“2,182 miles per hour. That’s how fast the bullets were moving when they came out of that AR-15 at Marjory Stoneman-Douglas High School last week,” MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell pronounced. “2,182 miles per hour. 3,200 feet per second. That’s what those kids were trying to outrun. That’s three times the speed of a bullet leaving a 9mm handgun.” Not entirely wrong but that doesn’t mean . . .
a 9mm bullet is slow (except in slo-mo). Or that a 9mm bullet is three times less deadly than a .223 fired from an AR-15. As any Person of the Gun will tell you, any bullet’s lethality depends on shot placement.
Mind you, it is true that a .223 round creates more severe wounds than a 9mm — all things being equal. But again, it is not true that bullet speed is the key factor in a gunfight.
Which is why MSNBC host Lawrence O’Donnell’s Tweet is a joke. Well, kinda . . .
A defender with a handgun going up against a school shooter with a semi-automatic rifle is at a large disadvantage — due to the rifle’s superior ergonomics and ammunition capacity. (Lesson learned at the SIG SAUER Active Shooter Instructor Course.) Which is why police officers responding to an active shooter do so with . . . wait for it . . . AR-15s.
That said, the underlying dynamics of the gunfight can give an unidentified, handgun-armed defender a key advantage: surprise. It’s the bullet you don’t see that kills you, regardless of what gun fired it. Put another way, speed, surprise and violence of action is an excellent recipe for winning any violent confrontation.
Bottom line: in the best of all possible worlds, if we wanted the most effective defense against a school shooter when the shooting starts, teachers should have quick access to a rifle, rather than a concealed handgun.
That’s not a very practical idea, and the mainstream media already has its hair on fire at the idea of teachers carrying concealed. So handguns it is! Or should be.
Here’s one thing it shouldn’t be: leaving schools undefended. Or, as police with rifles eventually show up, temporarily undefended.
Remembering that Nikolas Cuz killed 17 people in less than six minutes, some of whom died as police officers waited outside his killing field, either armed with or waiting for rifles.