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Notes On The Shooting

The murder of Judge John M. Roll and the shooting of Congresswoman Giffords automatically fall under Federal jurisdiction, the US Marshals Service and the Capitol Police respectively, which is why the President sent the head of the FBI to coordinate. The other murders and assaults are under Arizona’s jurisdiction. This will complicate information releases as the Federal and Arizona rules of criminal procedure are different, so they will be restricted to releasing only details that may be provided under the rules of both systems. The Federal system is more restrictive than most states, so the frustration will be evident on the part of Arizona officials and local media.

The weapon was a Glock autoloading pistol. While these weapons are routinely referred to as “automatics”, they fire one round per trigger pull. On military weapons this is classified as “semi-automatic”, as opposed to “fully automatic” in which the weapon continues to fire as long as the trigger is depressed and there is ammunition available. It had a 30 round over-sized magazine, doubling the normal capacity of the weapon.

The suspect has invoked his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination and is not talking to investigators. This will be important in any plea of insanity, as it indicates that he is in control of his faculties and realizes what he has done is wrong.


1 Kryten42 { 01.09.11 at 3:25 am }

Yes, jurisdictional disputes are quite common.

I used a Glock (17A) in the military and after. The standard mag for a Glock is 17, the 19-round version was an extended mag, and 33 the max extended mag. A 10-round magazine was designed for US Law Enforcement in places that had that limit (and some other Countries).

How anyone can buy a 33 round mag legally, is beyond me and insane! The only use for a mag that size is to kill as many people as possible! I was only ever issued 33-round mag’s on one mission I can remember, and that was because there were a lot more of *them* than there were of us (the Glock was issued as a backup weapon, or where weight or space were a concern)! BTW, the 17A was an Aus. variant, it had a longer barrel to make it harder to conceal, and improve accuracy. The 18 was the fully automatic version.

The NRA and all the gun nuts there should also be held accountable. I can see no legitimate justification for a private citizen to be able to buy a magazine larger than 10 (and I see no sane reason for any citizen not involved in security to even be able to buy such a firearm in any case!). Again, I won’t hold my breath for anything to be done about that either. *sigh*

2 Bryan { 01.09.11 at 8:15 pm }

The reporting on the weapon is uneven, Kryten, other than the fact that it was a Glock 9mm autoloader, the details seem to change. The extended mag was probably a Chinese knock-off that no sane person would buy or attempt to use. Of course, I have always maintained that aiming was a better solution that just firing off a lot of rounds, and if you spent time on the range changing magazines would hardly take any time because you would know the change was coming and be prepared for it.

There is justification for having a weapon in Arizona, outside of the cities, because the wildlife is not universally from Disneyland, but if you can’t take it out with a couple of rounds you should be living in the city. Rural America does not have much access to law enforcement, and you need to be prepared to take care of problems yourself. That said, a pistol is not the way to go, because it is too limited a tool.

3 Bryan { 01.09.11 at 9:24 pm }

Mr. Duff, this requires inside knowledge of the US criminal justice system, but the insanity plea implies guilt with extenuation. It is similar to the self-defense plea in that regard, and acting in a rational manner undermines the insanity defense with a jury. The fact that a defendant has been diagnosed with a mental illness is not sufficient to prove insanity, which is a legal term, not a medical definition.

I wasn’t prejudging the case, I was pointing out a reality of US law – the insanity defense is an admission of guilt. Those who use it successfully will be confined to a mental health facility, not a prison, and they cannot receive a death sentence.

4 Steve Bates { 01.09.11 at 10:25 pm }

I just checked Fallenmonk’s site: he has not posted at all on the shooting incident. I suppose Duffy must be engaging in mind-reading to know Fallenmonk’s opinion on the case.

5 Kryten42 { 01.09.11 at 10:44 pm }

I meant to imply in cities Bryan. Sorry. Rural areas are different, though I don’t see how a semi-auto 9mm Parabellum round tactical military handgun like the Glock (it’s primary design function) would be the weapon of choice rather than a decent shotgun or rifle (as someone who lives in a, and has lived in several, rural communities). 🙂

I see Cole has a thoughtful blog up about this terrorism event:

White Terrorism

6 Bryan { 01.10.11 at 12:27 am }

FM is dealing with some really nasty weather, and his limited working schedule, so I don’t expect him to get to it for some time, if ever, Steve.

Hell, Kryten, I prefer my shotgun for all uses because you almost never have to shoot it, and if you do, it doesn’t take more than one round to settle things. I find that a stout hardwood staff is sufficient for most things, but the 12 gauge is a comforting back up.

You definitely don’t want to rely on 9mm for most critters, even if you hit what you’re aiming at, because it isn’t a stopping round. If I’ve made the decision to shoot, I want what I’m aiming at dead, not wounded. Pistols are for shooting people at close range, and are fairly worthless for anything else.

7 Kryten42 { 01.10.11 at 2:38 am }

Speaking of nasty weather (and I really hope Fallenmonk, and all, are safe and well), The floods are moving down south now. We have begun flooding in Vic and are.expecting over 130mm rain in the next few days (though, it will just be a minor nuisance compared to Qld)!

When I was a teen and my Grandfather was teaching me to shoot and hunt (I even learned to use a good old bow and arrow), he took me on a trip to NSW where the big wild boars (tuskers) live! They are big, very nasty and completely insane! He said that when going after a tusker, never go with less than 3 armed and good shooters. They prefer to live in dense underbrush, and they can move amazingly fast. If they see you, you better be an expert and swift tree climber! 😆 One of the shooters was armed with a heavy gauge solid shell shotgun, because once a tusker is running at you, a normal rifle (short of a .50cal) isn’t going to stop it from goring you! I have to say, it was both the most exciting, and damned scariest, things I ever did as a teen! I once took a shot at a tusker’s head only to see the bullet ricochet off! And I was confronted with a big and seriously pissed animal! I swear, I never went up a tree so fast in my life! I’m certain I was never able to duplicate that feat, even during adv. training in the Military. 😆 Luckily, I’d been climbing trees like a monkey since I could walk (well, almost), and heights never bothered me. My Grandfather told me that was one of the reasons (and that I was a good shot) he took me. I suspect he did it to teach me a valuable lesson for my later planned (his plan) Military life. It worked too! 😉

And yeah, a tusker wouldn’t even be bothered by a Glock, unless you were good (or lucky) enough to hit it in the eye! Even I’m not that good (unless it was standing still). 😉

Yeah, shotguns are very useful in rural areas. Most critters are scared off just by the sound of one being fired! You rarely need to actually hit anything, unless you have a critter that’s being a continual nuisance, and you can’t trap and relocate it. 😀 I liked my old quaterstaff! I trained with it in ki-Aikido, it’s also known as ‘bo’ and the technique (or school, or style) is bojutsu. Very deadly in the hands of an expert, especially if it has a blade (or blades). 🙂 I had nobody to spar with after getting back into civilian life. It’s not that popular in Western societies, though I did find someone and I did enjoy some practice once again some years ago. 🙂

Nobody who isn’t in a legitimate and strictly necessary security role should ever be allowed to own a handgun IMNSHO.

8 Steve Bates { 01.10.11 at 9:25 am }

“Blog posts mean what I say they mean.” – Humpty Dumpty Duffy

9 Badtux { 01.10.11 at 12:49 pm }

Most Arizona ranchers I’ve encountered have .45 ACP’s on their hips. Better stopping power than a 9mm, and always there while they’re using both hands to fix a float in a stock tank or run new pipe to a stock tank, unlike their long gun, which is in their pickup truck or in a scabbard attached to their ATV or to the saddle of their horse (yes, there are still ranchers who use horses, most of the wilderness areas in Arizona have grandfathered ranching concessions in them and mechanized ATV’s are not permitted there).

As for why the .45 ACP rather than a .357 or .44 revolver, I suspect it’s because most of these ranchers have military experience from back in the day when the .45 ACP was standard issue. But anyhow, even though guns are common in rural Arizona for the reasons stated (protection against critters four-legged, two-legged, and no-legged), 9mm Glocks are *not* — they’re derided by rural Zonies as “plastic pop guns” — and the notion of a 30 round magazine attached to a “plastic pop gun” would just get guffaws from them.

– Badtux the Former Arizonian Penguin

10 Kryten42 { 01.10.11 at 6:04 pm }

Duffy, you are generally not worthy of a comment, but in this instance… I almost hope you one day meet one of your beloved armed citizen and annoy him as you have a talent for doing, and that as you lie gasping for final breath, you remember their right to bear arm’s. 🙂 Of course, if you are indeed a UK citizen, then you show, once again, your ignorance and hypocrisy since even the general Police in the UK are not allowed to bear arm’s unless it becomes absolutely necessary. UK citizens can get a gun license and be a member of a gun or hunting club (though that is far more difficult than in most other Countries to do), but except for extraordinary circumstances, are not allowed to keep a weapon at home (there are differences for rural communities of course). It’s always easy to talk as you do when you don’t have to face the consequences. That’s typical of your type. Why don’t you move to Arizona and try it for yourself.

I know what you mean BT. 🙂 I came across that same feeling about Glocks when I was in Texas, and even MA. 🙂 At least, until we mentioned that they have been chambered for several calibers, including .45 ACP, .357 and .44 S&W (to name a few). I knew the GD security force was converted to Glock, for many reasons. *sigh* we shoulda got a commission! Drats! 😉 😆

11 Bryan { 01.10.11 at 9:31 pm }

Mr. Duff, when a corporation has been convicted of multiple offenses in multiple courts in multiple jurisdictions and fined millions of dollars as BP had prior to the incident in Gulf, it is hardly inappropriate to refer to them as criminals.

Yes, a .45 has some authority behind it, but I would personally prefer a .357 revolver with my choice of bullets and a 6-inch barrel if I needed a sidearm. The rounds I loaded weren’t cheap, but they didn’t ricochet and they expanded quickly for more impact.

OTOH, in the case of boar, leaving them alone was the best policy and distance was your friend. As the design of the boar spear clearly shows they continued to come even after they died because it took so long for them to understand they were dead. A lot of bone and not much brain in a boar’s head. They still hunt them with spears and short swords in Germany.