Mr. O’Neil:

I read your article and I read the comments and your responses to them.

The frequency figures you cited include things like incidents that weren’t related to the school, such as gang fights, as well as suicides and incidents where a gun discharged accidentally and no one was wounded.

In the 2017–2018 school year, a total of 27 students were killed in actual school shootings. This includes the student deaths at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School, Santa Fe High School, Great Mills High School and Marshall County High School. Eight faculty and staff members also died.

An AR-15 copy (Smith & Wesson M&P-15) was used in exactly one incident. The others involved a Glock pistol, a Ruger pistol, a Remington shotgun and a Rossi revolver. A Del-Ton copy of an AR-15 was among the firearms Chris Mercer brought to Umpqua Community College but it wasn’t used. Before that, it was the Bushmaster XM-15 used in the killings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012.

So the truth remains that mass shootings in schools remain rare and that most of them involve firearms are than the AR-15.

An AR-15 is not required to commit a large number of murders. Seung-Hui Cho used handguns, a Glock 19 and a Walther P22, to kill 32 people and injure 23 at Virginia Tech. George Hennard used a Glock 17 and a Ruger P89 to kill 24 people and wound another 20 at the Lubys Cafeteria in Killeen, Texas.

Every major advancement in firearm technology has been made with an eye toward military adoption. This includes the bolt-action rifle, the breech-loading rifle and so on back to the fire lances employed by the Imperial Chinese army in the 10th Century. The fact that these new firearms were developed for the military doesn’t mean they should be confined to the military. The same is true of the Armalite Rifle. Eugene Stoner’s design was a significant advancement in firearms because it was lighter, easier to shoot, easier to maintain, less costly to produce and easily adapted to a variety of calibers. The pistol grip allows for natural wrist angle. People who participated in the trials for the Army’s new rifle at the Springfield Arsenal said the Armalite rifle was the best rifle they had ever evaluated.

With so many advantages, it’s not surprising that the AR-style rifle has become the best-selling type of rifle in America today. With the proper platform, the AR is suitable for game ranging from varmints to elk. With a simple barrel change, the AR-15 can be made legal for deer hunting and it’s the rifle of choice for hunting feral hogs.

The fact is that some people have created a boogeyman out of an intermediate-range rifle that fires an intermediate-power cartridge. These same people get very upset when they run up against someone that refuses to be be taken in by their straw man.

Professional writer. Passionately interested in facts. Founder of onewordtexas.org

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store