Quantcast

Tuesday, September 30, 2014         

 Print   Email   Comment | View 7 Comments   Most Popular   Save   Post   Retweet

Common element of shootings: semiautomatic weapons

By Lisa Hoffman

Scripps Howard News Service

POSTED:
LAST UPDATED: 04:39 p.m. HST, Dec 14, 2012



WASHINGTON >> A common element links many of America’s recent mass shootings: the presence of semiautomatic weapons in the arsenal of the shooters.

After a deadly rampage at a Colorado movie theater, an attack on an Arizona lawmaker and others, the mowing-down of Sikhs at a Wisconsin temple and the mass killings at Virginia Tech, law enforcement found at least one semiautomatic pistol in the possession of the killers.

And, on Friday, authorities said they seized two such weapons at the scene of the horrific slaughter at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., where 20 small children and six adults died.

In all but one of those tragedies — and in other earlier ones, including a mass shooting in Connecticut 15 years ago — Glock semiautomatic pistols played a role.

The high-power capabilities of Glock pistols, as well as the ease of concealing them, attracts those bent on a high body count, according to criminal-justice experts. They are legally sold in gun shops and online, some for less than $500.

“Not only are semiautomatic pistols capable of rapid fire, they utilize high-capacity magazines and can be quickly reloaded,” said a 2011 report — titled “The Glock Pistol: A Favorite of Mass Shooters” — by the Washington-based Violence Policy Center.

“The combination of these features makes semiautomatic pistols efficient killing machines,” said the report.

Glocks of a variety of models and firepower are also the weapons of choice for personnel in more than 60 percent of U.S. law-enforcement agencies, according to industry data. They are accurate, relatively light and easy to shoot, and pack enough force to cut down threatening suspects.

Glock Inc., the Smyrna, Ga.-based U.S. branch of the Austrian weapons manufacturer, did not return a call for comment.

Among the U.S. mass killings in which Glocks were involved:

— Friday’s killings at the Connecticut elementary school, where police recovered a Glock and a Sig Sauer semiautomatic pistols, along with a .223-caliber semiautomatic rifle.

— The July carnage at a midnight showing of a Batman movie in Aurora, Colo., where James Holmes is accused of killing 12 moviegoers and wounding dozens. Among other weapons, Holmes allegedly wielded a .40-caliber Glock handgun and had another in his car.

— The January 2011 attack outside a Tucson, Ariz., grocery store that critically wounded then-Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and 12 others, and killed six. The convicted shooter, Jared Loughner, carried a Glock 19 pistol, police said.

— The April 2007 mass shooting at Virginia Tech University in Blacksburg, Va., in which 32 students and others died, and 17 were wounded. Shooter Seung-Hui Cho, who killed himself, was armed with a Glock 19 pistol and a Walther P22 semiautomatic pistol.

— The November 1999 deaths of seven at a Xerox office building in Honolulu, where Byran Uyesugi wielded a Glock 9 mm pistol.

— The March 1998 rampage at Connecticut State Lottery headquarters, where Matthew Beck used a Glock 9 mm pistol to kill four and himself.

— The October 1991 massacre at a Luby’s Cafeteria in Killeen, Texas, where George Hennard used a Glock 9 mm, along with other handguns, to kill 23 and wound 20. Kennard killed himself as well.

A semiautomatic Springfield 9 mm pistol was the weapon of choice in August, when Wade Michael Page killed six and wounded four at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin. Page was shot to death by police.

And Anders Behring Brenik relied on a Glock 17 9 mm pistol, as well as a semiautomatic rifle, to mow down 69 people — mostly teenagers — at a youth camp in July 2011 in Norway.

Possession and manufacturing of all of these semiautomatic weapons in the United States are legal, but they largely had been banned for a decade after Congress and President Bill Clinton signed on to the Federal Assault Weapons Ban in 1994. But the law expired in 2004 under President George W. Bush.

President Barack Obama did not address a resurrection of that ban when he spoke about the Connecticut school shootings Friday, but he expressed support for some unspecified measures.

“We’re going to have to come together and take meaningful action to prevent more tragedies like this regardless of the politics,” Obama said, choking up during his statement.

RELATED STORIES

Gunman's mother kept trials of home life hidden

Evidence hints at deadlier plan in Connecticut massacre

President speaks to families, nation at Newtown service

Church in Newtown evacuated after phone threat

Isle interfaith ceremony encourages community, focus on mental illness

Staffers hailed as heroes after Connecticut shooting

Victims were filled with love for school

In a town of traditions, grief engulfs holiday joy

New details reveal extent of bloodbath

Unthinkable horror

Children, staff slain with chilling efficiency

Shocking rampage resurrects gun-control debate

Americans, united in horror for a moment

Gunman left few hints about his life or motives

Campuses, law enforcement have emergency plans in place

Mass shooting raises many policy issues

Police find 'good evidence' on motive for Connecticut school massacre

Newtown victims all shot with rifle multiple times, medical examiner says

Names of victims in Connecticut school rampage released

Obama will travel Sunday to Newtown, Conn.

Man kills mother, then 26 at Connecticut grade school

Connecticut shooting suspect was honors student

Kealoha: Police are prepared if similar incident happened here

Hawaii public schools review security; counseling available during break

Abercrombie orders state flags flown at half-staff

Tearful Obama calls for action after shooting

Common element of shootings: semiautomatic weapons

Connecticut school shooting revives gun debate

Virginia governor invokes Va. Tech slayings, offers his prayers

Feds helping in school shooting response

Obama has 'enormous sympathy' for victims' families, spokesman says

Obama speaks to Connecticut governor

20-year-old suspect had ties to school, source says






 Print   Email   Comment | View 7 Comments   Most Popular   Save   Post   Retweet

COMMENTS
(7)
You must be subscribed to participate in discussions


IN OTHER NEWS
Breaking News
Blogs
Political Radar
Spoilers

Volley Shots
Tuesday check-in

Political Radar
Taxing

Warrior Beat
Quick turnaround

Political Radar
`Side-by-side’

Political Radar
Fore!

Political Radar
1994

Island Crafters
Proud Mommy Status

Wassup Wit Dat!
Got You Now