USA Today demonized the AR-15 on Friday after reporting that the Santa Fe High School gunman used a revolver and a shotgun in his attack.
The paper referenced Gov. Greg Abbott’s (R) statement that the Santa Fe High School attacker used “a shotgun and .38 caliber revolver, both of which he got from his father.”
The article added, “The guns may have slowed down the gunman’s deadly rampage because they have a slower firing rate than firearms used in other recent mass shootings, such as the AR-15.”
USA Today continued, “High-powered rifles such as the AR-15 can be fired more than twice as fast as most handguns. The standard magazine for an AR-15 holds 30 rounds, allowing a shooter to continue firing uninterrupted for longer, making the weapon more lethal than other firearms.”
A few clarifications are in order: 1. A semi-automatic handgun can be fired as fast as a semi-automatic rifle. There is no magic quality about an AR-15 that makes it easier or quicker to fire than a semi-automatic pistol. 2. The Santa Fe gunman used a revolver, which is not semi-automatic, to begin with. However, granting that it was a double-action, it, too, can be fired as quickly as an AR-15. 3. A shotgun, which the Santa Fe gunman also used, is far superior to an AR-15 in close quarters. USA Today belatedly alluded to this by adding, “Clearly the use of any gun can be deadly, especially a shotgun at close range.”
Later in the article, USA Today reported, “Many of the deadliest mass shootings in recent years involved high-powered rifles, notably AR-15 styled rifles. But far fewer have featured shotguns or a revolver as the primary killing weapon.”
On April 3, 2018, Breitbart News listed 25 of our nation’s most prominent mass public attacks, and AR-15s were used eight times. The predominate weapon was a handgun, used 17 times. Shotguns were used in four of the incidents. The Santa Fe attack raises the use of handguns to 18 and shotguns to five, while AR-15s remain as the weapon of choice on eight occasions.
AWR Hawkins is an award-winning Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News, the host of the Breitbart podcast Bullets with AWR Hawkins, and the writer/curator of Down Range with AWR Hawkins, a weekly newsletter focused on all things Second Amendment, also for Breitbart News. He is the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. Sign up to get Down Range at breitbart.com/downrange.