While America has been hit with frequent fatal shootings in recent years which have been rapidly co-opted to shoehorn anti-gun political narratives, the data tells another story.
Across the pond, in the UK, in spite of the bureaucratic gymnastics required to purchase a restrictively narrow range of long arms, criminals almost effortlessly find ways to circumvent laws.
London boasts one of the highest violent crime rates for a Western capital city.
It seems as if people–wherever there’s a will–will use things at their disposal.
Rifles, however, are a nice scary scapegoat to point to in order to pass more legislation instead of attacking the root cause of violent crime–be it structural, familial, or demographic.
Law Enforcement Today reports:
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”.
The data includes bolt-action, pump, and lever-action rifles, too–not just scary-looking ‘assault’ rifles which has often whipped up a media frenzy.
Sadly, in spite of the data, there’s a narrative to preserve; hence, the data is either suppressed, misstated, or even conflated with suicide to beef up the stats.
Law Enforcement Today continues:
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.
The next course of action is, obviously, to ban fists and feet since they’re potentially deadly weapons.
But, if ridding the streets of deadly weapons and minimizing violent crime were really priorities, they would dominate the news cycle.
However, as this isn’t the case, and, as a high proportion of guns used in homicides are owned illegally; it’s harder to exploit for political profit than other forms of shootings.