This article is from the can.talk.guns FAQ, by Skeeter Abell-Smith firstname.lastname@example.org with numerous contributions by others.
Most homicides (c. 60-70%) in Canada are done with something other than
a firearm. One is more likely to be injured by a knife wielding attacker
than a gun wielding attacker. If injured, (non fatal) knife wounds are
more likely to be more serious than firearm injuries, according to
In Canada from 1961-1990, there were a total of 15,198 homicides.
63.1% were with a non-firearm.
14.3% were with a non-restricted rifle.
13% were with a illegally owned restricted firearm.
6.5% were with a non-restricted shotgun.
2.4% were with a unidentified firearm.
0.7% were with a legally owned and registered restricted firearm.
An attacker using a firearm is less likely to actually use his weapon
than is an attacker using a knife or other weapon requiring close
contact. (The risk of injury and death increases dramatically as the
distance between attacker and defender decreases, and knives require
much closer proximities, than firearms, to be as effective a threat.)
Those being attacked with knives are more likely to be injured, and
require medical care. [_Point Blank: Guns and Violence in America,_
Gary Kleck, pp. 162-172, and p. 209, table 5.6]
A firearm is also the best defense (and often does not require any shots
to be fired). [Kleck, pp. 111-145, and p. 149, table 4.4]
"Consequently, a rational goal of gun control policy could be to tip the
balance of power futher in the prospective victims' favour, by reducing
aggressor gun possession while doing little or nothing to reduce
nonaggressor gun possession. This would contrast sharply with across-
the-board restrictions that apply uniformly aggressors and nonaggressors
alike. In view of this chapter's evidence, this sort of "blunderbuss"
approach would facilitate victimization because legal restrictions would
almost certainly be evaded by more aggressors than nonaggressors,
causing a shift in gun distribution that favored the former over the
latter." [Kleck, p. 145]
Coalition For Gun Control fact sheet.
Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics (Stats Canada)