Despite headlines and liberal politicians declaring otherwise, military-style rifles are not the preferred choice of mass-murders. In their zeal to ban AR-15s and other military-style rifles as the “preferred” tools of mass murderers, politicians overlook a very simple fact — mass murderers greatly prefer handguns.
Rifles, in fact, are relatively poor choices for committing mass murder. That even goes for rifles capable of handling high-capacity magazines.
Handguns are more concealable. Have easily changed magazines, and are easier to sneak into confined spaces for close-quarters shooting. Handgun rounds also travel much more slowly than rifle rounds, and often are of larger, heavier caliber.
The slower, larger, heavier caliber bullets fired by handguns cause more damage than rifle counterparts. That is especially true when using self-defense rounds in handguns. Rifles typically are used at more of a distance, and the bullets are more likely to cause wounding injuries, rather than death.
In March 2019, the Journal of American College Surgeons published a peer-reviewed study titled “Wounding Patterns Based on Firearm Type in Civilian Public Mass Shootings in the United States.” While it doesn’t hide the fact that rifles were used more often than other firearms in their select study of shootings, rifles were not the most lethal. That distinction goes to handguns.
The authors used FBI and Congressional Research Service definitions of civilian public mass shootings to determine whether or not handguns are more lethal than rifles in such events. Researchers examined 232 autopsy reports from 23 civilian public mass shooting events. The results show that, while rifles were used more often than handguns, they still accounted for less than half of all mass shooting events. The next-most used tool for mass shooters is the handgun of various types and calibers.
They found handguns were used in 31 percent of the shootings, totaling 73 victims. Rifles accounted for 105 victims and 45 percent of mass shootings. Shotguns claimed 22 victims, and accounted for 9 percent of shootings. And multiple firearms accounted for 32 mass shooting victims in 14 percent of events.
Yet, when looking at actual lethal results, the handgun greatly outperformed rifles and shotguns. Mass shooting events involving handguns had higher percentages of victims killed. Events using rifles had a higher percentage of people wounded. The close proximity of handgun assaults and slower, heavier bullets proved especially deadly.
In about 26 percent of mass shootings using handguns, victims suffered more than one fatal wound. Rifles, though, accounted for a much smaller percentage. Only 2 percent of fatalities caused by rifles had more than one fatal wound.
The study clearly affirms that mass shootings involving handguns are far more lethal than those using rifles. Yet, liberals are targeting the AR-15 as a “weapon of war” and pressing for bans on it and other military-style rifles. They incorrectly call the AR-15 an “assault rifle,” when it is just a standard semi-automatic firearm. A pistol grip adds a scary factor for liberals, but they really do not make any rifle more lethal.
Yet, banning military-style rifles and making criminals of anyone retaining them is exactly what the anti-gun crowd wants to do. In New Zealand, only a small percentage of gun owners have turned in their guns–a fact politicians didn’t expect. That means most New Zealanders are now in violation of the nation’s laws. The same easily could happen in the United States if anti-gun Democrats win the White House, and both houses of Congress in 2020.
There is no evidence that shows banning military-style rifles would save a single life. In fact what most politicians calling for a ban on them forget is that we already DID ban them in the ’90’s. The ban was just lifted a few years ago when stats showed the ban did nothing to curb shootings. Yet, they are the favored target of those who would erode the Second Amendment and disarm the civilian population over time. At least one scientific study affirms that would be a massive mistake.