KLECK: Magazine Size Limits Have No Effect On Mass Shootings

Criminologist Gary Kleck is a legend in his field, and a thorn in the side of gun control supporters for his rigid insistence on listening to what the data tells us, instead of attempting to twist the data to suit his political agenda. His latest study looks like it will crush the gun control conceit that magazine size limits have anything at all to do with casualty counts.

Magazine size limits are irrelevant in mass shootings.

Kleck identified and examined 88 mass shooting incidents in which more than six people were killed or wounded for the 20 year period from 1994 through 2013. He looked at incidents with more than six victims because six or fewer people could be shot with a traditional six-shot revolver with no large-capacity magazine needed. So he wanted to look at those events in which possession of large-capacity magazines would be most relevant.

Even with this restrictive definition of a mass shooting, Kleck found that large capacity magazines – defined as holding over 10 rounds – were used in only 21 of the 88 incidents (24%). So, in 76% of the incidents, a large-capacity magazine ban would have made no difference in any event.

Kleck then goes on to analyze further the 21 incidents in which a large-capacity magazine was used. In every case, the shooters carried either multiple guns or multiple magazines. Therefore, even without a large-capacity magazine, the shooters could easily switch guns or magazines.

Kleck also marshals evidence to show that the rate of fire of most mass shooters is so slow that having to change guns or magazines more frequently would not diminish their casualty counts.

Of course, gun control laws in the 21st century have never been about stopping mass shootings. Gun control laws since the latter part of the 20th century have instead been about removing those arms that a well-regulated militia will need to overthrow a tyrannical government.