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Old January 9, 2013, 10:39 PM   #1
Kleinzeit
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Bulk purchases: How many rounds are actually fired in mass killings?

Among the various themes arising in the perennial gun-control wars, we often hear of perpetrators and suspects who have purchased (or amassed) quantities of ammunition that some find alarming.

When it emerges that so-and-so had (for example) two thousand rounds in his home, many people swoon in fevered imaginings of slaughter enacted on unprecedented scales.

Many call for ammunition to be coded and "finger-printed," or for sales of amounts beyond a certain level (such as a thousand rounds) to be reported to the authorities.

People who shoot regularly do not tend to react with such alarm, knowing that a thousand rounds might easily be gone through in a mere weekend (or even a day) of target shooting or plinking, and that buying in bulk is one of the few means available by which to reduce the costs of what is, for most people, a somewhat expensive pastime.

What I'm curious about is this: How many rounds actually get fired by loonies on their crazed killing sprees? My guess is that it's probably never been more than a few hundred or so. I'm wondering if any of you folk happen to have looked into this? I've made an attempt at researching this online, and come up short. I'm hoping maybe someone who has more knowledge than I about these incidents can bring some light to bear. I believe it would help us address these sometimes hysterical concerns about bulk purchases.
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Old January 9, 2013, 10:55 PM   #2
Aguila Blanca
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It was reported that the Sandy Hook shooter fired 150 rounds.

I don't understand the emphasis on ammunition. Sandy Hook is the purported justification for all this furor, but how would any of the proposals have made any difference? The identify of the shooter is known. Where the firearm was purchased is known, as well as by whom and when, and it was all legal. Does it really matter if the ammunition was purchased by the shooter (who was legally of age to buy long guns and long gun ammunition) or by his mother? Does it make any difference whether the ammunition was purchased from Dick's, Cabela's, Ammo On-Line, or Jim's Bait-N-Tackle? If he fired 150 rounds and then killed himself, does it make any difference whatsoever if he left unfired ten rounds or ten thousand rounds?

Last edited by Aguila Blanca; January 9, 2013 at 11:02 PM.
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Old January 9, 2013, 11:16 PM   #3
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Thanks. 150 was what I'd heard in this case.

Yes, I agree. It is difficult to comprehend how the number of un-fired rounds makes a difference to anything. In the popular imagination, I suppose it amounts to a sense of, "Oh God! Think how much more awful it might have been if circumstances were completely different from what they were!"
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Old January 9, 2013, 11:19 PM   #4
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I do no competitive shooting or really any hunting and I go through 10k rounds of center fire and probably 2x that in 22lr per year. I know guys that do competitive shooting that do 5k a month. It's not worth ordering less then a case many times its just that people are completely ignorant as to what our hobbies and sports entail let alone our duties as American citizens thrust upon us by the second amendment.

I have heard people say that no one needs more then a box of ammo a year, 5 slugs for deer hunting, anymore then that is unnecessary. The sad thing is they truly believe that. They are simply trying to work around the second amendment. Which they have a first amendment right to express no matter how ignorant they are of the subject they rail against.
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Old January 10, 2013, 09:43 AM   #5
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The unfired rounds makes a minor to major point to magazine bans. This guy was ejecting and dropping half full magazines all over from what I'd heard... meaning he was doing his damage with 5, 10, or 15 rounds of his 10, 20, or 30 round magazines. This bolsters the arguement that magazine restrictions wouldn't make much difference because reloads aren't very time consuming.
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Old January 10, 2013, 10:08 AM   #6
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That's an interesting point, JimDandy.

I have to say that I find the magazine argument in general a particularly frustrating one. For every person who says, "A large magazine capacity offers little to no practical advantage," there's someone else who says, "But we need them because the bad guys have them." Sometimes it's the same person arguing both. I'm not sure that you can argue both. I think you have to choose.

In any case, this thread is more about ammunition sales.

Does anyone have any idea which mass killing entailed the largest number of shots being fired? I'm guessing Columbine, as there were two shooters. But I think Breivik in Norway, and Bryant in Australia, both got off a lot of rounds. In each case the shooting went on for quite a while. But I still figure it was in the hundreds, not the thousands.
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Old January 10, 2013, 10:12 AM   #7
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North Hollywood maybe.

And I'm not arguing there's no practical advantage to the large capacity magazines, just that there's no practical advantage to banning them.
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Old January 10, 2013, 01:02 PM   #8
Kleinzeit
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I hadn't thought of North Hollywood. I read that about 1,100 rounds were fired there. (I believe they had three times as much ammo as they actually fired.) Ironically, there were no other fatalities in that incident, beside the perpetrators.

There were two of them, and they had an automatic weapon. And yet, the total amount fired still wasn't all that much in comparison to what people regularly purchase for ordinary use. And when people are as well-organized as these guys were, they can easily stockpile small purchases until they have all they need.
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Old January 10, 2013, 01:50 PM   #9
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I read an article yesterday that the Sandy Hook shooter "topped off" his AR-15 several times, leaving as many as 15 rounds in discarded magazines. I think this guy played too many video games.

Besides the North Hollywood Shootout and Waco I cannot think of a single "movie style" mass shooting/shootout where hundreds or thousands of rounds were fired.

This whole idea of tracking people who buy ammo is insane...what are you going to do, as a LEO, even if "the creepy guy" in your town is now known to be buying thousands of rounds of ammo and casing local schools? What law is he breaking? How do you "stop' the guy without using man power to follow him around everywhere...and what happens when that "creepy guy" never does a damn thing, mean while your officers are tied up following him around and a shooting happens elsewhere?


The whole idea of somehow regulating "large ammunition purchases" is just going to waste non existant LEO resources.
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Old January 10, 2013, 01:57 PM   #10
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Norco had at least a couple hundred...
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Old January 10, 2013, 02:01 PM   #11
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Between five guys, though.
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Old January 10, 2013, 02:19 PM   #12
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And for the number of rounds fired few were hit, fewer killed. One of the other things often glossed over in these discussions is that even the trained professionals rarely hit the broad side of a barn when they're being shot at. Us Concealed carriers with our three mags aren't going to standoff like these guys. Not that we're packing with that in mind.
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Old January 10, 2013, 02:28 PM   #13
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I think LEO average % of hits in a firefight is something like 17%?

So lets say a bad guy is at least as trained as the cops, if they fire off 100 rounds thats only 17 hits.

The guys in North Hollywood were employing more surpressive fire than anything. I think only 3 or 4 officers got hit out of all those rounds fired.
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Old January 10, 2013, 02:51 PM   #14
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I don't understand the emphasis on ammunition. Sandy Hook is the purported justification for all this furor, but how would any of the proposals have made any difference?
I understand perfectly.

Those propoasals would have made no difference whatsoever at Sandy Hook. It would have been possible for the nutter to do as much or more damage with a 12 guage shotgun and 00 buck, a samurai sword or even an aluminum t-ball bat (and the latter two weapons would have allowed him to kill for some time before the alarm was raised).

These restrictions won't stop or even reduce these rampages, as the nutters don't care what the law says.

What these things do:

1) The let all the Politicians say to all their emotionally driven flock the they did something!!!!!!!!!!!!11111111!!!!!!

2) By further restricting what can be possesed by a private Citizen, Government power is increased over the people.

3) The Government has something else to charge the Citizens with: Law abiding Citizens are hard to rule over, and criminals are easier to control...... so make more laws so as to make more criminals.
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Old January 10, 2013, 03:34 PM   #15
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The T-Ball bat may be pushing things a bit, as he was confronted by two people at the same time. Makes definitively saying he would have been able to continue hard to prove.
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Old January 10, 2013, 07:04 PM   #16
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The government is not worried about us having hundreds of rounds to commit mayhem. They are worried about us having tens of thousands of rounds to carry on warfare with an oppressive government.

That's also why they don't want us to have "assault rifles" and high capacity magazines.
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Old January 10, 2013, 07:09 PM   #17
Kleinzeit
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The general public (which includes some members of government) doesn't want people to have "assault rifles" because these things scare the living daylights out of them.

Of course, most have no idea what the term really refers to.
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Old January 10, 2013, 10:22 PM   #18
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The T-Ball bat may be pushing things a bit, as he was confronted by two people at the same time.
You don't think a 20 y.o. male could not take out 2 20 something females if he had a bat and they had bupkus?

I'm trying to think of all the Kindergarten and 1st grade teachers I've known .... I've had 5 kids go through those grades thus far ..... and even counting my own and sibling's teachers in those grades ..... most were either elderly (some over 60) or in their early 20's ...... and none of them could have whipped their way out of a wet paper bag...... the only way they are going to even delay a 20 y.o. male with a weapon is for them to have a weapon of their own, preferably a gun. Without a weapon, they'll delay him long enough for him to beat them down ... and then it's on to the kids. Not acceptable.
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Old January 11, 2013, 10:24 PM   #19
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I read an article yesterday that the Sandy Hook shooter "topped off" his AR-15 several times, leaving as many as 15 rounds in discarded magazines. I think this guy played too many video games.
Topping off when it is safe to do so is a strategically smart thing to do, especially when you have a huge surplus.

Quote:
Besides the North Hollywood Shootout and Waco I cannot think of a single "movie style" mass shooting/shootout where hundreds or thousands of rounds were fired.
Cho fired over 170 rounds in Norris Hall and had more than 200 unfired rounds left.

Klebold and Harris fired nearly 190 rounds between the two of them (121 and 67, IIRC).

Anders Brevik easily fired hundreds of rounds in Norway.
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Old January 14, 2013, 04:59 PM   #20
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I'll one up all of you. Just cut and paste the entire article on Sandy Hook and do a Find for Assault Rifle and replace with Molotov Cocktail.


Now picture the horror.


I was looking for an appropriate smily to add and see that no such thing exists.
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Old January 14, 2013, 05:35 PM   #21
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Besides the North Hollywood Shootout and Waco I cannot think of a single "movie style" mass shooting/shootout where hundreds or thousands of rounds were fired.
Miami '86 comes to mind, at least 150 rounds there. There was a gun shop owner who successfully defended himself against multiple assailants while using an M16 assault rifle. I think they fired well over 200 rounds.

Not sure what the point of all this is.
Quote:
Topping off when it is safe to do so is a strategically smart thing to do, especially when you have a huge surplus.
I am pretty sure the kindergarteners he was mowing down were low threat.
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Old January 14, 2013, 05:50 PM   #22
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quantity

Like some, I am not certain as to what the number of rounds, magazines or mag capacity has to do with much of this. It really wouldn't make a difference if it was a modern sporting rifle, or an assault weapon that fires full auto.

It has to do with the number ONE. One idiot went off the edge, broke numerous laws that gun grabbers are not pointing out why they didn't stop him and just how more, with stricter penalties for violation will help (how do you punish a suicide suspect more?) and quite frankly, being in a gun free zone, that should have eliminated all of this.

It really is about that one person, no longer here, no longer to be affected by all of this legislation, vs. the millions of law abiding citizens who are now going to have legislators try to make more laws against us, and the next ONE. And, if we all obeyed and marched to the letter of the law, that ONE will still violate the law, with less of a chance of any law abiding citizen being equally ready to face that threat. Laws to make us victims? ONE BIG MISTAKE.
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Old January 14, 2013, 05:52 PM   #23
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You don't think a 20 y.o. male could not take out 2 20 something females if he had a bat and they had bupkus?
I think a scrawny kid with a bat vs two grown women working together isn't nearly as guaranteed as a scrawny kid with a gun. Certainly not enough I'd just assume success on his part.
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