Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Because you know someone will say it

Today's stabbing at a college in Cypress, Texas, has left at least 14 injured. I've heard no word of any deaths or catastrophic injuries, and I'm hoping it stays that way.

Regardless, I'm sure that there will soon be snarky commentary about how liberals are hypocrites for not wanting to ban knives (or pencils or whatever it turns out the assailant used in the stabbings) in the aftermath. After all, that's what those people say about guns after mass shootings!

Wrong. Again. On every level.

First off, most items can be used to stab, or turned into implements that stab. I could remove the circuit board from my laptop, break it in half and slash someone with the rough edge. That doesn't mean we should ban all laptops — or knives, utensils, pencils, etc. Unlike guns, all of those items serve a useful purpose outside of their potential lethality. If they were banned, any of an infinite amount of resources could take their place.

Second, very few people called to ban guns after the rash of mass shootings; the criticism was over accessibility. Should mentally disturbed people have access to implements whose sole purpose is to inflict violent, rapid death, and which have no civilian alternatives to cultivate such bloodshed?

Third, it's highly likely that most, if not all, of today's stabbing victims will live. Certainly there was no pile of torn-apart, dead bodies lying around campus, who had no chance. Similarly, the suspect is allegedly in custody — while it's possible that person could have stabbed themselves into suicide, such a move would require more forethought and commitment than swiftly pulling a trigger. Stabbing yourself requires overcoming your visceral urge not to plunge a knife in your heart. And that's pretty much what you'd have to do, too, to instantly die and avoid realizing you didn't want to do that after all. A bullet to the brain or heart isn't conducive to such reflection.

At least in this case, we're likely to learn what made the stabber go screwy. We almost never have that luxury with our deranged, dead gunmen.

Shootings and stabbings are barely comparable. They're not even apples and oranges — they're mushrooms and oranges. Keeping toxic mushrooms out of the wrong hands is important to keeping people alive. That effort shouldn't be compared to oranges, which at worst could choke someone to death or serve as an annoying projectile, but otherwise are vital fruit. Does that make sense?


cajuntiger said...

Hi Ian...glad to see you still haven't learned a thing about truth over the years ;) CajunTiger is coming out of retirement...can you shoot me an email shanecomeaux at gmail as I have something I want to pass by you.

Ian McGibboney said...

Hi Shane. Yep, still here. My Gmail address is ianmcgibboney.