O.K., Louie, Drop the Gun

The FBI is thinking about restoring the famed tommy gun of the 1930s to active inventory. Memorialized in gangster movies and in TV's The Untouchables, the Thompson submachine gun, it turns out, can still outmatch some of its modern successors: one of its .45-cal. slugs, spewed out at a rate of up to 800 rounds a minute, will knock down even the biggest bad guy. By contrast, the Israeli-made Uzi, the current weapon of choice among many criminals and some lawmen, uses smaller bullets; one hit is often not enough.

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