Which kills more people each year — rifles or knives?
If you just read mainstream media headlines, then you’d likely think that the AK-47 rifle was by far the greatest killer, but according to the FBI, that is not the case. The agency recently released details about crime, and the results were very surprising.
The annual Uniform Crime Rate was just released by the FBI. This annual report covers violent crimes across the nation, tracking both overall crime rates and individual types of crime. The report covers the entire year of 2018, and indicated that violent crime has dropped for the second year in a row.
The drop in violence is good news, but the type of weapons used in homicides is surprising to most readers, who are now fed a regular diet of anti-Second Amendment news and reports. According to the statistic shared, you’re actually far more likely to be killed with a knife than with a rifle if you live in the United States.
This is likely surprising for those who follow mainstream media – gun control and the need for increasingly strict regulations and restrictions have dominated headlines for the past 18 months. High profile shootings can and do happen, but the overall statistics tell a different story.
The 2018 report card is overall good news; homicides in general shrunk by 1,000 cases from 2017, falling from 15,195 to 14,123, according to the official FBI report.
Knives were used to kill 1,515 people in 2018 in a variety of crimes. This is a little under 10 percent of all of the homicides committed in the year. In contrast, 297 people were killed with AK-47s and other rifles; this represents less than one percent of all homicides. Shotguns were responsible for even fewer deaths than rifles; the FBI reports 235 deaths by shotgun in 2018.
It’s not just knives — while bladed weapons have a higher kill count than all long guns combined, other weapons topped rifles and shotguns as well. According to the FBI report, 443 people were killed with blunt weapons in 2018, about twice the amount of those killed by rifles. Attacks with bare hands were also more deadly than those with rifles — 672 people perished after being attacked with nothing but the killer’s bare hands or feet.
Deaths caused by all types of weapons fell at about the same rate over the course of the year, resulting in a lower homicide rate for 2018 than in 2016 or 2017.
Despite the controversy and the number of groups dedicated to gun control that focus on long guns, primarily rifles, these weapons are far less deadly than fists, blunt weapons or knives. While gun control advocates seek to outlaw rifles, knives and other deadly weapons are rarely mentioned, despite their higher kill count.