This blog discusses firearms in the best way - in the context of paper and pen RPG gaming. No firearm herein has ever taken a life... has ever injured anyone. They are fictional and harmless. I despise their real-world counterparts. I hate real guns - you got a problem with that - you know what you can go do to yourself.
Let's talk about Force Multiplication
Force multiplication is a military concept that attempts to quantify the efficiency of improved technology or tactics over the baseline, of an infantryman for example. The most significant infantry force multiplier of the last century was the crew served machine gun capable of laying down fire equivalent to SCORES of standard infantry men. However, I think the move from bolt or lever action rifles to semiautomatic rifles presents one of the deadliest force multipliers in our recent history. Consider:
When the Second Amendment was drafted, a trained soldier with paper cartridge and Minnie ball could be expected to fire 4 aimed shots per minute. And carried 20-30 cartridges in his kit - enough for approximately six minutes of sustained aimed fire (20-30 shots).
By the end of the 19th century the metallic cartridge and bolt action magazine fed rifle, such as the Lee-Enfield rifle, afforded an aimed rate of fire of approximately 20-30 shots/minute; a force multiplier of approximately 6x the baseline. Meaning that each soldier was roughly as effective as six American Revolution/Civil War soldiers. Additionally a soldier usually carried a load of 9-10 5rd clips with which to reload, affording approximately two minutes of sustained fire (55-60 shots)
In 1936 the United States adopted the M1 Garand rifle, the world's first widely issued semiautomatic service rifle. Without the need to manually cycle the action and reacquire the target, and with a single 8rd en-bloc clip for reloading (rather than injecting two 5rd stripper clips) the M1 provided American infantrymen the capability of 40-50 aimed shots/minute... a force multiplier of approximately 11x our baseline. A single soldier now had the firepower of a SQUAD of minnie ball armed infantry. It provided American soldiers with twice the firepower of Kar98 equipped German soldiers, prompting Patton to call it "the single greatest battle implement ever devised." Infantrymen typically carried sufficient clips for 2 minutes of sustained fire (80-96 shots).
The AR15 rifle, the semi-automatic version of the M16 military rifle, provides a shooter with 45-60 aimed shots/minute, a slight improvement over the M1 made possible by lower felt recoil, larger magazine capacity (20-30 versus 8), and faster reload times facilitated by a detachable box magazine. This firearm, when compared to our baseline, provides a force multiplier of ~13x. This means that in order to wreak the havoc that Omar Mateen did, would require no less than thirteen men armed with Pennsylvania rifles. A single Beta C-mag would provide about two minutes of sustained, aimed fire (100 shots). A typical load bearing vest/magazine pouch rig might hold eight magazines (easily more) which would feed the weapon for five minutes of sustained, aimed fire (270 shots).
Put another way, if Mateen had conducted his massacre during Washington's administration, the casualties would number around FOUR dead and FOUR wounded.
Were civilian gun ownership limited to revolvers and bolt or lever action firearms, with a maximum capacity of six and ten respectively, we could still expect to cut the death toll in HALF at the very least.To do so would not require the lengthy (and unlikely to succeed) amendment process; merely adding semiautomatic weapons to the definition of Title II weapons in the National Firearms Act of 1934. It worked to clear the streets of submachineguns and other automatic weapons, there is no reason to doubt it would be effective at reducing crime's force multiplier here.