MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell Doesn’t Know How Guns Work

Lawrence O'Donnell Hammertime

Lawrence O’Donnell thinks muzzle velocity matters when it comes to stopping school shooters armed with AR-15s.

All the hammering has gone to his head.

In a segment on his show, The Last Word, O’Donnell rebuffed President Trump’s suggestion to provide firearms training to school teachers, dismissing it as “fantasy,” adding that the velocity of a bullet fired from an AR-15 would outmatch any bullet fired from a handgun.

“A bullet fired from an AR-15 travels 3x faster than one from a handgun,” read the MSNBC tweet promoting his segment. “And yet the president and the NRA think giving teachers guns will stop a school shooter.”

While anyone who’s fired a gun (or even anyone who has a rudimentary grasp of arithmetic) knows that the velocity hardly matters in close proximity, O’Donnell—and others who regurgitated his suggestion as a talking point—think that equipping an AR-15 confers them with special, superhuman advantages against handguns.

To break it down, a fully-functional AR-15 fires at 2,500ft/s, while bullets from a handgun travel at 1,300ft/s. The time differential between the bullets hitting their intended target is so small as to be insignificant—it’s a small fraction of a second, and too small to matter unless you’re aiming at long-distance targets hundreds of yards away.

The only real difference that a high-velocity firearm might have compared to a handgun is that the impact can cause more damage. That said, carrying an AR-15 won’t make a shooter invincible against anyone with a gun trained on him—no matter how outclassed it might be in the velocity department.  

Stick to berating your production staff, Larry.


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Facebook Comments


  1. simple-touriste

    February 23, 2018 at 4:32 pm

    Maybe he thinks that higher energy bullets are inherently more lethal for soft targets: low velocity bullets could be blocked by the cloths or maybe the paper or notebook of students?

    BTW, can you also put data in International System of Units? You know, what NORMAL people in NORMAL countries use.

  2. Pingback: MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell Doesn’t Know How Guns Work – USSA News | The Tea Party's Front Page

  3. J. Pridmore

    February 24, 2018 at 2:25 am

    Effective range of a handgun in the hands of an average shooter is 18 meters. Effective range of a .223 is between 400-600 meters.

    • Michael

      February 25, 2018 at 6:27 pm

      Average shooter effective range with a 223 is 400 to 600 meters HA HA HA HA HA

  4. @menace

    February 26, 2018 at 10:02 pm

    Someone failed basic math and had to get a job in the MSM.

    It’s simple, stopping power is simple math, and you want to really stop the bad guy use an AR, however, a 9mm will do,just as good of,a job.It isn’t the firearm, it’s the training that will save you.


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