FBI: Over Twice as Many People Killed With Knives in 2021 Compared to Rifles

Lorenz Duchamps
By Lorenz Duchamps
October 11, 2022USshare
FBI: Over Twice as Many People Killed With Knives in 2021 Compared to Rifles
People at a memorial for Ma'Khia Bryant on Legion Lane, where a police officer shot the 16-year-old girl as she was attacking a woman with a knife, in Columbus, Ohio, on April 23, 2021. (Samira Bouaou/The Epoch Times)

The FBI’s Uniform Crime Report (UCR) indicates that knives or cutting tools were used in over twice as many homicides across the United States in 2021 compared to people who used rifles to commit murder.

According to the agency’s annual data, 447 people were killed with rifles last year, while 1,035 people were killed with “knives or cutting instruments.”

Overall, murders increased from 22,000 in 2020 to 22,900 in 2021, or a 4.3 percent increase, according to figures released by the FBI earlier this month. The analysis also revealed that the aggregate estimated volume of violent crimes—which includes murder and nonnegligent manslaughter, rape, robbery, and aggravated assault—decreased by 1 percent nationwide in 2021.

The latest data is based on 11,794 of 18,806 law enforcement agencies across the country who voluntarily reported an expanded homicide report, meaning the number of murders is likely higher. The average U.S. murder rate hit 6.9 murders per 100,000 people in 2021—the highest figure it’s been in more than 20 years.

According to Breitbart News, which reported UCR data for past years, the elevated number of stabbing deaths over homicides by rifle fluctuates year to year, with knives and cutting objects being used in murders up to five times more than rifles in 2018.

The publication reported in September 2019 that UCR data indicated a total of 1,515 people were killed with knives or other cutting instruments versus 297 who were shot and killed by people using a rifle.

For 2020, UCR data shows that 454 people were shot and killed with rifles, while 1,732 were stabbed to death with knives and other cutting tools.

The category of “rifle” includes all kinds of rifles, not just bolt action, pump action, or semiautomatic, which those on the political left label “assault weapons.” So, the gap between knife homicides and rifle homicides is likely even larger if contrasted only with semiautomatic rifles versus rifles of all kinds.

Handguns, the majority of which are semiautomatic, were used in most of last year’s murders, with 6,012, followed by firearms of a “type not stated,” according to the FBI report. This is likely due to the murder rate being typically higher in urban areas than in rural ones. In the United States, many of the handguns that are being used in murders are illegally obtained.

‘Shocking Numbers’

The number of violent crimes across the United States has soared this year and is set to return to pre-pandemic levels, despite a drop in homicides, a new survey shows.

According to the midyear comparison survey (pdf) from the Major Cities Chiefs Association (MCCA), there were 236,962 incidents of major crimes such as robberies and aggravated assaults reported in the first six months of 2022 compared to 226,967 in the same period last year.

Despite a surge in violent crime, the number of homicides and rapes saw a slight decline, according to the survey. A total of 4,511 homicides were reported in the first half of 2022 compared to 4,624 in the first six months of 2021; a 2 percent decrease.

However, the decline in homicides was not seen everywhere across the country, with Atlanta, Baltimore, Dallas, New Orleans, and Phoenix all among those cities that have seen a spike in homicides so far this year.

“Compared to 2019 midyear figures, MCCA member cities have experienced a 50 percent increase in homicides and a roughly 36 percent increase in aggravated assaults. These shocking numbers demonstrate how the sustained increase in violent crime has disproportionately impacted major urban areas,” MCCA said in a press release (pdf).

MCCA is an organization of police executives and represents the biggest cities in the United States and Canada. The report surveyed over 70 major U.S. law enforcement agencies.

Epoch Times reporter Katabella Roberts contributed to this report.

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