FBI statistics released Monday shows that more than five times as many people were killed in knife attacks last year as by shootings with rifles.
According to the agency’s annual Uniform Crime Report, 1,515 homicides in 2018 were committed with knifes and/or other cutting instruments compared to compared to 297 with rifles. That was an even bigger gap than in 2017, when the FBI found four times as many killings by knife as by rifle.
At the same time, more than twice as many people, 672, were beaten to death last year than were killed with a rifle, the FBI reported based on nationwide law enforcement data.
The numbers bely renewed calls by gun control advocates to ban — or even confiscate — “assault rifles” like the popular AR-15. Alyssa Milano and others have warned of a national gun violence “crisis,” and prominent Democrats have pushed for such moves following a series of headline-making mass shootings in August.
“Hell yes, we’re going to take your AR-15, your AK-47,” Beto O’Rourke declared last month on stage at the 2020 Democratic presidential debate.
The FBI numbers on knives and guns vs. the myths
However, only 2.9 percent of the 10,265 gun homicides last year were committed with any kind of rifle, the FBI reported.
Overall, the agency recorded14,123 homicides in 2018, down from 15,195 in 2017. The reduction was part of a 16-year decline in violent and property crimes.
- An illustrative image of gun rights activists.: Screen grab