Honored Social Butterfly


Dr. Ernest E. Moore:
The Parkland shooter's AR-15 was designed to kill as efficiently as possible.
I am a trauma surgeon, and I've seen what AR-15s can do. There's no reason for civilians to own them.
(Feb.15.2018 / 12:43 AM ET)
An assault rifle is designed to deliver fatal wounds to multiple individuals within a short time period; it has no other purpose. The AR-15*, the civilian version of the military assault rifle (M16 or M4), has become the most commonly used rifle in US mass shootings; the recent shootings in Parkland and Las Vegas, for instance, testify to the effectiveness of this weapon’s design. It was made for the military, to allow members of the armed forces to better dispatch multiple enemies in short order; in the hands of civilians, it not only clearly serves the same purpose for some individuals, but it’s unclear what other purpose it could serve, given how and why* it was made.

Given that, there is no reason that these weapons should be broadly available to the civilian population. But, given that they are, let’s all understand how they are designed to kill people, not simply to shoot targets for fun.

The effectiveness of these weapons comes, first and foremost, from their ability to deliver relatively small sized, high velocity bullets in rapid sequence into a body, inflicting lethal damage.


The killing potential of a gun is primarily based on the amount of energy imparted by the bullet when it strikes the body. The bullet’s kinetic energy is equal to half of the bullet weight multiplied by the speed of the bullet when fired, squared — in other words, the velocity that a gun can impart on a bullet is the dominant factor in determining its killing potential.

The 9mm handgun is generally regarded as an effective weapon; its bullet travels at 1,200 feet per second and delivers a kinetic energy of 400 foot pounds. By comparison, the standard AR-15 bullet travels at 3,251 feet per second and delivers 1300 foot pounds.


Tissue destruction of the AR-15 is further enhanced by cavitation, which is the destruction of tissue beyond the direct pathway of the bullet; this occurs with high velocity bullets because their kinetic energies are over 2,500 foot pounds.


To compare again, a typical 9mm handgun wound to the liver will produce a pathway of tissue destruction in the order of 1-2 inches. In comparison, an AR-15 round to the liver will literally pulverize it, much like dropping a watermelon onto concrete results in the destruction of the watermelon. Wounds like this, as one sees in school shootings like Sandy Hook and Parkland where AR-15s were used, have high fatality rates.

The AR-15 is, by design, easier to shoot accurately and rapidly than a a typical hunting rifle because it mitigates recoil. The standard AR-15 bullet, as previously stated, carries kinetic energy of 1300 foot pounds; a typical hunting rifle bullet has between 2600 and 4000 foot pounds, meaning it has greater recoil. The excessive recoil of a hunting rifle precludes rapid firing on target, because of the obligatory motion of the gun and its impact on the shooter. But the moderate energy of the AR-15 allows shooting on target literally as rapidly as the trigger can be pulled, while providing ample bullet speed to inflict lethal wounds.

The efficiency of the AR-15 is further compounded by large capacity ammunition magazines that permit feeding 30 or more bullets into the rifle without reloading.


Mass shootings with high fatalities are fundamentally the result of the combination of a deranged individual who wants to end the lives of a large number of random humans and his or her ability to access an assault rifle. And while there is no real debate about the need for improved mental health care in the United States, any discussion of limiting civilians’ access to assault rifles has been a political non-starter for far too long. We’re not likely to be able to institutionalize every person who might be willing to commit a heinous crime, but we can take away their access to the most lethal weapon for doing so with a stroke of a pen.


As a trauma surgeon for 40 years (and avid hunter for much longer), I am dismayed that we remain paralyzed over preventive measures. There have already been 18 school shootings in 2018, when one would be too many: This cannot remain a political issue when it is clearly an issue of common sense.

Ernest E Moore, MD, is the editor of the Journal of Trauma.


* NOTE:  The AR15 was designed to counter the Russian AK47 assault rifle. The M16 is a derivative of the AR15.



Honored Social Butterfly

 myexper - Thank you for this post from an expert who has common sense and values human life over money. I sure wish our Republican Leadership in Congress and the White House also did , but that's what makes them today's Grand Old Plutocrats.

 The first thing I thought of while in tears reading this post about how lethal an Assault Rifle is , was our 5 and 6 year old children at Sandy Hook Elementary School who were slaughtered by the same type Weapon.

 Six years later and the Republican's value the NRA's Money and Voice over Children's Lives.

Esteemed Social Butterfly

So what wins out the owners of 8 Million AR-15’s or 55.9 Million pre-k through high school students in Private and Public schools.


Do you arm teachers or pay extra to 700,000 cops, working with Trump figures.


Or do you outfit all children through teens with NIJ Level  IV bulletproof clothing or backpacks. Something that will stop an AR-15 bullet and everything down to a .22.


Or do you just do a buy back of all 8 Million AR’s and magazines to allow children to live without fear of dying at school.


AR-15 hmmm, 30% of population owns guns, even I have a couple. No AR’s, AK’s M4, etc.


Not even remotely suggesting infringing upon your 2nd? And right to own a weapon of war designed to kill by shredding organs, veins, arteries, flesh.


But, wouldn’t mind the total removal from face of planet all Automatic Rifles. Anyone listen to the cell videos from kids at Parkland or the bodies still lying in pools of blood, that our kids ran past on the way out of the school.


So, what do we do smile cheerfully, and ignore the violence and mass murders.


Or actually tell pol’s and NRA to take a flying expletive.


Great NON-PROFIT ORGANIZATION THAT THEY ARE. I’d prefer pbs to NRA personally.


Addendum I used to belong to NRA before Heston and LaPierre became to blasted political for my taste.

And yes, after long days/nights, I'd still like to swing these hunks of glass , plastic and silicon against the nearest wall Come on retirement!
Trusted Social Butterfly

Anyone who wants to know a bit more about the hydrostatic effect of the bullets used [and other hi-speed bullets as well] will find numerous articles by various 'experts' on the internet.  Wikipedia is one, although I would not recommend it as an absolute authority, it is both convenient and informative.  Just use it with caution.


The term 'hydrostatic shock' is somewhat controversial in a nit-picky sort of way.  Damage is damage.

I do think anyone who is interested in the truth of this ongoing firearms issue will find this of value.  It may even change a few minds.  Accurate data have been known to do that.

Honored Social Butterfly

The superiority of the AR-15 as a killing machine is because it is  SEMI-AUTOMATIC . It can ACCURATELY fire 80+ rounds per minute at a target 100 meters distant, compared to the old WWII M-1 (also semi-auto, but with an 8 round clip vs 20-30 for the AR-15) which could accurately fire 40rpm which was vastly superior to the enemies bolt action weapons firing 10rpm.


The higher muzzel velocity of the AR-15 also yields greater kenetic energy for the bullet, causing it to do more damage to the victim than the slightly heavier but slower 30.06 round for the M-1. Stories of the AR-15 bullet "tumbling" on impact are exaggerated in the newest version of the weapon which has 1:7 twist barrel vs the 1:14 for the early versions (1964-75) where the bullet DID tumble. The greater damage to the victim are NOW do to the greater kenetic energy of the round, not the "tumbling" which made the earlier version much less accurate.


The rate of fire of the AR-15 with 30-round clips is 120rpm, and in a confined space, like a school building or the Halls of Congress, that is also the "effective" rate of fire since the targets victims are close at hand and bunched together requiring a minimum of effort aiming the weapon.


In "target rich environments" like schools, theaters, nursing homes and the Halls of Congress, the AR-15 and all SEMI-AUTO weapons can be converted to fully automatic increasing the rate of fire to over 400rpm with a very high degree of accuracy in hitting the "targets".


No sportsman needs to fire more than 5 rounds at their game. If he didn't kill it with 5 rounds, it will have fled the area and spraying the woods with an additional 115 rounds will not be a further danger to the game, but could take out other hunters a mile distant.


Again, there is NO EARTHLY USE for a gun firing 120rpm, so no hunter or marksman is going to give up ANYTHING relating to their sport by being restricted to double-action weapons firing 10rpm


Killers and traitors seeking to overthrow the Government are the only people with a reason for having a semi-auto weapon. Anybody got other reasons, lets hear 'em.



Trusted Social Butterfly

Everyone should print out this article and keep it close at hand for reference. Each person holding a conviction to prohibit or allow such a thing by or within a civilian population will know precisely what they are talking about.


I suspect God would appreciate not be asked to "forgive them for they know not what they do" over and over and over.  

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