Texas shooting suspect’s choice of guns complicates debate over assault rifles

Texas shooting suspect's choice of guns complicates debate over assault rifles

Ten people were killed in a mass shooting at Santa Fe High School in Santa Fe, Texas, on May 18, 2018. Las Vegas introduced Americans to the rapid-fire lethality of bump stocks. Parkland reminded the public how quickly someone can inflict mass carnage with an AR-15, the weapon of choice in many rampages. But Friday’s shooting at Santa Fe High School, which left 10 dead, was carried out with a pistol and a shotgun – firearms that even gun-control advocates generally regard as utilitarian. The reality that weapons not included in proposed assault-rifle bans can still exact a double-digit death toll further complicates a wrenching national debate about how to prevent future tragedies. "That’s true" that weapons other than assault rifles can kill many people at once, conceded Avery W. Gardiner, co-president of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, which favors a federal ban on assault rifles but not on shotguns or pistols. Gardiner added, however, that "the reason most mass shootings are conducted with assault weapons is that shooters know full well what weapon to select, if they want to kill the most amount of people in the shortest amount of time possible, and that’s an AR-15-style gun with a large-capacity magazine. If this shooter had had one of those, quite likely there would have been more deaths and injuries. But we don’t know." In the February shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, the gunman used an AR-15 to kill 17 people. President […]

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