The Slatest

One Thing That Five Recent Mass Shootings Have in Common

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.

Read more from Slate on the Orlando nightclub shooting.

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