FBI Report: Five Times More Murders With Knives Than Rifles

FBI Report: Five Times More Murders With Knives Than RiflesWritten by  Warren Mass

A recently released FBI report entitled “2018: Crime in the United States” broke down murder by types of weapons used. Looking at the data, we see that the number of murders carried out last year with knives or cutting instruments was five times higher than the number of murders carried out with rifles.

According to the FBI, 1,515 people were killed by “knives and cutting instruments,” while only 297 were killed by “rifles” in 2018.

An article about the report in Guns in the News made an interesting point:

Before we go on, it is important to mention that handguns were responsible for the majority of firearms deaths. It is also important to point out that all firearms deaths combined made up the majority of all murders in the United States. Of the 14,123 murders in 2018, 10, 265 of them involved firearms — a 7 percent drop from the previous year. That being said, the number of rifle deaths is extremely important given that this is the weapon most often targeted by gun grabbers.

These statistics show the illogic of the recent calls by “progressive” politicians to ban so-called assault-type rifles such as the AR 15. “Hell, yes, we’re going to take your AR-15, your AK-47,” 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke recently said to a crowd in Houston, Texas.

While gun ownership is clearly protected by the Second Amendment, rifles have been the favorite target of those who would restrict the right of the people to keep and bear arms. Despite the high number of handguns used in murders, practically all of the calls for weapons bans have been against “assault rifles.”

To understand why, it is important to look at the history behind the Second Amendment. The war for American independence, including the attempt by the British to confiscate weapons belonging to the American colonists at Lexington and Concord, was fresh in the minds of those who wrote the amendment. When the authors of the amendment spoke of “the security of a free state,” they were speaking of security from tyrants — not deer.

Should a government seek to follow the same path that King George III once took (the Declaration of Independence complained that he sought “the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these states”), patriots who tried to resist, as their forefathers did at Lexington and Concord, would require what are so often disparaged today as “military-style weapons.”

Whether they realize they are being used as pawns to leave Americans defenseless against future tyrants or not, those who call for bans on “assault rifles” are doing exactly that (Though, technically, AR-15-style rifles are not “assault weapons” or “assault rifles.” Though they look like military rifles, such as the M-16, they function like other semi-automatic civilian sporting firearms, firing only one round with each pull of the trigger.)

That is a second reason why it is senseless to ban rifles such as the AR-15. Not only are they not “assault rifles,” but, as the FBI statistics show, they are used in fewer murders than knives.


Warren Mass has served The New American since its launch in 1985 in several capacities, including marketing, editing, and writing. Since retiring from the staff several years ago, he has been a regular contributor to the magazine. Warren writes from Texas and can be reached at wmass@thenewamerican.com.

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