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Las Vegas shooter targeted KLAS fuel tanks

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Even though chances of an explosion due to gunfire were minimal, its still frightening to think about what could have happened, given the close vicinity of the airport. One bullet even penetrated the kerosine tank:

 

 

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It is unclear if he actually shot at the fuel storage tanks or if the tank was hit by stray bullets.  Shooting the tanks would not blow them up.  Jet fuel is not nitroglycerin, it is more like kerosene.  Also, as I understand it, those tanks feature a self-sealing lining, so unless a really big hole is made, they are not going to leak to any great extent.

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Would have been more dangerous if he targeted a landing or approaching plane.  Then we could have an even more horrendous catastrophe.  

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Whatever the intent, the tragedy that happened on the same night I was in intensive care is just astounding.  Because I was in a hospital the reactions were immediate when it happened and the place lit up like Christmas, even though I was in Phoenix, which dispatched caregivers to Vegas almost immediately.  Because I was surrounded by first responders, police officers, and caregivers, they just sat in stunned silence as things unfolded.  I was in and out of it at that time, I did not perceive what had fully happened until the morning when they took me out of ICU.  Then on TV, all there was was information about the shooting.  All of us in the hospital felt like a big ton of bricks had hit us, knowing people were so hurt not far from where I live.

John

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3 hours ago, stans said:

It is unclear if he actually shot at the fuel storage tanks or if the tank was hit by stray bullets.  Shooting the tanks would not blow them up.  Jet fuel is not nitroglycerin, it is more like kerosene.  Also, as I understand it, those tanks feature a self-sealing lining, so unless a really big hole is made, they are not going to leak to any great extent.

I always thought the Hollywood idea of shooting fuel to make it explode had be mythbusted on that TV show??  

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19 hours ago, tooting said:

I always thought the Hollywood idea of shooting fuel to make it explode had be mythbusted on that TV show??  

A good popular myth never dies...

DJ

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He did try to acquire tracer ammunition. Only reason he didn't was because the vendor was out of stock. Regular ammunition is very unlikely to ignite fuel, but tracer ammunition is fairly good at it. Incendiary is best, but I doubt he would have been able to legally acquire that.

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2 minutes ago, Oracle427 said:

He did try to acquire tracer ammunition. Only reason he didn't was because the vendor was out of stock. Regular ammunition is very unlikely to ignite fuel, but tracer ammunition is fairly good at it. Incendiary is best, but I doubt he would have been able to legally acquire that.

Liquid kerosene, which is the main component of Jet-A, is not easy to ignite. It has to be in the form of a fine mist. 

Many years ago, the fire department at our local airport held a training exercise. They had accumulated a couple of hundred gallons of contaminated jet fuel. The plan was to pour the fuel into a metal trough and light it, so the firefighters could have the experience of putting out a real fuel fire with the foam generators on the fire trucks. It took them almost an hour to get it lit. Tossing a lit road flare into the trough did nothing, as did several other attempts to use an open flame.

They finally succeeded by floating a painter's drop cloth on top of the fuel, leaving one end sticking out to act as a wick. The fuel-soaked cloth was easy to set ablaze (like the wick in a kerosene lamp), and it had enough surface area to get the whole load burning. 

I'm not sure that even a tracer round could have ignited the tank contents.

Now a tank of Avgas would have been an entirely different matter...

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I know that this will obviously annoy a lot of the US members of Avsim but - as a UK Citizen - can I ask a simple question?

Your Second Amendment (with which I have no quarrel), states;

"A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed".

That is fine by me.

So ... the right to have a firearm to protect or defend yourself (or your family), is there, in the Law, and so be it.

Ergo: You can buy a handgun at the Corner Store without too much I.D. ..... and that is probably within the spirit of the Original declaration?

I get that as well ....

So you buy a handgun. End of ....

 

What I don't understand is the ability of the general USA public to be able to purchase Battlefield Weaponry?

 

How many people would he have been able to kill with a hand gun?

 

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An AR-15 with a bump stock is not battlefield weaponry. From the room he was in, you're right, he wouldn't have been able to kill very many with a handgun at that range. Not to say he may have got "lucky" (I use the word in the context of the shooter here!).

 

EDIT - no assault rifles here - Daily Fail

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4944234/Two-23-rifles-inside-Stephen-Paddock-s-room.html

Anyway - whilst Vegas is despicably tragic, put it into context with the number of murders in Chicago (Illinois doesn't have the strictest gun laws in the States, but I believe they're stricter than Nevada) last month. 61 Yet because it's over 1 month you don't see anything in the media about it, nor the 530 dead so far this year.

https://www.dnainfo.com/chicago/2017-chicago-murders/timeline?mon=9

 

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Mark, an AR15 semi-automatic is still an "assault weapon", and there is no legitimate reason why any civilian should own one. No one goes hunting with one that's for sure. Add on a currently legal bump stock or any one of a half-dozen other "legal" devices and irrespective of the official nomenclature, it is effectively a fully automatic weapon...

...and still something no civilian should own.

Nota bene: For the record, I am a firm supporter of the 2nd Amendment within rational limits. IMHO, it is sheer idiocy to sell any firearms to the mentally unbalanced, just as it is ridiculous to allow assault weapons to be sold.

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A lot of countries allow a fairly open market and trade in hunting rifles, etc. They just have limits on things beyond that, and it works quite well that way. In New Zealand we have probably as many hunting rifles when you compare our 4.4 million population to say the state of Kentucky that also has a similar population, both places people like to hunt and that is fine. Where the rules differ would be automatics, semi-automatics, hand guns etc. Those are restricted items.

Our gun culture is so different that it is against the law for anyone to point a gun at anyone ever, if you ever point a gun at a person for any reason (including in self defense) you are breaking the law. This allows a different culture in that our police don't carry guns, they have access to them if needed but I have yet to see a cop with a gun in New Zealand. Walk around our airports and you won't see guys with guns but when we land at KLAX it is a bit of a shock. 

In the USA the Second Amendment was at a time of muskets, all these years later no one knows where to draw the line and lobbyists certainly have figured out ways to push the limits in what has become a billion dollar industry. I have no problem with the hunters but surely things have gone too far a long time ago

 

Also interesting debate on if a bullet could have blown one of those tanks at KLAS, a quick look on Google Maps you can see the distance from where he was, I as well don't believe even a tracer would have set one of those tanks off. I did like that Mythbusters episode as well. :cool:

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I think it is important to note that this is not a matter of gun control.  It is a societal problem, and one that requires scrutiny of environmental concerns.  People need to understand that fully automatic (select-fire) rifles were extremely cheap prior to the FOPA ruling in 1986.  This effectively made the sale or manufacture of select-fire weapons as new to civilians a felony.  Only the circulating select-fire weapons on the street could be sold via a process of registry regulated by the ATF and therefore was a transfer sale through the government.  Those weapons are upwards of 15,000 dollars or more, depending on the model.  Middle-class America has become priced out of the machine gun game.

However, prior to 1986, M16s and other combat rifles were readily sold for as little as 500 USD.  Now, it's a little funny that legally owned machine gun were not used in crimes before or after 1986.  Only one case of a law enforcement officer (or retired - don't recall) had been documented as using a legally owned select-fire weapon.  Any machine gun used in crimes in the US have been illegally owned or modified since the beginning of time.  But again, doesn't anyone find this a little odd that so many battle rifles were in circulation in the 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s, and 90s, yet only in the last 20 years have we seen an increase in mass shootings. Is it the desensitization of  the internet, the realism of battle-style games, and violence in movies?  I think there is much more at play than people want to admit.  To blame guns when guns have been around for ages is ridiculous.  Yes, we have had some mass shootings in the years prior to 1990, but this is a whole different level of violence.  And you can't say that what is available now is much different.  Like I said, fully automatic M16s in any flavor were around since the late 60s.  No different than we see here.

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This thread has become very political.  I predict a lock in the very near future.

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