China, Guns, Knives, and Viagra

In the past month there have been five attacks by lone males on classrooms of schoolchildren in China. The reasons for the attacks are unclear. In some cases the attacker had a history of mental problems.

Dozens of children have been wounded, along with a few teachers and a security guard. The weapons have been knives in four cases and a hammer in the latest incident.

Had this happened in America, most of those children would be dead, along with the teachers and the guard.

The difference?

China imposes strict gun controls.

In America, thanks to the NRA, Republican wingnuts, and gutless Democrats, any nutcase can get a gun, or several guns, and guns are the weapons of choice in adolescent America, where guns and violence feed the adolescent egos of adults.

Between 1966 and 2010, the number of students killed in American school shootings, not counting police and National Guard killings during student protests, is 206.

In the school year 2003-2004, in the United States, 2,156 school children were expelled for carrying a weapon to school.

Feel like a man. Get a gun. Shoot animals. Spook your neighbors. Scare politicians. Settle imaginary scores. Kill children.

Guns are better than Viagra for getting that good old-fashioned American hard-on that conquered the Wild West a couple of hundred years ago.

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7 Responses

  1. When I moved to Virginia nearly a decade ago, I attended one of my first services at my new church on July 4th weekend. The pastor’s patriotic sermon included a lengthy diatribe in praise of the 2nd Amendment. As he extolled the glories of gun ownership and referred to his own impressive rifle collection, I thought, “Welcome to the South. I’m clearly not in Kansas (actually, Iowa) anymore.”

    It could have been worse; I shudder to picture him delivering a sermon extolling the virtues of Viagra.

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    • Not a picture that leaves my mind at peace.

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  2. Your post is somewhat unfair in my opinion. Many of the locations are schools but have adult populations. It can also be said that there have been cases where armed individuals have stopped violence. Lastly in the cases of VT and Columbine specifically it really isn’t the shooters or the fact that they had guns. The most powerful component of those shootings were terrible law enforcement responses.
    You by no means fail of course in presenting that gun violence is real and a negative to society so hat tip there. I just believe there are other dimensions.

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    • Can’t meet you on this one, Alfie.

      The cases where random armed individuals have stopped such violence are few and far between, and are vastly outnumbered by the the incidents where armed individuals have caused havoc and death of innocents.

      At VT and Columbine you’ve got it backwards when you try to say or imply that law enforcement was to blame because their response was inadequate. Dysfunctional individuals obtained guns and killed people. Cops don’t read minds or tea leaves. Any determined gunman can create havoc no matter how good law enforcement is: the gunman is on offense, he knows what he wants to do and where and how. The best the cops can do is play defensive catch up. So yes, it is the shooters and it is the fact that they got guns and that guns were available to them: that’s the reason the shooters were able to do what they did. The cops do the best they can given the vagaries of the situation and the experience and knowledge they have up to that point. But they will always be behind the curve, especially in a society where firearms are so readily available and when the special interests (read NRA among others) do their best to keep the police from knowing who has weapons, who’s selling weapons, who’s buying weapons.

      Given only two choices, with no way out, would you, unarmed, rather go up against a guy with a gun or a guy with a knife?

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  3. Ric,I look at VT and Columbine response knowing people were dying while law enforcement went into incident command mode but as I said you didn’t fail in making your point.
    As for your question it depends on distance in all honesty.If I am within 3 ft of the assailant I’ll face the gun first all day.

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    • Bad choice. You’ll be dead and I’ll lose a reader. I’m sure neither you nor I would want either of those outcomes. 🙂

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    • IIRC at Columbine the cops didn’t know what was going on inside the school. We can say, in hindsight, yeah, it might have been better to have rushed in, but maybe not. One of the ‘rules’, if you will, for emergency response is to assess the situation, lest you risk more lives than the situation alone might account for. At VT, again IIRC, the initial incident where the gunman killed two students in a dorm was a fait accompli, with no reason to suspect the guy would rampage two hours later (not totally sure of my timeline there). And when he did, he had guns and it happened fast. I believe the response was faster once the cops realized what was going on, but even so, the cops will always be behind the curve in these incidents. The fault is always with the actor, not the responders. He decides and he acts. Everything else follows.

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