Nidal Hasan’s Weapons

There have been questions raised as part of this discussion about the nature of the weapons Nidal Hasan used in the Ft. Hood shooting. He apparently carried two pistols, and both are designed to be effective killing weapons. The more newly designed Five-sevN that he had purchased under the noses of the FBI who was busy investigating him is specifically designed to be very effective at killing large numbers of people in close quarters, to have more controlled “follow-up shots” and to pierce body armor.

These are all features that I’m sure would be very handy for, say, moose hunting, but the real reason these features were designed into this pistol was for use in close quarters combat military and police actions. However, the pistol was easily purchased in from Guns Galore in Killeen, Texas for civilian use. Guns Galore indeed.

The other gun was a magnum, a.k.a., miniature cannon.

Details below the fold.

Weapon 1: From The Arms site:

FN’s newest contribution the handgun’s evolution is named the Five-seveN®. This 20-round pistol fires a 5.7mm bullet that will defeat most body armor in military service around the world today. Essentially, the Five-seveN® represents a quantum leap forward in the handgun’s suitablity for close engagements by delivering the type of performance that was previously confined to rifles or carbines. Elements of this performance include:

High magazine capacity: The Five-seveN® comes standard with 20-round magazine.

High stopping power: The Five-seveN® fires the 5.7x28mm SS190 Ball round which reliably penetrates Kevlar helmets and vests as well as CRISAT protection.

High hit probability: The Five-seveN’s® extremely low recoil impulse results in virtually no muzzle climb, thereby facilitating fast and controllable follow-up shots.

Weapon 2: 357 Magnum, older model. It is not know if this weapon was used in the attack, and exact details of which model was carried by Hasan don’t seem to be available. There are several models bu they are all considered to be serious pistols, not target practice pop guns.


  1. #1 NewEnglandBob
    November 11, 2009

    One NEVER knows when the local moose walking around will be wearing body armor.

  2. #2 jj
    November 11, 2009

    Apparently the FBI was watching him for more than weapons. From what I had heard on NPR yesterday, the FBI had intercepted multiple emails between Hasan a very Radical Yemeni Cleric Anwar al-Awalki. Seems like their wasn’t much in their communications for the FBI to step in.

  3. #3 Rob
    November 11, 2009

    The new spin on the Chuck Schumer “you can’t use an AR-15 for hunting” argument is ridiculous. The second amendment is there to allow the people to protect themselves from the well-armed militia controlled by the government. The founding fathers believed that armed resistance to a tyrannical government may become the only answer. After all, that’s what they had just done.

    Silly straw man arguments about the usefulness of quasi-military firearms for hunting, target shooting, etc. ignore these facts. That they are manufactured specifically for the purpose of inflicting grievous bodily harm and death upon human beings is obvious and undisputed. I posit that I have a right to such a weapon. Others opine that I do not. But that is the argument, not specious questions of whether they are effective moose killers. Though, of course, they are.

  4. #4 Treespeed
    November 11, 2009

    While it’s important to discuss the issue of the kind of firepower this guy was using for evil I’m sure there are guys saying to themselves, “I’ve got to get me one of those.” In some ways all of this is nothing but free advertising.

  5. #5 Roadtripper
    November 11, 2009

    Thanks for the info; I was curious about this. A quick google search on CRISAT explained why pistols like the Five-SeveN are being developed: law enforcement personnel getting their butts royally kicked in shoot-outs with suspects wearing body armor — not a good thing.

    But really, civilian gun stores selling these ought to be raising red flags all over the place. If ‘assault weapons’ can be banned, then so can something like this. It’s useless for hunting, and unnecessary for home defense. (At least, I sure as hell hope so!)

    Slightly off-topic, but since it’s been brought up: last time I looked, the Safari Club International record book actually did show a few moose killed with handguns, but I’d bet my last dollar (if I still had one) that the weapons used weren’t anything remotely like the Five-SeveN.


  6. #6 Greg Laden
    November 11, 2009

    Oh, I always mention moose in relation to hand guns because of Wade. Wade was an undergradaute student in the anthro dept. back when I was in grad school. One fall he showed up after a summer at home in Alaska with a really nice new leather jacket that looked a bit unusual. I asked him about it and he said his grandma made it from leather his cousin tanned from a moose he (Wade) had shot. Or something along those lines.

    Then he told the story about shooting the moose. He was hiking in the woods, armed as usual with a .357, when he suddenly found himself literally face to face with a moose that had been invisible to him only a moment before in the thick brush.

    He said he didn’t even realize he had pulled out the pistol and pulled the trigger. But he did, and then there was a lot of moose meat and leather after that.

  7. #7 Stephanie Z
    November 11, 2009

    Rob, I didn’t actually write this post for you, but I might as well have. Enjoy.

  8. #8 José
    November 11, 2009

    The second amendment is there to allow the people to protect themselves from the well-armed militia controlled by the government.

    No it’s not. It was put there to ensure that people had arms so they could serve in a well regulated militia to defend the country against internal and external threats. The US didn’t even have a standing army at the time that “the people” would need protection from.

  9. #9 eigenvector
    November 11, 2009

    Wikipedia says the FBI has high speed video of 5-7 rounds bouncing off vests. This is actually believable because the a 5.7 caliber is about half that of the 9mm an already wimpy round. The .357 is another story altogether. Desert Eagle is about the only automatic pistol that chambers a .357 cartridge. “Older” only means that it was designed prior to WWII, it’s still pretty much at the top of the list for a really destructive round.

  10. #10 mrcreosote
    November 11, 2009

    following up on Jose @8, indeed the ‘founding fathers’ were actively against the idea of standing armies, because they knew they could be used by a tyrannical government to oppress the people – something they had direct experience of. So if you really want to to follow the wishes of the founding fathers, and the intent of the 2nd amendment, then you disband the U.S. military forces, and enlist every able bodied person in the militia.

  11. #11 Rob
    November 11, 2009

    I’m not completely thick, I’m well aware of the futility of small arms against the military. And, in fact, the type of tyranny in which the government would engage in 2009 wouldn’t be the against which one would defend with firearms anyway. That said, the second amendment does not read “So that the people may wear leather and eat game animals and target shoot, and protect their home from criminal intruders, their right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”

    That makes the inane argument that such and such a weapon serves no sporting purpose and can’t be used for home defense and thus outlawing it does not violate the second amendment yet another example of a straw man argument and is disingenuous. As is the silly argument by such as the NRA that the weapon could conceivably be put to such uses.

    Neither side argues honorably or truthfully. The argument is “I believe I have the constitutional and moral right to have firearms for whatever purpose I may choose, so long as I don’t use it to engage in criminal activities” vs. “no one but the government and those who represent them has the right to own firearms.”

    Obviously, I take the first side, many posters here take the second. But let’s at least be honest.

  12. #12 Stephanie Z
    November 11, 2009

    Thank you for admitting your own dishonor, Rob, but you’re building a false equivalence. I don’t take the second side. Many posters here arguing for a look at gun control laws don’t either. But I’ll be damned if I don’t get accused of it any I say we need to be able to talk about the issue without the presupposition that I want to steal all your guns because I point out that a handgun has no value except as a machine for killing.

  13. #13 Rob
    November 11, 2009

    Interesting to hear you say so Stephanie. I have many handguns, none of which have been used for killing any living thing (animals included) and which I value greatly. So I guess you mean that you don’t see any value in except as a machine for killing.

  14. #14 Stephanie Z
    November 11, 2009

    Well, Rob, seeing as I enjoy target shooting, I also see value in them as a toy. However, I understand why toys are regulated for safety and fully support that they are.

    And yes, there are a certain number of guns with historical or art value. However, I’ve yet to reach that point in a discussion without being called a traitor or at least unpatriotic.

    Where do you find the value of your guns?

  15. #15 José
    November 11, 2009

    Rob – Is pointing out your errors somehow arguing dishonestly? No. Is framing the argument as “I have the right to own guns” vs “I believe only the government has the right to own firearms”? Yes.

  16. #16 Rob
    November 11, 2009

    Toys are regulated in a consumer safety sense, but other than motor scooters and such which have an age limit, I don’t know of toys that you need to be licensed to purchase.

    I have no weapons of historic value. I appreciate and hence value them as machines, in the same way that I value locks. I like to go to the desert and shoot cans or bottles (though I abhor the morons who trash the desert using guns).

    Certainly, a fraction of their value to me is that, under a dire and unlikely set of circumstances, they give me options I would not otherwise have and I guess that the value of that fraction could be characterized as centered on their being killing machines.

    Fundamentally though, it’s my belief that no one has the right to demand of me that I submit my intended avenue for finding value in the firearms for review and approval prior to purchase. Society has every right to hold me responsible for what I do with them.

  17. #17 Rob
    November 11, 2009

    To Jose` (sorry, I don’t know how to correctly type the diacritical mark): I don’t contend that everyone favoring control or further control of firearms argues dishonestly. But I do contend that those who claim that “legitimate sporting or home defense use” for a firearm is the sine qua non of evaluating whether the Constitution prohibits restriction of the firearm argue dishonestly.

    Also, of course both “sides” of the argument are more nuanced than “yes, guns” and “no, no guns.” There are those who favor the right to own any weapon of any type in any quantity that can be afforded. There are those who believe that only soldiers and police (and not all of them) should possess any type of firearm. From those extremes, each group has representatives coming closer to the others. And those aren’t the only axes along which the argument is framed.

    I’m happy to state my position with as much detail as desired but the point I initially set out to make was that it’s false to say “the Constitution gives the government the right to prohibit the possession of firearms for which a sporting or self-defense application cannot be demonstrated.”

  18. #18 Greg Laden
    November 11, 2009

    eigenvector: I’ve heard the version of the story whereby this weapon is actually a pop gun. The info supplied above comes from the manufacturer. Nidal Hasan bought this gun and then went and shot 40 people with it. I don’t really think the post-hoc consideration of it being a pop gun, even if true, obviates the apparetn reality that this firearm was designed to do a certain thing, was purchased to do that thing, and did that thing.

    Have you heard if he actually usd the .357? I’ve heard he may not have. We probably won’t hear much for a whi.e

  19. #19 Greg Laden
    November 11, 2009

    Rob [16] I don’t know of toys that you need to be licensed to purchase.

    Seriously? Well, not to purchase but to actually use, there are quite a few.

  20. #20 Captain Patriot
    November 11, 2009


    When has the second amendment ever been about hunting?

    #2, If our government didn’t fear panzy freakshow leftist lawyers we could have nailed this Islamic terrorist before he ever purchased these firearms and committed Islamic terrorism in the firstplace. Thank you, left wingers for creating a “tolerant” environment in which Anti-American jihadist views hve to be tolerated or else face a lawsuit for ‘discrimination”. Thank you ACLU. You made terrorism easier to get away with.

    Define “magnum”!

    I have a .357 magnum. It is a very effective weapon agianst wild hogs, whitetail deer, home intruders and about anything else. I wish I had a 454 casull. Is is far more capable of penetration than a 357 mag. What about a .50 Action Express auto?

    You have to realize that a 5.7 mm round is not a large round. The only reason it was able to penetrte armor is becuase of it’s speed. It is perfectly legal. If you liberals would start executing criminals instead of snuggling with them and sharing your feelings and hope they never kill again, we might not be having this conversation.

    Get rid of criminals and leave guns alone. Damn I would hate to fight off a burgler witn a mace, axe, or sword. That would ruin my carpet! A gun is better.

    Get it through your thick skulls that the second amendment is to protect citizens from their own government. Not hunting! Did you ever see the words squirrel, rabbit, dove, or deer anywhere in the constitution? Okay then.

    The second amendment it meant to protect me and you. Yet, you do not seem to get it.

    What part of punishthe criminal not the victim do you not get?

    This whole inicident is screwed up. The officers who shot the thug should have put 20 rounds into his skull and saved the taxpaeyer monney on a trial and execution, that is if we don’t give him a five star hotel and five meals a day style prison sentence. He commited treason and by rule of law, he should be executed before a firing squad for his crime – prefferably with his own gun.

    Now, focus all of you hatred on the criminal here, not how he chose to kill his victims. Focus your energy on the guilty islamic terrorist involved, not we the people!

    Stop making normal people’s lives harder to live.

    If you like a socialist gunless, high crime, high surveillance, Godless, evolutionized, brainashed society with undending healthcare that kills more than cures, then please move to London, and leave our country alone.

    In other words, don;t fuck up America the way the leftist freaks fucked up Europe. You like the way they do things, move there! We refuse to be your slaves of satan.

    Besides by the time that you and your evil dictatorship in washington fucks us over with illegal unconstitutional gun bans, most everyon will already have ample supply of guns and enough ammo to last a lifetime. Good luck taking it away from us. It just so happened, I “sold” mine to a man in a blue truck headed north. I think his name wass Bob. Or was it Jim? maybe it was Edgar? Maybe it was Stan? Oh well, you’re the FBI, I’m sure you can locate him.

    Besdes, I bet we can both agree that we do not want the government snooping around in ou bedrooms do we. That’s right. Guns are kept in the bedroom, so stay out of my bedroom.

  21. #21 Stephanie Z
    November 11, 2009

    Okay, I can parse most of #20, mostly because it’s as unoriginal as the average drive-by who hasn’t read the comments (kick gov’t’s butt, gay slur, I’ll win because I won’t obey the laws but kill them criminals, blah, blah, blah), but can anyone help me figure out what “undending healthcare” is supposed to be?

  22. #22 Captain Patriot
    November 11, 2009

    An argument to destroy all leftist arguments over guns and government:

    In 1833, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Joseph Story reaffirmed the use of firearms for citizens as a self defense against its own government if that government ever became oppressive and out of control. He stated: “The right of a citizen to keep and bear arms has justly been considered the palladium of the liberties of the republic, since it offers a strong moral check against the usurpation and arbitrary power of rulers, and will generally, even if these are successful in the first instance, enable the people to resist and triumph over them.”

    Gun free zones have resulted in millions of deaths from dictatorships. Need I add more? People are fearful of powerful governments, especially our current one. No American has seens such radicalism in an American government before. People are afraid, and rightly so. The far left has taken over the government, but people are fighting back. They fear FEMA camps, government assasinations, etc. Why else would Obama be the NRA’s gun salesman of the year? Go online and see if you can find ammo anymore. Every major dealer is running months behind in orders and no one has stick. A local police department is having trouble getting ammo becuase none of the stores have any. People are stocking up preparing for a gun ban from Obama, or worse, armed enslavement. They already put normal people on white house death list, waged war ona news organization, and now forcing into medical enslavement. Who can blame the people for arming themselves?


    Speaking of making war with normal people, the war on Christmas is now ongoing.

    Remember to boycott GAP, Old Navy, and Banana Republic for being anti-Christmas political correctness slaves.

    For years, Gap has refused to use the word Christmas in its television commercials, newspaper ads and in-store promotions, despite tens of thousands of consumer requests to recognize Christmas and in spite of repeated requests.

    Last year, Gap issued this politically-correct statement to Christmas shoppers: “Gap recognizes that many traditions are celebrated throughout this season and we feel it is important to display holiday signage that is inclusive to everyone.”

    The Gap is censoring the word Christmas, pure and simple. Yet the company wants all the people who celebrate Christmas to do their shopping at its stores? Why? I say go broke! I don’t buy from bigoted Godophobic companies.

  23. #23 Stephanie Z
    November 11, 2009

    You mean like the ammo here? First Google hit on “9 mil ammo.” Found it at the store the other day too. Looks like the panic is only sustainable for so long.

  24. #24 José
    November 11, 2009

    Get it through your thick skulls that the second amendment is to protect citizens from their own government.

    No it’s not. Where does it say anything like that? It’s specifically talking about well regulated militia to protect a state which did not have a standing army. When it first came into play, some government dude named George Washington and a couple other founding fathers raised a militia in order to spank some folks who took up arms to fight a tax on booze. Since we do have a standing army now, it doesn’t even apply. I’m not trying to take your guns away. Just stop pretending the second amendment says things it doesn’t. Get that through your thick skull.

  25. #25 Captain Patriot
    November 11, 2009

    Stephanie Z:

    Why did you refer me to this site? I know about this site and all they sell is crappy ammo. None of it has nickel plated casings for long term storage, rust resistance, etc. Besides, 9mm? Are you kidding? That’s a girl gun. I want POWER in my gun. At least a .40 or .45 in an auto. Besides a 9mm will not penetrate body armor.

    A .357 mag will at close range. However, a 500 S&W magnum or a 460 XVR magnum or a 454 casull … well, body armor will do you no good. Get shot with this round, you are dead meat. Even a shot in the leg, you’ll bleed to death before help ever arrives, provided you still have a leg to bleed with.

    Quite frankly I have been eyeballing a .41 magnum with a 8 3/4 inch ported barrell shooting 240 grain silvertip hollowpoints. penentration doesn’t even describe it! Even my .45 colt would be afraid to come out and play and it usually shoots 255 grain solids. I have shot through nearly 2 1/2 inches of cast iron at close range with a 255 grain solid .45 LC.

    My 357 can do it, but it has more recoil.

    I really want to get the 460XVR magnum or the .50 Action Express auto.

    No man or animal on earth can withstand that kind of firepower, armored or not.

    The rule about penetration is simple. Use a grown wild hog as an example. If your bullets can penetrate the thick breast and shoulder bones of a hog and kill it in under one minute, then you bullets/gun will penetrate armored vests as well. Nothing on earth is as tough as a shoulder bone of a wild hog. Try a 9mm on that, and you’ll be running for your life. Try a 460XVR magnum and blow his insides out of him at 100 yards and watch it drp like a fly.

    Please do not refere me to wimpy crappy ammo sites anymore. i only shoot high quality ammo and stock hollow points and solids with nickel plated casings. I prefer Hornady, Federal, and Winchester. Magtech and Speer if nothing else is available.

  26. #26 Azkyroth
    November 11, 2009

    Toys are regulated in a consumer safety sense, but other than motor scooters and such which have an age limit, I don’t know of toys that you need to be licensed to purchase.

    And of course, the fact that motor scooters have an age limit or require a license has NOTHING to do with their greater potential for inflicting bodily harm on innocent persons, right?

  27. #27 José
    November 11, 2009

    Found it at the store the other day too.

    Yes, but they don’t have it at the Gap, which is where most police buy their ammo.

  28. #28 José
    November 12, 2009

    @ Rob
    the point I initially set out to make was that it’s false to say “the Constitution gives the government the right to prohibit the possession of firearms for which a sporting or self-defense application cannot be demonstrated.”

    The people who argue that clearly don’t believe in the extreme position that only the government should posses firearms, so why bring it up?

  29. #29 Stephanie Z
    November 12, 2009

    Ever so sorry, Captain Patriot (can you type that without giggling). Somehow I thought that the official U.S. military sidearm would be good enough for someone who goes by that name. Apparently you have more to compensate for, though. However, you didn’t specify ammo that you could jack off to. You just said people couldn’t find ammo, which hasn’t been true for about three months. You’re out of date.

  30. #30 Brian X
    November 12, 2009

    While the current Supreme Court seems to have a somewhat different take on the matter, a straightforward reading of the Second Amendment would seem to indicate that the authors of the Bill of Rights had in mind a system like that of Switzerland, where people were expected to be part of the defense force of the country on behalf of the government; the idea that it was to defend against the government was certainly on the minds of many of the Founding Fathers, but I don’t actually see that mentioned in the Constitution. (Original intent is necessary for understanding what’s actually there, but it can’t be used to read in things that aren’t. That’s what judicial opinions and common law are for.)

    In fact, there is a distinctly different conception of the militia that seems to dovetail with the wording of the 2nd amendment; this particular concept of a militia, however, is largely a legal fiction in modern society, its job mostly replaced by the National Guard.

  31. #31 Rob
    November 12, 2009

    Yes, probably it does. I think the capital of Maine is Augusta, and I think the average adult American male is slightly under 5’10” tall. All of these are equally relevant to the point.

    I bring it up because it’s really very simple. “The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” I am a person. Therefore I am of the people. Therefore, my right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. Semantic gymnastics attempting to infer something never meant by this simple phrase has led people to use such tortured logic as Chuck Schumer holding an AR15 and asking an NRA representative “are you trying to tell me that this could be used for hunting?” Embarrassingly, the NRA rep. said “well, it could” when he should have pointed out the stupidity and irrelevance of the question by saying “is it an arm?” “Am I a person?” “Then the Constitution proscribes you from infringing on my right to keep and bear it.”

    This “well, it was meant for a militia” waffling is foolish. If they’d meant to say that only a militia should be armed they would have said so. “A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right and the duty to form, arm, and regulate this militia shall fall to the states” or some other clear statement that the arms were for the militia.

    The citizens and the framers were clearly concerned that the people be armed equivalently to the government. Alexander Hamilton wrote in 1778 “If circumstances should at any time oblige the government to form an army of any magnitude, that army can never be formidable to the liberties of the people while there is a large body of citizens, little, if at all, inferior to them in discipline and the use of arms, who stand ready to defend their own rights and those of their fellow-citizens.

    Thus, I stand by my interpretation that the second amendment gives me the “uninfringeable” right to keep and bear arms. As I also stated, the people, through their government, have the right to hold me responsible for my actions.

  32. #32 Brian X
    November 12, 2009


    Are you so thoroughly obtuse as to not understand exactly what the framers were saying? At the time the Constitution was written, the United States did not have a standing army. All able-bodied men were expected to come to the nation’s defense in case of an invasion; they constituted the Militia in those days (as I said, much like what the Swiss have now). The 2nd amendment provided a framework for that by explicitly referencing the militia in connection with the right to bear arms — the idea was that such weapons were specifically meant for national security purposes. *Any* other interpretation constitutes quote mining.

  33. #33 mrcreosote
    November 12, 2009

    I think the only arms you should be allowed to bear is whatever was available at the time the 2nd amendment was passed.

  34. #34 realist
    November 12, 2009

    The Five seven handgun will not pierce most body armors in fact the worst you are going to do is bruise your opponent if you try to throw it at them. The round that is sold to civilians will also not pierce body armor. It is a hollow point round that will give you better penetration then a 9mm but is far from “armor piercing”. The “armor piercing” rounds they sell are tipped with a penetrator and are extremely hard to find unless you are buying through the police. Laws that abolish firearms will only hurt the people who will not illegally own a firearm, people who intend to break the law will still buy them. You can buy a fully automatic AK-47 for under 50 dollars in 3rd world most places around the world. They are easyer to smuggle in then drugs. If you want a country that it is almost impossible to own guns that country already exists, move to Germany, leave my country alone. Your thoughts are fun to read though….

  35. #35 Tim
    November 12, 2009

    I am glad to have my firearms because when they come to collect on the 15,000 dollar fine to add to their projected 134 billion in penalties from this healthcare bill. My guns will test the bills medical coverage…

  36. #36 Damp Raptor
    November 12, 2009

    Watching the back and forth on the interpretation of an amendment written near the end of the 18th Century kind of makes me wish our country approached its constitution a bit more like the French approach theirs.

  37. #37 Will
    November 12, 2009

    Stupidity in the hands of the citizenry is a far greater threat to safety and security than guns in the hands of law-abiding citizens. Nothing can protect the first threat.

  38. #38 Random
    November 12, 2009

    What I find funny is that everyone assumes that the people buying guns are just inbred rednecks that are going to shoot squirrels. What about soldiers, you can’t take your issued weapon out of the arms room and to your house, you can’t go shooting whenever you want with your issued weapon. I and many people I work with have my own ar-15 and pistol. A couple of us compete in competitions that enhance our skills. We do not get unlimited time to train as well as we should, I use my free time to enhance my tactical prowess with shooting competitions, it being fun is a side affect.

  39. #39 José
    November 12, 2009

    @ Rob
    I bring it up because it’s really very simple. “The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” I am a person.

    You complain about straw men, and then immediately created one. If you’re arguing with people that aren’t arguing to take all guns away from civilians, don’t attribute that position to them.

    As soon as you chop off the first half of the second amendment, you’re taking it out of context and giving it a meaning it didn’t originally have. You whine about people misrepresenting the second amendment, when you’re blatantly and intentionally doing just that.

  40. #40 Kevin McCarthy
    November 12, 2009

    A couple of points people here fail to mention.

    1) The FN is a very expensive firearm. I looked at one and it was about $1500. Each round (1 bullet) costs anywhere from $1.50 to $3.00. The standard rounds that non-police officers can buy (this includes military personnel) are not of the teflon coated armor piercing variety. They are standard copper coated slugs.

    2) The FN is a poor choice for the incident which occured. You can easily buy (pre-ban) magazines for every caliber firearm generally up to 30 rounds. A .45 with a 35 round mag is way more dangerous than a 5.7mm with a 20 round mag. Also, as mentioned the bullets are small and tend to go through targets, leaving smaller holes, than a larger round that would tumble creating larger holes (i.e. more damage).

    3) Please keep in mind that this exact incident is the reason that Texas has a concealed carry law. The exact same incident happened a Luby’s less than 100 miles from this shooting. I assure you, if people had been allowed to carry firearms, then Hasan would have gotten off 2 or 3 rounds before being killed.

    Please read that last sentence closely. The reason there were so many injuries and deaths is because, THE PEOPLE WERE NOT ALLOWED TO DEFEND THEMSELVES. Now, to a point, I agree that allowing civillians to carry firearms on a military base is a bad thing. But preventing soldiers from carrying guns on a military base is plain irresponsible. At least let the MPs have them.

    Personally, I’m not a fan of the FN. It’s bulky, the grip is too large and it’s not a good firearm for it’s intended purpose.

    BTW: A ‘magnum’ is not a miniature cannon. .22 rounds come in a ‘magnum’ version. A magnum is a round, not the gun. The .357 magnum, is exactly the same size as a .38 special, it just has more powder to make the round more powerful.

    Finally, we note that Hasan is not an accomplished shooter. If any halfway decently trained person had been doing this, there would have been way more deaths. If he had been using a decent firearm (instead of believing the advertising hype like many of you), then there would have been many more deaths. We’re very lucky.

  41. #41 Greg Laden
    November 12, 2009

    Kevin: The FN is a poor choice for the incident which occured.

    Prove it, baby…. Hasan fired 100 rounds and hit over 40 people kiling 25%. Find me evidence that that was a poor showing in relation to other weapons.

    I’ll be here, waiting.

  42. #42 Kevin McCarthy
    November 12, 2009


    You proved it for me. If he had been using a .45, then probably better than 50% would have died. If he had been using a .50, then probably more than 60% would have died.

    Again, he fired 100 and hit 40 people. Two points:
    1) That’s 5 magazine changes. If he had used a .45 with a pre-ban magazine, then he could have fired 150-175 rounds.
    2) He hit 40 people. If I had fired 100 rounds, I would have hit way more than 40 people. Personally, I routinely shoot a 9mm pistol at 25 and 50 yards. I routinely hit a coke can at 60 yards 9 out of 10.

    Now can it be proved? Not in the mathematical sense, that I assume you mean. The only way to do that would be to repeat the situation with Hasan and a variety of different firearms. And run a series of tests.

    I’m telling you, based on my experience, knowledge and skills, that it was a poor weapon for the incident. I don’t know you, so I don’t know if you have comparable knowledge and experience. I’d like to hear your opinion, but those stats you gave me are not the mark of an effective attack. Again, we were very lucky it was not an effective attack.

  43. #43 Greg Laden
    November 12, 2009

    Sorry, Kevin, I see numbers flying out of your ass but no data. Cite examples, tell me where this has happened before and give the numbers. Don’t tell me that you “know” something is true but can’t disprove or prove either your point or the counterpoint. The truth is that this was a very high number of shot per bullet, a high number killed per casualty. This was a high death rate compared to a military firefight with rifles, for crying out loud.

    I have to seriously question your motive (and all the other gun “enthusiasts” insisting that this was a fracken pop gun). Are you just trying to avoid having this killer weapon taken off the streets? Confess your motives, man!!

    In the mean time, since you can’t provide counter examples, for my argument, I’ll provide counter examples for your argument:

    Compare and contrast the Hasan shooting with a truly ineffective weapons:

    That youtube video shows what is much much more typical when some asshole pulls out a pistol and starts shooting. What happened at Fr. Hood was not typical. There are gun nuts everywhere and they do the old pull the pistol out and start shooting thing all the time, and often no one is shot, rarely is some one killed. Like this:

    and so on.

    Jeesh. The quality of pro gun arguments we are getting on this post is piss poor. I win, I think.

  44. #44 Stephanie Z
    November 12, 2009

    Kevin, are you seriously trying to compare your stats while shooting soda cans to the stats of someone who has worked himself up to the point where he can kill people in the midst of chaos? Get over yourself. A firefight isn’t a range or the woods on a nice day.

    Random, find anyone who is assuming that. I’m seeing a lot of people who seem to think their guns will work for them in real-life situations just as well as they do on the range or that gun ownership makes them superior to people without guns, but I’m not seeing anyone making flesh and blood of your straw.

  45. #45 kevin
    November 12, 2009


    Apparently, you don’t listen well. I told you my opinion. I can tell you my personal experience. Because there are few incidents of this type, then we can’t run scientific tests on them to say which is a better weapon. I’m telling you that I believe other weapons would have been much more effective and any weapon in the hands of a trained shooter would have been way more effective.

    “There are gun nuts everywhere and they do the old pull the pistol out and start shooting thing all the time, and often no one is shot, rarely is some one killed.”

    I’ve been in this situation and you are correct. A pair of gang members pulled up to a baseball field where a game was being played (high school), fired 24 rounds and hit no one… because they don’t know how to shoot. Any decently trained shooter could have a large numebr of hits. (Do you wants statistics, well, let’s get some people and some paintball guns and find out.)

    But here’s the thing… how many people, who have had the training, go on rampages like this? Very few. (Which is fortunate.) Take a look at the Texas DPS website and statistics for concealed carry permits. How many have been revoked, how many have been involved in shootings? Do the same thing for Florida. You’ll find that more police are arrested for shooting incidents than people with concealed carry permits.

    I’m trying to get you to think about what you are saying, because in several places, you are making assumptions that are not valid.

    You say that magnums are cannons. I’ve told you what a magnum is. A 10 second search on Wiki would have told you what a magnum round is, but you still haven’t commented on that.

    Do you want my motives? Here they are: I don’t want people like you to make up stuff (like magnums are cannons) and have rights removed from me.

    Good grief, I’m not saying that this was in any way a good thing. I’m trying to tell you that this could have been so much worse than it was.

    Have you ever fired a FN? Have you ever held one? Have you ever been trained to shoot? Have you ever talked to anyone in the ‘gun culture’, I mean really talked to them, not in a forum were they are trying to defend their rights, but just sat down with them over coffee for a while? If you have, were they crazed maniacs with blood in their eyes? No, they were people who think differently.

    Heck, if you’re in Texas, then let me know and I’ll take you to a range and teach you to shoot. I’m willing.

    The people that do the damage with guns are criminals and (sometimes) crazy, not people like you and me.

  46. #46 kevin
    November 12, 2009

    Actually, while I’m glad of the distraction. I still really only brought up two points.

    1) Your mischaracterization of a magnum as a cannon.
    2) Your mischaracterization of the FN as a armor piercing combat weapon.

    Both are not true.

    There’s no point in discussing with you, since you seem unwilling to discuss.

    Nice blog, you make some good points in other posts, not so much here though.

  47. #47 Greg Laden
    November 12, 2009


    You say that magnums are cannons.

    It is an old expression that probably pre-dates you. I’m not commenting on what a magnum round is because I know what a magnum round is.

    Have you ever fired a FN? Have you ever held one? Have you ever been trained to shoot? Have you ever talked to anyone in the ‘gun culture’, I mean really talked to them, not in a forum were they are trying to defend their rights, but just sat down with them over coffee for a while? If you have, were they crazed maniacs with blood in their eyes? No, they were people who think differently.

    It would be a mistake to characterize me as someone who has no experience with firearms, no knowledge of them, and who does not know numerous “gun enthusiasts.” In my prior conversations with US based folks who have a great interest in guns, it usually turns out that I have held, fired, and been fired at by an enviable range of weaponry.

    It is not true that knowldge and experience with weapons correlates with having relatively libertarian views of firearms laws.

    Your mischaracterization of the FN as a armor piercing combat weapon.
    I have not characterized, or at least not focused on, the armor piercing capabilities of the pistol in question. I block quoted info that is from the manufacturer about this, and it is true (with the right ammo) but it is not the point I’ve made.

    My point is very simple: If the FBI was sharing information with itself and other security agencies, and everybody was doing their job, the purchase of this gun may have been a flag that would have caused a different outcome than we had. A large part of the reason that this did not happen is the outcome of lobbying by the gun lobby to limit what the FBI could do with the gun check related information.

    Everything else in this discussion is a smoke screen. No one on the gun enthusiast side has contradicted my argument. Springer simply becomes Phegmatic. Kevin is trying to redefine the utility of the pistol. What about the basis point that your lobby has some of this blood on its hands?

  48. #48 Greg Laden
    November 12, 2009

    And by Phegmatic I mean Phlegmatic

  49. #49 Mike Dunford
    November 12, 2009

    @Kevin (#40):

    Now, to a point, I agree that allowing civillians to carry firearms on a military base is a bad thing. But preventing soldiers from carrying guns on a military base is plain irresponsible. At least let the MPs have them.

    MPs do carry firearms.

  50. #50 Bill James
    November 12, 2009

    Kevin: The FN is a poor choice for the incident which occurred.

    Prove it, baby…. Hasan fired 100 rounds and hit over 40 people killing 25%. Find me evidence that that was a poor showing in relation to other weapons.

    I’ll be here, waiting.

    In FBI qualification testing the cartridge was found substandard and rejected.

    I trust that’s proof enough, baby.

    Well, proof enough if you bother to look it up having been given a clue, but then as an obsessed gun nutter in your own right, you should realize that 5.7x28mm is little more than glorified .22 ammunition at any rate. Of course if something doesn’t tend to bolster your position, why bother or bury. This we also understand.

    One aside, an Army spokesmanperson was quoted to say Hasan discharged a hundred rounds after taking return fire. At the time, no mention of how many shots Hasan might have fired prior to that. This being reported the day after the event, a more accurate assessment may have become available subsequent.

    In the beginning at least, it is reasonable to assume Hasan having the opportunity to be much more selective in choosing his targets among the crowd of people at close range thereby increasing the effectiveness of his small caliber weapon what with no one shooting back. Once the firefight began (which lasted three minutes according to Army spokespeople), Hasan would not have such luxury with bullets sprayed hither and yon most likely.

    There are questions pertaining to potential wounding and death attributed to friendly fire which the Army rejected off hand at the time. Not unexpected for the Army to take such a stance, the possibility at least more difficult to simply dismiss. As this is written days later I would expect there being ample time for bullet retrieval and assessment. Whether or not the Army might make update information publicly available prior to complete investigations is unknown. They are typically tight lipped whenever results do not reflect upon the organization positively. Just the way it is. Personally I would expect a modicum of public understanding given what we know or might otherwise ascertain of the mayhem.

    But moreover, holding up the incident as a gun related example why U.S. citizens should not be individually empowered is a debating position of choice given Greg Ladens advocacy. Hasan could have killed and maimed that many with a Humvee. The story wouldn’t change much.

    The issue in the main is not handguns and rifles or bullet weights and powder charges. We have an Army Psychiatrist that fell out his own tree. Why? A former Palestinian and a Muslim who was at risk of being sent to wage war against his own people as he might have considered it, or as he may have considered it religious duty to martyr himself. Perhaps something else pulled his trigger, maybe it was a confluence of events. We don’t know yet, but these matters at their fundamental should be the focus of attention and discussion, not the shit splatters of a lizard tongue gun banner flicking choice morsels off a loose and juicy turd fresh squeezed from its own opportunistic asshole.

  51. #51 Greg Laden
    November 12, 2009

    Bill: So you are seriously saying that this gun is an ineffective weapon and could not have done what it did? Seriously? And no, people have tried to kill and maim with vehicles before and nothing of this magnitude has ever been accomplished.

    But moreover, holding up the incident as a gun related example why U.S. citizens should not be individually empowered is a debating position of choice given Greg Ladens advocacy.

    Actually, I am pro gun ownership. Do you not realize that?

  52. #52 Rob
    November 12, 2009

    @32, @39: If this is so obvious to you, then Hamilton’s quote means what exactly?

  53. #53 Darren
    November 13, 2009

    And no, people have tried to kill and maim with vehicles before and nothing of this magnitude has ever been accomplished.

    Except at Virginia Tech — 33 dead, 23 wounded.
    And a tourist spot in Port Arthur, Tasmania — 35 dead, 21 wounded.
    And the Luby’s that used to be down the street from Fort Hood in Killeen — 23 dead, 20 wounded.
    And at a McDonald’s in San Ysidro, CA — 22 dead, 19 wounded.
    And a high school in Colorado — 13 dead, 24 wounded.
    And a college in Montreal — 14 killed, 14 wounded.
    And a high school in Germany — 15 killed, 9 wounded.

    In all of those places the ratio of killed to wounded was higher than this incident. Your “but not on a military base” exception is a canard, I think you know this.

    Nobody is saying that the Five-Seven is not dangerous. A .22 Long Rifle is dangerous. What all of us who actually know what we’re talking about and can provide statistics are saying is that compared to other handguns the Five-Seven is not extra-dangerous, in fact, it is less dangerous than a 9mm handgun, based on similar situations of defenseless people and someone who can shoot at will.

    I’m not asking you to accept free distribution of Class III automatic weapons and grenade launchers at will. All I’m asking you to accept is that relative to other handguns, the Five-Seven is neither more dangerous nor more deadly.