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