Lone Star College stabbings seen through prism of gun debate
Tuesday's spasm of bloodshed at Lone Star College in Texas - where the assailant wielded a knife rather than a handgun - almost immediately provoked reaction on blogs and in social media from people persuaded that this latest violence obviously vindicated their positions.
Gun-control supporters immediately noted that 14 people had been injured, not killed. Yes, it was terrible, but you didn't have multiple deaths. Some of the victims ARE in critical condition, however, and still could die. (That said, the weapon was described as a "hobby knife", not exactly the most efficient, devastating blade that could have been used. The razor-knife broke during the assault.)
Gun proponents reached precisely the opposite conclusion. If people on campus packed heat, someone could have eliminated the assailant within seconds.
It wasn't long before 2nd Amendment absolutists were posting sarcastic comments: It's time for knife control or a knife ban. Was the weapon used an "assault knife" or did it have a "high capacity handle"? People posted their predictions for President Obama's upcoming knife ban, etc.
Stabbing rampages involving multiple victims are very rare in the United States, somewhat more common in countries where everyday citizens don't have very much access to firearms. China and Japan have seen stabbing rampages. Seven people were killed in a mass stabbing at a Tokyo shopping center.
Perhaps one thing on which most people can agree: The United States suffers from a culture of violence. And our system falls short when it comes to identifying - and treating people - prone to such violence. The accountancy student told police he has had fantasies of stabbing people to death since elementary school.
An account of the violence, from The HOUSTON CHRONICLE...
People who sarcastically compare a ban on knives with a ban on guns forget one thing: There is a legitimate purpose for knives---to carve your Thanksgiving dinner.
There is no legitimate purpose for guns other than to kill other people.
Wed, Apr 10, 2013 9:32am
It would be interesting to see a comparison of deaths in domestic disputes from guns vs. knives... Every kitchen in America has a set of very sharp/lethal knives either in a drawer or right on the countertop. I would also find interesting the number of armed robberies or rapes that are committed with knives vs. guns.
As Mr. Loudell said above, these violent crimes are due to a culture of violence that continues to grow in our country. I personally believe this culture is growing due to this next generation of kids having little to no exposure to God and His teachings... Without God, violence and chaos (Satan) rules. Past generations had at least a grandmother or aunt who took them to church and so they had at least some exposure to the basic teachings of the Bible and a healthy respect for God.
Wed, Apr 10, 2013 1:04pm
All must realize, statistically, we are talking to a vacuum when we use the ancient past to justify something in the present. We don't know how many deaths by firearms occurred in the 1830's, the 1860's, the 1890's, the 1920's.... all before the modern era of record-keeping.
To suggest that was a peaceful law-abiding time means one has watched the Waltons or Little House on the Prairie and accepted fiction as fact. We don't know how many people died to prevent cattle-rustling or because of cattle-rustling. We don't know how many died with firearms or hammers or knives of sticks and stones.
Statistically, it is safe to say that over a period of time, an average number of people will get mad enough to want to murder someone. With large numbers, these types of things statistically fall within the range of a 2-3% deviation.
Now if that is consistent, focusing on the availability of lethal weaponry seems to be the rational choice. One can't control intangibles. One can possibly control the death power of weapons allowed out into society. At least theoretically.
Fourteen people are alive today, because the person intent on harm could not get access to a gun...
That fact alone, negates everything the NRA has said since 1983, when it began its hostile approach towards upholding gun-rights no matter to the number of causalities...
Wed, Apr 10, 2013 3:00pm
I was actually wondering about crime statistics over the past 50 years or so...maybe even the past 10, just to see what the real numbers are.
It would also be interesting to see how many of the gun-related murders were commited by legally purchased weapons vs those of criminals and gangs (like in Chicago).
Wed, Apr 10, 2013 6:56pm
Teatime: Yes, there is a legitimate use for guns. It's called SELF-DEFENSE!
Wed, Apr 10, 2013 7:19pm
For anybody who doesn't think this gay marriage business is about forcing homosexuality in the faces of the majority, read this!
By the way Allan, you expressed skepticism about the "slippery slope" argument, but hopefully this will convince you otherwise.
Please don't take it personally.
Thu, Apr 11, 2013 8:31am
mrpizza twists things yet again.
He's been claiming that gay marriage leads to pedophilia yet this article is not about that.
It's about discrimination. Fifty years ago the same arguments were used against civil rights laws "forcing" businesses to serve Blacks.
"Forcing homosexuality?" Flowers were ordered for a gay wedding. How does delivering flowers to a wedding, where no homosexual acts are likely to occur, "forcing homosexuality" on anyone? The florist won't attend the wedding. The florist probably won't even deliver flowers. If anyone is forcing anything it's this bigoted florist.
The courts have held that any business which does business with the public must serve the public - any member of the public.
mrpizza is a bigot, and like racists of the past, he defends the "freedom" of business to discriminate.
mrpizza is ignorant and uneducated. The "slippery slope" is a logical fallacy and digging up anecdotes doesn't change that. Based on his illogic, electing Catholics, members of a group which harbors pedophiles, to office leads to peodophilia.
Thu, Apr 11, 2013 8:43am
"Yes, there is a legitimate use for guns. It's called SELF-DEFENSE!"
For just over 12 hours this was the stupidest comment here. Then you topped yourself in the stupidity department.
If you have a gun in your house for "self-defense" - out in the open, unlocked and loaded, so you can get to it right away - that's how some four-year-old kid gets shot.
Even so, if some burglar comes into your house armed and sees you reaching for a gun, he will shoot you.
Unless you are a trained marksman, even if you get off a shot, you will probably miss.
If you are smart enough to keep the gun locked-up and unloaded, it's not going to do you any good.
You are much better off with an alarm system.
Guns for self-defense are stupid.
Gun advocates are stupid.
The Second Amendment protects your right to serve in the military; historically in Britain, a right granted to free-born Englishmen and not to serfs (or in the US before the Civil War, not granted to slaves).
AllanLoudell: Is there any issue that matters enough for you to take a stand on it?
Thu, Apr 11, 2013 10:32am
The Second Amendment has NOTHING to do with a right to serve in the military... that is the silliest reading of the amendment I have heard yet. BTW, it was the NRA that fought for the right of freed slaves in the South to own weapons to protect themselves from the KKK (which happened to be Democrats). Remember Lincoln was the first Republican president...the Republican party was founded by anti-slavery activists in 1854.
Thu, Apr 11, 2013 11:42am
EarlGrey: You lie about history just like Rand Paul.
The Second Amendment begins, "A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state..."
The members of the KKK had nothing to do with today's Democratic Party. They were Dixiecrats. Dixiecrats bolted from the Democratic Party when it adopted a civil-rights plank in the party platform. They were behind George Wallace. They embraced the Republican Party as part of Nixon's "Southern Strategy" in opposition to civil rights laws.
The Republican Party was the re-branded Whig party and was a pro-business party. It supported at the beginning and every since, Northeast manufacturing and banking interests. Its agenda was built on protective tariffs and development of infrastructure desired by business. The tariff structure Republicans imposed forced the South to sell raw materials at low cost to Northern mills and factories and forced the South to buy finished goods from the North for high prices. Republican state legislatures in the North passed laws limiting the freedom of free Blacks and even barring free Blacks from living in Northern states (including Lincoln's state of Illinois). Republicans and Whigs opposed expansion of slavery to Western territories because one of their constituencies was small farmers and they wanted land available for family farms, not huge plantations worked by slave labor.
Thu, Apr 11, 2013 12:41pm
billrice: Lie I do not...so chill and keep this civil. You will not bully me away like you did Pennsy. "A well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."
" A well regulated Militia,"...The Amendment merely states a reason for recognizing the people's right to be armed, not necessarily a purpose for and limitation on that right. An armed citizenry was recognized as an advantage to a free State. If the Amendment were meant merely to guarantee a State the right to maintain a militia, the last half could just as easily have stated "the right of any State of this Union to permit their citizens to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed."
Today's Democrats & Republicans are indeed very different than those in the 1800's, but I am sick of the rewritten history that forgets the anti-slave party was Republican...and jim Crowe laws and racists in the South were Democrats. Both Lincoln and MLK Jr. were Republicans...not saying they would be part of today's GOP, but they were not Democrats.
Thu, Apr 11, 2013 2:03pm
EarlGrey: The Whigs-Republicans were never an "anti-slave" party. Even late in the Civil War, when Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation to encourage a slave revolt in the South, and when he pushed for the 13th Amendment to force an early end to the war, many in the Republican Party opposed him. The Republican Party never campaigned on an abolitionist platform. The Republican Party only became anti-slavery well after the fact. Neither did the Republican Party ever offer more than token opposition (often not even that) to Jim Crow laws. For most of the 20th Century, while technically members of the Democratic Party, Southerners aligned with Republicans on the national level to oppose civil rights and any reform measures.
Political parties in this country, unlike those in Europe, are coalitions. Southerners had only one issue in common with Northern immigrant groups: Opposition to the Civil War. This was the only basis of their alliance, opposition to the then-dominant Republican Party. Back then, the "progressives" were in the Republican Party.
Lincoln was a corporate lawyer - not the champion of the underdog the movies make him out to be. He'd be right at home in today's Republican Party. King made a point of staying non-partisan. Prior to his death, the Republican Party was essentially non-existent in the one-party South (he was a Georgia resident most of his life, and lived briefly in Alabama). Curious you think he was a Republican. J. Edgar was sure he was a commie.
Thu, Apr 11, 2013 8:12pm
I guess mrpizza hasn't read the news yet. July 1st: Ol' Happy Jack is going to force homosexuality on him.
Now, all the major polls show a substantial majority of the population favors legalizing marijuana. Toke up, mrpizza. You'll feel better. Besides, grass = munchies and that's good for the pizza business.
Thu, Apr 11, 2013 10:44pm
Time for Bill Smith to come clean and admit he's Mark Rice.
Fri, Apr 12, 2013 3:52am
mrpizza: Would you refuse to deliver pizza to gay households? Would you refuse to deliver mail to gay households, especially those where two men or two women take the same last name?
News of the future:
"Beau Biden has brought charges against a local pizza delivery man who refused to deliver a pizza to a gay married couple. The delivery man claimed delivering pizza to gays violated his religious beliefs and forced homosexuality on him. One of the gay men said they just wanted a pizza and had no intention of inviting the delivery man to party. His husband claimed gays tip better than straights and asked "what's this guy's problem?" The delivery man refused bail and claims he is a victim of religious persecution.
Fri, Apr 12, 2013 5:52am
billsmith: There's a HUGE difference between deliverying a pizza to a homosexual and providing services for a gay wedding.
Furthermore, when I deliver a pizza, I'm working for somebody else, so the onus is on my employer. In the Seattle case, this person owned her own business and therefore it was her call. The only thing the pizza man is doing is collecting the money and handing over the goods, and in most cases, is not even going into the house.
In the case I've cited, the employees would have to go into what would be an uncomfortable atmosphere and spend several hours there at a time. I would resign from that job before I would agree to that.
By the way, I once delivered a pizza to a strip club in New Castle, and the person I did the transaction with was gay, and yes, he tipped well. I was there a total of about 1.5 minutes, not several hours.
This is about something a lot bigger. It's about forcing the church to accomodate their behavior when in fact the church is where they should come only if they seek to change their behavior. Homosexuality is a choice; not something you're born with. Black people should be offended that homosexuals want to be considered equal to them. Black is something you're born with. Homosexuality is sin. If this was about equality, then they would simply get their services from other homosexuals and attend homosexual churches, of which there are plenty. There is no shortage of places they can go to practice their ilk.
I can't speak for anywhere else, but at my church, Word of Life Christian Center on Old Baltimore Pike, we do not hate homosexuals, and neither does God. However, God hates their sin and so do we, and Christ died on the cross not just to pay for that sin but also to redeem people from it. Homosexuals are being held captive by the devil, and he only has one thing in mind, and that's to drag people into an eternal hell. Anyway, God's hand and the hand of my church is extended to anyone who wants to accept Christ and be redeemed from this and any other kind of sin.
Fri, Apr 12, 2013 6:29am
mrpizza: Nice try. So, your argument this time is that as an employee, you have no personal responsibility for doing something your boss says to do. That's called the Nuremberg Defense.
Also how are a florists' employees in an "uncomfortable atmosphere?" Flowers are delivered and set up before the wedding, before any guests arrive. Also since this was not a church wedding, it has nothing to do with any church.
Being a homosexual is not a choice. It's a choice to have sex with someone or to marry someone, but sexual orientation is not a choice. Gays want to be considered equal to everyone, not just Blacks. And you seem to be calling for separate but equal for gays and for Blacks. Maybe you'd like to set up reservations for gays, and for Blacks, just like they did in South Africa and like we did here for American Indians.
Here is what you seem to describe as the Christian position on gays. Jesus loves gays. As long as they remain celibate and alone and keep their "temptations" secret and try to fit in with everybody else and lie (pretend) that they are attracted to the opposite sex. Forcing a life of loneliness and unhappiness on people does not sound like love. But according to the Book of Job, god torments people to test them and Satan is his agent.
People do create god in their image. And all this is about your issues with gays, not god's.
Fri, Apr 12, 2013 7:21am
billsmith: Wrong. God created man in HIS image. If you don't think God has an issue with homosexuality, just read his Word.
By the way, God didn't torment Job. Satan did. You desperately need to get the right teaching about this stuff.
I also need to issue clarification about one thing. I used the term "strip club" in my post, which was not quite right. I used it as a general term, but technically, the place I delivered to was a pornographic video store in Midvale, which is that area off Route 13 behind Carman Ford
and Dunkin' Donuts going towards the 13-40 split.
Jesus warned us before he left earth that the church would endure great persecution in the last days. This gay marriage thing is just the beginning of it. I know you don't understand that because you read the Bible as just another book like Webster's dictionary. "For the natural man does not understand the things of the spirit." 1 Corinthians 2:14. Time for you to get saved and come on over into the supernatural.
Fri, Apr 12, 2013 8:49am
mrpizza: Thank you for providing directions to the porn video store - for the benefit of anyone who doesn't get their porn online. Are you sure they didn't have any gay porn? Did the gay porn make you feel uncomfortable?
As I said, the Book of Job depicts Satan as god's agent, as god's cop and prosecutor. Satan acted on god's instructions.
I see you've changed strategy. It didn't work to equate gay marriage with pedophilia. Now you are trying to equate it with religious persecution. This will be an even tougher sell. If gays get married at a courthouse, in a church that accepts gay marriage (some do), on a ship, or by an Elvis impersonator at a Denny's in Las Vegas, and have a reception at the local Holiday Inn or even at a pizza restaurant, it has nothing to do with any church or any religious institution. If it bothers you that this is happening maybe you should be minding your own business.
I've seen two views of the future. One from Revelation and Daniel. One from Gene Roddenberry. I pick Roddenberry.
If you put to a democratic vote whether people want Jesus to come back, you'd lose. Just like you'd lose on abortion, gay marriage, and legal weed.
Sat, Apr 13, 2013 4:50am
billsmith: I didn't watch any of the porn to find out.
Sat, Apr 13, 2013 1:13pm
mrpizza: I'm still trying to figure out how you knew the guy you delivered pizza to at the porn store was gay.
I notice the "Victory Christian Fellowship" is almost next door. Just think. Church. Porn. Donuts. All in one place.
Sun, Apr 14, 2013 2:20am
billsmith: I knew the guy was gay because my boss at the pizza place told me so.
Victory Christian Fellowship is still a good half-mile or more from the porn store. Not close enough for a merger, and I doubt that Pastor Gary would agree to it.
Sun, Apr 14, 2013 2:21am
I would say, however, that the people at the porn store, gay or straight, are welcome at Victory, providing they're seeking help to be delivered from the lifestyle they're trapped in.
Sun, Apr 14, 2013 9:46am
mrpizza: OK. And how did your boss at the pizza store know the guy at the porn store was gay?
Maybe you should check out the Metropolitan Community Churches (mccchurch.org). There's a Delaware congregation in Rehoboth but probably closest Imago Dei MCC in Glen Mills, PA (imagodeimcc.org). You might learn about the Biblical basis for "Queer Theology."
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