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New FBI UCR data shows that rifles are used in less than 2.6% of murders, and falling

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by damien, Sep 14, 2009.

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  1. damien

    damien Member

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    OK, you have all probably read quotes like this one ABC News a few years ago. This is the crux of their argument for banning semi-automatic rifles.

    The FBI has kept crime data per weapon type for the last four years. The final data for 2008 came out today. What weapons does Dennis Henigan think are 'super dangerous'? I don't know, but I expect that he is talking about “black” rifles like the civilian semi-automatic versions of the AR-15 and AK-47. If semi-automatic rifles are 'super dangerous', I suppose we would either see that in the data or there is something wrong in Dennis Henigan's assumptions. The data below tends to indicate that Dennis Henigan's assumptions are wrong. We need to emphasize these numbers in the media. They destroy his argument, and there are four years of data now:

    "by State, Type of Weapon, 2005"

    http://www.fbi.gov/ucr/05cius/data/table_20.html

    Total murders: 14,860
    Total handgun murders: 7,543 50.8% of total
    Total rifle murders: 442 3.0% of total
    Total shotgun murders: 517 3.5% of total
    Total unknown firearm murders: 1,598 10.6% of total
    Total knife murders: 1,914 12.9% of total
    Total other weapons: 1,954 13.1% of total
    Total no weapon murders: 892 6.0% of total

    "by State, Type of Weapon, 2006"

    http://www.fbi.gov/ucr/cius2006/data/table_20.html

    Total murders: 14,990
    Total handgun murders: 7,795 52.0% of total
    Total rifle murders: 436 2.9% of total
    Total shotgun murders: 481 3.2% of total
    Total unknown firearm murders: 1,465 9.8% of total
    Total knife murders: 1,822 12.2% of total
    Total other weapons: 2,158 14.4% of total
    Total no weapon murders: 833 5.6% of total

    "by State, Type of Weapon, 2007"

    http://www.fbi.gov/ucr/cius2007/data/table_20.html

    Total murders: 14,831
    Total handgun murders: 7,361 49.6% of total
    Total rifle murders: 450 3.0% of total
    Total shotgun murders: 455 3.1% of total
    Total unknown firearm murders: 1,820 12.3% of total
    Total knife murders: 1,796 12.1% of total
    Total other weapons: 2,095 14.1% of total
    Total no weapon murders: 854 5.7% of total

    "by State, Type of Weapons, 2008"

    http://www.fbi.gov/ucr/cius2008/data/table_20.html

    Total murders: 14,180
    Total handgun murders: 6,755 47.6% of total
    Total rifle murders: 375 2.6% of total
    Total shotgun murders: 444 3.1% of total
    Total unknown firearm murders: 1,910 13.5% of total
    Total knife murders: 1,897 13.4% of total
    Total other weapons: 1,938 13.7% of total
    Total no weapon murders: 861 6.1% of total

    So what is this telling us? It looks to me that there are several things we can take away from this data:

    1. The percent of murders committed with all rifles, not just semiautomatic rifles, but all rifles including bolt actions, lever actions, single shots, and all other types account for less than 3% of murders. And over the last four years, this small percentage is showing a downward trend. The number of murders actually committed with semi-automatic rifles is clearly even lower. I would ask The Brady Campaign to try to support its assertion that rifles of any type are 'super dangerous' weapons.

    2. Rifles represent the lowest danger of all weapon types, including hands and feet. The number of murders committed with no weapons at all is more than double the number of murders committed with rifles in 2008. The number of murders committed with a knife or other edged weapon is more than quintuple the number of murders committed with rifles. The number of murders committed with a blunt weapon is also more than quintuple the number of murders committed with rifles. In fact, a person is more than twelve times more likely to be murdered with a knife, blunt object, or no weapon at all as compared to a rifle.

    3. Despite the fact that these weapons are said to be 'super dangerous' and are also said to be "increasingly used by criminals" by the Brady Campaign (I would like a quote for this but I can't find it), the percentage of murders committed with all rifles dropped from 3.0% to 2.6% between 2005 and 2008.
     
  2. 9mm+

    9mm+ Member

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    Great data, Damien, thanks! I see that handguns are still around 50% so we can count on the Antis to make that an issue over and over and over again. Glad to see that rifles have finally gotten some respect with regards to gun crimes. Maybe EBR's won't be the Rodney Dangerfields much longer... :)

    It was shocking to see the number of knife murders! OMG, OMG! It's time to have those banned! We're going to have to cut our steaks with kindergarten scissors now and slice vegetables with a karate chop...
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2009
  3. CapnMac

    CapnMac Member

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    Also good to note that the "all murders" total is half that claimed as the "gun death" number for the US.

    So, when they winge on about 30,000 gun deaths, you can point out that, that numbre has some strong "rounding" in it, and ask for sourcing. Which seldom has as good a pedigree as the UCR data.

    Sadly, of course, that only works with logical types who are "on the fence." To the committed antis, it's nothing but heresy, and all such deniers need to be taken to the pyres for cleansing <sigh>.
     
  4. damien

    damien Member

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    They are including suicides to get that number. Of course the question on suicides to ask is if guns were eliminated from society, would that really prevent those suicides? Personally, I don't think so. An aide to the ex-governor of Illinois just committed suicide over the weekend (prior to going to federal prison) by ingesting a bottle of aspirin. It's also pretty easy to step in front of a train. Happens all the time in Chicagoland - it seems that the Metra is used most often. You don't need a gun.
     
  5. TexasRifleman

    TexasRifleman Moderator Emeritus

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    So, when the Brady Law first went into effect, with the waiting period, gun suicides went down by almost half. The overall suicide rate did not move at all, as you suspected.

    Like you say, someone interested in doing that will find a way.

    As for the "gun death" numbers, they also include shootings of criminals by police to arrive at the very high numbers they claim.
     
  6. dieselkanic

    dieselkanic Member

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    well...

    I can see right away those "no weapon" murders are a problem. We need to enact legislation immediately to ban these!:rolleyes:
     
  7. iiibdsiil

    iiibdsiil Member

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    Murder doesn't happen, it's illegal. I'm raising the BS flag here.
     
  8. NMGonzo

    NMGonzo Member

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    when strangulation with bare hands will be outlawed ....
     
  9. Oyeboten

    Oyeboten Member

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    Indeed, Sherrifs Departments and the B of ATF and now "E" as well, really are missing out on having Tax Stamps and Licenses for Hands-and-Feet.


    Too, iatrogenic deaths, ie: Homicide by Doctor or Hospital, probably hovers around a million a year.


    Former heads of the CDC, had conjectured figures above six hundred thousand-a-year, for which hard data could be assembled, if there were any way to do it.


    So, as far as "Danger" to the Public, Firearms of all classes and kinds, are hardly even worth mentioning compared to 'Doctors' and 'Hospitals'.


    ...sigh...
     
  10. Autolycus

    Autolycus Member

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    Could it also be that more murders are being committed with handguns and the percentage of rifles is not going up?
     
  11. TexasRifleman

    TexasRifleman Moderator Emeritus

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    He posted the stats for all weapon types in the OP.

    Handgun rates went down too.
     
  12. damien

    damien Member

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    If anyone cares, I translated my Excel workbook to Google's version of Excel and you can see the worked numbers here:

    http://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?key=0AukDNfTx9WYwdGRYRHJwWmhFMEZTbEpWOXBsSUdTMUE&hl=en

    There are four worksheets, you have to click them at the bottom of the page (2005...2006...2007...2008) to see the different years.

    The formatting of the percentages stinks. I can't figure out how to format the numbers as a percentage or at least limit them to a reasonable number of decimal places in Google Spreadsheets. It's pretty easy in Excel.

    Google has the menu function File>Download As>Excel if you want your own copy.
     
  13. happygeek

    happygeek Member

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    I'm waiting for the Brady bunch to quit using "gun deaths in the U.S. and start saying "# of people Americans killed with guns"; that way they can pad the numbers with insurgent deaths ...
     
  14. MachIVshooter

    MachIVshooter Member

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    Despite all the weapons I own, if I ever wanted to commit suicide (and I most certainly don't), I would not use a firearm. Probably carbon monoxide. Less messy and more foolproof. Even firearm sucides are unsuccessful sometimes, and the results of such a failed attempt are usually horrific.

    That figure includes suicides, accidental, AND criminals shot by police or ordinary citizens. They don't care if it was a crime or not, just that someone was killed by a bullet.
     
  15. mp510

    mp510 Member

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    I would be really hesitant to talk about that decrease. The reality is, the numbers seem to wobble back and forth on that, just about annually, and you are never really seeing more than a minimal amount of change. Stick to the argument about why rifles ARE NOT the type of firearms that most criminals would want, backed up by their overall minimal use in homicides. :)
     
  16. fastbolt

    fastbolt Member

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    Some patience and consideration is required when navigating among the published reports going back to 1995 at the official website.
    http://www.fbi.gov/ucr/ucr.htm

    Statistics can be confusing at times.

    Reading the introduction to the UCR's is helpful in gaining some insight into how the reports and their statistics are intended to be considered.

    Remember that statistics are based upon reported info.

    There are some differences in how the same info is considered and tabulated, too, depending on the question being asked at the time.

    Some of it is very interesting, and perhaps unexpected to some folks.

    You can even find some statistics comparing the "justifiable homicide by weapon" for both law enforcement and private citizens. Some of the info in different years is in .xls (Excel) format. Some examples (in .xls) of the charts I just mentioned from one earlier report: (general link listing http://www.fbi.gov/ucr/00cius.htm )

    Specific linked charts for that report:
    http://www.fbi.gov/filelink.html?file=/ucr/cius_00/xl/00tbl2-16.xls
    http://www.fbi.gov/filelink.html?file=/ucr/cius_00/xl/00tbl2-17.xls

    It can be interesting to browse among the various reports if you have the time and the curiosity ...
     
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