Why so many mass shootings with AR-15s? Well first off, I care about all mass killings, not just the subset of shootings. I care about the Nice, France truck attack (86 killed), and the GermanWings suicide attack (149 killed), the Berlin Christmas Market Truck Attack (12 killed, 56 injured), the Manchester Stadium bombing (22 killed, 1000+ injured), the Boston Marathon bombing (3 killed 250+ injured), the Oklahoma City bombing (168 killed), and the Boise stabbing (3yo killed, 8 injured including 5 kids), and the Kunming stabbing (27 killed), and I care about shootings that occur even in places with strict regulations like the Charlie Hebdo attack in France, the Oslo Norway attack, and the Thalys train attack.
Even with that context, it is still worth understanding why AR-15s come up so much in US mass shootings: they’re popular. And even if you banned them all today, they would still be popular… there are 10ish million in circulation. If someone wants more than a handgun, and less than a big, heavy rifle, they are probably going to grab an AR-15 variant.
So what if we had a ban? It turns out, we already tried that. From 1994-2004, we had an “Assault Weapons Ban” which specifically targeted the AR-15 by trying to call out AR-15ie features like “a grip” a “flash hider” and a “bayonet lug.” Why do I need a bayonet lug? I don’t know, but can you explain to me why you need to take it away?
So we have 10 years of data on how a national ban works. How do you think it worked? It is tough to prove causation, but I haven’t seen anyone even make a reasonably believable case it did anything at all.