Hammers are used to kill more people than ‘assault weapons’ each year

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Bullet casings and broken glass. Crime scene. D-Keine/Getty Images/iStockphoto

Hammers are used to kill more people than ‘assault weapons’ each year

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Democrats have capitalized on the horrific domestic terrorist attack at the Covenant School in Nashville by using it as an example of the need for gun control. Exploiting the deaths of six people, including three 9-year-old students, the virulent Left have increased their propaganda to call for bans on “assault rifles.”

This is typical left-wing pandering. As usual, it omits all the relevant facts.


For example, did you know that more people are killed each year by hammers than assault rifles? It’s true. Maybe we should ban hammers.

Consider Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand’s (D-NY) recent tweet condemning assault rifles. Her sentiment is one that many Democrats in Congress share and often repeat to constituents throughout the nation.

Guns are used in the overwhelming majority of homicides, it is true. But the vast, vast majority of those are committed by handguns, not even rifles, let alone assault rifles. If Gillibrand said that handguns are “shattering families and terrorizing communities,” it would be hard to argue against those claims. But assault rifles? Not so much.

This isn’t to diminish any tragedy in which they are used, such as the Covenant School shooting. Those are tragic, and everyone wishes we could find a viable solution to prevent them. But it’s intellectually disingenuous to focus solely on cases that are outliers.

Moreover, if the Democratic logic of preventing homicides is predicated on banning particular weapons, they should really focus on hammers, knives, and “hands, fists, feet, etc.” Data from the FBI show that more people are killed from those weapons than from rifles, of which assault weapons are a small subset.

Consider the FBI’s data on homicides in the country. From 2015-2019, according to FBI homicide statistics, an average of 315 people were killed annually by rifles. Some subset of those might be considered assault weapons. In comparison, hammers — a tool traditionally used for home improvement — were used in an average of 446 homicides per year.

So, why haven’t Democrats called for a ban on hammers? Is this total, which is significantly higher than those killed from rifles or shotguns, an acceptable amount of carnage?

Furthermore, consider the average number of homicides resulting from knives or even people’s bare hands. During that same period, the FBI reported that an average of 669.2 people are killed annually from someone’s “hands, fists, feet, etc.” Knives were used in substantially more homicides, with an average of 1,544 people killed yearly.


School shootings such as the one at Covenant School are senseless and extremely rare tragedies. But their deaths shouldn’t be exploited to advance political agendas. Knives and hammers are used to kill more people each year than assault rifles. It’s the people who decide to do the killing that are the problem, not the weapons they use.

The next time a Democrat laments homicides caused by hammers or knives will be the first time. They’re not interested in really stopping senseless killings. They are just trying to take away the rights of others and make as much money as possible in the process — the anti-gun lobby is a booming industry, after all. Their outrage is political theater. They don’t bring viable or relevant solutions — they just exploit tragedies for their political gain.

© 2023 Washington Examiner

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