SAN ANTONIO -- You can't argue with the statistics. In America, you are more likely to be killed with a baseball bat, a knife, or even someone's bare hands than the much-discussed assault rifle. But in the aftermath of the Newtown, Connecticut massacre, lawmakers have their sights set on doing something.
New York Senator Charles Schumer is leading this renewed call to outlaw assault rifles, including weapons like the AR-15 Adam Lanza used to kill 26 children and educators.
"Assault weapons. "These are weapons of war," Schumer said. "They belong on our battlefield, not on our streets."
We wanted to know if our streets be safer if assault rifles were banned. We went straight to the FBI's annual crime statistics, which tracks murders and murder weapons. Overall, murders carried out with rifles are just a fraction of the killing in the United States.
In 2011, almost 13,000 people were murdered with a weapon. Of those, 1,700 people were killed with knives; almost 500 were killed with hammers, bats, and clubs; and 728 were killed by another's bare hands. Statistics show only 323 people were killed with rifles. That's just 2.5 percent of all weapon-related murders.
For some people with law enforcement background, the fight over assault weapons is not the answer.
"Think about this," said former Maryland State Police Superintendent Ed Norris. "If someone is willing to murder innocent children at a school, are they going to worry about gun laws?"
But the push for stricter gun control is still expected to dominate the new Congress in 2013.
"Hunters, people who need to protect themselves, they don't need assault weapons," argues Senator Schumer.
Clearly, the debate doesn't seem to be going away. But here's something positive we found in the FBI statistics. The murder rate has been steadily declining in almost all categories over the past five years.
If you want to look through the crime statistics, they're very interesting. CLICK HERE
to check them out.