In a new study, researches found gunmen with semi-automatic rifles both injure and kill twice as many people compared to those using non-automatic weapons.
But according to the new analysis, the chances of dying if shot with either weapon, surprisingly, are the exact same.
Researchers examined the FBI data from close to 250 “active shooter” incidents in the United States dating back to 2000. It was revealed that close to 900 people were wounded and 718 were killed. Of these attacks, one in four involved semi-automatic rifles.
Although firing does require pulling the trigger for each round, the aforementioned weapons automatically load each bullet after firing. Semi-automatics are also considered to be more lethal as they fire rapidly, according to the study.
Lead researcher and trauma surgeon at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, Dr. Adil Haider shared that all types of guns are equally deadly. While “active shooter” attacks tend to occur in confined spaces with an intent to kill, it was recorded that 44 percent of people shot in attacks that involved semi-automatic weapons died the same as those injured in attacks that involved non-automatic weapons.
“Active shooters are hell-bent on killing people,” Haider said. “The big difference — and this is not such a big surprise — is if you give them a semi-automatic, they’re able to shoot twice the number of people.”
The study found that the average number of those wounded in semi-automatic attacks totaled almost six, versus close to three in attacks with non-automatic weapons. On average, four people were killed in semi-automatic attacks when compared with about two in other attacks. Haider told NBC “..the death rate, if you got hit by a bullet, was the same.”
The results were published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Haider added the study focuses on how details regarding the type of weapons used in attacks need to be more clearly documented as the FBI data does not note what type of weapons used. As a result, researches had to locate the information through other means such as court and police documents as well as news media reports.
Semi-automatic rifles like the ones used at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, The Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, Florida, and Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newton Connecticut have pushed survivors of gun violence to speak out regarding the use of semi-automatic weapons.
— Aalayah Eastmond (@AalayahEastmond) September 7, 2018
Mass high-profile shootings have unfortunately become commonplace although, we must not forget how to prevent daily death-by-guns that claim 30,000 lives every year.
You can help prevent gun violence by advocating for sensible gun laws, helping establish a culture of gun safety, engaging responsible gun dealers and owners in solutions, insisting on mandatory training and licensing for owners as well as requiring safe and secure gun storage.
To learn more about how you can help prevent gun violence, visit The Prevention Institute for more information.
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