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The deadliest mass shootings in recent history have had one thing in common: the perpetrator used an assault rifle.

Why it matters: These weapons possess an incredible amount of killing power, and amplify the destructive will of the person who carries out an attack. Nine people died and 27 were injured in a mass shooting in Dayton, Ohio in an attack that lasted 32 seconds. The killer used an AR-15 style assault rifle.

  • Since 1999, there have been 115 mass shootings (defined below) in which 941 people were killed and 1,431 were injured.
  • Of those 115 attacks, 32 — just over a quarter — involved semi-automatic rifles. But those attacks accounted for 40% of all deaths and 69% of all injuries.
  • Since 2017, 12 of the 31 mass shootings involved assault rifles — which caused 39% of the deaths and 92% of the injuries.
  • That includes the Las Vegas massacre — which alone accounts for almost 40% of all mass shooting injuries since 1999. The perpetrator of that shooting used over 20 assault rifles during that attack.

About the data: This chart uses Mother Jones' dataset on mass shootings, which tracks the events since 1982. Our analysis is focused on shootings since 1999 — the year Columbine took place.

  • The data classifies a mass shooting as an attack in a public place where at least 4 people are killed with a gun.
  • This benchmark was lowered to 3 in 2013, after a mandate from the Obama administration to study mass shootings. Events in the data reflect the lower benchmark after 2013.

Go deeper

Methane is a major global warming, health menace: UN report

Flaring natural gas burns by jack pumps at an oil well near Buford, North Dakota in the Bakken oil fields. (William Campbell/Corbis via Getty Images)

Methane emissions from oil and gas, agriculture and other sources are contributing to thousands more deaths per year from air pollution than previously thought, while simultaneously leading to a rapid increase in global average temperatures, according to a comprehensive new U.N. report.

Why it matters: The report, which is the most thorough study of methane's contribution to global warming, public health ailments, and solutions to date.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
1 hour ago - Energy & Environment

White House unveils approach to 2030 conservation goal

Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images

The Biden administration on Thursday released a broad blueprint outlining its aspiration to conserve 30% of U.S. lands and waters by 2030.

Why it matters: The target is meant to serve multiple goals, including biodiversity, water protection, natural carbon sequestration, outdoor recreation access, public health and more.

DeSantis signs restrictive Florida voting law at event exclusive to Fox News

At event on Thursday that banned all local media outlets except for Fox News, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) signed a controversial elections overhaul bill that imposes sweeping new restrictions on voting.

Why it matters: The law increases restrictions on drop boxes, requires voters to sign up for mail-in ballots every year and limits who can drop off ballots at drop boxes.

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