More people are killed by hammers than rifles

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Facebook argument.

More people are killed by hammers than rifles is an argument frequently used by Americans who disapprove of gun control. A graphic with the heading, "Facts gun control advocates don't want to to know" made the rounds on Facebook in 2013, and the argument really became popular when it was taken up by Fox Nation, and posted on Twitter by Republican Greg Abbott, who was the attorney general of Texas at the time.

Greg Abbot Twitter Post.

Although PolitFact accepts both the Facebook graphic and Abbot's Twitter post as true, I disagree and find the argument to be misleading, and, depending on how it is phrased, purposely dishonest.

Murder Not Death

My first problem with the argument is that it is often presented using the word "killed" rather than "murdered."

FBI homicide data for 2011.

A cursory glance at the actual FBI data does make it seem like the argument is correct, however, a more thorough examination shows that this argument is both dishonest, and misguided.