CNN Op-Ed: Modern Guns Too Lethal To Be Carried Outside the Home

Travis Tomasie with his DS40 Competition Pistol. According to Associate Prof. Jennifer Tucker, Tomasie’s pistol is too lethal to be carried outside the home. (Photo: MasterPiece Arms)

Associate Prof. Jennifer Tucker wrote an op-ed for CNN recently that argued certain modern firearms are too lethal to be carried outside the home. 

Tucker, a professor of history at Wesleyan University, pointed to a 1964 study of weapon lethality across time called the “Theoretical Lethality Index” (TLI) to make her case.  

“According to the study,” she writes, “a colonial soldier with an 18th century flintlock musket could kill 43 people in an hour, while a soldier in the Civil War era using a rifle with the Minie ball (a conoidal bullet adopted by the US Army in 1855) could kill 102 people in an hour. The TLI continued to rise dramatically in the late 19th century with the introduction of breech loading rifles, metal cartridges, magazines, and automatic fire machine guns. A soldier with a Springfield Model 1903 magazine rifle could kill 495 people per hour: more than a tenfold increase over the 18th century musket.”

She suggests that if the founders and framers of the Constitution were aware of the “pace of [firearm] innovation” following the Civil War, 70 some years after the Constitution was ratified, they may have placed restrictions on the one’s right to keep and bear arms.  

“Weapons designed with an ever-increasing capacity to kill large numbers of people in battle, with long barrels and large-capacity magazines, have no place in public spaces, supermarkets, and shopping malls — not on the grounds of a generic right to self-defense,” Tucker asserts. 

Tucker believes that the Supreme Court ought to consider this rationale on Nov. 3 when it hears the case, NYSRPA v. Bruen, examining New York’s may-issue licensing scheme that presumptively denies one’s 2A rights unless they provide to the state a “proper cause” for defensive carry.  

SEE ALSO: New Study Proves Too Much Gun Control Far More Deadly Than Too Little

“When it takes up this new gun case, the Court should take technological innovation into account and acknowledge that guns are now exponentially more lethal than they were when the Constitution was written,” she contends.

Anti-gunners have been making this argument for decades.  But it doesn’t pass the smell test.  For an obvious reason.  The 2A wasn’t just enshrined to protect an individual’s right to self-defense, rather it was also put in there as a bulwark against government tyranny.  

This means that in order to have a fighting chance against the rise of a despotic regime all capable and law-abiding citizens must have at least as much access to small arms as the government does.  The playing field must be as level as possible to maintain a balance of power between the citizenry and its government. 

History has taught us what happens when that balance gets thrown out of whack.  Tens of millions of people become victims of democide, aka death at the hands of government.  

As law professor David Kopel explains in his acclaimed 2018 textbook, Firearms Law and the Second Amendment, “The global historical evidence shows that too much gun control is much more dangerous than too little gun control.”

“Disorganized criminals can kill a lot of people, but criminal governments are far more deadly, by about two orders of magnitude,” he continues. “Therefore, any society that accepts the government being stronger than people is, in the long run, creating the conditions for a manmade disaster of the deadliest sort.”

Bottom line, the litmus test for carrying guns in public should be as simple as this: if they can bear it down main street, so can we.

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About the author: S.H. Blannelberry is the News Editor of GunsAmerica.

{ 31 comments… add one }
  • Ej harbet October 28, 2021, 8:10 pm

    When we get control of our government we should pass a safety tax for hoplophobes who benefit from the gun culture. If you don’t pay the tax you should be compelled to have bumper stickers and yard signs indicating your willingness to be a unarmed victim

  • Andrew N. October 24, 2021, 7:18 pm

    A nuclear weapon detonated over New York City can kill 8.4 MILLION people in a couple of milliseconds. So what’s her point? Firearms, as well as bombs, are made to kill. Not only are the ones we carry more lethal, so are the ones the criminals carry. I really wouldn’t want to get in a shootout with a flintlock pistol vs. a Glock. Here’s a tip for the anti-gun types out there; if you don’t like guns, DON’T BUY ONE!

  • Dan Hayes October 24, 2021, 7:13 pm

    Hmmmmm…Flintlock 43 an hour? Percussion/Minnie Ball 102 an hour? Bolt Action ’03 495 an hour?

    Were the Victims tied to Stakes, having no ability to run & hide or return fire? Even then the probability of a “Shoot-Hit-Kill” ratio of 43 per hour, given the task of loading “Powder-Patch-Ball-Pack-FInd Target-Aim & Fire” at the rate of over 10 times every 15 Minutes is IDIOTIC! Now let’s forget about the Percussion, that figure is the ramblings of the Insane…which leads us to the…

    …Bolt Action, and the 495 Per Hour Fairy Tale…that is one every 7.27 Seconds! 7.27 Seconds to Chamber a Round, Aquire your Target-Aim & Fire…Repeat 495 Times! I challenge anyone to even lift their damn arm after firing just 100 rounds every 7.27 seconds with, let’s say a 30-06! The difference between Theory and Reality is STUPIDITY!

  • E October 23, 2021, 11:24 am

    The biggest problem with this so called educators argument is that she is stating that no one should have anything more than a musket. Criminals have more than flintlocks. This law states the law abiding citizen can’t have ANY firearms out side their tiny one room NY apartment without the KINGS expressed written permission. Even if all the criminals or governments had only muskets? Unarmed citizens will look like the natives when the New World was discovered! We know how that went (it’s now thrown in our faces every thanksgiving)!

  • JungleCogs October 22, 2021, 6:21 pm

    So what? A firearm never committed a crime… ever. Forget the firearm, focus on the criminal.

  • FaceTheFacts October 22, 2021, 4:40 pm

    Let’s apply the same logic to 1A:
    Back in a day all that this “Associate Prof. Jennifer Tucker” would have was a soap box.
    Now she has much deadlier arsenal at her disposal – newspapers, radio, TV, and internet.
    Therefore would be fair to suggest that her opinions should be confined to whatever audience her trembling voice can attract from a top of a garbage can.
    Everything else should require a special permit, where she would have to prove that whatever she has to say is really important to the rest of the population and would not harm innocents.

    But wait, there is more – we already know some countries where the above approach was implemented – we call them dictatorships.
    Might be something this “Associate Prof. Jennifer Tucker” should research a bit more.

    • Jay nottingham October 24, 2021, 7:27 pm

      100% right. If u take all of it for a time period piece these Dems would lose their shit.

  • Rich B October 22, 2021, 3:08 pm

    Yes, CNN I think the founding fathers did realize that guns would become more lethal in hundreds of years so that garbage doesn’t fly with me. It is true that if the government becomes too powerful you can bet that tyranny will rule the day.

  • ditpook October 22, 2021, 1:52 pm

    Oh these liberal arts people! always trying to extend themselves into areas they know nothing about! These are the losers who go around trying to get everyone to call them ‘doctor’ in supermarkets because they slept thru 4 more years of college and now think they are experts in everything. Extrapolating her logic, the founding fathers never thought we would have a drug problem or a need to build a wall to prevent overthrow of our government by invasion of non-citizens who then infiltrate our system, use up our resources and incorporate their own agenda in our government, just like a cancer cell! Stick to jobs that hire history majors. You want fries with that?

  • Mark October 22, 2021, 1:51 pm

    The snowflake professor undermines her own argument using TLI as a metric since it can be proven that tyrannical govt. regimes have the highest TLI and therefore should be of the highest concern to citizens.

  • Lou Fisher October 22, 2021, 11:54 am

    All of these comments are very interesting, if someone wants to kill or harm you, kill them first oh, it’s a simple game.

    • Tom B October 22, 2021, 1:30 pm

      Lou. Good to know that if someone wants to kill YOU then you’ll just let them do it. Really?

    • Ej harbet October 28, 2021, 8:16 pm

      Proudly advertise your unarmed status of FOAD like the hypocrite you are

  • Dano October 22, 2021, 11:35 am

    I have hear the US is downsizing their nuclear arsenal. Does anyone know where I can get a decent, but used Minuteman missile? From my cold dead hands!

  • paul D. October 22, 2021, 11:31 am

    AND the governments of the world can extinct ALL of the humanity in 1 hr. Maybe we should outlaw them?

  • EasyEddie October 22, 2021, 11:17 am

    “…with long barrels and large-capacity magazines, have no place in public spaces, supermarkets, and shopping malls.” Honestly, in my 71 years I can’t recall a single time when I saw someone carrying on of these in public spaces. Sounds an awful lot like making an argument against a problem that doesn’t exist. It is tragedy that Alec Baldwin was never taught to keep his finger off the trigger until ready to shoot. Perhaps we need to ban prop guns now.

  • Armed and Dangerous October 22, 2021, 10:19 am

    Oh yes. I’m sure if we outlawed high capacity magazines and extremely lethal projectiles criminals would stop using them.

  • Tom B October 22, 2021, 8:57 am

    “too lethal” New flash: Getting shot with any gun can be lethal. No such thing as more dead or less dead. Dead is dead! You don’t shoot someone because you only want to hurt them!

  • Michael Ridley October 22, 2021, 8:41 am

    Flintlock 43 an hour? Percussion/Minnie Ball 102 an hour? Bolt Action ’03 495 an hour? Really? That alone should show their ignorance.

    • Jay Smith October 24, 2021, 6:03 am

      EXACTLY what i was thinking … 102 / hour with a minnie ball blackpowder muzzle loader ? , I don’t effing THINK so . Assuming you reload in less than one minute (after every shot) and take aim , AND < NEVER miss = that's 60 per hour . THAT is still highly unlikely . Sure , you can stuff the materials down the barrel fast , but ….
      And the 1903 has to be reloaded too . Certainly not like the enemy just stood in a big line waiting to be shot , by the time THIS rifle was in use . Are all these targets under 100 yards , standing fully upright , not moving / no cover ? This guy is a fool .

  • Joe Thomas October 22, 2021, 8:28 am

    The gun is a tool just like a hammer. I am the weapon.

  • Billy M October 22, 2021, 8:22 am

    The professor has lost sight of the purpose of firearms. Be it for war or self defense, The purpose of shooting any enemy combatant or criminal is to stop them. They may die from their wound(s), but the main goal is to stop their actions. The professor, in all of her out-of touch-with-reality knowledge, doesn’t understand the more times you shoot someone, the more likely they will die. In the military, the more times you have to shoot someone means less time to shoot someone else. Unfortunately the military is bound by the Geneva Convention that prohibits the use of the type of ammunition that reliably stops someone after one round. She fails to understand that modern bullet design has been toward imparting more energy into the body in a effort to not kill, but to incapacitate. But alas, I am preaching to the choir. This is an academic that doesn’t not have to answer for their words and are afraid of healthy debate. But what do you expect from the Clinton News Network.

  • PeterC October 22, 2021, 8:18 am

    Lethality is the point, you silly cow. Why would you want to protect yourself and yours with anything less than lethally effective?

  • SofaKing1337 October 22, 2021, 7:33 am

    Actually the founding father’s wouldn’t care they were working on making a repeater that could fire 20 times fater than what they had currently for our country 200 years ago.

  • PETER E SCHLOSSER October 22, 2021, 7:23 am

    Lethal firearms: oh, the horror!

  • deanbob October 22, 2021, 6:36 am

    The true lethality is most garbage and fake media and the lies they push. Their propaganda and lies have lead fools to the slaughter – especially those living in ‘blue’ cities and states. How is that? One only look at the FBI’s only murder and violent crime statistics for the last year. Those stats even have former gun haters going to gun shops to buy guns, clearly understanding that they will be receiving less protection and help from their police thanks to “defund the police” moves!

  • Chuck Matson October 22, 2021, 6:03 am

    Anyone still voting for democrats is a marxist also.

  • Dr Motown October 22, 2021, 6:00 am

    I am sure criminals and terrorists will buy the professor’s argument too….🙄

  • Blue Dog (he/him) October 21, 2021, 7:20 pm

    While I can certainly see the point of this study, the paragon of lethality among firearms available to the common man today was developed over a century ago, the .45 ACP. While long arms did see a lot of improvement in lethality – pretty much overkill beyond the .30/06-.270-.308 threshold even though I am a big .30/30 fan – the common trend has been towards these poodle shooter tinker toys, to paraphrase the venerable Jeff Cooper. Certainly the lethality of these artless grotesqueries have been proven time and again but I must disagree that this quickening of lethality of civilian firearms is a particularly recent phenomenon.

    Really, for lethality, a reliable pump 12 ga is hard to beat.

    • Thoughtful October 22, 2021, 7:24 am

      Him Dog, more liberal spittle? Throw in Jeff Cooper to try and sound as if you support the 2nd Amendment? Your Marxist BS will probably be more welcome over at the Dailey Kos or Mother Jones.

  • DeltaLimaEcho October 21, 2021, 7:14 pm

    Has clearly missed the entire point of the 2nd amendment.

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