The assault rifle that killed 10 at a Tops Friendly Market in Buffalo on Saturday is the same model that killed 20 children and six adults at Connecticut’s Sandy Hook Elementary School a decade ago and that killed 10 in sniper attacks were in the Washington, DC area in 2002.
And so we begin the insane cycle all over again; Mass murder followed by calls for a renewed ban on assault weapons followed by ineffective compromises followed by the sale of weapons of war used to perpetrate more domestic slaughter.
“This is my Bushmaster XM-15,” Payton Gendron, the 18-year-old suspect in the Buffalo massacre, wrote beneath a photo of the weapon, apparently in a manifesto before the attack. “That’s right, I used the dreaded military assault rifle as my main weapon for this attack.”
The Buffalo killer continued to reiterate the Sandy Hook horror by writing in his manifesto to tape two magazines together for quick reloading. Taped magazines from the school shooting scene were crucial evidence in a civil lawsuit the Sandy Hook families brought against Remington, which until recently owned Bushmaster.
For years, Remington fought to avoid being held accountable, even going so far as to subpoena the testimonies of Sandy Hook’s dead first years. It finally settled on $73 million in February, just as it was going bankrupt and Bushmaster was being sold to a Nevada company. The legacy of murdered youths did not prevent the new owner from prominently quoting Matthew 5:59 of the Bible on its website as it continued to sell the same rifle.
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be children of God.”
Three months later we have another Bushmaster XM-15 at the scene of a mass murder. Among the dead in this latest horror is retired Buffalo Police Officer Aaron Salter, who worked as a security guard. His death makes the name that Bushmaster currently uses for this particular model all the more reprehensible.
Among multiple owners, Bushmaster has long marketed the gun as the “M4” because it replicated the MP4 that Colt Industries made for the military. Colt sued Bushmaster for trademark infringement in 2004, but the courts ruled that M4 had become generic. Bushmaster stuck with the M4, although some gun enthusiasts derided his rifle as “M4gery”. And the “Patrolman’s” label adds a law enforcement connotation to the military fantasy.
According to police sources, Gendron also owned a Savage Axis XP bolt-action rifle.
“This is technically my dad’s gun because he bought it for me so I can go hunting without borrowing my cousin’s guns,” he captioned the photo. “I got this for Christmas 2020 and it’s decent for the cheapest gun you can buy at Dick’s Sporting Goods.”
The Savage Axis XP is good for hunting and is good for self-defense. But to kill people, Gendron wanted an offensive weapon.
A hunting rifle with a four-round magazine capacity that requires the user to operate the bolt between each shot does not fit what the Manifesto calls “success strategies.” No, that required a firearm that “can fire ammo as quickly as needed, fire many rounds of ammo without reloading, and be able to reload quickly.”
Police say Gendron got out of his car in Buffalo with a far deadlier Bushmaster XM-15 that he bought legally used from Vintage Firearms in Endicott, New York, near his home in Conklin. The owner told the New York Times he conducted a background check that didn’t raise “Ed Flags,” though state police became aware of Gendron last year after he reportedly spoke out about murder-suicide plans. He was briefly hospitalized in a mental institution and released after a few days – and nothing stopped him from acquiring the weapon of his choice.
The manifesto notes that the Bushmaster was modified to hold a magazine with no more than 10 rounds — the maximum capacity allowed by New York State law — with some parts purchased online and with the electric drill installed by his father.
He had already acquired eight 30-round magazines. “Originally I bought them from a guy at Jimmy’s garage sale for $5 each,” he wrote, adding that he taped two magazines together.
“So I can reload quickly.”
Police say Gendron emptied a magazine in the attack and immediately reloaded it, just like Sandy Hook’s killer. He fired another 20 shots before surrendering to police.
Police say Gendron personalized his gun with white paint and wrote a racial epithet on the sight. He has “14” written on the body, a number that has special meaning among white supremacists.
On the barrel he wrote the names of some of the six killed when a maniac plowed an SUV into a Christmas parade in Waukesha, Wisconsin last year. This attacker was black; The victims were white. Gendron shared the opinion of the far right – but not the police or prosecutors – that it was a racist attack.
In his manifesto, Gendron wrote that a gun is the best instrument of mass murder.
“Because they work, there are very few weapons easier to use and more effective to kill than firearms,” he wrote.
With his M-4gery a weapon of war, he left 10 dead and a supermarket that looked like a battlefield. And the gun company continued to produce and sell the Bushmaster XM-15.
“Fueled by the spirit of innovation that began more than 48 years ago, with improved engineering, manufacturing techniques and advanced materials, Bushmaster™ continues to improve our products,” the website reads. “Bushmaster proudly defends freedom as we have proven ourselves in the toughest conditions. It will always be our mission to push the boundaries of performance so you can push yours.”
Just ask the families of those who have fallen victim to a Bushmaster XM-15.
https://www.thedailybeast.com/after-buffalo-how-many-more-mass-murderers-will-use-the-bushmaster-xm-15-assault-rifle?source=articles&via=rss After Buffalo, how many more mass murderers will use the Bushmaster XM-15 assault rifle?