Mouth of the Gun


On 10-1-17 a killer shot dead 58 people in a Las Vegas concert venue and injured 500. An ammo dealer sold the killer hundreds of incendiary tracer rounds which he didn’t use in the spree.

The dealer’s lawyer says the casualty toll would have been lower if the killer had used the tracer rounds “because victims would have seen the trajectory of the gunfire in the dark and been able to take cover more easily.”

(Steve Gorman, “Seller of bullets to Las Vegas gunman pleads guilty to ammo licensing offense,” Reuters, 11-19-19)

The arguments put forth in favor of the hardware available for mass murder come from a bottomless fudge tub. But the grubby lawyer has a point: It’s easier to duck at a concert when you can see where you’re being ambushed from.

I made the same argument once against the greater availability of silencers advocated by lobbyists to protect the hearing of gun sport enthusiasts: It’s easier to locate the sniper at a concert and take cover if you can hear the report of his weapon.

Neither flash nor report guarantee sniper event survival at a concert or elsewhere, but they increase the odds of it slightly.

(c) 2019 JMN

About JMN

I live in Texas and devote much of my time to easel painting on an amateur basis. I stream a lot of music, mostly jazz, throughout the day. I like to read and memorize poetry.
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