AMA study: shooters armed with semiautomatic rifles kill twice as many people



I’m well aware of that. And was well aware of it before I read that.

Not sure why that’s directed at me. Or even what its response to specifically. It doesnt seem to follow from the comment it’s a reply to.


That’s clearly a semiautomatic Assault Sword, and as such, should be kept out of civilian hands. After all, a regular arming sword or falchion is perfectly capable for home defense in the proper hands…

Anyway, we’ve been having this tiresome arms control argument for almost 2,000 years…

“A sword never kills anybody; it is a tool in the killer’s hand.” - Lucius Annaeus Seneca


I think you are confusing semi auto rifles and semi auto assault rifles. That seems to be a pretty common misconception, shared by the authors of the study in question.


I agree that, given the state of things, banning semi-automatic weapons is likely a giant waste of time in the current climate.

So instead, let’s register, log, and control bullets.


One issue there is whether people would submit to a semiauto ban, and what that might mean. Banning the sale of them would have minimal effect on gun crimes, as handguns are used vastly more often than rifles. So legal gun owners are going to wonder what you are trying to actually achieve by banning them.
If you are actually talking about a ban on ownership, that is a lot of doors that someone is going to have to kick in.


The Ruger 10/22 is also most commonly (only?) chambered in .22lr a very small rifle cartridge. It makes it a poor comparison point to larger guns chambered in .223 Remington. None the less its a favorite for firearms regulation opponents to bring up. As is the claim that ar-15s and similar guns are “just twenty twos”. The hope is that you’ll confuse something that fires a full on (if smaller and moderately powered) rifle cartridge for the dinky 22 caliber guns we for some reason consider weak and safe.

The writers are alleging that the power behind the bullet does not translate into extra lethality.


I guess the question about bullet control is what you are trying to actually achieve with such a ban. Criminals are not really big consumers of ammo, and probably would be willing to smuggle or manufacture what little that actually use.
Ammo is also pretty easy to manufacture, and will last at least a century if properly stored.
The people who use a lot of ammo are target shooters, and people who go to the range regularly in order to practice safe and accurate marksmanship. I don’t think you are going to establish a link between those people and gun violence.


The article I linked makes an excellent case for it; it’s not a ban. It’s bullet control. Careful regulation and logging of ammunition purchases by licensed owners. It points out cases in which the police have easily been able to find suspects by bullet cases left at the scenes of violent crimes. Right now bullets are easily purchased with nearly zero regulation. I’d think making sure we know who’s buying high powered ammunition would be quite helpful.

I don’t think you’re going to make a very good case for the idea that bad people who use guns don’t really use the bullets that go in them.


Someone up thread said medics reported roughly the same fatality rate for different calibres, which is variable I was considering, which then leaves 1) intent and 2) semi-automatic nature of the weapon.
If so, horrid as it seems…only twice as many? I’d have figured it would be more, honestly. I assume rate of fire goes up, but then accuracy declines?****


Generally speaking here and elsewhere bans are done on new sales, with existing weapons grandfathered in to avoid the obvious problems that come with trying to sieze existing weapons. An aproach that isnt lilely to pass constitutional muster even if it didn’t set off the Hillary is coming for your guns crowd.

Existing guns are removed from the marlet with voluntary buy backs.

Unfortunately the right has decided that voluntary buy back programs are Hillary coming for your guns. But in a secret Mark of The Beast, Illuminati kind of way. So their use in the US has been minimal. And the proliferation of both assault rifles and hand guns since 2004 largely makes it so without agressive buy back programs. So many of the exact weapons we’re concerned about would qualify for “pre-ban” status as to make bans of that sort kind of useless. My brother has a coworker who has sixty ar-15s and ar-15 derivitives in storage. And he’s sure as shit not the only guy in my area with that going on.

The “but most crimes use hand guns” arguement is a feint. Both are dangerous and no suited to unrestricted access. Regardless of how frequently they’re used in crime. The crimes hand guns are used in are muggings and gang spats. The crimes assault weapons are used in are mass killings and terror attacks. We don’t refuse to do any thing at all about terror attacks, just because they’re less common than muggings. We don’t refuse to do anything about serial killings because they’re less of a practical risk in every day life than car accidents. We at least attempt to take appropriate, practical approaches to each according to their features and relative risks.

Blanket bans on whole catagories of firearms probably isn’t the most practical way to go about it. Firearms are a lot more finely varied than that. But like wise only regulating things based on CRIME! isn’t a particularly useful way of looking at it.

Cause I didn’t finish that out with this:


The writers aren’t really alleging that. The writers are pointing out that while bigger bullet means bigger hole. Bigger holes do not neccisarily translate into more bodies. Because there are other factors involved.

The format of the gun is a major factor. Because handguns are smaller, with shorter barrels, and the way they’re held. They’re inherently less accurate over distance. You’re going to see fewer casualties in a hand gun shooting because fewer of the bullets fired are going to hit people.

Another important one is the precise features of the ammunition used in these sorts of semi-auto rifles use. .223 reminington is not a large bullet. It is not a high powered cartridge. Its classified as a small rifle, and medium powered cartridge IIRC.

What’s important about that is, you get a bullet that’s not particularly good at killing in a single shot. But it has very low recoil, and is quite accurate to medium range. Fired from a gun that’s designed to minimize recoil and focus on accuraccy.

What that means is you can fire accurately over distance. And you can fire accurately faster. Because the recoil of firing a shot moves the gun off target less, its easier and faster to get back on taget. So it doesnt matter that the bullets are small, and do less damage than larger ones. Because you can easily put more bullets in people. In less time. Which is exactly what these guns were designed for, and why they’re chambered for that type of ammunition. These are direct translations of military weapons after all.

.22lr, which again is much more dangerous than commonly presented. Doesn’t really have any of those features. The bullets are very, very small. So small that just based on physics they aren’t terribly accurate past ~100 yards. They have very little powder behind them, sometimes none at all. And they don’t really have enough weight to penetrate very far outside of close range. In a rifle or a hand gun.

I’d be willing to bet if you compared shootings with ar-15’s to shootings with semi-auto rifles in larger hunting calibers. You’d still find there were more victims with the ar-15s. Because the larger recoil from more powerful bullets would either slow them down or render them less accurate.

There would probably still be more victims than with handguns, since handguns just aren’t accurate enough over distance to do that.

That’s if you could find enough mass shootings using larger calibers. Mass shooters have locked in on ar-15s and similar guns for a reason.


this is a one and a half page letter. It’s not a twenty page review article. It’s not a meta study.

It is a reflection of the lack of serious research in this field, and the dickey amendment’ contribution to that state of affairs.


Cool. Let’s see how long it takes you to make 1000 rounds in your workshop.


I know I have written this on BB before, but it bears repeating:
In the Corps, one of the lessons they taught us was who would win in a fight between a person armed with a machine gun and one armed with a rock.
The answer, of course, is the one who is willing to kill. And that matters in the real world. The people with the most or the most powerful guns are not the ones most likely to do you or your family harm.

Depends on the round, and how much of it I actually have to manufacture from raw materials. If I am turning the cases and projectiles on the lathe, 1000 rounds can take many hours. But cases are mostly reusable. Once you have the component parts ready to go, 1000 rounds takes less than a day. But many people have much faster, more production oriented equipment than I do. I mostly make obscure calibers at very high tolerances, and in small quantities.


The ones with the most powerful guns are the ones MOST CAPABLE of doing me and my family harm. That’s why you never see headlines like “rock-wielding maniac kills dozens, wounds hundreds.”

With all due respect to your service, there’s a damn good reason they didn’t send you into combat with a rock instead of a rifle.


Well with all the hype around this, I wasn’t expecting the average death toll for bolt action rifles to be 2.49 and the average death toll for semiautomatic rifles to be 4.25. No wonder everyone is leading with the percentage.


Hmm the law isn’t the reason the AR-15 got more popular.

First off AKs never got hard to find, and indeed other rifles like the SKS you could get basically brand new in cosmoline for ~$150 in the early 2000s. While the price of the AK did rise some, people still import AKs, or rather parts kits, and assemble with the prescribed percentage of US made parts to make it legal. Currently they are about the same price as an AR-15, starting at about $550 for a low end one.

The AR was never $2000 out of the box for the standard versions. 20 years ago the average starter price was about $900. But yes, their prices in the last 3-4 years are the lowest they have ever been due to a market glut. Yes you can find the most basic of models for a bit over $500 on sale.

But back to the point - what made the AR-15 more popular, I’d say it was:

  1. the AWB. Nothing makes an American want to own something other than banning it.

  2. The development of the M-4 carbine platform, which gave it it a lot more options and made it easier to customize. A whole cottage industry sprung up, during the AWB, that focused on making new and “improved” accessories.

  3. 2 wars where the rifle’s big, fully automatic brother was in full use, and many returning vets wanted similar weapons.

A combination of those things (and others) made the attitude among average gun owners go from: “Why do you need THAT?” to “What do you mean you don’t own an AR-15?”


My gut tells me that people who are willing to kill from the outset (our own breed of angry white men) find machine guns much more attractive than rocks.


Yeah military trainers tell you a lot of things, for a lot of reasons. And a lot of them aren’t accurate. I know historians who now laugh about what they learned about Spatans in the Corps.

Unless we’re imagining Rambo situations, the guy with the machine gun is going to win. The military wants soldiers to imagine Rambo situations, with themselves in the Rambo roll as part of that whole build you up, one man army thing.

That’s why the GOP wants to arm teachers with guns. Rather than rocks and an urge to kill.

What militaries world wide have learned. Shifted tactics around, and redesigned weapons around. Is that between the guy with a machine gun. And the guy with a semi-automatic rifle with a lower overall firing rate; featuring a smaller, shorter range, and lower recoil cartridge. The guy with the rifle almost always wins in short to medium range.

Happened in the 80’s and the gun was adopted by the military in 94, hitting the civilian market some time after that. Coinciding with the weapons ban. The platform was popular to an extent under the ban, as they were completely legal and specifically called out as such under the ban. The gun was never banned and the assault weapons ban never told anyone they couldn’t have an ar-15. Those ar-15’s just had to conform to the ban’s other features.

The customizability is a factor in the large increase (by a couple of metrics but especially sales) in popularity since 2004. But most of that customizability would have fallen afoul of the ban. So in hind sight that law, as janky as it was. Does seem to have kept ar-15 sales in check to an extent.

What “they said I can’t have it” element there is to their proliferation seems to be more a factor of the constant “their coming for our guns” scare mongering from the right, the NRA, and the firearms industry. Its in integral part of their marketing.

There’s been a massive increase the last 15 years or so in people citing thing like “need to get one before I can’t”, and “to protect my self from the government” as reasons for gun ownership. Home/personal defense is still the number one cited reason. But paranoia about the government or gun seizures are swiftly growing one.

IIRC the biggest period for increased sales for guns, including these specifically, and for those claims about why they were purchased. Takes place during the Obama years, somewhere about the middle. At least 2-3 years after the AWB expired.

What the right has done is make it a political imperative to purchase multiple guns of specific type. The sky is always falling and you have to buy 2, no 3 NOW. Because some one or some thing is coming for you in some fashion.

The backlash against the ban is inextricable from the scaremongering about gun control. It was, and is still. A feed back loop of marketing gold.


I suspect you’d find that both of those categories are outweighed by handguns used in domestic violence.


Source on that? According to the various large city stats I’ve seen in the US, the majority of homicides are largely criminals killing other criminals. Domestic violence seems to be the runner up. I would agree that domestic violence beats out muggings turned murder of random victims. Most victims in both cases know their attacker.