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ETpro's avatar

Why do so many mass murders prefer the Bushmaster .223?

Asked by ETpro (34247 points ) December 27th, 2012

This article in Slate notes that the Bushmaster .223 AR-15 is the weapon Batman movie shooter, James Holmes; Oregon shopping mall shooter, Jacob Tyler Roberts; Newtown Connecticut school shooter, Adam Lanza; and Webster New York fire fighter assassin, William Spengler all used in their mass murders. Counting the shooters who did themselves in, the toll from these four crimes stands at 46 dead and 63 injured.

In most instances, the shooters had other arms as well, but the Bushmaster AR-15 happened to be the weapon responsible for most of the deaths and injuries in each case. Why the Bushmaster? Is it just a 2012 coincidence, the result of some advertising campaign or Web graphics that inadvertently appealed to people plotting mass destruction, copy-cat syndrome? What explains the sudden surge, in 2012, of mass shootings using a Bushmaster .223?

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36 Answers

ragingloli's avatar

It is the classical american assault rifle shape. Just like Russians would probably prefer the AK47. Plus I heard it is really great at mowing down little children.

ucme's avatar

They do?
It sounds like a clipper used to enhance ones bikini line.

Coloma's avatar

Disturbed people are often on the cutting edge, “shooting edge“of whatever weapons of destruction feed their need for carnage. I am sure they admire these weapons as I might admire a beautiful horse or an awesome sports car. Their sick fantasies lend themselves to seeking out whatever methods and weapons that would fulfill their murderous streak with maximum efficiency. A lot of “bang“for their buck, and a lot of bang for their twisted psyches.

majorrich's avatar

Looking at the local gun store ad, Bushmaster is a more expensive model. I know Colt makes them, Olympic is another manufacturer. Because of it’s design, parts from many manufacturers can be brought together to build an AR-15, for a lot cheaper than a Bushmaster. you only have to register the lower receiver. The press must thing ‘Bushmaster’ sounds more sexy than DPMS or Colt.

LuckyGuy's avatar

It looks and fells very much like the M-16 used in: Vietnam, Grenada, Gulf War, Somalia, Afghanistan, and Iraq.

I can’t wait to hear if the nut job who shot the firefighters in Rochester served in the military.

ETpro's avatar

Hey, take a look at this secret video of shooting an AK-47 and an AK-74, both with receivers modified for burst and full auto fire with 30-round clips. Imagine the carnage some maniac could wreak with that sort of full-automatic assault rifle firepower.

Coloma's avatar

@ETpro Just fucking horrible!
Okay, Coloma is going back to playing with her remote mood lighting toy.
Take that you creep! I shall blast you with purple strobe lights to confuse you while I hit you over the head with my marble Buddhas statue.
Heh, and you thought I was vulnerable. lol

ragingloli's avatar

@ETpro
I find it disturbing that these schwachmatic children have such easy access to assault rifles.

burntbonez's avatar

Maybe there’s some secret symbol printed on it that indicates it is the weapon of choice for mass murderers.

jerv's avatar

AR-15 parts are plentiful and compatible. An AR-15 is basically a semi-auto M-16. You can print a lower receiver for one that will last 5 rounds, you can kit-bash as @majorrich suggests, or you can pay a little extra to get ready-built. Bushmaster is a well-marketed pre-built option, though it could be argued that the quality of their marketing exceeds the quality of their product.

Even worse, I’ve seen an AK-47 made from a shovel :p

ragingloli's avatar

@jerv
The AK was designed to be made from shovels.

ETpro's avatar

I can see a new marketing campaign, “Bushmaster .223, used by more mass murderers than any other gun. Endorsed by no less than James Holmes, Jacob Tyler Roberts, Adam Lanza and William Spengler.”

How about it? Think it would sell?

jerv's avatar

@ragingloli I thought they were designed to be able to be made from an old toaster….

Coloma's avatar

@ETpro Heh..yeah, I can just see the commercial.
” The Bushmaster 223, when you absolutely, positively, HAVE to kill a lot people overnight.

majorrich's avatar

Barrett is next. Kill from over a mile away and make a real impression.

woodcutter's avatar

It certainly isn’t because they are more affordable. I think the “Bushmaster” name is a catchall name for whenever there is an AR-15. If I remember correctly Bushmasters are not made anymore. The owners changed the name to “Windham” I think. During the ban there were relatively few makers and Bushmaster was one of around 3 or 4 different companies. Not many serious buyers want anything to do with B-masters because as already mentioned, they sort of sucked. If someone wants to kill to make an impression for the media they would use cheap shotguns instead but because they aren’t “sexy cool” they are overlooked. The damage would make an AR look rather tame in comparison so I suppose in a macabre sort of way that is a good thing :/

majorrich's avatar

Windham is another company altogether and they do have a higher incidence of KB than Bushmaster. The Army is moving into testing the SCAR made by FN (Fabrique National). These are also available to civilians in semi-auto form. Back in the day, Bushmaster was one of the best non-Colt AR manufacturers. Of course, if a part fails, it’s easy to buy upgraded parts. @woodcutter is right that a shotgun makes for a much better short-range kill. AR’s and M-4’s(their carbine cousins) make better longer range weapons.

majorrich's avatar

AHA! Bushmaster is now made by a remington subsidiary called ilium, The previous owners started Windham and the reports of KB’s are anecdotal. (if there ain’t pictures it didn’t happen)

glacial's avatar

@woodcutter So, basically Bushmaster is the Kleenex of guns.

Coloma's avatar

Well…for a Kleenex it really blows. haha

majorrich's avatar

I do try to man up and correct myself if I find myself wrong.

woodcutter's avatar

If I could get a Bushy I’m sure it would run fine for me and would cherish it forever. Hell I run a slick side Dpms and it never misses a beat and to top it off I didn’t take a beating on the cost. Y’all can keep those 1000 dollar rifles (that are selling for 3k and ^^ now). I wish the details of these killers would come out. How this ex con murderer was able to get his hands on any kind of gun is crazy, much less an AR. Maybe it was his sisters. He should have been denied a gun just by his crazyfuck mugshot.

woodcutter's avatar

@glacial “So, basically Bushmaster is the Kleenex of guns.”

I would definitely stay away from the plastic (carbon) lower models. They’re too cheesy.

glacial's avatar

@woodcutter Poor Kraftsmanship, eh?

woodcutter's avatar

@glacial All AR15’s receivers are of two halves, the upper and the lower. They are fastened together with two push pins and it has been reported the carbon guns crack there. I’m sure I wouldn’t like that. I’m sure the uppers are fine and are the same one’s they put on their alloy guns they sell. Bushmaster was all the rage during the AWB but then there wasn’t a lot to pick from. There was also Armalite, Olympic, and Colt. Maybe others.
Since the sunset of the ‘94 AWB many, many different makers sprang up producing them pushing Bmaster down the list. If you had the money a better gun would be from Daniel Defence or Noveske but they are a shitload of money. I would be surprised to see any mass killings with top shelf weapons like these but who knows? People showing definite signs of loosing it need to be helped as it seems that there were distinct troubling signs before these crimes.

gondwanalon's avatar

This just shows that psycho’s like to use low caliber pop-guns and ammo perhaps because they are the easiest to get their paws on.

ETpro's avatar

How hard would it be to rig a 12 gauge Automatic Shotgun for belt feed? It would be dead simple to make your own ammo belt. Making the modified receiver and machining the slot for the belt is the tough part, but any decent machine shop can handle it.

jerv's avatar

A full-auto shotgun is far more dubious than you might suppose. Unless it was mounted securely to something at least as big as a car, the recoil would either kill the firer, spoil their aim to where a grenade would be more precise, or reduce the rate of fire to where you may as well be semi-auto.

ETpro's avatar

@jerv The linked video shows such a weapon very securely rail mounted. But then there is this. Pretty disgusting video IMHO, but it clearly did not kill the shooter.

@ragingloli Now that is overkill for home protection. I don’t want to pull the temple down on my own head defending it.

woodcutter's avatar

@ETpro It isn’t as easy to cob job a franken gun as one might think. If the next big news stories show Mossberg pump shotguns to be the weapon of choice, it will set off a flurry of copy cat shootings using this same kind of weapon. These assholes want to use whatever they think we fear the most to add a psy -ops measure to their carnage. And it isn’t helping that MSM glamorize these weapons by racing to do follow up segments featuring these weapons. It’s bad enough the Hollywood elites do this every month with movies and TV shows glamorizing bad behavior with guns that sully a cherished and uniquely American right . And then talk out of the other side of their mouths, sending contributions to gun ban supporters.

woodcutter's avatar

I would like to know if Tarantino supports the gun control lobby. Because he sure utilizes a shit ton of guns and destruction in many of his films.

jerv's avatar

@ETpro Maybe not kill, but I know that if I had a dislocated shoulder, I would wish I were dead. Also note, that the shooter there had someone helping with the recoil and still got knocked backwards by short bursts that limited them to a few rounds at a time.

josie's avatar

Two reasons I guess.
Having used the M4 variant “in the field” it is an awesome weapon. (But come to think of it, I liked it because it was reliable and kept me alive. I am not sure if that is why psycho killers like it)
Plus it is cheaper than the Colt model.
I own a Colt. Not to worry folks. I am sane, and it is locked up.
And to further reassure you, my “home protection” weapons are a baseball bat and a Ka-Bar knife.

woodcutter's avatar

It is a ubiquitous firearm so the odds are good that someone bad could have one. Thanks to the president it has become even more so.

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