While anti-gunners try to characterize AR-type modern sporting rifles as “assault weapons” that serve no purpose other than killing, the FBI’s 2015 Uniform Crime Report shows that rifles are far from the murder weapon of choice. They aren’t even in the top five—and they haven’t been at any point from 2011 to 2015.
In 2015, the number of homicides committed with knives or cutting instruments (1,544) was more than six times the number committed with rifles of any type (252)—with so-called “assault rifles” making up only a subset of that number. Criminals were 73 percent more likely to reach for a blunt object such as a hammer, and roughly two-and-a-half times more likely to use “personal weapons,” like fists or feet. Moreover, during that same time period, the number of rifles sold has skyrocketed, while the number of murders committed with rifles has dropped consistently—even in years when the overall murder rate was up—and never comprised more than three percent of the total.
Anti-gunners may say their proposed “assault-weapons” bans are necessary for reducing crime, but a look at the numbers shows their motivation for pushing such bans is far more political than preventative.