Wednesday, November 24, 2004

guns don't kill people, people kill people. knives, by contrast, often don't kill people even when people want them to.

How many times, after a shooting spree, have you heard/read someone in the news saying how the spree speaks to the need for tighter gun control and then heard/read that followed by a counter-quote from someone along the lines of "If it hadn't been a gun, it just would have been something else. Like a knife." While Joe Highschooler can presumably do a lot of damage to one person with a knife--and O. J. Highschooler can presumably do a lot of damage to two--"slashing spree" has just never provoked within me the same chilling potential for deadly carnage as "shooting spree." Now, today, we have the headline on CNN that "Student Slashes 8 at Indiana School." A tragedy, to be sure, and the details as of this writing are still sketchy. However, three paragraphs in: "the injuries weren't life-threatening."

6 comments:

Brayden said...

Of course, if you really wanted to kill a bunch of people you probably wouldn't use a knife. Maybe this kid accomplished exactly what he wanted - he cut a bunch of people without mortally wounding them.

jeremy said...

That could well be true, in this case. But what if we lived in a world where he wanted to use a gun and kill schoolmates, but had considerable trouble getting his hands on a gun and so ended up using a knife instead. I know, it sounds like I'm talking crazy like John Lennon's "Imagine" here, but imagine it.

Anonymous said...

The 'bad guys' in Rwanda certainly didn't have a problem using machetes to butcher thousands of people with, that's for sure. I don't have a statistic on the number of knife homicides there are in the U.S. but I would bet it is more than just a handful. I would suggest also that the trauma of surviving a knife attack is equal to that of being shot and surviving. (goesh -somehow it came out as anonymous)

Brayden said...

Yeah, I agree with you, but I wanted to play the devil's (NRA) advocate for a moment. I'm sure if you came up with some sort of carnage per calories burned in use measure, guns would definitely prove to be more lethal.

Anonymous said...

I propose an experiment. During deer-hunting season next year, every other county in, say, Wisconsin, will only allow hunting with knives. The other counties will allow semi-automatic rifles, as usual. Then, at the end of the season, we tally the casualties (and wounds) resulting from accidents, turf-disputes, and the like. I predict less carnage (though likely at the cost of fewer trophy bucks) in the knife-only counties.

Anonymous said...

The knife hunters would have lots of broken bones attempting to leap out of trees onto the deer; cardiac arrest after trying to run them down and slay them with a knife.