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MASS SHOOTING WEAPONS ARE NOT TYPICALLY "BLACK RIFLES", NOR ANY RIFLE

CT GOVERNMENT REPORT: "MILITARY STYLE" ARMALITE-DESIGN RIFLES PLAY A VERY SMALL ROLE IN RAMPAGE KILLINGS

The Connecticut Office of Legislative Research is tasked with doing research based on inquiry from elected officials in Hartford. Typically, the staffers are asked a question or to research a topic and the report back with their findings. They cover a wide range of issues, including firearms. 

One recent research report that caught my eye was OLR-R-0057, "Weapons Used in Mass Shootings" which you can find attached to this post. The opening of the OLR report states:

You asked for a list of the weapons that have been used in massshootings in the United States since the Columbine High School shootingin Littleton, Colorado on April 20, 1999.

We have identified at least 49 mass shootings in the United Statessince the Columbine shooting. These are incidents where two or morepeople were killed, not counting the perpetrator.

Table 1 lists each identified mass shooting incident and the weapons used.

The researchers found 49 mass murders from Columbine to Sandy Hook plus one. Of the 49, 4 involved a rifle of the Armalite Rifle design (AR) and 4 involved the Kalishnikov design (AK). Under the current Connecticut Assault weapon ban, the AK-47 and many of its variants are already banned by name.

So, excluding AKs, of all these deplorable rampage killings, just 8% can be attributed by the OLR to the type of black rifle that all the state's gun control advocates are seeking to ban. That is irrespective of the number of law-abiding Conencticut gun owners who currently own such rifles (tens of thousands) and the fact that there is not evidence of such rifles being used in a mass killing anywhere in CT since 1999 before Newtown. 

This is not surprising to anyone who has studied the statisitics on gun crimes and homicides. As a general category, all types of rifles are used in only 5% of all gun-related crimes and in less than 4% of all homicides (I have seen numbers as low as 3%). Given Armalite style rifles are a subset of all rifles, that means that ARs are used in less than 5% of gun crimes and less than 4% of gun homicides. 

And before anyone suggests how "destructive" these rifles are amd how they must be banned/confiscated before the next rampage killing, consider these three points:

1) The Armalite company first made the AR-15 available to civilians in its current semi-automatic form in 1965

2) The first record of an AR-style rifle being used in a mass shooting was in 2007 in Colorado (based on the attached OLR report and the extensive data at Mother Jones, no friend of gun rights).

3) Over the past decade, rifles using the Armalite design have been the most popular selling center-fire rifle in the civilian market. Estimates suggest there may be 8-10 million in civilian hands in the USA (not, the military does not use semi-automatic versions of this rifle). 

Are these three points telling us something? To my eye it is inarguable:

RIFLES BASED ON THE ARMALITE DESIGN HAVE BEEN AVAILABLE FOR NEARLY 40 YEARS AND ARE INCREDIBLY POPULAR WITH MILLIONS IN CIRCULATION TODAY

YET

THIS TYPE RIFLE WAS FIRST USED IN A MASSACRE IN 2007 - 42 YEARS AFTER ITS FIRST CIVILIAN SALE

BUT MORE IMPORTANTLY

SUCH RIFLES HAVE PLAYED A PART IN "ONLY" FOUR MASSACRES IN THE PAST 30+ YEARS. LESS THAN 3%!

I will draw no further conclusions here other than to point out that we as a society are spending an inordinate amount of time focused on rarely used black rifles and not enough time focused on what matters:

Why are these killings happening?

What are the causes?

How do we prevent boys running astray?

Why can we not face up to what our society has wrought?

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

gerald frank February 16, 2013 at 09:25 PM
so now what we have one dead parent..one dead son, a shcool that told him he needs help and, dead kids...we in CT have the best gun laws... we need to get the rest of the states with us in locking up our guns when not in use or carryed...we need priivate sales to be back ground checked for a fee $25.00? at a ffl dealers...we need a medical system that can and must tell the ploice the persons that will or could harm others or them self... we as gun owners do have this duty to protect the ones we love and the public at large...we all must work for the good of ALL...
Donald Borsch Jr. February 16, 2013 at 09:38 PM
Kent, "Normally I don't read The Patch, let alone leave comments.." Your profile says otherwise.
Donald Borsch Jr. February 16, 2013 at 09:47 PM
Kent, We have responsible gun laws in CT already. Law-abiding citizens adhere to them. In CT the issue is focused on the horrific actions of Adam Lanza. He stole those weapons from his dead mother, whom he shot as well. Can you make a gun control law to stop that?
Alethiologist February 17, 2013 at 12:51 AM
How many jobs and how much revenue would Ct lose if Hartford enacts more gun control laws? I am certain other states would really love to poach CT gunmakers. http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2013/02/16/colorado-gun-bill-could-cost-state-hundreds-jobs/?intcmp=obinsite
Alethiologist February 17, 2013 at 01:02 AM
She sums it up pretty well. Video takes just a few minutes. http://video.foxnews.com/v/2138468100001/

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