Here's a question that I've asked my second amendment supporting friends to help my slow and addled brain to understand. I'd like them to explain the analogy that they love to throw on the table between regulating guns and knives (and whatever other potentially dangerous objects you choose.) It always comes in the form of a suggested equivalency such that if we regulate guns, we might as well regulate knives and bats and whatever else we can potentially kill each other with. One friend in particular recently instructed me to go and look up crime statistics before making my flippant comments regarding gun issues after I noted that the recent knife attack by that lunatic in Texas resulted in 14 injured people, but no deaths. Well, I did, and the results are right here.
According to the FBI's 2011 nationwide crime statistics, there were 8583 murders committed with some type of firearm that year and 1694 murders committed with knives and other cutting instruments. Before we continue to make any more false equivalencies about knives being just as dangerous as guns, we also have to look at their ownership levels with respect to the overall population. Keep in mind that guns are found in approximately 40-45% of all American homes (depending on which survey you look at) whereas knives and other sharp instruments are found in... I believe the statistic is roughly 99.99% of homes. If I'm doing my math correctly, I think that percentage would indicate that knife ownership is slightly higher than gun ownership.
If we analyze the two instruments a bit deeper, we will quickly conclude that knives, as compared to firearms, do not go off accidentally, it is a tremendously rare event for someone to kill themselves while cleaning a knife, and it takes a circus performer or highly trained Ninja to kill someone from 30 feet away with a knife.
As for weapons of choice by crazies, I am not reading many stories regarding a rock killing epidemic in our country, lunatics don’t tend to wander into school yards with a duffel bag full of bats and start swinging away, and I’ve yet to hear of a nut job climbing a tower and flinging knives at the people below. My question is simply why is it so hard for second amendment supporters to look at firearms as the unique machines that they are? The muskets and rifles that the founders were writing about don’t come close to the power of modern day weapons, yet we still use their words to frame today’s argument.
So, if someone can help me understand the meaning of this analogy that I'm missing, I would be forever grateful. I suspect there are reasonable arguments to be made regarding gun ownership (for or against). I just want to understand the logic of this comparison and why it has such legs.