We have a Murder Control Problem, not a Gun Control Problem

In light of a coming ban on “assault weapons”, I decided to look up just how many people were killed with rifles of any kind. I’m not going to take a wild stance, come to your own conclusions. These are facts without any lipstick.

All of these statistics come from the FBI, and I proportionally doled out of the “unknown weapons” to each category.

From the charts below, we see handguns are the weapon of choice for murder in the United States.

Murder bar chart by weapon 2011

Handguns are the favorite weapon of murderers with a burly two-thirds vote.

Murder pie chart 2011 by weapon

Here is the same data, but with handguns totally deleted to show how a miraculously effective handgun ban would look (though murderers are notoriously bad at following laws).

Murders 2011 US by weapon no handguns

Interestingly, when murderers go to #2 on their list of weapons, they choose a knife over a different type of gun. This is another cheap, easy to use, easily concealed weapon, so it appears that convenience takes precedence over lethality.

When murderers go to number 3, they just use their hands and feet. Once again convenience takes a front seat. Amazingly, it isn’t until you get past hammers and clubs and get to #5 on the list that murderers finally resort to shotguns. Rifles roll in at #6. Given the headlines lately, you’d think such a supposed killing machine would be more popular for…killing?

So, the brooding assault weapons ban, which focuses so heavily on scary black rifles, seems to be pointed in the wrong direction. But still, I just can’t see anyone talk seriously about knife control.


I decided to look up murder weapon statistics in a country where guns are basically illegal. It turns out that gun murders, naturally, are decreased, but the profile of murder weapons bears a striking resemblance to the last chart above. From Scotland, we see this:

Scottish Murders by weapon

Here’s actual murder stats from Scotland, where we see knives in the #1 slot.

Furthermore, people continue to blame the weapons, rather than the murderers themselves, as “Jimw” commented on an article highlighting the knife murders in Scotland. Evidently, if we took all the knives away there would be no violence.

Jimw: The knife culture needs to be addressed big time. We should not forget that it is probably fair to say that anyone caught with a knife has probably carried one many times before they have been caught. On that basis there should be no sympathy shown and heavy custodial sentences should automatic , and hard. Take these people to some remote island and let them work of the land for a month or two , or out to disused oil platforms with nothing but seagulls and seals for company.  A few weeks there , and finish sentence at one of her majesty’s   ‘hotels’ should help them rehabilitate.

Good luck making kitchen utensils illegal.

Published in: on January 26, 2013 at 10:36 pm  Comments (1)  

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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. Tremendous. I agree.

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