Stabbing vs. Shooting

On Tuesday, a 16 year old student at Franklin Regional High School in the Pittsburgh suburb of Murrysville went on a stabbing spree, leaving at least 19 students and a school security guard injured.

I did not know what the exact circumstances of the incident were, but I do recall that I was relieved beyond description when I noted the words “knife” and “stabbing” in the headline. I knew, even without having to read the article in detail, that a knife attack most probably meant no massacre and that no one was actually brutally killed, which would have been definitely the case had the perpetrator owned a gun of some sort, which he then could have easily pointed at a crowd to pull the trigger to cause a carnage.

I’m sure that in the next few days and weeks we’ll be hearing all sorts of familiar refrains by gun advocates who, undoubtedly, will take this incident to “prove” to us that the issue is really not guns but a violent culture in general and how gins can save us and that the gun is being unduly vilified blah blah blah.

The thing that people who advocate for guns galore seem to absolutely not get (or refuse to get) is that no one is arguing that limiting and severely regulating guns is going to make us a less violent society.

The issue is, however – and I cannot repeat that often enough – that guns make the violence that occurs in society bloodier and deadlier. Case in point, the incident above:  if that kid had a semi-automatic on him, the NRA can bet its gun-holding King James Bible that we would be counting bodies now, not injuries.

And that, in a a nutshell, is the difference between guns, on the one hand, and knifes, a fist, an ax, a chainsaw, a car and whatever other tools out there than can be used to hurt someone, on the other hand.

Guns are dangerous because it is so easy to point one at a crowd –  from a distance no less – pull the trigger and cause devastating damage.

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