How Many Do You Need?

One common meme among the gun control freaks is the idea that a gun’s magazine should be allowed to hold no more than ten rounds. (Or seven, if you have the misfortune to live in New York.) Things like this:


send them the vapors. And if you have the temerity to say that round limits make no sense, they will sneer that you must be a bad shot if you need more than ten rounds to drop a deer.

There are many things wrong with this point of view:

1. Hunting


In many states, hunters are limited to five rounds, not ten, indicating what the control freaks would like to see, perhaps–on their way to banning everything, that is. But the constant reference to deer shows a lack of awareness about what firearms are for. Yes, hunting is one purpose. Self-defense is another. To bring hunting into every discussion implies that this use is the only acceptable purpose to which a firearm may be put. However, people defend their lives with firearms, and that needs to be considered.

2. Power


Not all cartridges are equal, and handgun rounds are much less powerful than rifle rounds. In fact, while a handgun can be used to good effect, unlike what Hollywood wants us to believe, one shot is unlikely to get the job done. A woman in Atlanta, for example, fired six shots at a home invader, five of which hit the man in the face and neck, and he was able to get away, only to be caught later when the cops finally arrived in the area. The woman’s revolver was a .38 Special, a common and worthy self-defense piece. Whatever the typical effect of X rounds of Y caliber happens to be, in this case, five weren’t enough. Had there been a second invader, even more would have been needed.

3. Defense


The attacker chooses the time and place of the attack. But we as good citizens are obliged to wait. This gives the attacker a tactical advantage. The gun control freaks ask me how many rounds I need. A good answer to that is that I don’t know. That’s precisely the condition that a defender is in. Before the action starts, there is often no way to anticipate how many attackers there will be or how many rounds will be required. The reports that I’ve seen suggest that a gunfight will be over most of the time after three or four shots, which is why I accept necessity and carry only one gun and a spare magazine, typically, but that is not a guarantee. While we all make concessions to what’s practical, I see no reason to tell you how many rounds you may have.

4. Rights


When gun control freaks ask me why I need X number of rounds, my answer is that the question is wrong-headed. I don’t have to justify to the government why I want so many of whatever. It’s the government’s job to explain what need it has for requesting me to limit myself and beg my permission to enact such a limit.

But since some people are obsessed with limiting magazines to ten rounds, I have a proposal: Let’s make it a separate crime to use a magazine of more than ten rounds in the commission of another crime and apply an extra ten-year sentence for using such a magazine in a criminal act. That way, we all may have as many rounds as we find appropriate, but those who misuse a firearm will receive additional punishment for their evil ways.


10 thoughts on “How Many Do You Need?

  1. Mark Crist

    Hi Greg,
    I at one time had a Para Ordinance .45ACP, which had a double stack magazine. Now, I carry a commander sized Kimber, though make do with two extra mags. Jeff Cooper was not a fan of high capacity magazines, though he contributed to the design of the Bren Ten which had a double stack magazine.
    I’ve been fortunate that I haven’t gotten grief about how many rounds I carry, though I honestly haven’t told many people I carry, and those I do tell know me well enough that they don’t second guess my decisions.
    I also recall in the aftermath of the shooting Aurora, everyone in the media getting the vapors over the fact that the shooter had bought thousands of rounds of ammo. And of course suggesting “common sense” limits on buying ammo. My only answer was that if he wasn’t carrying it on him, it doesn’t count.
    And if I recall correctly, the shooter in Aurora had one of those high speed 100 round drum mags, but had to switch to a different weapon because the mag jammed.
    “It appears, the police say, that James E. Holmes, the man accused in the Aurora shootings, used all three types of weapons inside the theater as well, first firing the shotgun, then using the semiautomatic rifle until its 100-round barrel magazine jammed, and finishing off with a pistol.”
    I too am of a mind to take offense regarding having to ask permission to exercise my rights, and fortunately, Minnesotas carry laws don’t feel terribly restrictive, though in truth I have nothing to compare it too.

  2. AnonymousWoman

    I like the point I saw recently that the gun control politicians have told us what they want to do to stop the law abiding from having guns. Now they need to tell us what they would do to stop the criminals from having guns. They don’t even want to do anything about these women (and most all of the examples I have seen are custodial mothers) who give guns to their mentally ill teens. (Exception was a couple of teachers in Oregon who were ultimately taken out by their mentally ill son along with all the students he took out.)

    The Lady Smiths only have five so the woman in Atlanta would not have had enough to save herself and her child.

    They say that one doesn’t change one’s mind by reading blogs and Tweets and posts. BUT I have –. I have become convinced that most of the anti-gun crowd are actually unable to control themselves & are on antipsychotic & other mental drugs. I realized that what I learned in some of my jobs about WHO was on antipsychotics showed me quite a lot of these people are. The anti-gun crowd claim to be convinced that those who even understand the concept of self defense are as unhinged as THEY would be if armed. It saddens me to say this as so many of those who agree with me politically are dangerous to those who might need to defend themselves. I can ONLY conclude that they are personally inclined to be violent and assume that all others are as on-the-verge-of-losing-control as they are.

    Before I saw the quote (and photo) of the president about guns not defending people (while he was surrounded by Secret Servicemen with guns!) I had been encountering that weird saying from anti-gun individuals on social media.

    Guns don’t save people when the legal complication aspect of risks of using them to save your life are greater than the risks of using them to save your life. That is the anti-gun crowd’s intent — you can’t save your life as they have laws that will make you worse off for trying to than the criminal is going to be for trying to kill you.

    Here’s what I would love to say to the anti-gun crowd: I promise & swear I will never use a gun (should I have one in time of need) to save anyone who is anti-gun. I’ll be sad to see a criminal take anyone law abiding down but I don’t think it is wise for those with guns to defend those who want to see the law abiding in trouble for saving others from criminals. Should I have a gun (or other means of self defense) I will only use it to save those who would appreciate being saved. A telephone is the most I would use to save someone who thinks we should all die whenever criminals want us to do so.

    I don’t see how a country can continue to survive as any kind of a civilization when the anti-gun nuts are more outraged about those who defend themselves than they are about these crazy breeders who put their progeny out to prey on others.

  3. Prof. Godel Fishbreath

    AnonymousWoman, I understand your frustration. Your rant shows your anger, and is in a familiar form. I have seen similar on all sides.
    Can you understand the frustration of the other side? The individualized murder, or suicide is a problem, but the killing of massive numbers of people, especially kids, is frustrating.

    A retired coast guard whose blogs I have followed noted that most of the ‘discussion’ is in terms of the criminal vs the law abiding citizen. He noted that there is a third side: the crazy. And if we could keep guns out of the crazy’s hands, the society would tolerate guns in general, or at least more so. I like his point. He used guns in his job every day. And now is more on the anti gun side. It is not a binary choice. There are nuances.

    Another person’s blog suggested that the crippled and the weak and women need guns more than the strong. I like that suggestion, I think that would remove any image of a macho gun culture. And check the movies, that image is strong.

    I do not fault you for not coming up with a solution that would let you retain your guns and gun rights. Ideas are hard to come by. Still if you ever do, remember that many people are on a nuanced edge on this. Any good idea has a chance to be embraced by both sides.

    An example I like is on the abortion debate, not guns. There are laws in many states that now say that if a woman takes her kid to the hospital, and leaves it with them (instead of throwing the kid in the trash can to die), she will not have any criminal or civil penulity. What do I like about this? It is strongly supported by both sides of the debate.

    Standing and saying that the other side is stupid, paranoid, or other things will blind you to opportunities, will not allow you to anticipate what they will do next. It is wonderful to get frustration out of yourself. Don’t let it blind you on the way out.

    One finial thing. If thoughts could kill, there would be more dead people. If it took enormous effort to kill there would be less. You know the rest.

    1. Greg Camp Post author

      Someone once said that if a person is too crazy to be armed safely, the person is probably too crazy to be out in public.

      The problem is that we’ve lived with the pie in the sky solutions of gun control freaks for a while now and have seen that they don’t work. It’s time we get back to the notion that if you’re a good person, you have the right to be armed, and focus on real solutions–ending the War on Drugs, improving schools, keeping violent offenders behind bars longer, and so forth.

      1. Prof. Godel Fishbreath

        If you are a good person you have a right to be armed.
        And if not? And what determines that?
        For that matter how are those sanity tests going? I am not so sure.

        The real problem has a few branches. The lady shot dead by her crazy (son?) relative who then stole her guns and killed all those kids, It gives everyone a bit of pause. She could pass any test anyone put up. He? likely not. And the kids are dead, and any sane limits would not have worked then.
        That was an argument in your favor, in case you did not notice.

        Against that was the attack in china that same week. Many kids hurt, disfigured, *no*one*killed*.
        I am on the edge of this, and would love to hear reasonable arguments for either side.
        “No you can’t”/”yes I can” is not reasonable. From you or the other.

      2. Greg Camp Post author

        In a free society, we cannot punish people in advance. Yes, that’s a risk. But the fact is that there are many more good people–in this case determined by whether or not they commit crimes–than bad. If we change our approach to treating people as bad until proved good, we are no different from a totalitarian state.

        But I refer you to a previous article of mine:

        I sum up there the essence of my argument for gun rights.

  4. Prof. Godel Fishbreath

    ” person is too crazy to be armed safely, the person is probably too crazy to be out in public.”
    Which was Sailor Jim’s argument: the crazy is unlikely to be good at getting arms by negotiating with criminals, and is not really good at getting weapons that are not readily available. Thus he feels that less arms in general use would be good.
    Leslie Fish who has defended her self and her property with weapons. She was the one suggesting that the weak be given access to guns in preference to the strong.

    1. Greg Camp Post author

      My argument is that everyone who has not committed a crime of violence and has not been adjudicated dangerously mentally ill has the right to own and carry firearms.

  5. Pingback: What to Do | Greg Camp's Weblog

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