Knives kill more than guns in the U.S.? Just not true

As the public debate over extending background checks for gun purchases unfolded last week, I saw a statement on Facebook that knives are used more than guns each year in homicides. That didn’t ring true, so I did some research. The statistics below are from the FBI’s website. Go here to see them for yourself. To see the whole list below at once, use the drop-down menu and select “Show 25 entries.” (There are only 20 rows, so that’s all you’ll see.)

It still seems reasonable to me to require a background check when someone wants to purchase a gun. It’s not a cure-all measure, and it won’t stop someone hellbent on homicide, but it could deter some people and slow others down. A reported 90 percent of Americans see this as a common-sense step. How about you? (Thoughtful comments are welcome. Thoughtful rants, even. But nothing outside the borders of good taste!)

Homicide Victims by Weapon, 2007-2011     
Weapons20072008200920102011
Total14,91614,22413,75213,16412,664
Total firearms:10,1299,5289,1998,8748,583
Handguns7,3986,8006,5016,1156,220
Rifles453380351367323
Shotguns457442423366356
Other guns11681969397
Firearms, type not stated1,7051,8251,8281,9331,587
Knives or cutting instruments1,8171,8881,8361,7321,694
Blunt objects (clubs, hammers, etc.)647603623549496
Personal weapons (hands, fists, feet, etc.)1869875817769728
Poison1097115
Explosives1112412
Fire13185987875
Narcotics5234524529
Drowning121681015
Strangulation1348912212285
Asphyxiation10987849889
Other weapons or weapons not stated1,005999904872853
1 Pushed is included in personal weapons.

This entry was posted in Lists, Society and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *