The tragedy in Aurora, Colorado, has led to a lot of unfortunate misinformation about firearms. Let’s try to add some facts to the justified emotion.
Are Some Guns More Dangerous than Others? The shooter in Aurora had three firearms when he entered the theater: a pump action shotgun, a semiautomatic rifle and a semiautomatic handgun.
In a closed, crowded setting like a movie theater, the shotgun was probably the most lethal of the three. Every shotgun shell can spray a half-dozen or more pellets, each capable of killing or maiming a person. Twelve-gauge shotguns often fire five shells, and sometimes more, before needing to be reloaded. And unlike semiautomatics, they don’t typically jam.
Yet in most American cities, just about anybody can buy a shotgun at the drop of a hat. Antigun activists and politicians almost never propose banning them.
Instead, the focus these days is on so-called “assault weapons.”