According to the FBI, more than five times as many people were killed in 2018 by knives, clubs and other cutting instruments than with rifles.
The metrics show that there were a total of 1,515 deaths by knives or other cutting instruments last year. Compare that against 297 people killed by rifles.
It’s a gap that widened significantly over 2017. In that year, the FBI said nearly four times as many people were stabbed to death as killed with rifles. During that year, the number of murders with rifles was around 400.
It gets better. More than 100 more people were killed with hammers and clubs in 2018 than were killed by rifles. There were 443 people killed with hammers, clubs, or other “blunt objects”.
We need to point out that the data isn’t just semiautomatic rifles – it’s ALL rifles, including bolt action, pump or lever action rifles as well.
If you were to contrast the numbers between JUST semiautomatic rifles and knife homicides, the gap would be even larger.
Here’s another number that will blow your mind. The data also shows that in 2018, there were 672 deaths from “fists, feet and other ‘personal weapons'” – which is once again more than with rifles.
In 2017, there were 692 people killed in the same way – a number larger than the total number of homicides by rifles and shotguns combined.
Yet you’ve got Democrat presidential hopeful Robert “Beto” O’Rourke campaigning on the confiscation of AR-15’s. Remember – last month during a Democrat debate, he said:
“Hell yes, we’re going to take your AR-15.”
Numbers from the National Shooting Sports Foundation show that there are more than 16 million privately owned AR-15s in the United States.
Let’s look at the bigger picture, based on some 2016 data.
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Rifles are only used in a small fraction of murders committed using firearms.
FBI data from that year showed that more than 7,100 people were killed using handguns, and that the vast majority of non-fatal crimes involving guns are also committed using handguns.
“Semiautomatic handguns are the weapon of choice for mass shootings,” the report notes.
According to the CDC, in 2017, six-in-ten gun-related deaths in the U.S. were suicides (23,854), while 37% were murders (14,542).
The rest were either unintentional (486), involved law enforcement (553) or had undetermined circumstances (338).
In 2017, gun suicides reached their highest recorded level … yet the number of gun murders remained far below the peak in 1993, when there were 18,253 gun homicides. Also during that time, overall violent crime levels in the U.S. were much higher than they are today.
And although 2017 also brought the highest total number of gun deaths in America, it doesn’t account for the growing population of the country.
When you break that down on a per-capita basis, we’re talking about 12 gun deaths per 100,000 people in 2017 – the highest rate in more than two decades, but still well below the 16.3 gun deaths per 100,000 people in 1974, the highest rate in the CDC’s online database.
Suicides have long accounted for the majority of U.S. gun deaths.
Let’s dive further into that.
Both the gun murder and gun suicide rates in America are both below where they were in the mid-1970’s. In 2017, there were 4.6 gun murders per 100,000 people – considerably below the 7.2 per 100,000 people in 1974.
In 2017, there were 6.9 gun suicides per 100,000 people – that number was 7.7 in 1977.
The overarching idea behind the “gun-control” debate is this: The left wants to take away every last ability for citizens to defend themselves. Don’t believe me? Keep reading.
Last week, the U.S. House Judiciary Committee held a 3 ½ hour “hearing” entitled “Protecting America From Assault Weapons.”
That hearing covered issues that were framed to overlook the false narrative that Americans need protection from inanimate objects, and not from violent people with criminal tendencies. People who will use anything and everything at their disposal to carry out their violent plans.
The hearing also revealed the true agenda of the Democratic leadership, which was to lay out arguments In favor of the repealing of the 2ndAmendment, the illegalization of weapons ownership, and the left’s complete refusal to engage in useful conversation regarding how Congress might attack the issue of gun safety.
Easily the most eye-opening claim of the proceedings came when Dr. RaShall Brackney, Chief of the Charlottesville Police Department in Virginia responded to a question from Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.) about whether she would support a ban on hunting rifles.
“I believe any weapon that can be used to hunt individuals should be banned,” Brackney replied.
Her statement seemed to indicate that she would be open to the banning of all firearms, and more specifically, all weapons.
So, for those keeping score at home, here is a list of items that would also need to be banned, according to the good doctor.
Guns. Knives. Vehicles. Baseball bats. Fire. Rocks. Rope. Screwdrivers. Hammers. Hands. The list goes on and on.
While Brackney did not actually call for a ban of these other items, that is essentially what she is doing in using such careless language.
According to the NRA, Dr. Brackney was given two opportunities by pro-gun committee members to walk back or provide more context for that statement. Instead, she dug in and reiterated the statement.
Rep. Greg Steube (R-Fla.) asked her directly, “Okay, so you then stand for the proposition to ban any type of firearm, because any firearm can be used and misused to kill people.”
Rather than answering the question directly, Dr. Brackney began talking about police and the social contract. Rep. Steube tried asking again, only to be interrupted by an anti-gun committee member who tried to raise a point of order.
She claimed that Rep. Steube was “attacking” the witness – when in fact he was merely trying to get a straight answer – and requested that he “tone down his words.” That exchange took up most of Steube’s remaining time for questioning, which was not reinstated.
Again Rep. Steube tried, to clarify, asking:
“Any type of weapon … that can be used to kill people should be banned?”
And then the response…
“Sir,” Brackney replied, “you’re adding the word ‘type.’ I said ‘any weapons,’ so that’s my answer. Thank you.”
Sadly, none of the committee members or witnesses in favor of the ban attempted to distance themselves from Brackney’s push for a complete gun ban.
Okay, let’s pause here for a quick question.
Does anyone else have an issue with Dr. Police Chief saying that all means of self-defense should be outlawed, while sitting on the side of the table that would be allowed to keep weapons should the government ever follow her advice?
Unfortunately, Dr. Brackney’s statements may have been one of the only honest claims of the entire hearing by those arguing in favor of the ban.
In an outright misrepresentation (or as we like to call them, lies), Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.), a Harvard Law School graduate, told a breathtaking whopper about the U.S. Supreme Court’s pivotal Second Amendment decision, District of Columbia v. Heller:
He claimed the decision says, “the Second Amendment gives you a right to a handgun for purposes of self-defense and a rifle for purposes of hunting or recreation, but nowhere does it give you a right to weapons of war.”
In a very concise breakdown, the NRA said that the essence of theHeller decision is that Americans have a right to possess the sorts of bearable arms “in common use for lawful purposes,” particularly self-defense, and that handguns qualify because they are overwhelmingly chosen by responsible, law-abiding persons for that purpose.
Notably, the decision does not purport to overturn the 1939 Supreme Court case of U.S. v. Miller, which held that the Second Amendment protection extends to arms that are “part of the ordinary military equipment” or the use of which “could contribute to the common defense.”
It also notes that while Americans of the founding era might have owned firearms primarily for self-defense and hunting, the founders themselves wanted to ensure the Second Amendment provided an effective check against disarming the people, which in turn was necessary to “be able to resist tyranny.”
Nowhere does either decision suggest that rifles are only protected to the extent they are used for hunting or recreation. Indeed, Heller makes clear that self-defense is the “core lawful purpose” with which the Second Amendment is concerned.
Another theme pushed again and again was that “assault weapons” like the AR-15 are “battlefield weapons” that have no place on “America’s streets.”
Fortunately, as witness Amy Swearer testified, the overwhelmingly majority of the 16 million or so AR and AK pattern rifles in America are not “on the streets” but in the homes of law-abiding owners who never have and never will use them for anything other than lawful purposes.
Violent criminals have not embraced semi-automatic rifles as their “weapons of choice.”
Rifles of all types, of which the guns that would be categorized as “assault weapons” are only a subset, are used in only 2% of homicides. In 2018, more than five times as many people were killed with knives than were killed with all rifles.
The same year, more than twice as many people were killed with personal weapons like hands, fists, or feet.
Remember the list of potentially banned items, I forgot to add feet.
When all was said and done, gun owners had no reassurance that there was any limiting principle to the anti-gun committee members’ prohibitive intentions or that they were willing to learn anything that would influence their decision-making.
Indeed, one could imagine that long after semi-automatic rifles were banned, the exact same hearing could be held on the next class of firearm law-abiding gun owners would be forced to surrender because the guns were used in crimes they did not commit.
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