FBI statistics are unraveling the liberal narrative that AR-15s, AK-47s and other “assault weapons” are a significant cause of murders and death in America.
Last year, there were a total of 672 deaths from “fists, feet and other ‘personal weapons,’” down slightly from the 692 killed the same way in 2017. The number killed by knives or other cutting instruments totaled 1,515 in 2018, while another 443 were murdered with hammers, clubs and other “blunt objects,” according to Law Enforcement Today.
The number of deaths from all rifles, meanwhile, was only 297, and that included bolt action, pump, and lever-action rifles in addition to the semi-automatic “assault rifles” politicians and the media love to hate.
In other words, about five times as many people were stabbed to death and twice as many were beat to death, than the number of people killed with a rifle last year – and far fewer than that were killed with “assault rifles.”
The data is nothing new – FBI statistics dating back to at least 2012 show the same thing – but the inconvenient truth isn’t stopping Democrats from leveraging horrific school shootings or other tragedies to promote a gun-control agenda.
Democrats like presidential candidate Robert “Beto” O’Rourke, for example, are calling on the government to confiscate “assault rifles,” while others have suggested the same for all semi-automatic guns.
O’Rourke argues the government must intervene “because there are more than 10 million assault weapons, weapons of war, out on the street.
“And if we agree that they’re dangerous to sell, and that we should stop selling them, then we also have to agree that these are instruments of terror that are still out there and have to be brought back home, or they are going to be used against us,” O’Rourke told NBC’s Meet the Press in September.
O’Rourke and other Democrats often conflate the “40,000 gun deaths” in America each year with relatively rare public shootings to weave an emotional narrative of a country besieged by gun violence, despite FBI statistics that paint a different picture.
Law Enforcement Today reports:
According to the CDC, in 2017, six-in-ten gun-related deaths in the U.S. were suicides (23,854), while 37% were murders.
The rest were either unintentional (486), involved law enforcement (553), or had undetermined circumstances (338).
In 2017, gun suicides remained 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.
Data from 2016 shows more than 7,100 people were killed in America with handguns, which also account for the vast majority of crimes involving guns. Less than 300 people were killed with rifles last year, while an even smaller subset were killed with semi-automatic “assault” rifles Democrats want to ban.
The National Shooting Sports Foundation estimates there’s 16 million privately owned AR-15s in America.
Despite the growing number of guns and the growing number of people, gun murder and suicide rates are actually far lower than in the past.
“ … Although 2017 also brought the highest total number of gun deaths in America, it doesn’t account for the growing population of the country,” Law Enforcement Today points out. “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.”
“Both the gun murder and gun suicide rates in America are both below where they were in the mid-1970s. 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.”
For comparison, the number of unintentional deaths from falls or traffic accidents or other tragedies totaled 169,936 in 2017, or 52.2 deaths per 100,000 people, according to the CDC.
Subcategories of unintentional falls, traffic crashes, and unintentional poisonings all far outpace annual gun murders at 11.2, 12.4 and 19.9 deaths per 100,000, respectively.