Contrary to their popular image as low-powered "bunny guns," .22-calibre rifles are commonly used in multiple shootings. In seven mass killings involving .22 rifles in Australia and New Zealand alone, 54 people died by gunfire.
The .22 rifle is also the most commonly used gun in all firearm homicides. For every victim of a mass shooting which grabs the headlines, nine more Australians and New Zealanders die in less newsworthy gun murders. Most of these are domestic killings in which licensed male gun owners typically shoot members of their own family. Again, several studies show that the ubiquitous .22 rimfire rifle, the largest-selling firearm and the gun readily at hand in many homes, is also the gun most commonly used in suicide, homicide and accidental shootings.