The tragic shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut on December 14 has proven to be a reference point for opponents of the Second Amendment to propose anti-gun legislation once again. However, reports from the Federal Bureau of Investigation indicate that the focus on semi-automatic rifles is misguided. In fact, according to the FBI, more hammers, clubs, and other blunt objects are involved in murders than rifles or shotguns.
In 2011, 323 murders were committed with a rifle and 356 with a shotgun, while a staggering 496 were committed with hammers and clubs.
Furthermore, from 2005 to 2011, more people in the United States were killed with blunt objects such as hammers and clubs, or with hands and fists, than with rifles. In many of those years, twice as many people were killed with hands and fists than with rifles.
In 2006, there were 618 murders committed with a hammer or club, while 438 murders were committed with a rifle. In 2005, 445 murders were committed with a rifle while 605 by hammers and clubs.
Also in 2011, 1,694 people were killed by "knives or cutting instruments," far more than rifles and shotguns combined.
The FBI does add, however, that the “murder by rifle” statistic could be increased slightly because non-categorized types of guns are not taken into account. However, the overall data still shows that a significant number of people are being killed by hammers, clubs, and knives — and that those instances of murder continue to go up each year.
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