Death by the numbers.

A man killed and wounded a bunch of people last night.

He went into a movie theatre, threw a gas canister, and opened fire.

The local police chief confirmed the suspect was wearing ballistic helmet, ballistic vest, ballistic leggings, throat protector, groin protector, black gloves.  

He also confirmed the killer had a AR-15 assault rifle, a 12-gauge shotgun and a .40 Glock handgun, a fourth in the theatre, and ‘buckets’ of ammunition in his home.

The shooter, James Holmes, has at this time no known criminal history.

This is what those weapons look like.  

The AR-15 can shoot over 400 rounds (bullets) per minute.

ABC news reports the guns were all bought legally, the first being in May.  You can purchase the most powerful weapon online (free shipping this week!)

The most powerful of the weapons, the AR-15, would have been illegal to purchase, but the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994 (the federal assault weapons ban provision) was only good for ten years, and lapsed under the Bush administration.  Multiple attempts to re-initialize the ban have been blocked by lobbying groups such as the NRA.  Their celebratory article about the lapse can be found here.   The six attempts to re-intitialize the ban are here: 1 2 3 4 5 6.

The NRA, a tax-sheltered 501c4 lobbying organization, made $227,811,279 last year.  This does not include its subsidiary organizations, of which it lists 30, each with their own intake of cash in the millions.

In 2011 the NRA spent 2.9 million dollars on lobbying Capitol Hill.  Of their top 20 beneficiaries, 17 were Republican.  Most of their donations went to PACs, which cannot be traced to individuals.

In 2007, the US was named the most heavily armed nation in the world, with 90 guns per 100 people.  If that trend stayed flat, in 2012 there are  282,589,477 guns for 313,988,308 people in the US.

The earliest modern mass shooting occured in 1949.

1949 – 13 killed.

1966 – 16 killed, 30 wounded.

1982 – 13 killed.

1984 – 21 killed.

1991 – 24 killed.

1999 – 13 killed, 23 wounded.

2007 – 32 killed.

2009 – 1o killed.

2009 – 13 killed, 4 injured.

2009 – 13 killed, 32 injured.  

The United States is 12th overall in countries by firearm related deaths, and #1 in ‘westernized’ nations.

Over 1,000,000 Americans have been killed by guns since 1968.  That is more than US soldiers who died in WWI, WWII, and Vietnam combined.

 

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