Yeah, I know: Someone has sent you a post on Facebook claiming there are more murders from hammers than guns, and they quote Fox.
If they’re not complete nuts, they were careful and noted it was rifles being compared, and not all guns.
Here’s the Fox headline:
January 03, 2013
Then, just to rub it in, that person who sent you the link said something like, ‘so you propose hammer control, too?’
The best debaters in college learn to listen to what their opponents say, and not what they think their opponents should have said. Good lawyers listen like that, too, in court, and in depositions.
See that last word in the headline? “Rifles.”
Yeah, it’s a limited part of the total population of guns.
Total gun deaths in 2011 were 8,583 — continuing a five-year trend downward, thanks for small blessings. Homicides only, not counting suicides — according to figures compiled by the FBI.
Did more than 8,500 people die from hammer assaults in 2011?
No, the same tally shows 496 people were murdered by use of “Blunt objects (clubs, hammers, etc.).”
496 is 8,087 fewer than the 8,583 gun deaths. But rifles? Oh, yeah.
323 people died from rifle fire. 356 died from shotgun wounds. 6,220 died from handguns, 97 from “other guns,” and 1,587 died from gunshots where the type of gun was not recorded on the report to the FBI. Add them up, you get 8,583 dead, murdered by gunfire.
Now, the gun
advocates nuts say that it’s fair to compare rifle deaths only, since only the AR-15 is being questioned, and is the target for “taking guns away.”
That’s inaccurate. President Obama laid out a plan of more than a score of actions, but only two refer to assault rifles, and only one refers to assault rifles directly:
Reinstate and strengthen the ban on assault weapons: The shooters in Aurora and Newtown used the type of semiautomatic rifles that were the target of the assault weapons ban that was in place from 1994 to 2004. That ban was an important step, but manufacturers were able to circumvent the prohibition with cosmetic modifications to their weapons. Congress must reinstate and strengthen the prohibition on assault weapons.
Limit ammunition magazines to 10 rounds: The case for prohibiting high-capacity magazines has been proven over and over; the shooters at Virginia Tech, Tucson, Aurora, Oak Creek, and Newtown all used magazines holding more than 10 rounds, which would have been prohibited under the 1994 law. These magazines enable any semiautomatic weapon to be used as an instrument of mass violence, yet they are once again legal and now come standard with many handguns and rifles. Congress needs to reinstate the prohibition on magazines holding more than 10 rounds.
President Obama laid out a plan that will make it substantially more difficult for people who shouldn’t have guns suitable for mass killings, to have them. More important, however, the President’s plan steps up the non-gun means available to stop mass shootings before a shooter gets to a campus armed and ready to kill.
The “discussion” will get more ugly, I predict, before it gets better.
- Gun Nut Claims that Hammers Are More Deadly Than Guns (slog.thestranger.com)
- Good Question: How Many People Are Killed By Assault Rifles? (minnesota.cbslocal.com)
- ‘Assault’ rifles are not involved in many U.S. murders: A look at the data (blogs.marketwatch.com)
- Conservatives demand hammer control (salon.com)
- Judiciary to consider assault weapons ban (politico.com)
- The Caucus: Senate Judiciary Committee Set to Consider Gun Legislation (thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com)