I ran across this post where a guy is claiming that the shooter in Vegas knew nothing about guns because guns are hard to shoot, and courts can’t issue secret gag orders.

Here is my open letter as a reply:
There are plenty of courts that issue sealed orders, beginning with the FISA court. Even regular courts routinely issue gag orders that are sealed. I myself have been involved with a court case that involves a gag order, and that order has been in effect and sealed for nearly five years.

Bump stocks affect accuracy because it is impossible to hold the weapon on target with high precision while the thing is bouncing back and forth in the stock. The distance isn’t that great, according to Google maps, it is only 280 yards from the hotel to the stage. It is 400 yards to the center of the concert area. My ballistics table says that you only have about a 25 inch drop at that range, and a 55 grain bullet still has more than 300 foot pounds of energy at 400 yards.

The guy is full of crap when he talks about the shooting distance being the hypotenuse. The bullet only sees the horizontal component of the distance when computing drop, but sees the flight distance (hypotenuse) when computing energy. Even so, the hypotenuse of the triangle formed by a 32 story hotel and a 400 yard horizontal distance is only 414 yards. That really doesn’t matter a whole lot to energy.

As to accuracy: At 400 yards, one minute of angle is equal to approximately 4.18 inches. This means that the concert venue at 500 feet wide, being 400 yards away, is more than 1400 minutes of angle wide. The shooter wasn’t trying to hit individual people, which I admit would take quite a bit of skill. Instead, he was shooting into an area the size of two football fields, and hoping to hit any of the 22,000 people who were densely packed into that area. This would be the equivalent of shooting at a standard highway billboard (which is 48 feet wide) at a distance of about 100 yards. NOT a difficult shot. Stevie Wonder could make a shot like that.

Only about 200 of the injuries/deaths were due to GSW. The rest of the injuries were due to being trampled or otherwise injured while taking cover. There were 22,000 people in the venue, and he hit less than 1% of them- meaning he missed more than 99% of the time.

I don’t know why I am getting sucked into these discussions.

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