The Hartford Courant disclosed a new piece of info this wk that we didn’t know before… That Newtown shooting… 152 shots were fired in less than 5 mins. B/c in that Bushmaster AR-15 assault rifle, were multiple, extended 30-round magazines. His mother would not have been able to purchase this if, in 2004, Congress had not let the Assault Weapons Ban expire.
He wouldn’t have been able to buy a magazine with more than 10 rounds in it if the 2004 law had been renewed. So, he would have had to re-load 14 times. Lag-time where he could have been stopped. The Assault Weapons Ban also banned 30-round magazines.
He’d need to re-load over a dozen times to do what he did in 3-4 reloads, more chance for error (drop a mag, or have something jam, or stumble). If the law had been renewed, he’d still only have had access to a 10-round magazine. Not the 30-round mags that his mama was able to purchase since the law didn’t renew.
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Here is transcription of Thursday’s The Rachel Maddow Show (this is what I’m watching whenever you see #TRMS in my tweets). She goes more into detail about the numbers here. You can skip ahead to the bolded part, or just watch the video I linked. This story is at the beginning.
MADDOW: . . . But we are starting tonight in Connecticut. And I almost never have to do something like this at the start of a story, but I feel I need to in this case. So, in all seriousness, we on this show have been in touch with a bunch of families, a bunch of people who were directly affected by the killings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. People who had family members killed or friends killed there. And if you are one of those folks, you might not want to watch this story at the top of the show. I’m sorry to have to say it but I feel it’s the only responsible thing to do. So, now you know. All right. Today, the ” Hartford Courant” newspaper published new details of what happened at Sandy Hook Elementary, new details that we did not know before. Today marks three months since the massacre of first graders and school staff at that school. The headline in the “Courant” today focuses on reports from sources close to the investigation who say that the killer from Sandy Hook researched other mass murderers, including the right wing nationalist attack in Norway a couple of years ago. That attack saw eight people killed by explosives and 69 people shot to death, most of them teenagers. But we also now have the most specific information we have ever had about how the Sandy Hook elementary school massacre happened. The way he got into the school, which was locked, for example, was bullets. There were glass windows at the front entrance of the school and the killer shot through the glass window, shot the windows multiple times, thus making a hole in the glass big enough for him to get through. The school principal, Dawn Hochsprung, and the school psychologist ran into the front hallway of the school when they heard that noise from the gunfire and the breaking glass, the gunman then shot both of them dead immediately. There were only two people who were shot that day in that school who were not killed. Only two people injured and not killed. Both of them were hit at that point in the attack. That initial point. One teacher who was in a meeting room with the principal and the psychologist was hit by a ricochet bullet from that initial onslaught of gunfire. She was wounded in the leg, but she crawled back into the meeting room and she called 911. Further down that same front hallway, another teacher heard the noise and came out into the hallway to close her classroom door. She too at that time was hit by either a ricochet or an errant bullet from the initial blast of gunfire. She was shot in the foot and she survived. Now, all of the shootings so far in the incident was done with the same gun, with the Bushmaster AR-15 assault rifle, for which the gun, we’re told, had multiple, extended 30- round magazines. After shooting his way in and killing the principal and the school psychologist after wounding the two teachers, he then went to the classrooms. The first classroom he came to was Kaitlin Roig’s classroom. The door to that classroom was closed when he got to it apparently because Kaitlin Roig had heard the noise and closed her door. “The Courant” reports that her classroom window was also covered up so the gunman could not see in. Quoting from “The Courant,” “Sources say that Sandy Hook Elementary had only weeks earlier had a lock down drill and that Kaitlin Roig had not taken down the piece of black construction paper that teachers are instructed to place over the small window in the classroom doors so that no one can look in.” And so the gunman went past that classroom. He kept going down the same hallway, and he went into the classroom where Lauren Russeau was the teacher. In that classroom, he killed Lauren Russeau, the teacher, and he killed all but one of the students. The students, the first graders were all found together in the same corner of the room apparently trying to get into the confined space of the bathroom in the back of the room like they had been trained. The one student who survived in that classroom survived apparently by playing dead. She played dead and then once the gunman had left and moved on, she ran from the room. When the gunman moved on where he moved on to was the classroom where Vicki Soto was the teacher. Quote, “Authorities believe the gunman started walking toward the back of Vicki Soto’s classroom where the bathroom was. When he noticed some of the children hiding under the desks, the gunman then shot those students.” “The Courant” says today, “At some point, he stopped shooting either because the Bushmaster assault rifle jammed or he made an error in reloading it. And that gave six children the opportunity to escape.” Teacher Vicki Soto had placed another group of five children in a closet where they too were found alive by authorities. Police had previously thought that some bullet holes that were in three cars in the parking lot outside the school showed that the gunman had been shooting at police as they were responding to the scene. We learned today that authorities now think those bullets were the gunman shooting not at police as they were arriving but at another teacher who was standing near a window. So apparently he missed the teacher, the bullets went through the window and went on to hit the cars in the parking lot. We also learned one absolutely stunning detail today that we did not know before today. And it’s this. Overall, this entire incident from the first shots fired to break that glass so he could get inside, from the first shots fired to the last shot fired — so the first shot fired with that assault rifle to the window, to all the subsequent shots with the assault rifle to the end, to the time when he finally stopped shooting with the assault rifle for whatever reason and he switched to the pistol with which he killed only himself, overall the entire incident took less than five minutes. And in less than five minutes he fired 152 bullets. He’s said to have used 30- round magazines, which means he may have had to reload four times to shoot those 152 bullets in less than five minutes. I mean, if you think about it, it’s one bullet in the chamber of the rifle, 30 bullets in the first magazine, that’s 31. Then you load 30 more, 61, then you load 30 more, that’s 91. Then you load 30 more, that’s 121, and then you load 30 more, that’s 151 bullets. And then he is done with the rifle and then it is just one more bullet from the pistol, which he fires into himself and then it is done, 152 bullets. Four magazine changes. Had he only had access to 10- round magazines instead of 30- round magazines he would’ve had to reload 14 times. He would’ve needed 14 spare magazines beyond the one in the gun with the extra round in the chamber, reloading 14 times. You think he would’ve still pulled off the whole thing in less than five minutes? Before anybody had time to think before anybody had time to react, before the cops got there, do you think there’s any chance he might have had a jam or might have screwed something up in the reloading or might have dropped something or screwed it up a little bit earlier before bullet 151 left the gun with not even five minutes elapsed?
… [talk of the Senate Judiciary Committee today] …
MADDOW: It was a stunned city. After the San Francisco mayor and Supervisor Harvey Milk were shot dead in 1978. That is how Dianne Feinstein became mayor of San Francisco in 1978. And that’s what she was talking about today. To Ted Cruz when she talked about seeing the bodies, an incident in which she had to put her fingers into the bullet holes to try to find a pulse that she did not find. San Francisco was a stunned city again in 1993 when a gunman walked into an office at 101 California Street holding a pair of semiautomatic weapons. He had modified them so they could fire even faster your typical semiautomatic weapon. With those weapons, he killed eight people and wounded six others before he killed himself. It was in reaction to that massacre at 101 California that then Senator Dianne Feinstein led the national fight for an assault weapons ban in 1994. And at the time, nobody said it would pass. But it did pass and it was in effect for 10 years, while the Constitution survived and everything. President George W. Bush and the Republican-controlled Congress let that law expire 10 years later in 2004. And because they let it expire, that is why the mother of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooter was able to buy legally and easily the Bushmaster AR-15 assault rifle that the Sandy Hook gunman used to fire all but one of 152 bullets that he fired in the space of less than five minutes that morning three months ago today in Connecticut. The gun that he used that day would’ve been illegal for his mother to buy. Had the Republican-controlled Congress and President George W. Bush not let Dianne Feinstein’s law expire in 2004, the mother of the young man who killed those 20 first grade kids, his mother from whom he took all his weapons would not have been able to legally and easily buy those big 30- round extended magazines that we are told he used that day. Not the gun, nor the extended magazines. She would’ve only been able to legally and easily buy 10- round magazines, not 30- round magazines. So, when he took those weapons from her that morning, he would’ve needed 15 separate 10- round magazines in order to reload 14 different times to try to do what he actually did so easily and so quickly thanks to the expiration of Dianne Feinstein’s law in 2004. It is three months after Sandy Hook as of today. The bill to reinstate what used to be law which we now know might have made a large difference at Sandy Hook, that bill to reinstate what used to be law heads to the full Senate now. Everybody says the politics of this are impossible. Why should they be?