Even highly trained Navy Seals would have a difficult time running a full auto weapon for 10 minutes straightUh, no. I'm pretty sure that any good E-4 could run a full auto weapon for ten minutes, especially if he had twenty of them prepped and ready to go, as this bozo evidently did.
Such weapon systems are brutal on the operator. They require tremendous strength, stamina and expert troubleshooting to keep running. Full-auto weapons overheat and jam. They demand incredible strength to keep aimed on target. They require expert reloading and weapons clearing in the case of jamThey're really not that hard to run, if it jams, you drop it and get another, which was the plan that the Vegas bozo relied on. This guy didn't intend to clear jams.
... system in the sustained, effective manner that we witnessed, especially when shooting from an elevated position which throws off all the ranging of the weapon system.This one really gets me. I've trained machine gunners, and firing from an elevated position is always recommended, if possible. As far as "effective" fire, he was't really that effective. From all I can understand, he was firing at a crowd of thousands from well withing the effective range of his systems.
I trained my gunners to get 100% target coverage with a 100 round belt. Any of my gunners could do that. Thankfully, the bozo was neither trained or effective. With a target like that, fully half should have been wounded, and many more than 58 killed. Any of the gunners I trained would have tripled the body count.