Aurora: AR-15— Michael Skolnik (@MichaelSkolnik) November 6, 2017
Las Vegas: AR-15
Sandy Hook: AR-15
Umpqua CC: AR-15
San Bernardino: AR-15
Sutherland Springs: AR-15
Gunman Devin Patrick Kelley fatally shot 26 people and injured another 20 people when he opened fire at First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas.
Investigation into the incident revealed that Kelley used a Ruger AR-556, which is a variant of the AR-15 rifle, in the deadly rampage.
The attack ranks among the five deadliest mass shootings carried out by a single gunman in U.S. history.
According to the National Rifle Association, the weapon is one of the most famous rifles in the country and Americans own more than 8 million of them.
The organization also added that it is popular amongst Americans because of its ease of use and versatility, factors like the weapon being “customizable, adaptable, reliable and accurate,” also play a role.
Different versions of the rifles have been used in mass shootings in the U.S. due to their relatively low price tag such as it is priced at $800. According to the F.B.I., these rifles were used in 2.4 percent of U.S. homicides.
People who own the weapon can also customize it according to their need. They can mix and match elements such as barrels, grips and stocks.
Unfortunately, the weapon has taken lives of innocent people in the recent years. The mass shootings such as Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, 2012 Aurora shooting, San Bernardino shooting, Las Vegas shooting and the recent Texas church shooting has one thing in common that was the weapon – AR-15.
According to Dean Hazen, owner of The Gun Experts in Mahomet, Ill., and a master firearms instructor, the real reason these shooters are using AR-15 is due to a "copy-cat" mentality. It is not based on any feature of the rifle but just simply because they copy former shooters.
“It’s really just a perception thing. There are rifles that are more powerful and more dangerous than that, but they're not being used. Thank God they don't know any better because if they did they would use much more effective weapons,” he said.
Do you realize that there are over 60 million AR 15 style rifles in the US! Any monster can obtain one even if they are banned!— Jared Hudson (@coenforcer) November 7, 2017
AR-15 style assault rifles are the weapon of choice, when it comes to these shootings. They are specifically designed to kill humans.— Jack Boshoff (@AbpositiveJack) November 6, 2017
Spotlight/Banner: Reuters, Joshua Lott