed for his pistol once Saleh took his aim off of him. Any number of possibilities where he could have attempted to retaliate, despite being wounded. The assailant could have still very much been in the fight. His vitals were not struck, and bleeding out could take many minutes, if it happened at all. Think anatomy. The bullet could have very well hit bone.

The human torso, more or less.

In a free/normal state of the Union, Saleh would have most likely had at least ten more 9mm rounds on tap since he would have had a standard-capacity magazine. Not ideal, but still not bad. Had he purchased a new firearm in a restrictive state, his load would have been depleted by 50 percent or more, depending on the weapon. 5 shots left, all the while processing that he had just shot someone (even in self-defense, shooting someone is traumatic), and that person may or will be continuing the attack. Plus he’s partially deafened by the report of the gunshots in an enclosed space, and rightfully scared. Not a good place to be, even with a full magazine. Restricting his ammo capacity would have just made the odds worse.

You Don’t Pick The Day You Are Attacked

Your typical anti-gun type, when confronted with the scenario outlined above, will usually quip, “Well, he just needs to be a better shot”, or “If he were trained, he wouldn’t need 15/20/30 rounds!”

Well yes, he could have trained more. I need to train more. You need to train more. Jerry Miculek needs to train more. Even if we’re at the top of our game, we can always be better. Mr Miculek reigns supreme because he takes every opportunity to train and hone his craft. He can shoot a gnat in the eyeball of your choice at 100 meters. He’ll train harder and do it at 150 meters next time.

Plus - you don’t get to pick the day you are attacked. You could buy a gun today, and get attacked tomorrow, having only spent an hour at the range getting to know your new gun. You could get attacked a year from now in bad weather, never having trained outdoors during a rainstorm. The attacker decides when he is going to attack - not you.

It is also very hard to simulate the physiological conditions of an attack. Even during a Simunition or UTM force-on-force exercise, where the participants use specially-modfied GLOCKs to shoot paintball-like marker rounds at each other, complete with “bang” and recoil, the parties involved still know it’s a simulation and not real.

There’s no training regimen that I know of, that can accurately simulate the flood of adrenaline, the fear, and surprise of being unexpectedly attacked. And when that happens, your brain starts to do funny things. Your fine motor control goes away - you might be able to shoot the hair off of a pig from a mile away in broad daylight on a crisp autumn morning, but those fine movements are hard to pull off when someone throws your door open, and starts shooting at you. You’ll be rightfully scared and your brain will try to sort out a fight-or-flight response. You may fight, and your first five, or even ten or more rounds will go astray, regardless of how many state-mandated or personally-mandated courses you’ve taken. Most of us simply can’t predict our response. And if you think you can predict your response, you are kidding yourself.

Train, and train harder - thankfully a little bit of training can at least even the odds enormously. Criminals aren’t in the habit of training - they rely on stealth and surprise, not expecting someone to shoot back. Often, they are armed with an unfamiliar weapon. If you throw them for a loop, which the mere act of drawing your own weapon will do, you are turning the tables on them.

The trick is to minimize your “downtime” where you are in shock and surprised. Train to overcome that. I need to - and so do you. Let’s be more like Saleh and less like an unarmed victim.

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