(C. D. Tavares) writes:
Report to the Nation on Crime and Justice, Second Edition, U.S.
Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, NCJ-105506,
For 1985, for robbery and assaults, the following is how
many incidents involved a firearm and how many involved a knife.
Robbery Assault ------- ------- Firearm 23% 12% Knife 21% 10%
In both robbery and assault, a gun was actually fired and hit the victim
only 4% of the time in all incidents in 1985. Victims were actually
stabbed in 10% in the incidents involving knives.
Gun and knife robberies are equally like to result in serious injury.
The fatality rate in gun robberies is three times that of knife
(Cook, J of Criminal Law and Criminology 78:357-76)
In Point Blank, by Gary Kleck, pg 165:
(He cites a study by Wilson and Sherman, 1961)
“At least one medical study compared very similar sets of wounds (‘all were
penetrating wounds of the abdomen’), and found that the mortality rate in
pistol wounds was 16.8%, while the rate was 14.3% for ice pick wounds and
13.3% for butcher knife wounds.
Kleck is misrepresenting this study. Those are mortality rates of
patients who survive long enough to reach the hospital alive. From
that same paper: “…the preponderance of stab wounds is more apparent
than real because a significant percentage of patients wounded by
gunshot die before reaching hospital.” In any case, the percentages
quoted to three significant figures above are based on such small
numbers as to be meaningless (e.g. 14.3%=2/14, and 13.3%=2/15).
A single knife wound is roughly equivalent to a single .38 gunshot wound.
I think you just made this up, cdt. What evidence do you have for
The problem here is that a knife attack usually involves more than a
And what evidence do you have for this? Perhaps you would care to
tell us how the fatality rate for knife assaults compares with that
for gun assaults?