The gun kooks were right. Take away their guns, and people will turn to knives.
As incredibly stupid as that sounds, it is becoming a global phenomenon, even in places where there is easy access to guns.
In China in 2010, “A man wielding a knife broke into a primary school in southern China, and stabbed 15 pupils and a teacher (April 29), the same day another man was executed for killing eight children in a similar attack last month, state media reported,” according to CBC.
Four more similar attacks took place in the following two years, culminating on Dec. 13, 2012, when “Twenty-two children were hurt by a knife-wielding man at a primary school in central China,” reported the Daily Mail. “Min Yingjun, 36, stabbed an elderly woman before bursting into Chenpeng Village Primary School in the Henan province yesterday. Seven of the students, aged between six and 12 years old, were taken to hospital, some with severed fingers and ears.
Jump across the Pacific and 17 months later, on April 9, in Murrysville, Penn., a 16-year-old boy allegedly stabbed 20 students and a security guard before being tackled.
April 15, a 23-year-old male University of Calgary student allegedly killed five people at a house party by stabbing them with a large knife, targeting them one by one.
Not even 24-hours later, a male youth stabbed four people in the Cornwall Centre, a mall in downtown Regina.
You can’t make this stuff up. This trend is the worst case of copycat crimes in recent memory. It follows the trend of school shootings in the United States over the years, but at an increasing, and alarming, pace.
What on Earth is going on here?
Is there some sort of psychosis that is causing people to do mass attacks like this, first with guns, then knives? What’s next? Stones?
When the gun control debate was going strong, this came up. Some gun advocates, in pointing out that registration did not stop crimes, mockingly said what was next, registering knives?
Well, as horrible as it sounds, they had a point.
The gun registry came and went, and gun crime still occurred, although thankfully, Canada has not seen a rash of gun massacres since Ecole Polytechnique and Taber.
What can we do about knives? Not a damned thing.
Knives are the most basic of tools, going back to sharpened rock and bone. We cannot function without them. We can’t even eat without them. No amount of regulation, legislation or feel good campaigns can effectively control knives, although I’m sure someone is going to try.
In the Calgary case, the alleged assailant supposedly grabbed a knife from the kitchen. How can you possibly stop something like that?
Right now, in the shock of Calgary and Regina (and hopefully no others before this goes to press) all we have is questions. There are no answers. No solutions. There is no simple fix for this. There are simply some bad people in this world, who will find any means necessary, be it a gun or knife, or maybe a rock, to go on a rampage. It’s not just Western society, since obviously this happens in China, too.
I’ve had to explain to my soon-to-be 10-year-old daughter recently that yes, there are simply some bad people in the world. This is ample proof.
— Brian Zinchuk is editor of Pipeline News. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.