Report: FBI data shows more homicides committed with hands and feet than rifles in 2020

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UNITED STATES – According to data released by the FBI earlier in September, it’s apparent that Americans are more at risk of being killed by a person’s hands or feet as opposed to being fatally gunned down by any iteration of a rifle.

This finding regarding the latest release from the FBI’s Unified Crime Report detailing the means employed for homicides in 2020 once again reiterated that rifles – to include those ones often dubbed as “assault rifles” – are statistically of lower concern than how they’re often bolstered in the media and by lawmakers.

The topic of rifles, particularly those referred to as “assault rifles”, comes up in the media and in legislative talks whenever the rare occurrence transpires when some form of a rifle is used in a tragic mass shooting. While mass shootings are terrible, instances where rifles are employed are often rare – and crimes carried out where individuals are slain by rifles are also rare.

Yet, the topic of gun control in the realm of rifles (namely, again, “assault rifles”) is frequently touted by legislators. But the numbers show that there are murders carried out by mere physical prowess that exceed those carried out by a rifle of any sort – to even include automatic rifles. But somehow the fervor remains against rifles and/or large capacity magazines.

Data from the FBI Unified Crime Report for 2020 spells it out clearly. In 2020, there were a total of 318 homicides committed by way of rifles of all strips. When it came to “personal weapons” – meaning homicides carried out by one’s hands/feet, the total was 415.

In 2019, there were a total of 179 homicides carried out by rifles of all kinds. In the category of personal weapons, that number was 331. A figure that borders on nearly double of rifle-related homicides. And in 2018, the number of rifle-related killings was even lower.

FBI data from 2018 shows that there were 126 homicides carried out by any type of rifle. When it came to murders via hands or feet, the figure was 320 – a number that was over double the amount of homicides by way of rifles. It’s not to say that homicides carried out by rifles aren’t serious – by all means they are, and there should be avenues explored to help prevent murders of any stripe from being carried out.

But the fact that there are more homicides by way of people utilizing their hands and feet also betrays the ugly truth of homicide: the intent factor. Sure, legislation can be crafted to outlaw an instrument used in homicides, ban certain firearms and so on – but one measure that can never be legislated is emotion – particularly hostile ones – which are the elements that foment intent. And nothing shows homicidal intent more than one person killing another by way of their literal endowed appendages.
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