Thursday, 11 April 2013

Lone Star College Stabbing Undermines Gun Control Argument

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A mass stabbing that took place earlier this week at Lone Star College Cy-Fair in Harris County near Houston, Texas, does not help advance the gun control agenda that has pervaded media reports. Fifteen students were wounded in the stabbing, with four believed to be in critical condition. Police have the suspect, 20-year-old Dylan Quick, in custody. Quick is reportedly a student at Lone Star College who told authorities that he had fantasized about stabbing people since he was eight years old.

College faculty sounded the alarm shortly after 11 a.m. to alert the students that the campus was on lockdown as a blade-wielding assailant reportedly targeted victims’ throats and faces with a box-cutter in the college’s Health and Science Center.

While the details of the incident remain scarce, photographers managed to capture images of students strapped to gurneys leaving in ambulances and masses of students fleeing the scene.

While the incident is certainly a devastating one, it also highlights the flaws of the anti-gun agenda. observes:

The school was in effect a gun free zone, with a weapons policy forbidding any civilian, even those with concealed carry permits, from having a firearm on campus. With the United States (and some may argue the world) keeping its focus tight on gun control rather than on caring for and identifying the mentally ill, incidents like this prove, where there’s a will, there will always be a way.

Following tragic mass shootings like the Aurora movie theater shooting and the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, lawmakers have targeted guns, particularly rifles. But according to an FBI report on homicides in 2011, there are far more murders committed by knives and blunt objects than by rifles.

In 2011, 1,694 knives or cutting instruments were involved in homicides, with 496 murders caused by blunt objects such as clubs and hammers.

Furthermore, from 2005 to 2011, more people in the United States were killed with blunt objects such as hammers and clubs, or with hands and fists, than with rifles. In many of those years, twice as many people were killed with hands and fists than with rifles.

In 2006, there were 618 murders committed with a hammer or club, while 438 murders were committed with a rifle. In 2005, 445 murders were committed with a rifle while 605 by hammers and clubs.

The overall data still show that a significant number of people are being killed by hammers, clubs, and knives — and that those instances of murder continue to go up each year.

What makes these findings so interesting is that rifles have been a target of some members of Congress, most notably Senator Dianne Feinstein, who have proposed banning the AR-15 semiautomatic rifle, the same that was reportedly used by Adam Lanza in the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

But Second Amendment advocates assert that the American people maintain a right to self-defense, and point to various examples of would-be mass murderers being stopped by a citizen exercising his or her Second Amendment rights.

And while the Sandy Hook shooting was a tragedy unparalleled in recent history, one cannot ignore the fact that a man in Chengping, China, stabbed 22 children and one adult at a school at approximately the same time. Two years prior to that stabbing, another man had broken into a school in Nanchang and stabbed two students. In March 2010, a former doctor had stabbed eight children to death in China after a romantic relationship went wrong.  

As noted above, where there is a will, there is a way. Taking away guns, or certain types of guns, would not stop a determined person from killing. But the fact that potential victims may be armed can act as a powerful deterrent.

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