In 2016, the number of murders in the U.S. rose by 8.6% over the 2015 tally. Overall, violent crime increased over 4%.
Since there’s a lot of talk about assault rifles being a favored weapon of choice among killers, let’s take a moment to examine the number of people murdered with rifles of any kind (Remember, most rifles described as assault rifles are merely everyday rifles wearing fancy do-dads—no extra firepower, etc.).
In 2016, 17,250 people were murdered. Of the 17,250, 374 victims were shot and killed with a rifle of some type. In comparison, 1,604 people were killed with knives or other edged weapons. Hands, feet, and fists were the instruments used to beat to death 656 people. That’s right, victims were beaten to death far more often than were shot and killed with rifles.
Illinois, for example, saw a total of 941 murders in 2016. Of the 941, only 14 were killed with some type of rifle.
61 were killed with an edged weapon. 62 with “other” weapons. 19 by hands, feet, etc. 780 by handgun or other type of firearm. 762 of the total killings in Illinois occurred in Chicago, by the way.
Murders by Rifle (a few random states)
Alabama – 0 by rifle (3 total murders)
California – 37 by rifle (1930 total murders)
District of Columbia – 0 by rifle (136 total murders)
Georgia – 20 by rifle (646 total murders)
Nevada – 2 by rifle (209 total murders)
New York – 2 by rifle (628 total murders).
Texas – 51 by rifle (1459 total murders)
Wyoming – 0 by rifle (19 total murders).
Also in 2016, 57,180 police officers were assaulted. 118 of those officers were killed.
Over 32% of the attacks against officers occurred while responding to disturbance calls, with 13.2% of those assaults taking place between the hours of midnight and 2 a.m.
62 of the 118 officers were killed with firearms.
19 officers were within five-feet of their attackers when they were killed.
45 of the individuals who killed officers had prior criminal records.
*Source – FBI UCR reports