United States – -(AmmoLand.com)- Well, if Beto O’Rourke was hoping that the latest FBI crime stats would bolster his call for an Australia-style gun ban, he’s got to be feeling very disappointed. O’Rourke has been talking down to anyone who falls short of his demands for infringements – really a wholesale denial – of the right to keep and bear arms.
But the FBI has released data for 2018 which makes his push to make America like Australia on guns look like the unreasonable and arbitrary injustice that it is. And yes, injustice is the right word to use for what O’Rourke wants to do. If he gets his way on guns, he would impose a collective punishment in the form of diminished liberty on millions of Americans who committed no crime, and who are not mentally incompetent or a danger to themselves or others. If that is not a textbook example of injustice, then the word loses any meaning.
Those who are resisting that injustice, from the large pro-Second Amendment groups (NRA, GOA, SAF, Firearms Policy Coalition) to individual Second Amendment supporters, are not in the wrong when they do so. Beto O’Rourke, Michael Bloomberg, and other anti-Second Amendment extremists calling for these gun bans – or even bans on future sales – are the ones in the wrong.
The data shows that O’Rourke’s justifications are so weak that calling them flimsy overstates their strength. In fact, the latest data shows that the modern multi-purpose semi-automatic firearms he seeks to ban are very rarely misused for murder. When he paints the picture of children being gunned down by maniacs with AR-15s as an everyday occurrence, he is gaslighting the country.
Here’s the real scoop: The misuse of rifles and shotguns of any type is extremely rare.
The FBI’s newest edition of Crime in the United States reveals that in 2018, rifles of all types were used to commit 297 murders. This is a decline from 2017’s revised figure of 390 (in the 2017 edition of Crime in the United States, the FBI had initially reported 403 murders). The years 2014, 2015, and 2016 also saw the murder figures involving rifles revised. 2014’s revision saw it go down from 258 to 235. The 2015 figure went down from 258 to 215. The revision from 2016 was very stark – it went down from 378 to 300.
The figures for shotguns are even lower for 2018. Those were only used in 235 murders last year. The figures for the previous four years were also revised. The 2017 figure stayed steady at 264. The 2016 figure was revised down to 247 from 264. 2015 saw a similar revision, from 272 to 247. 2014 saw a downward revision from 264 to 238.
By comparison, let’s look at the 2018 numbers for some other weapons. Knives were used in 1,515 murders, or roughly three times the number of murders involving rifles and shotguns combined (532). What the FBI calls “personal weapons” – really fists and feet – were used in 672 murders in 2018. That’s more than rifles and shotguns combined. You’re also more likely to see a murder committed with a blunt object like a baseball bat (443 in 2018) than either a rifle or shotgun.
This trend has held for years down the line. The 1995 edition of Crime in the United States showed the rarity of rifle and shotgun use (go to page 18). In fact, rifles and shotguns are used fare less often today than they were in the early 1990s, and the number of killings have gone down as modern multi-purpose semi-automatics have become more popular – totaling at least 16 million, per the National Shooting Sports Foundation.
By comparison, Chevrolet has produced roughly 10.3 million of its Suburban SUVs over the years, based on recent sales figures and a release from the automaker. If someone thinks the Chevy Suburban is in common use, then it is quite clear that modern multi-purpose semi-automatic firearms like the AR-15 are also in common use, with all of the legal implications that come with that acknowledgment.
The numbers are there in black and white. Is it any wonder, when looking at the data, that many Americans, when subjected to the injustice of semi-auto bans in states like Connecticut, New York, and California, have chosen what amounts to civil disobedience? The federal bump stock ban’s compliance is arguably at less than one percent, according to the Washington Times.
If the facts are out there and reported in proper context, then this is not a winning issue for the likes of Beto O’Rourke. With the right strategy and tactics, keeping in mind how our approach comes across, and working hard with local media, we could get these facts out to our fellow Americans – to open the door to further educate them on our Second Amendment rights, and eventually make such bans unthinkable. The facts are on our side, we just need to ensure our fellow Americans will be willing to listen to them.
About Harold Hutchison
Writer Harold Hutchison has more than a dozen years of experience covering military affairs, international events, U.S. politics and Second Amendment issues. Harold was consulting senior editor at Soldier of Fortune magazine and is the author of the novel Strike Group Reagan. He has also written for the Daily Caller, National Review, Patriot Post, Strategypage.com, and other national websites.