Cinemas, theaters, institutes, nightclubs, concerts, churches, supermarkets and a primary school. All of them have been the scene of shootings and massacres in the United States in the last ten years, where different versions of the AR-15 rifle have been used. Or, as the American Rifle Association calls it: “America’s Rifle.” A type of lightweight semi-automatic rifle originally designed solely for military combat use, estimated to be owned by more than eleven million Americans.

And while AR-15s haven’t been used in every shooting, they seem to have become the weapon of choice for killers who commit such lethal massacres, for example Sandy Hook Kindergarten (2012), restaurant of San Bernardino (2015), that of the Orlando gay club (2016) or that of the Parkland institute (2018).

In total, it has been used in fourteen of the American massacres in the last ten years. Other scenarios in which she has been a protagonist: Buffalo, Boulder, Las Vegas, Aurora, Sandy Hook, Midland-Odessa, Poway Synagogue Sutherland Springs and Tree of Life.

Well balanced, economical, light weight and very manageable. It costs between 600 and 1,800 dollars and weighs an average of three and a half kilos. As if that were not enough, it can also be customized with colors (such as pink) or accessories such as sights to improve aiming or devices to modify the range and firing capacity.

The popularity of this semi-automatic weapon stems from American culture itself. It is often linked to freedom and patriotism by all those gun enthusiasts according to ‘The Skimm’. Although it is also the most popular sporting rifle, according to the US National Shooting Sports Foundation, due to its “accuracy, reliability, ruggedness, and versatility.” It is popular in activities such as hunting and target shooting.

From Anarma (National Weapons Association of Spain), they insist on not confusing the weapon of the Texas massacre – an AR-15, that is, a light semi-automatic rifle – with an assault rifle, which are automatic weapons of war that machine gun and are prohibited both in the US and in Spain. Exceptions are given for collecting, for example.