TTAG writer Brad Kozak was right: the mainstream media was wrong. On Saturday, the press rushed to report that spree killer/would-be political assassin Jared Lee Loughner used an “automatic rifle” to carry-out his heinous crime. The image above is from Loughner’s Facebook page, deleted within minutes of the attack. It shows his Glock 19 with a standard mag (15 rounds of 9mm ammunition). ABC confirmed that the nine-millimeter caliber weapon was purchased legally from Sportsman’s Warehouse [below] in Tucson Arizona on November 30th . . .
The Director of the FBI and the Pima County Sheriff held a press conference this afternoon in which they revealed that Loughner fired 31 bullets. He did so from a thirty-round magazine (the “extra” bullet was stored in the chamber of the gun). This explains both the duration of the shooting (around 15 seconds) and the carnage caused. Here’s a video of a shooter firing a Glock 19 with a thirty-round magazine.
Notice how the bullet holder hangs out of the gun at the bottom, making concealment significantly more difficult. Also note that although this shooter starts firing at a fairly slow pace, he empties the gun within ten seconds. With a constant rate of fire, a Glock 19′s 33-round magazine’s done in around seven seconds.
The FBI said that Loughner had a second thirty-round magazine, and two standard mags (15 rounds apiece). I make that 91 bullets. The law enforcement officials lauded three individuals — at least one of whom was shot herself — for tackling Loughner to the ground before he could re-load his Glock with the second thirty-round magazine.
Inevitably, gun control advocates will ask why anyone needs a 30-round magazine. Why shouldn’t “high capacity magazines” be banned—as they are in CA and MA—by federal fiat? Because the same firepower that Loughner unleashed on innocent victims could save the life of an innocent person armed with a Glock 19 with a 30-round magazine when faced by an assailant or assailants. Sad, but true.
[Click here for a look at the debate over high-capacity magazines.]