By now, we know that many of the people who will pontificate on matters of firearms tend to be clueless on actual firearms. They think they know all they need to know, so they opine on the topic and think people should just agree with them because they’re oh-so-very-smart.
However, these oh-so-very-smart people are usually kind of dumb. Or, at the very least, they say some really dumb stuff.
The latest example comes from the current gun debate, where many of us–myself included–are arguing that armed teachers could well counter mass shootings.
It seems that some think handguns simply aren’t enough to counter rifle-wielding madmen.
Every now and again I’m rendered speechless by the lengths the left will go to in order to scare people into compliance when it comes to their ideas about guns.
MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell took the cake when he suggested that anyone wielding a handgun is no match for someone with a rifle because the bullet from rifle travels faster.
There is a point where hysterics attempts to tries to form logistical points, and O’Donnell has found it. This is a ridiculous point for anyone with producers and researchers behind him to make, but let’s play along anyway.
While 5.56 ammunition (the standard caliber bullet fired from an AR-15) may travel faster than 9mm (a caliber used in many handguns), unless you’re firing at one another from a range far enough away for it to matter, you’d never know. If you’re hit by a 9mm bullet in close quarters, you’ll likely go down just as quickly as if it were a 5.56.
But the speed of the bullet in these situations matters very little. If two men entered into a building carrying either a pistol or a rifle, the guy who is more likely to win in a firefight is the man with the knowledge and training for the weapon in question. A police officer trained in the use of his handgun is going to be the one you bet on against some idiot with a rifle. The only thing that would carry through idiot rifle guy is blind luck.
RedState‘s Brandon Morse is dead-on right here.
There are instances when a handgun is the wrong choice to counter a rifle-wielding attacker. As Morse points out, however, that’s usually a matter of range over anything else. Within the confines of a school, the difference is likely to be minimal. Those ranges, depending on the layout, will typically be within that of a handgun’s.
The bullet’s velocity, however, is irrelevant to that aspect of the discussion.
Rifle slugs tend to be narrower than pistol slugs, but rifles do more damage. That is a result of the velocity of the bullet. Rifles create far more hydrostatic shock than a pistol round will.
Here’s some more food for people like O’Donnell to chew on: if pistols were useless against rifle-bearing hostiles, then why would the military issue pistols to troops in combat zones?
After all, we have yet to engage an enemy that is armed exclusively with handguns. Almost every enemy we’ve fought since the 19th century has been armed with long guns, including our most recent wars. Yet many of our men and women in harm’s way have also carried sidearms into combat. If the pistol is incapable of stopping someone with a rifle, why issue them at all?
The question, of course, is as ridiculous as the premise which inspired it. We issue it because it can stop an attacker from killing our men and women.
In just the same way, a teacher or staff member armed with a handgun could potentially stop the next Parkland attacker, regardless of the disparity in round velocity.