Last night, Jonathon Fishman of the Broward County Sheriff’s Department revealed that mass murderer Nikolas Cruz used a Smith & Wesson AR15 semi-automatic rifle to kill 17 students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.American Outdoor Brands, the holding company that owns the Smith & Wesson brand, has not commented on the revelation. Nor should we expect a comment to be forthcoming. What we can expect . . .
is the ongoing demonization of America’s most popular rifle platform as a “high powered” firearm, a “weapon of war” whose sole purpose is taking as much innocent life as quickly as possible. Like this:
In Florida, an AR-15 Is Easier to Buy Than a Handgun – New York Times
But other features that make the AR-15 so deadly on the battlefield remain. It is light, easy to hold and easy to fire, with a limited recoil. Bullets fly out of the muzzle more than twice as fast as most handgun rounds.
Equally important for a gunman looking to do a lot of damage in a hurry: AR-15-style weapons are fed with box magazines that can be swapped out quickly. The standard magazine holds 30 rounds. Equipped in this way, a gunman can fire more than a hundred rounds in minutes.
Here’s What You Need To Know About The Weapons Of War Used In Mass Shootings – Huffington Post
But the very same traits that have made them the preferred weapon for military personnel and sport shooters are what make them a natural choice for those who want to inflict senseless violence with maximum casualties.
It now seems the toll of mass killers is limited only by their choice of weapon, their training and their target. The political response to that terrifying reality has been to hope that people will choose not to kill. That plan clearly isn’t working.
It’s time to bring back the assault weapons ban, gun violence experts say – Washington Post
The killers in recent incidents like Las Vegas, Orlando and Sutherland Springs were each able to walk into a gun shop in the days and months before their attacks, and legally purchase their assault weapons and magazines after passing a standard background check. Under an assault weapons ban, that wouldn’t be possible . . .
In 2016 the New York Times asked 32 gun policy experts to rate the effectiveness of a variety of policy changes to prevent mass shootings. The roster of experts included violence prevention researchers like Harvard’s David Hemenway, as well as more ideologically driven gun rights advocates like John Lott.
On a scale of effectiveness ranging from 1 (not effective) to 10 (highly effective), the expert panel gave an average score of 6.8 to both an assault weapons ban and a ban on high-capacity magazines, the highest ratings among the nearly 30 policies surveyed.
And so on . . .