These Numbers Don’t Lie (with Colonel Smoothbore)
By angelamontana

Posted: February 16, 2020

I’ve spent some time looking at the 2018 FBI statistics concerning murder in the United States. In a moment I’ll offer some thoughts about those numbers but first if you would like to check them out yourself, here’s a link:

https://ucr.fbi.gov/crime-in-the-u.s/2018/crime-in-the-u.s.-2018/topic-pages/expanded-offense

There are many tables that describe who was murdered, where they were murdered, and how they were murdered. Each table offers lots of information about the victims, the perpetrators of the murders and the relationships to each other, the areas where the crimes took place, and the devices used to commit the homicides. Please note that I am discussing homicide, not suicide.

In 2018 there were 14,123 murders reported to the FBI. Of these, 10,265 died of gunshot wounds. The breakdown for the type of firearms used is 6603 handguns, 297 rifles, and 235 shotguns. Those numbers total 7135; there were 3130 murders where “other gun” or the type of firearm was not stated. Of the murders where the type of firearm is known, 92.5% were committed with handguns, 3.3% with shotguns, and 4.2% with rifles. I took the liberty of rounding to the nearest tenth of one percent, you can check my math if you wish, it is correct. If we extrapolate the known percentages to the 3130 homicides that were committed with an unknown gun type we can add another 2895 murders by handguns, 103 by shotguns, and 132 by rifles. Again, I rounded the numbers because no one is partially murdered. 

Looking at only the known types of firearms used to commit murder in 2018, we see that 4.2% were committed with rifles. There is no breakdown regarding the operating system of the rifle. We don’t know how many break-action, lever action, bolt action, pump action, semi-auto action, or “other type” of rifles were used to commit these homicides. We do know that 297 of the over 300 million people in the United States were murdered with the use of a rifle. 

One of the pet arguments of gun control fanatics is the claim that the “assault weapons” ban must be reinstituted and expanded. There are several states in which legislation is being debated and, in some cases, passed that make possession and ownership of an “assault weapon” a felony. One of the problems with these laws is how does one define an “assault weapon.” As an example here is a link to HB961 recently passed by the Virginia State House,
http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?201+sum+HB961

This bill is truly misguided at best and I guarantee that there will be lots of new felons in Virginia if this legislation is enacted into law.

Every life lost to murder is a tragedy and we should do all that we can to stop the senseless carnage that we see every day on our streets and in our homes and businesses. It is estimated that there are over 400 million guns in the U.S. and approximately 15 to 20 million AR or similar type rifles in civilian hands. Seriously, does anyone really believe that making felons out of 20 million law-abiding Americans is going to stop the murder of 500 people. Such nonsense won’t solve any problems, it will only delay actions that will truly aid in stopping many senseless homicides.

Overall in 2018, crime rates fell compared to 2017. Violent crime rates, sadly with the exception of rape, also fell in comparison to 2017. Politicians often tell us that crime is rising, and that the only way we can be safe is with more laws and less individual freedom. I suggest you take a look at the FBI stats and then you can decide who is telling the truth.

Be safe and good shooting.

Colonel Smoothbore