Tuesday, September 1, 2015

OK, Let's Take It From The Top - One More Time On Guns Vs. Knives

Mr. Pro Gun blogger didn't waste any time getting back - and claiming he didn't do anything "dishonest" as far as quoting me - but again, leaving out a key segment,  referencing Vester Flanagan with a knife - isn't exactly kosher so let's agree he was at least borderline dishonest in portraying my quote.

Anyway, after delivering a full seminar on the lethality of military and other knives (including reaction times)  he at least finally DID accept my hypothetical, based on a knife (intended generic, but ok, I didn't clarify that so we let him have his way with all these exotic knives, reaction times etc.) He comes away then concluding that Flanagan "sure as shit" could have killed those two reporters - Alison Parker and Adam Ward. Ok, I will be generous and grant the outside chance that might have happened, using one of his exotic knives and assuming  Flanagan at that time possessed the skill and dexterity he assumes. (Which I doubt because Flanagan wasn't in an intact state of mind - but let's not quibble.)

The question remains: Is there a case for mass shootings or killings (he cites a mass killing in China using knives that took out 29), in the U.S. context where knives would prove as deadly as high powered weapons?  This is the key question and let's also admit that Vester Flanagan's act only barely meets the standards of a mass shooting - which hitherto had been defined as four or more victims shot. Hence, we need to find a better example (not marginal) to prove the point that guns are more lethal than knives - even big ones!

I submit that only one case is needed to disprove his contention, and that would be the Aurora movie theater massacre from July, 2012. There, James Eagan Holmes, using assorted high power rifles and a Glock, killed 12 and badly injured 59.  Now, had Holmes ONLY been armed with knives - even lethal ones like Mr. Pro Gun displays - could he have done as much damage? I argue absolutely not!

For one thing, the theater was dark. Holmes' wound and death toll occurred because he was firing blindly into a crowd and given the semi-automatic and automatic  nature of his weapons was sure to kill more than a handful of people and devastatingly wound many others. Unlike with a knife, he didn't need to take careful aim to rack up a death toll - a point many of these gun guys forget. (Sure there will be exceptions like in China, but in the U.S. those perps would likely have been taken out by ex -military or others, while the Chinese remain largely a passive people in their belief systems.)

Even wielding two big knives there is NO damned way in hell James Holmes could have done an equal amount of damage. Even thrusting as fast as Pro Gun argues, he'd have been taken down before he got very much past  the first row (a number of military guys were in the crowd).  The darkness would also have impeded accuracy and obviously, lethality. Hell, you can't very well kill what you can't see! (Though a gun surely can - even firing it wildly- as in a dark cinema.)

As a further note on the original story, Holmes' weapons' lethality basically halted when the clip jammed from his last semi-automatic rifle. Many people by that point were diving behind the rows of seats. To have used a big knife instead, Holmes would've had to ferret out each victim row by row and stab to hit a vital organ. Again, this wouldn't have been a piece of cake as it would've for powerful weapons which can easily rip through seats and find their targets.

The crux of the argument then rests on just one case where knives would not be able to do the damage of guns, and that case is the Aurora theater massacre.

Mr. 'Pro Gun' can now parse this any way he wants, or portray his own takes - i.e. invoking "magic" knives that automatically find their way to vital organs even in a darkened theater.  Or bestowing super x-ray vision on the perp. But I'd say 'case closed.'

If people could only get knives there'd be significantly less than 90 plus killings a day in this country and thirty thousand suicides a year. We'd enjoy similar low gun death stats to the sane world. It's a lot easier mentally to put that barrel up to your noggin and pull the trigger than to put that blade to your jugular and thrust it.

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