The weapon used in the Orlando murders was like the weapon pictured above. It is a Sig Sauer MCX -- and assault weapon very similar to the AR-15 (used in the Aurora, San Bernardino, and Newtown mass murders. Here's what Mark Follman at Mother Jones writes:
Since the Orlando massacre early Sunday morning, pro-gun pundits have come out in force to argue that the weapon used in the attack is not an assault rifle. The gun lobby prefers to call these weapons "modern sporting rifles," euphemistic ammo it can fire in an ongoing semantic debate. But make no mistake: What the Orlando attacker used was a weapon of war. It was designed to kill as many people as possible, as quickly as possible. Witness this harrowing audio captured by a bystander outside the Pulse nightclub in which Omar Mateen fires 24 shots in 9 seconds.
According to a federal law enforcement official, the rifle Mateen used to murder and maim more than 100 people was a Sig Sauer MCX. Mateen legally purchased the weapon, similar to an AR-15, on June 4 in Port St. Lucie, Florida, near where he lived. (He legally purchased a Glock 17 handgun the following day, which he also carried during the attack.)
Sig Sauer bills the MCX as "an innovative weapon system built around a battle-proven core." The company says it "stands as the first rifle to be silenced from the ground up. It also accepts a broad array of accessories, enabling you to build a complete weapon system for any scenario or environment." It has a military-spec trigger and a magazine capacity of 30 rounds. According to the book Guns of Special Forces 2001-2015, the MCX is known in military circles as the "Black Mamba" and was developed at the request of the US Army's special operations forces.
Although the legal civilian version of the gun fires on semi-automatic, it can be highly lethal. Indeed, like many of his recent predecessors, Mateen was able to unleash a devastating barrage of gunfire. The law enforcement official declined to comment on the total number of rounds fired in the attack. But, he said, it was "obviously a lot."There is no excuse for any civilian to own this weapon. It is not a sporting rifle that's good for hunting. There are many bolt-action and lever-action rifles that are more accurate and better suited for hunting. The Sig Sauer, along with the AR-15 and the AK-47, are good for only one thing -- the killing of a lot of humans in a short period of time.
But Congress will probably do nothing, other than mouth some useless prayers and have a few moments of silence. They long ago sold out to the NRA and the gun manufacturers, and decided that the murders of children (like in Newtown) and adults (in numerous other places) are a price they're willing to pay for NRA support.
We must change this. We must put as much pressure on Congress as possible -- enough pressure to get something done. And what must be done? The following three things:
1. Ban the sale and possession of all assault-style rifles.
2. Make sure that no one on the government's no-fly list can buy a gun.
3. Make sure all gun buyers must pass a background check -- including suspected terrorists, criminals (including those convicted of domestic abuse), and anyone diagnosed by a psychiatrist as being dangerous to other people.
In spite of what the NRA wants you to think, none of those three things would violate the Second Amendment of our Constitution -- but they would prevent many mass shootings and other gun deaths in this country.