Burying the Sandy Hook Strawman

Washington Times editor Emily Miller sets MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough straight about the AR-15 strawman of Sandy Hook Elementary:

Newtown shooter Adam Lanza would have killed just as many children at Sandy Hook Elementary using a handgun as he did using a Bushmaster rifle, gun rights advocate Emily Miller said Thursday on Morning Joe.

Miller, a senior opinion editor at the Washington Times, joined the show to discuss her new book “Emily Gets Her Gun…But Obama Wants to Take Yours.”

The talk began with Miller offering details from her book: stating her reasons for purchasing a gun–a home invasion–and the length of time it took to purchase what she called a “legal gun” (four months) and ended with a discussion on Newtown, background checks and the National Firearms Act.

“If Lanza went in with a handgun instead of a Bushmaster and started firing–,” Joe Scarborough began.

“He would have killed just as many kids unfortunately,” Miller followed.

Scarborough disagreed with Miller’s comment.

“The AR-15s and the ‘military assault weapons’ and these ‘military style’ ones that everyone’s scared of…they are 100 percent not any functionally different than a hunting rifle,” she countered. “Nothing. They just look like military rifles.”


Adam Lanza chose to use an AR-15 to kill 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary, but Emily Miller is entirely correct in stating that the choice of weapon was irrelevant to the outcome.

While the standard-capacity 30-round magazine of the AR-15 does hold more cartridges than most pistols, Lanza did not use their full capacity. Three of Lanza’s magazines were only partially expended. One of them was recovered containing 10 rounds. Another magazine still contained 12 cartridges. Yet another magazine still had 13 rounds. He had enough time that he was conducting so-called “tactical reloads,” as he made his way from one classroom to another, saving partially expended magazines to use later.

He could have just as easily killed 26 people in the five minutes he was shooting with almost any imaginable pistol made within the past century. How easy is it to fire and change multiple magazines in a short amount of time?

Let Indiana’s Boone County Sheriff Ken Campbell show you.

In this video, it made no difference whether the shooters in this video used two 15-round magazines, three 10-round magazines, or 6 5-round magazines; though their skill levels ranged widely, they could each fire 30 aimed rounds well within 30 seconds.


Adam Lanza had 5 minutes (or 300 seconds) to hunt and kill utterly defenseless victims that were not old enough, strong enough, or fast enough to pose any credible threat to him.

He would have been able to carry out his attack just as successfully with the Glock 20 10mm pistol he eventually committed suicide with, any pistol in any state with a 10-round limit on magazines, or any pistol using the 7-round magazines now mandated under the absurd NY SAFE Act rammed into law (without deliberation, review, or thought) in New York state.

The sad, simple fact of the matter is that Sandy Hook Elementary School, like the majority of public elementary school in the United States, was an undefended soft target.

No gun ban passed before Adam Lanza stormed into Sandy Hook Elementary would have stopped the massacre that occurred that day. No gun law proposed or passed in the wake of the attack would have made any difference, either.

The problem was the man, not the tool.

It’s stunning that otherwise reasonable and intelligent people cannot grasp that reality.

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