Mayor Bloomberg and the gun-grabbing lobby are still bitter with Harry Reid for removing the assault weapons ban from Feinstein’s gun control package. Yesterday, Mayor Bloomberg, who is also the co-chairman of Mayors Against Illegal Guns met with Vice President Joe Biden at a press conference at New York City Hall to urge Biden to continue fighting for more gun control. Bloomberg was backed by many of the families of Sandy Hook victims.
Bloomberg said that if Congress didn’t pass real gun control reforms, we’ll have another 12,000 gun murders this year:
“It has been 97 days since Newtown. In that time, we estimate that more than 3,000 Americans have been murdered with guns. Almost none of the victims generated national headlines, but each murder was a tragedy for the victim’s family and for the community. If Congress does nothing, another 12,000 people will be murdered with guns this year alone. We just cannot let that happen. It is up to us, all of us to convince members of Congress that it’s in everyone’s interest to act now.”
He needs to get his stats straight. I’m assuming when he said “another 12,000,” he’s referring to the same 12,000 gun murders that Piers Morgan often refers to (actually, I think Morgan refers to an 11,000 figure, but close enough).
If they want to go by government statistics, there were 12,664 total homicides in 2011. But that includes homicides committed without guns, and it includes justifiable homicides by law enforcement and civilians.
Of those 12,664 homicides, 8,583 were committed with a firearm. Of those, 660 were determined to be justifiable homicides (self-defense). So, according to the FBI, there were 7,923 gun murders in 2011. The FBI has only released preliminary crime statistics for 2012, from January through June, but from those, it appears the total murder rate has decreased 1.7%.
We can take it even further. In 2011, there were 323 murders committed with rifles. But this doesn’t necessarily mean AR-15s or other “assault weapons.” Law enforcement statistics don’t get much more specified than that. The number of murders committed with so-called assault weapons is likely a fraction of that 323. And as you’ve probably seen numerous times before, more people were killed by knives (1,694); hands, fists and feet (728); and clubs and hammers (496) than by rifles.
And yet, Mayor Bloomberg and Senator Feinstein want so badly to focus on that tiny subset of murder statistics, and they’re using the Sandy Hook victims’ caskets as soapboxes to do it. Or, as Ben Shapiro from Breitbart noted, they’re standing on the graves of the children of Sandy Hook. But maybe “standing” is too mild of a word. I think the entire gun-grabbing lobby is dancing on their graves. They’re delighted that they’re able to use that tragedy to further their agenda.