The terrible toll of the massacre committed in two mosques of the city of new zealand, Christchurch is largely related to the fact that the shooter was equipped with assault rifles and semi-automatic weapons which american news shows regularly with the fearsome power lethal.
On a video posted on Facebook by the extremist author of the carnage –a sequence that the authorities request not to spread– we can see fire on his victims at speed, pulling in probably hundreds of bullets.
The new zealand police has not disclosed the marks of his weapons, which he covered with inscriptions neo-nazi or, in reference to characters who have killed muslims.
But the video shows a shotgun, as well as variants of civilian assault rifles military designed to make the largest number of victims possible in a record time.
Such weapons have sadly proven their effectiveness in the litany of shootings which have cast a shadow over regular American. Especially when these devices are equipped to store high-capacity magazines containing 30 rounds or more.
Whether in a movie theater in Colorado (82 victims, including 12 deaths in 2012), the carnage in a school in Newtown (26 dead in 2012), the bombing jihadist in 2015 in San Bernardino (28 persons hay -, 14 deceased), we find these rifles light.
They are also present in the mass murder perpetrated during a concert in October 2017 in Las Vegas (58 dead, 500 injured) and the tragedy of November 2017 high school Parkland Florida (17 dead).
Or even the massacre in a gay box Orlando in June 2016 (49 dead). Among the 53 survivors have been observed injuries are often very serious, given the extreme velocities of the projectiles and their strong ability to destroy tissues.
The semi-automatic rifles often have a folding stock or telescoping, handle and chargers removable.
“These features increase the lethality of the weapon, making it more easy to unload, reload and maneuver in a closed space,” explains the organization Violence Policy Center.
In Newtown, San Bernardino, Parkland, Las Vegas or elsewhere, snipers used an AR-15, assault rifle developed in multiple versions with the designation of a military M16.
The manufacturers present them as objects of sport and entertainment, or even as the best response to the need for self-defense of Americans.
– Lethal but legal –
Even if the rate of firearm deaths is relatively low in New Zealand, the legislation on weapons is considered less stringent than in other developed countries outside of the United States.
It takes a special permit to possess a firearm in New Zealand, but there is no national registry for identifying.
“Even if the weapons industry chooses to call the weapons of attack semi-automatic +guns modern sport+, there is no significant difference between them and military weapons,” says the Violence Policy Center.