Conservative Meme Fact-Checked — Deaths From Guns

If you pay attention to conservative Facebook pages or media (I do), you may have seen this image floating around:

This image is misleading at best and blatantly false at worse. The stats they’re quoting are, indeed, from the FBI. And there were only 323 murders committed with rifles … sort of. There were actually 728 committed with hands/feet, not 726, which shows the maker of this meme had little to no adding ability. The 1,694 number is right, though, for murders with knives.

Here’s what they fail to mention — the 1,684 murders with firearms of an unknown type. Not only that, but as conservatives point out so often, most murders are crimes of passion. People grab weapons that are easily acquirable and usable. Rifles — assault weapons, that is — are used in premeditated crimes. Often, as we’ve seen recently, in mass murder shooting sprees. While we’re on the issue of gun control, though, let’s take a look at the rest of the stats the FBI reported for 2011, shall we? 6,220 murders with handguns. 356 with shotguns. All told, 8,583 murders with firearms in 2011 — and that’s out of 12,664. In other words, 68% of murders committed in 2011 were committed with firearms.

I’m not opposed to people keeping their assault weapons or guns of any type, as I’ve mentioned before:

Well, then, it seems obvious — every gun manufactured later than 2013 must have a biometric trigger that must be keyed to whomever will be using the firearm. All guns made previous to the installation of biometric controls must be placed in a biometrically controlled safe, in order to prevent theft. You are liable for any damages done with your guns, even if you did not pull the trigger (unless it’s a biometric fail, in which case the company that built it is).

Conservatives, though, don’t want controls of any type. Imagine if every murder committed in 2011 by a gun was traceable to the owner of the gun, and that the owner was liable — even if it was stolen (think monetary damages). I’m sure people would secure their weapons much more effectively.

Political Writer, Justin Acuff Please join me on Facebook for instant access to my articles, or visit my home site.