AR-15 Style Rifles: The Most Common Weapons Used In US Mass Shootings

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“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.”

 

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.

 

 

 

Spotlight/Banner: Reuters, Joshua Lott

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