The Orlando shooting involved yet another AR-15-style assault rifle.

One Thing That Five Recent Mass Shootings Have in Common

One Thing That Five Recent Mass Shootings Have in Common

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June 12 2016 7:28 PM

One Thing That Five Recent Mass Shootings Have in Common

160612_NEWS_orlandoPulseDamage
The damaged rear wall of the Pulse nightclub where 50 people were killed.

Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Many details about mass shootings, like Sunday morning's in Orlando, Florida, remain mysterious. But one known fact has shown up again and again:

Not only were four of these shootings carried out using AR-15-style assault rifles (the Umpqua shooter brought an AR-15 variation to campus but fired handguns)—the rifles were all purchased legally.* It is extremely easy to obtain, no hoop-jumping required, a machine designed to kill many living things in a short amount of time. In Florida, it’s easier to buy an assault rifle than a handgun. Unless that changes, there’s no reason to think the frequency of shootings involving these deadly weapons will continue in any direction other than up.

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Correction, June 12, 2016: This post previously described the Umpqua shooting as having been carried out by an AR-15-style rifle.