Meat Cleavers, Hammers, and Knives Need to Be Banned in China

Chinese policemen show teachers and school workers how to defend themselves during an attack, at a school
Chinese policemen show teachers and school workers how to defend themselves during an attack, at a school in Beijing on April 29, 2010. Authorities across China have ordered stepped-up security at schools and increased police patrols near campuses after a wave of knife attacks targeting children.
Photo Credit: ABC News

In my article Guns kill people and spoons made Rosie Fat, I wrote: "If guns kill people, then... Pencils miss spel words, cars make people drive drunk, spoons made Rosie O'Donnell fat."

In response, reader BOTA from New York left this comment which has nothing whatsoever to do with the article:

I noticed the lack of guns stopped WTC, Oklahoma city.
Sorry - just wrong.

This is how liberals attack gun ownership:

  1. Having guns doesn't protect us from attacks such as those against the WTC and Oklahoma City so why do we need guns?

  2. If there were no guns there would be fewer suicides.

  3. If there were strict gun controls we wouldn't have mass murders especially at schools.

Number one can be answered by noting that having polio vaccinations also does not protect us against attacks such as those against the WTC and Oklahoma City, however that does not diminish the need for such vaccinations.

As for number 2: as noted in my article Guns Do Not Kill People Ceiling Fans Do the major weapon used for suicide in India is a ceiling fan. In the absence of guns, the same number of people kill themselves only they do it with a different weapon.

As for number 3, our violent gun culture is blamed for the recent school murder rampage in Connecticut. But is that the case?

Consider that in China over the past two years the following mass murders occurred in schools in a country not noted for its violent gun culture:

  • Meat Cleaver: A man charged into a kindergarten in northwestern China with a cleaver Wednesday and hacked to death seven children and two adults (1)

  • Knife: a man used a knife to kill eight children and seriously wound five others in the city of Nanping (2).

  • Hammer: Wang Yonglai used a hammer to cause head injury to preschool children (3).

  • Box Cutter: a female worker slashed eight children with a box-cutter at a daycare center for migrant workers (4).

  • Axe; two young girls and four adults taking their children to nursery school were killed with an axe (5).

China has in fact a huge problem with school killings, see Wikipedia's article School attacks in China (2010–2012). These were not caused by a culture that glorifies meat cleavers and axes. There are no video games in the apartments of the killers which center on killing people with sharp instruments. It is not their bland movies. The problem is mental illness, just as mental illness is to blame for the Connecticut shootings.

Banning meat cleavers, knives, axes, and hammers will not reduce school mass murders in China. They will use bricks, forks, sharpened tooth brushes, shovels, whatever. When you are sick you are sick. Focusing on the weapon instead of the killer steers you toward the wrong track to reducing such violence.



FoxNews, 11 May 2010, 7 children, 2 adults hacked to death at kindergarten; assailant commits suicide

A man charged into a kindergarten in northwestern China with a cleaver Wednesday and hacked to death seven children and two adults — the fifth such rampage in less than two months. The attacker then went home and killed himself.


Sociologists say the recent attacks that have left 17 dead and scores wounded reflect the tragic consequences of ignoring mental illness and rising stress resulting from huge social inequalities in China's fast-changing society.


CNN, 23 Mar 2010, Man fatally stabs 8 schoolchildren in China

a man stabbed eight children to death and wounded five others at an elementary school in eastern China on Tuesday, local media said.


The suspect in the attack is a 41-year-old man who once worked as a doctor at a community clinic. Some news reports said he recently resigned from the position; other said he had been fired.


CNN, 3 May 2010, Execution does not stop Chinese knife attacks

on April 30, a man barged into a village school in Shandong province, carrying a hammer and a can of gasoline. Wang Yonglai, a local farmer, attacked preschool students with the hammer, causing head injuries. He then set himself on fire and died. According to a Xinhua report, the local farmer went berserk after the local police told him that the family house he had just built using 110,000 yuan (US$16,110) of family savings had to be torn down because it had been built on farmland, which is illegal in China.

(4):, 30 Aug 2011, Knife attack at daycare center injures 8 toddlers

Eight toddlers, all aged four or five, were injured when a female worker at a privately owned daycare center in suburban Shanghai attacked them with a craft knife at lunchtime yesterday.


BBC News, Axe attack in Chinese city of Gongyi kills six

A man armed with an axe has killed two young girls and four adults in a Chinese city, media reports say.

The attack happened early on Wednesday on a street near a kindergarten in Gongyi city, Henan province.

A 30-year-old local farmer, who is suspected of being mentally ill, has been detained, officials said.

### End of my article ###

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