Orlando nightclub shooting
Jump to navigation Jump to search
The Orlando nightclub shooting (June 12, 2016) was a mass shooting inside Pulse, a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, United States, perpetrated by Omar Mateen, a 29-year-old security guard, which killed 49 people and wounded 53 others.
- The Shooter Had a Powerful Rifle and High-Capacity Magazines
The gunman was armed with an AR-15-type semiautomatic rifle and a 9 millimeter handgun, Chief Mina said.
AR-15s, which were first developed for the military and used extensively in the Vietnam War, are widely owned by assault-rifle enthusiasts. The rifle, which can rapidly fire multiple high-velocity rounds, has been used in a number of mass shootings, including those in Aurora, Colo.; Newtown, Conn.; and San Bernardino, Calif.
- Keller, Josh; Mykhyalyshyn, Iaryna; Pearce, Adam; Watkins, Derek (June 12, 2016). "Why the Orlando Shooting Was So Deadly". The New York Times.
- This morning’s massacre of innocent civilians in Orlando is more horrific evidence of the unique lethality of the AR-15. It is no wonder that this weapon was chosen by today’s shooter, as it has been by so many before him, and as it undoubtedly will be again.
It was designed for the United States military to do to enemies of war exactly what it did this morning: kill mass numbers of people with maximum efficiency and ease.
It is the gold standard for killing the enemy in battle, just as it has become the gold standard for mass murder of innocent civilians. The gun industry pretends the civilian AR-15 is vastly different than the military version, because it does not have select fire. This is a charade: the industry knows that the weapon is most lethal in semi-automatic “one-shot, one-kill” mode, yet these companies continue to sell it to civilians, abandoning reason in exchange for profit.
- Joshua Koskoff, attorney for the familes of victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, after the Orlando nightclub shooting (Buncombe, Andrew (June 13, 2016). "Orlando shooting: Campaigners demand ban of AR-15 rifle – 'the gold standard for mass murder of innocent civilians'". The Independent. Retrieved on September 24, 2018. ; Sullivan, Andy (June 12, 2016). "Assault rifle used in Florida shooting drives gun control debate". Reuters. Retrieved on September 24, 2018. ; Stuart, Tessa (June 13, 2016). "Everything You Need to Know About AR-15-Style Rifles". Rolling Stone. Retrieved on September 26, 2018. ).
- I believe weapons of war have no place on our streets and we may have our disagreements about gun safety regulations, but we should all be able to agree on a few essential things. If the FBI is watching you for a suspected terrorist link, you shouldn’t be able to just go buy a gun with no questions asked. And you shouldn’t be able to exploit loopholes and evade criminal background checks by buying online or at a gun show. And yes, if you’re too dangerous to get on a plane, you are too dangerous to buy a gun in America.
- We have to make it harder for people who should not have those weapons of war. That might not stop every shooting or terrorist attack. But it will stop some and it will save lives and it will protect our first responders.
- The terrorist in Orlando targeted LGBT Americans out of hatred and bigotry, and an attack on any American is an attack on all Americans.
- Hillary Clinton, speech in Cleveland, Ohio  (June 13, 2016)
- Our nation stands together in solidarity with the members of Orlando’s LGBT community. They have been through something that nobody could ever experience. This is a very dark moment in America’s history. A radical Islamic terrorist targeted the nightclub, not only because he wanted to kill Americans, but in order to execute gay and lesbian citizens, because of their sexual orientation.
- Donald Trump (transcript) (June 13, 2016)
- When Omar Mateen embarked on his deadly rampage at a gay nightclub in Orlando early Sunday, he carried an assault-type rifle called a Sig Sauer MCX, law enforcement sources tell NPR.
The MCX is described by its manufacturer as "the ultimate modern hunting rifle" that is "engineered from the ground up to be short, light and silenced."
It is similar in appearance and lethality to the AR-15, the name given to a very popular family of rifles made and sold by nearly two dozen companies. Law enforcement sources call the MCX an "AR-15 equivalent made by a different manufacturer." ...
Despite its similarities, the MCX is also fundamentally different from an AR-15. Its internal operating system — its method of propelling bullets from its chamber and cycling to the next round — works differently, and several gun experts contacted by NPR say they do not consider it to be part of the large family of AR-15 rifles.
- Zarroli, Jim (June 13, 2016). "The Orlando Killer's Weapon Of Choice Was 'The Ultimate Hunting Rifle'". NPR. Retrieved on September 28, 2018.
- In recent years, the AR-15 has become, simultaneously, one of most beloved and most vilified rifles in the country. It is no surprise why the gun is so reviled by gun control advocates. Omar Mateen, the gunman in the attack this weekend on a gay nightclub in Orlando, Fla., used a spin-off of the rifle produced by SIG Sauer to kill nearly 50 people. The military-style weapon has also been the gun of choice in several other mass shootings: at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn.; at a movie theater in Aurora, Colo.; at a holiday party for county health workers in San Bernardino, Calif.; and at the campus of Umpqua Community College in Oregon.
- Feuer, Alan (June 13, 2016). "AR-15 Rifles Are Beloved, Reviled and a Common Element in Mass Shootings". The New York Times. Retrieved on September 24, 2018.
- What do James Holmes, Adam Lanza, and Omar Mateen have in common? Besides being the perpetrators of three of the deadliest mass shootings in U.S. history, they all share a preference for the AR-15 assault rifle. The AR-15 assault rifle was used at the Aurora, Colo. shooting, the Newtown, Conn. shooting, and now the mass shooting in Orlando, Fla. that killed 50 and is officially the deadliest such massacre in U.S. history...While Colt alone makes the official AR-15, variants and knock-offs are made by a huge number of gun manufactures, including Bushmaster, Les Baer, Remington, Smith & Wesson (swhc, +0.00%), and Sturm & Ruger (rgr, -2.04%), just to name a few. TacticalRetailer claims that from 2000 to 2015 the AR manufacturing sector expanded from 29 AR makers to about 500, “a stunning 1,700% increase.”
- O’Dea, Meghan (June 13, 2016). "What Makes the AR-15 So Appealing to Mass Shooters?". Fortune. Retrieved on October 19, 2018.
- His killing machine of choice was a mass murderer's best friend — and his enabler a gun lobby that has long opposed efforts to keep assault weapons out of the hands of blood-thirsty maniacs. The madman who killed at least 50 people and wounded 53 others at an Orlando club early Sunday was armed with an AR-15-type rifle.
- Gregorian, Dareh (June 13, 2016). "NRA’s fight to stop assault weapons ban enables killers behind shootings at Orlando nightclub, Newtown, and San Bernardino to use AR-15-type weapons". New York Daily News. Retrieved on September 25, 2018.
- Since the massacre in Orlando early Sunday morning, pro-gun pundits have come out in force to argue that the weapon used in the attack is not an assault rifle. The gun lobby prefers to call these weapons “modern sporting rifles,” euphemistic ammo it can fire in an ongoing semantic debate. But make no mistake: What the Orlando attacker used was a weapon of war. It was designed to kill as many people as possible, as quickly as possible. Witness this harrowing audio captured by a bystander outside the Pulse nightclub in which Omar Mateen fires 24 shots in 9 seconds.
According to a federal law enforcement official, the rifle Mateen used to murder and maim more than 100 people was a Sig Sauer MCX. Mateen legally purchased the weapon, similar to an AR-15, on June 4 in Port St. Lucie, Florida, near where he lived.
- Follman, Mark (June 13, 2016). "This Is the Assault Rifle Used by the Orlando Mass Shooter". Mother Jones. Retrieved on October 20, 2018.
- While aesthetically similar to and just as lethal as an AR-15, the MCX is internally a different beast, thus all but removing it from the AR-15 family of rifles. Yet while the weapon is different, the MCX and the AR-15 share the same design purpose: providing a highly portable, customizable, easy to operate and accurate rifle for the individual who possesses it.
- Gibbons-Neff, Thomas (June 14, 2016). "The gun the Orlando shooter used was a Sig Sauer MCX, not an AR-15. That doesn’t change much". The Washington Post. Retrieved on September 28, 2018.
- It was used to slaughter first graders at Sandy Hook, murder Batman fans at Colorado movie theater, kill county workers at a holiday party in San Bernardino. Now a descendant of the AR-15 semi-automatic rifle — a Sig Sauer MCX — has the dubious distinction of being the weapon of choice for a homosexual-hating gunman named Omar Mateen who is being blamed for the worst single-day mass shooting in U.S. history.
- Siemaszko, Corky (June 15, 2016). "AR-15 Style Rifle Used in Orlando Massacre Has Bloody Pedigree". NBC News. Retrieved on September 28, 2018.
- America has grown accustomed to military-style semi-automatic weapons such as the AR-15. It's not hard to see why: These firearms have been heavily marketed to gun owners. But at the same time, they're often the weapons of choice for mass murderers. In an all-too familiar pattern, Omar Mateen, the gunman in the Orlando nightclub massacre, used one of these weapons, Sig Sauer's MCX (a version of the AR-15 rifle), in his deadly attack on Sunday. The AR-15 has grown so popular that the pro-gun lobby National Rifle Association has termed it "America's rifle." The AR-15 and its variants have been used in a number of mass shootings, ranging from the Newtown, Connecticut, elementary school tragedy to the San Bernardino, California, attack in December.
- Picchi, Aimee (June 15, 2016). "America's rifle: The marketing of assault-style weapons". CBS MoneyWatch (CBS News). Retrieved on September 28, 2018.
- One of the first things we learned about Omar Mateen, the gunman in the nightclub massacre in Orlando, Fla., was that his ex-wife said he had beaten her severely until she left him in 2009.
If it sounds familiar that a gunman in a mass shooting would have a history of domestic violence, it should...
When Everytown for Gun Safety, a gun control group, analyzed F.B.I. data on mass shootings from 2009 to 2015, it found that 57 percent of the cases included a spouse, former spouse or other family member among the victims — and that 16 percent of the attackers had previously been charged with domestic violence.
- Taub, Amanda (June 15, 2016). "Control and Fear: What Mass Killings and Domestic Violence Have in Common". The New York Times. ; Mayer, Jane (June 16, 2017). "The Link Between Domestic Violence and Mass Shootings". The New Yorker.
- Now, those who were killed and injured here were gunned down by a single killer with a powerful assault weapon. The motives of this killer may have been different than the mass shooters in Aurora or Newtown. But the instruments of death were so similar. And now another 49 innocent people are dead; another 53 are injured; some are still fighting for their lives; some will have wounds that will last a lifetime. We can’t anticipate or catch every single deranged person that may wish to do harm to his neighbors or his friends or his coworkers or strangers. But we can do something about the amount of damage that they do. Unfortunately, our politics have conspired to make it as easy as possible for a terrorist or just a disturbed individual like those in Aurora and Newtown to buy extraordinarily powerful weapons, and they can do so legally.
- Barack Obama in Orlando after the Orlando nightclub shooting (Rhodan, Maya (June 16, 2016). "President Obama: Orlando Families' Grief Is 'Beyond Description'". Time. Retrieved on September 2, 2018. ; Zezima, Katie; Nakashima, Ellen (June 16, 2016). "‘Our hearts are broken, too’: Obama visits survivors of Orlando rampage". The Washington Post. Retrieved on September 2, 2018. ; Korte, Gregory (June 16, 2016). "After meeting with Orlando victims, Obama renews call for gun control". USA Today. Retrieved on September 6, 2018. ).
- Our father, Eugene Stoner, designed the AR-15 and subsequent M-16 as a military weapon to give our soldiers an advantage over the AK-47. He died long before any mass shootings occurred. But, we do think he would have been horrified and sickened as anyone, if not more by these events.
- The family of Eugene Stoner, speaking to NBC News on June 16, 2016, after the June 12, 2016 Orlando nightclub shooting, under condition of individual anonymity (Dokoupil, Tony (June 16, 2016). "Family of AR-15 Inventor Eugene Stoner: He Didn't Intend It for Civilians". NBC News. Retrieved on September 6, 2018. ; Frizell, Sam (June 16, 2016). "AR-15 Inventor's Family: This Was Meant to Be a Military Weapon". Time. Retrieved on September 23, 2018. ; Truesdell, Jeff (February 15, 2018). "The Controversy Surrounding the AR-15 Rifle Used In Florida Mass Shooting". People. Retrieved on September 26, 2018. ))
- On July 20, 2012, a mass murderer killed 12 and wounded 58 others at a movie theater in Aurora, Colo., using a Smith & Wesson M&P15. On Dec. 12, 2012, another mass murderer killed 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conn., using his mother's Bushmaster XM15-E2S. The letter and number suffixes belie a simple truth -- the guts of both guns look just like an M-16 or, as it is known for civilian use, an AR-15. OK, the M-16 can fire in fully automatic mode but otherwise, the same.
In Orlando just this month, it was a similar type of semiautomatic assault weapon, a Sig Sauer MCX, that helped claim 49 lives.
- Kingsbury, Alex (June 16 2016). "Meet the must-have Bling for Your Gun". Boston Globe.
- When Omar Mateen burst into Pulse nightclub in Orlando on June 12 and opened fire on the crowd, killing 49 people and wounding 53 others, he was armed with two guns. But in the aftermath of the attack, only one of the weapons became the subject of intense scrutiny.
Most of the attention has focused on Mateen's semi-automatic .223-caliber Sig Sauer MCX, which is modeled after the AR-15 assault rifle. The fact that similar weapons were used during several recent mass shootings — including the 2012 massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut, the movie theater rampage in Aurora, Colorado that same year, and the 2015 attack in San Bernardino, California — led to a renewed push for an assault weapons ban, and prompted many reports about how easily AR-15s can be purchased in Florida.
But Mateen was also carrying a Glock, a brand of firearm that has been used nearly as often as assault rifles to commit mass murder.
A list of mass shootings between April 1999 and January 2013 prepared for lawmakers in Connecticut showed that rifles were used in 10 incidents and shotguns in 10 others, while handguns were used in 42. Glock brand pistols turned up in nine of those cases. Another compendium of mass shootings since 2009 by the New York Times showed that handguns were used in 13 incidents, compared to five in which a rifle was the primary weapon. Glocks were recovered from six of the perpetrators....
The earliest known case of a Glock being used in a mass shooting came in 1991, when unemployed merchant mariner George Jo Hennard drove his pick-up truck through the plate-glass window of Luby's Cafeteria in Killeen, Texas. Hennard exited his vehicle and methodically fired two pistols, including a Glock 17, at restaurant patrons, killing 24 and injuring 27.
In the last nine years, Glocks have figured prominently in at least five mass shootings. In 2007, Seung-Hui Cho, a senior at Virginia Tech University, used a Glock 19 and Walther P22 to kill 32 people and wound 17 others in two separate attacks on campus. The Glock 19 is a smaller pistol that is easier to conceal. Three years later, Jared Lee Loughner used a Glock 19 to shoot 20 people in Arizona, gravely wounding US Representative Gabrielle Giffords and killing six others, including a nine-year-old girl.
In 2013, Pedro Vargas went on a shooting rampage inside his apartment complex in Hialeah, Florida. With his Glock 17, Vargas murdered six people and held two neighbors hostage during an eight-hour stand-off until a SWAT team stormed the building and killed him.
- Alvarado, Francisco (June 21, 2016). "Glock pistols are the overlooked weapon in American mass shootings". Vice News.
- The Orlando and San Bernardino mass shootings, especially when viewed alongside similar carnage in Paris, make clear that individuals inspired by terrorist groups have eagerly adopted the military-style semi-automatic rifle, capable of shooting multiple rounds of bullets quickly and accurately, as a tool to produce maximum fatalities, mayhem, and fear. We are almost certain to see more such attacks, and as the Orlando event illustrates, they are extremely difficult to prevent, even when a person has been under suspicion, in part because they can be carried out without significant advance coordination or planning.
- Cole, David (July 14, 2016). "The Terror of Our Guns". The New York Review of Books.
- The AR-15 is the model of gun used in several recent mass shootings in America, including the massacres at an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut, in 2012 and the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida, in June this year.
It is not unusual that gun sales rise at election time in the US. The more dramatic surges usually come in the immediate aftermath of mass shootings, however, as buyers both feel greater concern about their own safety and fear a US government response to crack down sales.
In the year that followed Newton, Sturm Ruger, Remington Outdoor, and Smith & Wesson - the three most important gun manufacturers in the US - saw a windfall of over $390 million in profits on record sales. Shares in publicly traded Sturm Ruger and Smith & Wesson jumped more than 70 percent in the same year.
- Usborne, David (November 2, 2016). "Fear of Hillary Clinton victory sends gun manufacturer sales and profits soaring". The Independent. Retrieved on November 4, 2018.
- AR-15 style rifles have been the weapon of choice in many recent mass shootings, including the Texas church shooting Sunday, the Las Vegas concert last month, the Orlando nightclub last year and Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012.
Here is a list of mass shootings in the U.S. that featured AR-15-style rifles during the last 35 years, courtesy of the Stanford Geospatial Center and Stanford Libraries and USA TODAY research:
Feb. 24, 1984: Tyrone Mitchell, 28, used an AR-15, a Stoeger 12-gauge shotgun and a Winchester 12-gauge shotgun to kill two and wound 12 at 49th Street Elementary School in Los Angeles before killing himself.
Oct. 7, 2007: Tyler Peterson, 20, used an AR-15 to kill six and injure one at an apartment in Crandon, Wis., before killing himself.
June 20, 2012: James Eagan Holmes, 24, used an AR-15-style .223-caliber Smith and Wesson rifle with a 100-round magazine, a 12-gauge Remington shotgun and two .40-caliber Glock semi-automatic pistols to kill 12 and injure 58 at a movie theater in Aurora, Colo.
Dec. 14, 2012: Adam Lanza, 20, used an AR-15-style rifle, a .223-caliber Bushmaster, to kill 27 people — his mother, 20 students and six teachers — in Newtown, Conn., before killing himself.
June 7, 2013: John Zawahri, 23, used an AR-15-style .223-caliber rifle and a .44-caliber Remington revolver to kill five and injure three at a home in Santa Monica, Calif., before he was killed.
March 19, 2015: Justin Fowler, 24, used an AR-15 to kill one and injure two on a street in Little Water, N.M., before he was killed.
May 31, 2015: Jeffrey Scott Pitts, 36, used an AR-15 and .45-caliber handgun to kill two and injure two at a store in Conyers, Ga., before he was killed.
Oct. 31, 2015: Noah Jacob Harpham, 33, used an AR-15, a .357-caliber revolver and a 9mm semi-automatic pistol to kill three on a street in Colorado Springs, Colo., before he was killed.
Dec. 2, 2015: Syed Rizwyan Farook and Tashfeen Malik, 28 and 27, used two AR-15-style, .223-caliber Remington rifles and two 9 mm handguns to kill 14 and injure 21 at his workplace in San Bernardino, Calif., before they were killed.
June 12, 2016: Omar Mateen, 29, used an AR-15 style rifle (a Sig Sauer MCX), and a 9mm Glock semi-automatic pistol to kill 49 people and injure 50 at an Orlando nightclub before he was killed.
Oct. 1, 2017: Stephen Paddock, 64, used a stockpile of guns including an AR-15 to kill 58 people and injure hundreds at a music festival in Las Vegas before he killed himself.
Nov. 5, 2017: Devin Kelley, 26, used an AR-15 style Ruger rifle to kill 26 people at a church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, before he was killed.
Feb. 14, 2018: Police say Nikolas Cruz, 19, used an AR-15-style rifle to kill at least 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla.
- Jansen, Bart; Cummings, William (November 6, 2017). "Why mass shooters are increasingly using AR-15s". USA Today. Retrieved on October 9, 2018. ; Cummings, William; Jansen, Bart (February 14, 2018). "Why the AR-15 keeps appearing at America's deadliest mass shootings". USA Today. Retrieved on September 23, 2018.
- The AR-15 was likened to "weapons of war" by then-President Obama in the wake of the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando, Florida, where 29-year-old Omar Mateen slaughtered 49 people and wounded 53 others in June 2016. And it's the same rifle that keeps appearing again and again as a murder weapon in mass shootings.
- Nestel, M. L. (November 7, 2017). "How assault rifles have played a prominent role in US mass shootings". ABC News. Retrieved on September 26, 2018.
- It’s important to understand how we got where we are today. In 1966, the unthinkable happened: a madman climbed the University of Texas clock tower and opened fire, killing more than a dozen people. It was the first mass shooting in the age of television, and it left a real impression on the country. It was the kind of terror we didn’t expect to ever see again. But around 30 years ago, we started to see an uptick in these types of shootings, and over the last decade they’ve become the new norm.
In July 2012, a gunman walked into a darkened theater in Aurora and shot 12 people to death, injuring 70 more. One of his weapons was an assault rifle. The sudden and utterly random violence was a terrifying sign of what was to come.
In December 2012, a young man entered an elementary school in Newtown and murdered six educators and 20 young children. One of his weapons was an assault rifle. Watching the aftermath of these young babies being gunned down was heartrending.
In June 2016, a gunman entered a nightclub in Orlando and sprayed revelers with gunfire. The shooter fired hundreds of rounds, many in close proximity, and killed 49. Many of the victims were shot in the head at close range. One of his weapons was an assault rifle.
Last month, a gunman opened fire on concertgoers in Las Vegas, turning an evening of music into a killing field. All told, the shooter used multiple assault rifles fitted with bump-fire stocks to kill 58 people. The concert venue looked like a warzone.
Over the weekend in Sutherland Springs, 26 were killed by a gunman with an assault rifle. The dead ranged from 17 months old to 77 years. No one is spared with these weapons of war. When so many rounds are fired so quickly, no one is spared. Another community devastated and dozens of families left to pick up the pieces.
These are just a few of the many communities we talk about in hushed tones—San Bernardino, Littleton, Aurora, towns and cities across the country that have been permanently scarred.
- Diane Feinstein, Senator from California (November 8, 2017). Senators Introduce Assault Weapons Ban. Press release.
- The nation's mass-shooting problem seems to be getting worse. And the latest, most serious shootings all seem to have one new thing in common: the AR-15 semi-automatic assault rifle.
The AR-15 typically has large magazines, shoots rounds at higher velocities than handguns, and leaves more complex wounds in victims.
In each one of the older shootings on the 10-deadliest list — including the 2007 attack on Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Va., that left 32 victims dead — the shooters carried handguns. (The exception is the 1984 San Ysidro massacre, where the gunman also used a shotgun and an Uzi semiautomatic carbine.)
But in all of the latest incidents — Newtown, Conn., in 2012; San Bernardino, Calif., in 2015; Orlando, Fla., in 2016; Las Vegas, 2017; Sutherland Springs, Texas, 2017 — the attackers primarily used AR-15 semiautomatic rifles.
There are a couple of theories that might suggest why AR-15s would be associated with deadlier attacks. AR-15 rifles shoot small but high-velocity .223-caliber rounds that often shatter inside victims' bodies, creating more devastating injuries than the wounds typically left by larger but lower-velocity handgun rounds.
Shooters also commonly use the rifles with 30-round magazines, which allow them to fire more rounds uninterrupted, compared with the smaller magazines commonly used in handguns.
- Pearce, Matt (February 14, 2018). "Mass shootings are getting deadlier. And the latest ones all have something new in common: The AR-15". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved on September 23, 2018.
- The N.R.A. calls the AR-15 the most popular rifle in America. The carnage in Florida on Wednesday that left at least 17 dead seemed to confirm that the rifle and its variants have also become the weapons of choice for mass killers.
- Oppel Jr., Richard A. (15 February 2018), "In Florida, an AR-15 Is Easier to Buy Than a Handgun", The New York Times, retrieved on September 3, 2018
- Six of the 10 deadliest mass shootings in the U.S. over the past decade have used an AR-15-style semi-automatic rifle. The latest instance was Wednesday’s high school shooting in Parkland, Florida, which left 17 dead and 14 others injured.
The gun used in the shooting was a Smith and Wesson M&P AR-15, federal law enforcement officials told the Associated Press. The same model weapon was used in previous mass shootings, including the Aurora, Colo., movie theater shooting that claimed 12 lives and the rampage in San Bernardino, Calif., that claimed 14.
These rifles and other versions of the AR-15 are the civilian equivalent of fully-automatic M16 rifles used by the U.S. military since the Vietnam War. They are fancied by gun owners because they are typically easy to purchase — often for less than $1,000 — and can be customized with a number of accessories, such as bump stocks, which essentially convert the semi-automatic weapons into fully-automatics. A bump stock was deployed by the assailant in the 2017 Las Vegas shooting, which left 58 dead, making it the deadliest mass shooting in modern American history.
Up until that point, the country’s deadliest mass shooting had occurred just a year prior at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, where the perpetrator used an SIG MCX semi-automatic rifle — highly similar to AR-15s in aesthetic and purpose — to kill 49 people. Comparable weapons were also used at Sandy Hook Elementary School (27 dead) and a Sutherland Springs, Texas, church (25 dead).
The high number of fatalities in these incidents highlight how AR-15-style guns, much like their M16 cousin, are capable of inflicting serious damage to a number of people at once.
“For practical purposes, for the person that’s just tuning in, the non-gun owner, it’s a very similar type of firearm,” Rob Pincus, who has made a career out of training armed professionals, told TIME.
- Jenkins, Aric (February 15, 2018). "Many Mass Shootings in America Have 1 Thing in Common: AR-15 Rifles". Time. Retrieved on September 23, 2018.
- This country has no monopoly on troubled young men. We have no monopoly on hate groups. We aren’t the only place where people miss signs of danger in troubled young men. What distinguishes the United States from the developed world is our open market in the weaponry of war — in weapons whose chief purpose and selling point is their obscene ability to kill as many people as possible in the shortest burst of time.
Is it any surprise that the weapon used in this week’s carnage was the same style of semiautomatic assault rifle that was used with deadly efficiency at a concert in Las Vegas, a Texas church, an Orlando nightclub, a Connecticut elementary school? These weapons designed for combat, accompanied by multiple ammunition magazines, have become the weapons of choice for mass shooters. It is time for a national ban on their sale and possession. Now, before the next set of parents face the unimaginable agony of the phone call that never gets answered.
- Editorial Board (February 15, 2018). "Ban these weapons of war". The Washington Post. Retrieved on September 4, 2018.
- An AR-15 once again made an appearance at a mass shooting, this time at a Parkland, Fla., high school on Wednesday...These AR-style rifles have appeared in some of the deadliest shootings in the last few years, including a concert in Las Vegas, a nightclub in Orlando, a church in Texas and an elementary school in Newtown, Conn.
- Vitkovskaya, Julie; Martin, Patrick (February 16, 2018). "4 basic questions about the AR-15". The Washington Post. Retrieved on September 23, 2018.
- On average, more than 13,000 people are killed each year in the United States by guns, and most of those incidents involve handguns while a tiny fraction involve an AR-style firearm. Still, the AR plays an oversized role in many of the most high-profile shootings, including the nightclub shooting in Orlando and the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history: the attack by a gunman holed up in a Las Vegas hotel that left 58 dead and hundreds injured.
- "In many U.S. states, 18 is old enough to buy a semiautomatic". Associated Press. CBS News. February 16, 2018. Retrieved on September 26, 2018.
- AR-15-style rifles have become something of a weapon of choice for mass shooters. One was used last year to kill 26 people during Sunday morning [[church services in Sutherland Springs, Texas, and it was among the stockpile of firearms used a month earlier to kill 58 concertgoers in Las Vegas.
AR-15-style rifles were also used at the shootings at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida; at an employee training in San Bernardino, California, and at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.
- Lloyd, Whitney (February 16, 2018). "Why AR-15-style rifles are popular among mass shooters". ABC News. Retrieved on September 28, 2018.
- JUNE 12, 2016 Forty-nine people were killed and 53 wounded when Omar Mateen opened fire at a crowded gay nightclub in Orlando, Fla. He used two guns: a Sig Sauer AR-15-style assault rifle and a Glock handgun.
2013 The F.B.I. learned that Mr. Mateen had made comments to co-workers alleging possible terrorist ties, an official said. The next year, the F.B.I. investigated him again for possible ties to an American who went to Syria to fight for an extremist group, but authorities concluded that he “did not constitute a substantive threat at that time.”
A FEW DAYS BEFORE THE SHOOTING Mr. Mateen legally bought two guns, a federal official said. “He is not a prohibited person, so he can legally walk into a gun dealership and acquire and purchase firearms,” said Trevor Velinor, an agent at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
JUNE 12, 2016 Forty-nine people were killed and 53 more were wounded in the crowded nightclub. Mr. Mateen was killed inside the club by the police.
- Buchanan, Larry; Keller, Josh; Oppel Jr., Richard A.; Victor, Daniel (February 16, 2018). "How They Got Their Guns". The New York Times. Retrieved on October 25, 2018.
- AR-15-style rifles have been used in recent mass shootings at in Aurora, Colo.; Santa Monica and San Bernardino, Calif.; Orlando, Florida and now Parkland.
- Drabold, Will; Fitzpatrick, Alex (February 20, 2018). "The Florida School Shooter Used An AR-15 Rifle. Here's What to Know About the Gun". Time. Retrieved on September 28, 2018.