Benjamin, I also am both relieved and surprised that people don’t try the bomb route more often. I think it’s a zeitgeist thing; when the rampage people think “I want to kill a lot of folks today,” they seem to just go for guns right now. Maybe that will change in the future.
On the semi-auto thing, though… I think you may still be making the point for the opposing argument. Yes, banning semi-autos would cut down enormously on the volume of guns available, although I think you could grandfather in double-action revolvers pretty easily simply by defining what a semi-automatic weapon is for the purposes of a ban. I simply don’t know why this would be a bad idea (and I say this as a fellow gun owner). You’d still have bolt-action rifles, shotguns, and revolvers. That’s more than enough for hunting and personal defense.
And on the magazine size thing, I agree that 30 seconds is probably extremely conservative as an estimate for changing mags. Maybe 10 seconds as a compromise? If you cap magazine size at 5 rounds per clip, that adds a significant amount of time to the total time spent reloading, not to mention the bulk of the ammunition. For example, the Vegas shooter fired more than 1,100 rounds. If he had been using 5-round clips, he would have needed 220 magazines, and if we assume he could change clips in ten seconds that would have required a bit more than 36 minutes just to change all the magazines required to let off that many rounds.
That’s assuming the rampage shooters continue to follow the pattern of purchasing weapons legally, of course.
In any event, I don’t think anyone who is serious about this debate is naive enough to believe that we’re going to eliminate all gun violence. I think the current crowd is mostly concerned with limiting DPS at this point…