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Sat Apr 5, 2014, 06:51 PM

Why did gangs rarely use guns before the Gun Control Act?


Miller's (1992) study indicated that gangs had become more dangerous than ever in the 1970's. He attributed this to four major motives: honor, defense of local turf, control [of facilities], and gain [of money and goods]. In the 1970's, "gang crime was more lethal than any time in history; more people were shot, stabbed, and beaten to death in gang-related incidents than during any previous decade . . . and the prevalence and sophistication of firearms used was unprecedented" (Miller, 1992:142).

Of course, my question is "why didn't they use them until then?" It couldn't be about access. until the Gun Conrol Act,all they needed was a Sears catalog and a money order. If they were in New York, they just needed a PO box in CT, or one of the many "undocumented pharmacies" to do it for them. Where I grew up, guns were, and are, in about 55-70 percent of the households. Yet when the cops had their "scare straight board" they would bring to health class in the 1970s they not only brought examples of various drugs and paraphernalia, but also confiscated weapons. Other than a rifle and shotgun that got the hacksaw treatment, the were knives and improvised medieval melee weapons. Which begs the question, why make a mace when you can rip off Mom's .38?
Was it because they wanted guns, but could not afford them?
Was it because guns were for "wusses", kind of like the criminal element in the UK even before UK had any gun control laws? (Starboard Tack referred to this as "the rules"
Was it because guns were associated with cops, outdoors people, and the "squares" in rifle club, while the King Bad Ass in the movies had switchblades and homemade zip guns?
http://www.ojjdp.gov/jjbulletin/9808/youth.html

http://newyorkcitygangs.com/
http://www.nytimes.com/1999/02/15/nyregion/with-brass-knuckled-tales-50-s-street-gang-looks-back.html
http://www.sagepub.com/upm-data/43455_1.pdf
http://researchmatters.asu.edu/stories/professor-unearths-1950s-research-gangs-2052

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Reply Why did gangs rarely use guns before the Gun Control Act? (Original post)
gejohnston Apr 2014 OP
exboyfil Apr 2014 #1
gejohnston Apr 2014 #2
exboyfil Apr 2014 #4
gejohnston Apr 2014 #5
doc03 Apr 2014 #8
gejohnston Apr 2014 #9
Straw Man Apr 2014 #16
doc03 Apr 2014 #22
Straw Man Apr 2014 #23
doc03 Apr 2014 #24
sarisataka Apr 2014 #25
doc03 Apr 2014 #27
gejohnston Apr 2014 #28
doc03 Apr 2014 #30
Straw Man Apr 2014 #26
spin Apr 2014 #20
gejohnston Apr 2014 #29
Eleanors38 Apr 2014 #3
gejohnston Apr 2014 #12
Eleanors38 Apr 2014 #18
Loudly Apr 2014 #6
gejohnston Apr 2014 #11
Loudly Apr 2014 #13
gejohnston Apr 2014 #14
Loudly Apr 2014 #15
gejohnston Apr 2014 #19
doc03 Apr 2014 #7
gejohnston Apr 2014 #10
krispos42 Apr 2014 #17
spin Apr 2014 #21
Revanchist Apr 2014 #31
spin Apr 2014 #32

Response to gejohnston (Original post)

Sat Apr 5, 2014, 07:29 PM

1. Murder rates are dropping considerably

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/01/01/the-year-in-murder-2013-marks-a-historic-low-for-many-cities.html

They are lower now than they were in 1965 (before the large ramp up). Even violent crime is competitive with the 1960s. Look at crime statistics on this site.

http://www.disastercenter.com/illinois/crime/3111.htm

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Response to exboyfil (Reply #1)

Sat Apr 5, 2014, 07:37 PM

2. Yes they are, but that's not where I'm going.

While there were more murders per capita in 1965, a lower percentage of them involved firearms.

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Response to gejohnston (Reply #2)

Sat Apr 5, 2014, 08:01 PM

4. A point of reference

Oswald's .38 special was $30 ($234 inflation adjusted) and his rifle was $20 ($156 inflation adjusted). What kind of guns could you get for this price legally today? I think your point is valid - why so many fewer per capital homicides with guns than with other weapons. I think our guns are much more lethal today but correspondingly more expensive. A bolt action vs. semiautomatic is no comparison. Six shots versus 12 shots with ability to quickly reload as well. The violence rates are pretty close, but I suspect that medical science has kept the murder rate down quite a bit. Knives in general have not improved dramatically in lethality over the years. If anything ability to conceal them has gone down (how common is a switchblade today - back then even wanabees like my dad carried one).

Good question. Something to think about.

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Response to exboyfil (Reply #4)

Sat Apr 5, 2014, 08:27 PM

5. semi automatics existed then

the M-1 carbine example, which was quite popular. Mostly because military surplus guns and ammo were easy to find and inexpensive. A new one made today is expensive. While the only high 12 round semi auto, that I know of, available then was the Browning Hi Power, made in Belgium. They were rare here because they, and the 9mm round were "too European". While semi auto pistols existed then (most were single stack magazines that held 6 or seven rounds. some .22s held 10), they were not popular in the US with either cops or sport shooters until the 1980s. Guns are just as lethal, given that most of the common ammunition then and now were developed in the late 19th century or early 20th century. For example, the 9x19 round (known in the US as 9mm Luger or 9mm Parabellum) was developed by Georg Luger in 1901. Some guns, like the 1911 and the Walther PPK, have been in continuous production since 1910 and 1932 respectively. In terms of more lethal, most rifle rounds are more lethal than the .223 round commonly used in an AR. A hacksawed bolt action, or semi auto, .30-06 is actually more lethal than an AR. Rifles and carbines are rarely used in any crime.
Oswald's rifle was Italian military surplus, which affected the price. His revolver was a Smith and Wesson .38. A .38 small frame five shot revolver made by Smith and Wesson today is a lot more than a couple of hundred bucks.
As for switchblades, I do know several states have repealed switchblade bans. While Wyoming residents can carry a pistol without a permit, switch blades can not be. Out of sight, out of mind I guess.

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Response to gejohnston (Reply #5)

Sat Apr 5, 2014, 09:02 PM

8. There isn't any lobbing group like the NRA for the knife industry

therefore switchblades are still illegal.

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Response to doc03 (Reply #8)

Sat Apr 5, 2014, 09:52 PM

9. actually, not.

under federal law it is illegal to send them through USPS, but not private companies like FedEx. Many states allow them, Texas and Kansas recently overturned their bans.

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Response to doc03 (Reply #8)

Sun Apr 6, 2014, 02:43 AM

16. Lobbing.

There isn't any lobbing group like the NRA for the knife industry

therefore switchblades are still illegal.

Not in all states. In any case, switchblades have no sporting uses and are not protected by a Constitutional amendment.

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Response to Straw Man (Reply #16)

Sun Apr 6, 2014, 04:57 PM

22. Switchblade knives have no sporting use? Think about

that, what about certain guns? No self respecting sportsman in the 60s would think an AR15 had any sporting use, most back then didn't even consider
a semi-auto shotgun as being sporting.
Switchblade knives are not protected by the second Amendment? The second amendment says keep and bare arms,
it doesn't say firearms. Could one use a switchblade knife to protect themselves? If someone pulled a switchblade on you and put it to your throat wouldn't
you say he was armed? I am not sure but I have always heard switchblades are still illegal in Ohio.

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Response to doc03 (Reply #22)

Mon Apr 7, 2014, 01:24 AM

23. Sporting use.

No self respecting sportsman in the 60s would think an AR15 had any sporting use, most back then didn't even consider a semi-auto shotgun as being sporting.

And I'm sure that atlatl hunters thought bows weren't sporting. Things change.




Do a Google image search for "Camp Perry" and "national match." This is the premier rifle shooting competition in the United States. What do you see? Garands, M1A1s, and ... by golly, those must be AR-15s! How ... unsporting ...

Switchblades? Not so much. You can't throw them very well, and they're not good for whittling. They aren't any more dangerous than a fixed blade or a locking folder, but not really sporting.

But sure, if you want to extend Second Amendment protection to bladed weapons, I'm right there with you. Cutlasses all around!


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Response to Straw Man (Reply #23)

Mon Apr 7, 2014, 04:18 PM

24. A sport conceived by the firearms lobby to sell AR15s to wantabe COPs

and military yahoos.

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Response to doc03 (Reply #24)

Mon Apr 7, 2014, 05:29 PM

25. Amazing foresight

to create a competition to sell a firearm not that design started 50 years later

The National Matches were first held in 1903, moved to Camp Perry, Ohio, in 1907 and continue to take place every summer at Camp Perry.
http://www.thecmp.org/NM.htm

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Response to sarisataka (Reply #25)

Tue Apr 8, 2014, 01:27 AM

27. They didn't have competition with AR15s in 1903, don't try that

straw man bullshit. The competition with the AR15 was created to make a civilian market for those type weapons. A real sportsman doesn't need a AR15 or a 30 round magazine to kill a deer or to shoot at a target. There used to be pride in making a clean kill with one shot, I quit hunting myself when every time someone would jump a deer they would indiscriminately empty their gun in rapid fire until it was out of ammo. It is not sporting and it is dangerous to other hunters and non-hunters. A real sportsman can bag a deer with a single shot or load a target rifle one round at a time.

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Response to doc03 (Reply #27)

Tue Apr 8, 2014, 01:43 AM

28. no but

take a look at the rifles Camp Perry traditionally used. It is only logical the AR would replace the M-1 just as it replaced the Springfield. But then, I can't imagine someone who is 6 feet tall and weighing only 112 pounds (which is how the official report described Adam Lanza) lugging either of those older rifles in to a school.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Civilian_Marksmanship_Program#Programs

A real sportsman doesn't need a AR15 or a 30 round magazine to kill a deer or to shoot at a target.
I don't know about Ohio, but I do know that in Wyoming and Florida any box magazine over five rounds can not be used for hunting, regardless of the action of the rifle. BTW, .223s are not allowed for any game animal in Wyoming, since it is not lethal enough.
There used to be pride in making a clean kill with one shot, I quit hunting myself when every time someone would jump a deer they would indiscriminately empty their gun in rapid fire until it was out of ammo. It is not sporting and it is dangerous to other hunters and non-hunters.
It can be done with an AR too. It sounds like you need a better class of hunting buddies. It is called tactical to practical.
A real sportsman can bag a deer with a single shot or load a target rifle one round at a time.
There is a logical fallacy there, but a target rifle has nothing to do with hunting.

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Response to gejohnston (Reply #28)

Tue Apr 8, 2014, 02:20 AM

30. You can chose your hunting buddies but you can't stop the

other nut jobs that empty their gun when they think they see a deer.
I haven't hunted for several years. The reason I quit all the private land around here is
posted because of "sportsman", tearing up their property with 4 wheelers, cutting their fences, dumping their trash or killing their cattle because they thought they saw a deer. You go to a public hunting area you find all the wackos that caused landowners to post their land.

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Response to doc03 (Reply #24)

Mon Apr 7, 2014, 10:39 PM

26. In 1903?

A sport conceived by the firearms lobby to sell AR15s to wantabe COPs

and military yahoos.

Haters gonna hate. Sigh ...

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Response to doc03 (Reply #8)

Sun Apr 6, 2014, 01:10 PM

20. A switchblade knife is not illegal in Florida.

However if you wish to carry one concealed you should have a Florida concealed weapons permit. (ref:http://weaponlaws.wikidot.com/us-switchblade-laws)

To me switchblades are largely toys. They're fun to play with as long as you are careful. A high quality switchblade is excessively expensive and a cheap switchblade may be dangerous.

If you wish to carry a folding knife that you can open with one hand and it is legal in your city or state, consider a folder with a thumb stud.

I personally prefer a fixed blade knife with a full tang.



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Response to doc03 (Reply #8)

Tue Apr 8, 2014, 01:45 AM

29. check out

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Response to gejohnston (Original post)

Sat Apr 5, 2014, 07:56 PM

3. In the 50s, you could buy .32 revolvers for $7 at the counters

 

of convenience stores. Old pot metal "gut busters." You could order military surplus rifles from catalogs for $12-$13, and have them mailed to your door. EZPZ. I think the lure of big money from the drug black market played heavily into the increase in violence. The feds estimated there were 1,000,000 regular pot users in 1960. Ten yrs. later, that number increased to 10,000,000. When the RICO Act was employed in the W.O.D., and houses, vehicles, land, etc. could be seized, commercial-scale growing shifted to other countries, and gangs were employed to sell and distribute. Prohibition results in violence, wasted human resouces and public monies, and alternative economies and lifestyles we may not like.

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Response to Eleanors38 (Reply #3)

Sat Apr 5, 2014, 10:13 PM

12. so you are saying it went from

being "young and dumb and full of cum" to "just business"? I tend to think so too.

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Response to gejohnston (Reply #12)

Sun Apr 6, 2014, 09:22 AM

18. I think so. But there is a strong element of "family substitute"

 

in gang viability: Authority, rules, purposefulness, a future no matter how grim, and respect. Things perhaps not inculcated enough in more conventional family structures. Families as institutions have long faced competition from other institutions. When I was taking sociology courses, some researchers bemoaned the loss of family influence to the values learned in school. Would many be so lucky, now.

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Response to gejohnston (Original post)

Sat Apr 5, 2014, 08:49 PM

6. Sheer abundance and anonymity have worsened the situation.

 

Last edited Sat Apr 5, 2014, 09:42 PM - Edit history (1)

Make them scarce. Make possession more easily traceable and more strictly accountable.

Today's status quo public policy favors proliferation and obfuscates location.

Because today's public policy indulges the mistaken belief that the People have a "right" of armed rebellion against their government.

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Response to Loudly (Reply #6)

Sat Apr 5, 2014, 10:12 PM

11. abundance, relative to population, hasn't changed.

There is certainly less anonymity. IIRC, the Federal Firearms Act, which was repealed and replaced with the Gun Control Act, required local gun stores to have FFLs and keep records like today. Mail order places like Wards and Sears did not.

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Response to gejohnston (Reply #11)

Sun Apr 6, 2014, 01:05 AM

13. Has gun ownership per household declined?

 

If yes, then that would mean that more guns are concentrated in fewer hands.

Fewer hands which are either intentionally or negligently allowing those guns to flow to gangs.

Straw purchasers and theft.

Both of those activities promote the anonymity of possession. Where are those guns now and from time to time? How do the records of FFLs answer that question? They don't. Nor does the notorious lack of records from gun show sales.

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Response to Loudly (Reply #13)

Sun Apr 6, 2014, 01:15 AM

14. I don't think so.

Has gun ownership per household declined?
I don't believe so. If it did according to Anti's favorite polls, our gun ownership rate is now lower than Canada, Finland, Norway, France, and would be on par with New Zealand and Iceland. If you go by the estimate I think is accurate, it is Finland, US, Norway, Canada, Switzerland.

If yes, then that would mean that more guns are concentrated in fewer hands.
I don't think so

Fewer hands which are either intentionally or negligently allowing those guns to flow to gangs.
which has what to do with the 1950s?

Straw purchasers and theft.
the gang member gets them from fences. Since guns are not single use, the same gun can be kept by the same member for years. In the 19th century, urban street gangs often had "community guns" there is strong evidence that is still the case.

Both of those activities promote the anonymity of possession. Where are those guns now and from time to time? How do the records of FFLs answer that question? They don't. Nor do gun show sales.
Most gun show sales are FFLs. That same problem exists even in UK and Australia where getting an illegal SMG isn't hard at all.

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Response to gejohnston (Reply #14)

Sun Apr 6, 2014, 02:08 AM

15. Assertions that such concentration is occurring.

 

All pretty much citing the same data source.

http://www.cnn.com/2012/07/31/politics/gun-ownership-declining/

http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2012/03/chart-day-gun-ownership-30-year-decline

http://www.researchscape.com/leisure/us_gun_ownership_over_time

What this has to do with the 1950s is only in answer to your presumably sincere puzzlement as to why gangs using guns is a worse problem today. More guns, easier access, lack of accountability.

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Response to Loudly (Reply #15)

Sun Apr 6, 2014, 11:05 AM

19. problem is

same number of guns per capita, they had easier access then.

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Response to gejohnston (Original post)

Sat Apr 5, 2014, 08:56 PM

7. What about the days of Prohibition when the gangs used Thompson

sub-machine guns? They aren't available to the common criminal now. The 60's were also before the small arms race, back then most people had a bolt action hunting rifle or a single or double shotgun for the purpose of hunting. I never heard of anyone in those days stating they needing a gun for home defense and no self respecting sportsmen would think anyone needed an AR-15 to hunt with. Today the firearms industry has ginned up fear of crime to sell guns. The ownership of a gun for home defense is and concealed carry is a new thing created buy the firearms industry to sell guns. Now people just buy guns that are designed for killing people not for sportsmen. Society is just more violent than before, I blame it on movies and games that glorify violence and the NRA supported firearms industry.

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Response to doc03 (Reply #7)

Sat Apr 5, 2014, 10:10 PM

10. You are talking about the Mob, I'm talking about street gangs.

sub-machine guns? They aren't available to the common criminal now.
The common criminal did not use them during Prohibition, it was mostly the Mafia. The types of gangs I'm talking about still had knives and brass knuckles even during Prohibition. Had you watched the videos or checked out the links, you would have noticed that. Even then, there were not that many. One of the Thompson's used in the St. Valentines Day Massacre was also used, according to ballistics tests, in mob hits in New York and Detroit. That is part of why the cops then and now think Capone hired "independent contractors." Thompsons were very expensive, about the price of a car. The average person did not buy them either. After WW1 Colt offered the BAR to the civilian market, and sold zero. The few high profile criminals like Dillinger, PB Floyd etc. did not buy them from stores. They stole them from police, national guard, and security company armories. The FBI museum recently returned a Thompson to a small town in Ohio that Dillinger stole from them. The Mafia/Yakuza/Triads still have access to machine guns in the US, just ask Leland Yee. One of the people who was busted with him had an unregistered MAC-10.

The 60's were also before the small arms race, back then most people had a bolt action hunting rifle or a single or double shotgun for the purpose of hunting. I never heard of anyone in those days stating they needing a gun for home defense and no self respecting sportsmen would think anyone needed an AR-15 to hunt with.
There were several semi automatic and lever action rifles used for hunting then. You know as well as I do the AR is now the standard rifle in target competitions. With a five round magazine in .308, an AR design isn't that much different than this.]
Today the firearms industry has ginned up fear of crime to sell guns.
Actually, the media "it bleeds it leads" hysteria did that.
The ownership of a gun for home defense is and concealed carry is a new thing created buy the firearms industry to sell guns.
The big spike in gun ownership starting in the 1960s were people buying pistols for home defense. Concealed carry existed in the US before laws were passed restricting it in the 1920s, although it was probably more common in Europe until the same time.
Now people just buy guns that are designed for killing people not for sportsmen. Society is just more violent than before, I blame it on movies and games that glorify violence and the NRA supported firearms industry.
Self defense is is a human and natural right. Actually, we are becoming less violent based on current statistics.

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Response to gejohnston (Original post)

Sun Apr 6, 2014, 08:33 AM

17. The 60's and 70's was the point in time that the "meaty" part of the Baby Boomers...

....were reaching the age at which they were most likely to commit violent crime.

Violent crime is mostly done by the under-25 or under-30 crowd, and if you assume that a kid needs to be about 16 before he is big enough and strong enough and aggressive enough to start mugging people and robbing store, then the mid-sixties would be when that generation began committing violent crime.

And since the Baby Boom was a large population bulge, the proportion of people age 16-30 would have soared in the mid-sixties through about 1980, and thus violent crime.


In fact, the crime rate stayed high until about 20 years after a) lead was removed from automotive gasoline and b) abortion was legalized nationwide. After that, fewer kids were born into conditions that were more likely to make them violent criminals, and a generation later (about 1991) the crime rate plummeted.

The conditions that were more likely to make young people into criminals were acute lead poisoning (particularly in densely-driven urban areas) and the environment of poverty.

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Response to gejohnston (Original post)

Sun Apr 6, 2014, 01:36 PM

21. I suspect gang involvement in drug smuggling and distribution is a significant reason behind ...

firearms becoming popular weapons for gang members to carry and use.

Obviously there is a profit motive in dealing illegal drugs but it can be a dangerous activity.

The failure of our nation to stop the sale and consumption of alcohol during our Prohibition Era should have taught our elected politicians a lesson.


Rather than reducing crime, Prohibition transformed some cities into battlegrounds between opposing bootlegging gangs.[citation needed] In a study of more than thirty major U.S cities during the Prohibition years of 1920 and 1921, the number of crimes increased by 24 percent. Additionally, theft and burglaries increased by 9 percent, homicides by 12.7 percent, assaults and battery rose by 13 percent, drug addiction by 44.6 percent, and police department costs rose by 11.4 percent. This was largely the result of "black-market violence" and the diversion of law enforcement resources elsewhere. Despite the Prohibition movement's hope that outlawing alcohol would reduce crime, the reality was that the Volstead Act led to higher crime rates than were experienced prior to Prohibition and the establishment of a black market dominated by criminal organizations.[86]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prohibition_in_the_United_States#Organized_crime


Richard Nixon launched our War on Drugs in 1971. Like Prohibition. our War on Drugs has proven to be a total failure with many of the same unintended consequences. The proliferation of firearms illegally owned by drug gangs is one of those side effects.

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Response to spin (Reply #21)

Tue Apr 8, 2014, 04:20 AM

31. I agree that the drug trade had a great deal to do with the rise in firearm violence.

I don't know if you've ever watched any episodes of the History Channel's series Gangland but in the old days most gangs were formed to protect their turf from rival gangs but the true violence began when they started to sell drugs. Much like prohibition they turned to firearms to protect their profits and products from being taken by other groups.

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Response to Revanchist (Reply #31)

Tue Apr 8, 2014, 03:20 PM

32. I remember the days when police carried revolvers and reloaded from "drop pouches."

The six shot S&W Model 10 revolver in .38 Special was a popular police handgun.

One of the reasons police departments transitioned from wheel guns to high capacity semi-auto pistols was that the police felt they were losing the arms race with members of drug gangs.

One of the unintended consequences of our nations failed War on Drugs is that semiautomatic pistols have largely replaced revolvers as the weapon of choice for criminals, police and for civilians.

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