Busting the ‘You Only Need Ten Rounds’ Myth

By Jeremy Knauf

Anti-gun activists and self-serving politicians are eager to proclaim that there’s no reason for anyone (except the police, of course) to have a magazine that holds more than ten rounds of ammunition. They claim that these “high-capacity” magazines are simply tools to facilitate mass murder. On the surface, this seems logical; however, upon deeper investigation it becomes clear that their claim is nothing more than emotion filled rhetoric . . .

First, a magazine holding more than ten rounds is technically not “high-capacity.” In fact, many modern guns are designed to hold between twelve and thirty rounds of ammo to make them suitable for their intended purpose, whether that’s self-defense, hunting or target practice.

Semantics aside, a magazine capable of holding thirty or even one hundred rounds is just as safe as a magazine capable of holding only ten. Magazines don’t possess magical powers that somehow transform an otherwise sane and upstanding citizen into a maniacal killer bent on mass carnage. Ask yourself, does the possession of a “high-capacity” gasoline can make you more likely to burn down the local day care than one that’s capable of holding only one gallon? Like gasoline cans, magazines are simply tools, nothing more.

So what happens when someone does snap? Wouldn’t reduced capacity magazines limit the damage that the murderer could inflict? It would be nice if it were that simple, but life in the real world almost always works out differently than the utopian dream world that anti-gun activists like to pretend exists.

They’d like you to believe that because reduced capacity magazines force a shooter to reload in order to continue his killing spree, it means an inevitable lull in the shooting (which is sure to take place in dramatic, Michael Bay-style slow motion, just like in the movies), giving a hypothetical Good Samaritan the opportunity to tackle and disarm him. Do you see a problem with this theory?

Picture yourself in the midst of a mass shooting, hiding under a desk wearing noticeably wet pants. (Don’t worry; your secret is safe with me.) You hear a brief pause and the click of the magazine release, followed by the empty mag hitting the floor. Do you A) jump from your hiding position and run towards the shooter while replaying scenes from The Expendables in your head, or B) grab your family and get the hell out of there?

If you’re still unsure, I’ll give you a hint: your membership at the local YMCA gym and all the action movies from Netflix are not going to turn you into Jason Statham.

It’s an epically bad idea, even from a distorted Hollywood perspective of what’s possible. It’s a still worse idea when you realize that even an untrained shooter can change magazines in a little less than one second. Do you really think you have the physical prowess to burst from hiding, cover the distance from you to the shooter, and successfully disarm him in less than one second?

I’m a very well-trained veteran Marine and in excellent physical shape, but unless the armed bad guy was blocking me from the exit, I would not physically engage him in hand to hand combat. I’d either draw my own weapon and eliminate the threat, or grab my family and get them out of there. I recommend you do the same.

What makes ten the “magic” number, anyway? Is the eleventh person somehow more valuable than the tenth? But I digress.

The anti-gun activists believe that the police, unlike citizens, need magazines holding more than ten rounds because they’re often placed in harm’s way. Common sense dictates that everyone — not just the police — needs access to enough ammunition to adequately protect themselves. It’s undoubtedly true that the police are far more likely to encounter a violent situation that must be neutralized with a gun. But when someone does find themselves in that situation, as millions of people do, should their ability to effectively defend themselves depend on whether they are a police officer or a citizen?

Think about it like this; I used to live in an area where flooding was relatively frequent, so I was required by law to purchase flood insurance which would pay off my entire mortgage in the event that a flood destroyed my home. I recently moved to an area where flooding is very infrequent, but still possible. Because I’m now less likely to experience a flood, should my insurance now only pay off half of my mortgage in the event that a flood destroys my home? Of course not, the damage would have the same impact regardless of how statistically likely it was to occur.

Your self-defense is no different. You may not be as likely to be forced to defend yourself with a gun, but if that time comes, is it any less important for you to have the necessary tools than it is for a police officer? In fact, 15 minutes on Google will turn up a plethora of home invasions, robberies, and assaults involving multiple assailants—would you want to face two, three, or even more violent criminals with only 10 rounds?

Some people have claimed, “a few more bullets won’t help you” or “if you can’t do the job with one or two bullets, you shouldn’t have a gun in the first place” but if that were true, why do the police routinely fire hundreds of bullets at a single suspect? Why even after being hit multiple times does the suspect often get up and run away or worse yet, continue attacking the officers? This isn’t a video game. This is real life and it rarely goes according to plan. I will continue shooting the bad guy until he is no longer moving and that might take more than ten rounds—especially if there are multiple bad guys.

If, as the anti-gun crowd claim, a few more bullets won’t increase my safety, then it’s only logical that a few more bullets won’t increase their danger either. In which case, what possible reason could they have for wanting to prevent you and I from owning magazines holding more than ten rounds? It’s not about “gun control,” it’s simply about control.

I will do everything in my power to ensure the safety of my family. That includes a plentiful supply of ammunition, on my body, in my car, and at my home.

This article originally appeared at jeremyknauff.com and is reprinted here with permission.