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The lethality of a gun is measured by how long it takes a shooter to acquire a target and deliver a bullet to a lethal spot. Obviously, this measurement has to encompass whether the gun can be pointed properly with minimal effort, whether multiple rounds of ammunition can be discharged easily and quickly, and whether the bullet itself is of sufficient size, weight and speed at the moment of contact to create a lethal wound.

Aside from the consideration of gun design and ballistics, lethality for guns utilized in non-tactical shootings (shootings not done by sworn or uniformed personnel) must also be measured by whether the weapon can be easily transported from place to place, as well as concealed if the location does not permit the lawful carriage of guns.


The gun pictured above is typical of bottom-loading, semi-automatic handguns which can be purchased and owned by any adult who can pass a standard FBI background check which usually determines whether that individual has a personal history which might disqualify him/her from having legal access to such a gun.  This weapon weighs 24 ounces, is 8 inches in length and holds 16 rounds of 30-caliber ammunition which can be discharged accurately in slightly less than one second per round.  Another fully-loaded magazine could be exchanged for the empty magazine in 5 seconds.

In other words, someone with a bit of training could fire more than 30 rounds of ammunition out of this gun in half a minute, and every, single round could kill or seriously injure a different person.

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