The Culture of Knife Violence

A high school sophomore stabbed 19 classmates in western Pennsylvania. Once again, there will be a search for answers. But because the weapons were knives and not guns, the media and politicians will have to reach beyond the usual cheap parlor tricks of knee-jerk policy prescriptions.

10 thoughts on “The Culture of Knife Violence

  1. HA!

    It’d be a heck of a lot easier to outlaw knives than guns. I don’t know of *any* NKA nuts out there, but even the most sensible of gun control measures immediately get shot down by the NRA. (“Shot down” – I just crack me up.)

    I’ve always found it strange that I can walk down the street with a pistol hidden under my jacket, but not with a knife any longer than my middle finger. Any idiot can kill with a gun – hell, even toddlers manage it. But a blade? That takes training and practice. The sophomore in the story didn’t manage to actually kill anyone, contrast that to Columbine.

    The Four Fathers most assuredly had swords in mind when they were writing about arming a well ordered militia. Guns were considered finicky and unreliable, and were often equipped with bayonets so they were still of some use after their single shot was fired.

    So why isn’t anyone out there protecting my right to bare steel?

    • Agree with CrazyH, here, though a tad confused about whether that «right» should be «to bare steel» or «to bear steel». But just as long as the «well regulated militia» can keep the slaves down and working, it’s alright with me….


  2. If I may make a humble suggestion, dude in the fifth frame should be playing Fruit Ninja on his iPad. And someone should suggest the ultimate solution to the plight of school massacres: ban schools! Not that it would be such a bad idea…

  3. ‘Damn evil ol’ NKA! If only the system would work already,’ liberals cry everywhere. ‘Why can’t our politicians just care about us and save us all from ourselves? O, we live in such dangerous times! I miss the good old da–WAIT. We’re liberals here.’

  4. Two things: schools and knives.

    1. Schools. What is NEVER discussed during these sort of stories is the whole “core curriculum” mindset that infiltrates the schools (and the culture). Watch some old TV programs. The adults touch the children, and I don’t mean in the creepy-creepy way. Now? I wonder how many students would check “No” if asked, “Did a teacher ever give you a display of friendly affection? A hug, a pat on the back, a shoulder bump with their fist?”

    Why? Because, as we’ve all been indoctrinated to know, any physical contact between an adult and a child MUST be pedophilia. I’m waiting for the day we get the story about the student choking to death because none of the teachers dared to give him the Heimlich Maneuver.

    Also, the schools are rarely “free-range.” They are, instead, battery farms (chickens get a cage with a floorspace comparable to a single sheet of paper; students get a desk and are shuffled on a scheduled from room to room) in which thousands of students fill the structure. How many students do you think go through whole days without any genuine interaction with a teacher?

    And then of course, we’ve got the fuck-up parents who stuff their accessories, I mean kids, into a “good” school because that gives them bragging rights about how “great” they are as parents. Can Mom make some cupcakes for the school fundraiser? Oh, silly. Mom’s busy closing a big deal. Maybe in a few months. Here’s some money, go buy some cupcakes. Hey, Dad, they need help with the school play. What? Sorry, I was talking with a client in Zurich. What is it champ? Oh, I’d like to help, but you know I’m not very good with a hammer, Timmy, er Tommy. Don’t worry, your birthday’s coming up in May, I mean, uh, June? March? March! We’ll do something then.

    I wish adults would accept adult reality: You want the job AND the kid? You will usually get to pick one. But if you have to have both, put the goddamned kid first. You don’t have to come through 10 times out of 10, but if you can coordinate your vacation with that of an entire office filled with people, you can find out a few months ahead of time what’s going on in your kid’s school and free up a little time to be there a few times out of 10.

    So that’s why these kids go fuckin’ nuts in the first place: most of them have almost no demonstrative affection, their lives are compartmentalized: school is school; home is home; never the two shall meet. Extracurricular activities — chances to meet people you wouldn’t normally meet in school? — those are gone. Band? Theater? Scouting? All that’s done away with (budget cuts so the admins can get six figures).

    I’m surprised we don’t have more psycho kids.

    And second. Knives. The knives scare me more than the guns.

    A gun? You can use that in haste and regret it for the rest of your life. Your temper got the better of you, so you flicked your finger and put a giant hole in someone’s head. Guns are too easy. A knife? You run the knife. You MAKE the knife go in. You feel the impact. It takes a real freak to use a knife in anything other than a life-or-death situation.

    What’s next I wonder. Teeth?

Leave a Reply