The incidents of active shooting in the USA UU They are twice as deadly when it comes to a semiautomatic rifle, according to a new Harvard study.
Since 2000, mass shootings with semi-automatic weapons caused an average of 4.25 deaths per incident, compared with 2.4 deaths in cases where non-semiautomatic weapons were used, according to a report published Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
In addition, more people were injured during incidents involving a semi-automatic weapon: 5.48 on average, compared to 3.02 when other weapons were involved.
People are removed from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School after a school shooting that reportedly killed and injured several people on February 14, 2018 in Parkland, Florida.
Of the 248 active shooting incidents that the FBI has tracked since 2000, Harvard researchers found that 61 (24.6 percent) involved a semiautomatic rifle.
If a person was shot by an active shooter, his probability of dying was approximately the same (around 45 percent), regardless of the type of weapon used.
However, "the semi-automatic weapon allowed those perpetrators to shoot twice as many people and kill twice as many people," said study co-author Dr. Adil Haider, who is also a trauma surgeon.
To ensure a fair comparison, the investigators eliminated the cases in which several shooters were involved, or the massive shootings that involved a sniper, such as the shooting in October of 2017 in Las Vegas.
Haider said he was not surprised by the findings, but that the researchers sought to fill what they saw as an information gap in ongoing public discussions about semi-automatic weapons and whether their ownership should be limited.
"All these debates about whether we should restrict semiautomatic weapons or are not happening in an environment without data," Haider said.
Andrew Patrick, a spokesman for the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, said he was not surprised by the study's findings, noting the decline in such shootings since 1994-2004 when a ban on semi-automatic weapons was established.
"These weapons are used to kill many people in a short time," said Patrick. & # 39; Parkland was approximately 6 minutes and 17 people were killed. That's why we believe that these weapons are incredibly dangerous. Hopefully, Congress will consider the possibility of promulgating a future ban on weapons. "
The National Rifle Association did not return a call seeking comment.
The United States is home to 393.3 million civilian-owned weapons and has a population of 316.5 million, which equates to around 1.25 firearms per person, according to the Small Arms Survey, a Geneva-based think tank. .
Orlando police officers seen outside the nightclub Pulse after a fatal shooting and hostage situation on June 12, 2016 in Orlando, Florida