A person shops for a handgun at Frontier Arms & Supply gun shop in Cheyenne, Wyo., March 18, 2020. (Jim Urquhart/Reuters)

Andy, about Biden and guns: Some of these are lies with malice aforethought, but I remain astounded by the basic ignorance — the willful ignorance — of the press in these matters.

I’ve been reading up on that New York shooting and have seen the claim repeated (in many different publications but almost word-for-word) that the drum magazine gave the shooter “40 EXTRA bullets,” as the Daily Mail put it, in addition to “the usual 10” rounds the gun supposedly holds. The magazine will “hold an additional 40 rounds to the gun’s ten,” the Daily Mail says elsewhere.

As usual, gun issues are being covered by people who do not know how an ordinary pistol works.

The Associated Press reports that the weapon was a “.45-caliber Glock pistol with a high-capacity drum magazine capable of holding up to 40 extra rounds,” which “had been stolen in Baltimore in 2017.”

Except for the part about the gun being stolen in Baltimore, none of this is true.

The weapon wasn’t a .45-caliber Glock pistol; it was a Glock model 45, which is a 9mm pistol. There are .45-caliber Glocks, but this isn’t one of them. Audi used to make a car called the Audi 5000, but that didn’t mean it had 5,000 horsepower. It was just a model designation.

What about that magazine?

The drum magazine doesn’t hold “40 extra rounds,” which would raise the question of 40 “extra” in addition to what? The Daily Mail seems to think the pistol holds ten rounds and the magazine adds another 40, but that isn’t how such handguns work. There’s just the one magazine. The “usual” capacity of the Glock 45 isn’t ten rounds but 17 rounds, as a cursory peek at the Glock website will show you. There are drum magazines that hold 50 rounds or 100 rounds, but that isn’t supplementary to some reserve hiding somewhere else in the pistol: The magazine holds what it holds.

What we have, apparently, is a pretty common handgun, a 9mm Glock, with a 50-round magazine, which is not something you see every day but is not all that unusual, either. That 50-round magazine was illegal for a civilian to possess in New York. It’s also illegal to steal guns and shoot cops.

The John Wick hardware may be eye-catching, but what New York’s killers actually have in common is that about 90 percent of them have prior criminal records. Their taste in armaments varies, but their résumés have remarkable similarities.


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