Over at The Truth About Knives we’re reporting on Paris Jackson’s suicide attempt. Early reports say that the pop star’s daughter tried to remove herself from the gene pool via pills and a kitchen knife. None of those news stories—or the early morning news show commentary—contains sanctimonious blather about “easy access to knives.” The stories are all about her troubled life. Yet if Miss Jackson had put a gun to her head the mainstream media would be all over it. The gun, that is. Why is that? Why does the media treat gun-related crime and/or suicide as a separate category of news from knife-related attacks and suicides?

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55 Responses to Question of the Day: Why Does the Media Demonize Guns But Not Knives?

    • That’s it in a nutshell. While some in the media will grant the “legitimate” use of firearms for target practice and hunting, this is something that the vast majority of such leftists don’t engage in personally…let alone keep firearms for self-defense.

      I can’t count the number of times I’ve seen gun grabbers end their argument with, “Well, I guess you’ll just have to get a new hobby” when discussing the banning of guns. They can’t imagine the proper use of guns for anything but recreation.

  1. They will once they get what they want with the guns.
    Just like the UK media does daily.
    Priorities. Guns now, knives later. Then, just like the UK media, pieces of glass until all the restaurants and bars switch to plastic cups.

  2. 1 thing at a time, look at the British. 1st the guns now the knives. Soon it will be pointy sticks and screwdrivers. You can try to take weapons from society but you can’t remove everyone that will do evil deeds.

    • They did before guns came on the scene, and as recently as the mid-nineteenth century were still quite relevant on te battlefield.

        • WOAH WAIT!! You mean we didn’t have wars before gunpowder? That means the dems are right…guns gotta go!

          SRSLY…people have been very successfully killing each other with knives, swords, spears, rocks, and other edged pointy weapons for hundreds of years before the bangstick…

  3. The elitist gun grabbers at the top have to be smart enough to be able to see our logical arguments and point of view… maybe not the lower masses of people they’re trying to convince. The only explanation for it is that they simply don’t want it. Call it the “Star Trek” phenomenon, but Progressives see social control and regulation as societal evolution that will help enable the human race to survive and do bigger and better things. They think that if our Founding Fathers were here today, and saw the masses of people and power that were living now, they’d either: commit suicide in shock, be convicted as a terrorist, or turn progressive.

    • Hey now! Star Trek never hurt anyone. Leave it alone. Make fun of Star Wars Episodes I-III if you need to.

    • Spot on! As a semi-pro musician I’ve spent a lot of my life around “progressive” type folks, and ignorance is not always the issue, nor is education always the answer. I’ve managed to change a handful of minds over the years, but not as many as I’d like. There are MANY, MANY educated citizens who simply do not agree that individual rights and responsibilities are meaningful in the modern world. These people cannot be educated. They must be defeated.

  4. There are fewer accidental stabbings, and drive-by slashings tend to be restricted to cavalry charges.

    Guns are commonly the tool of choice, both for good and bad, because they work exceptionally well. Also, stupidity and/or negligence/ignorance around them tends toward worse results than with any other weapon.

    All of the above conspire to make guns noticeable to a unique degree. Also, the meda frequently follow the government, and knives worry the Powers that Be less than do guns.

    Let there be a rash of school slashings and you may rest assured that Feinenstein will go after the Ginsu.

    • Edit: As relates to suicide, practitioners tend toward things which once done cannot be undone – jumping, hanging, guns…

      Very few people have hanged themselves by tying a rope ’round their necks, securing the other end to a rafter and then squatting. Jumping off a chair or ladder is crucial to the success of the enterprise.

      With knives, the ouch factor (either percieved or during the act) tend to make them less suitable to all but the very determined.

      • Come on now, I love this site and absorb it daily but the initial question is stupid in that it plays right into the gun grabbers key argument vis-à-vis suicides. I concur with Russ in that attempts by gun would seem to have a much higher efficacy rate than other means. Leave this one alone and move on to more salient arguments.

        • Then please explain why the UK and the US have the same suicide rate. If guns have a “higher efficacy rate” then how could a country with a population that does not have access to firearms have such a high rate of successful suicides?

          Suicide rates are independent of method.

        • Point is, this particular case is a FAILED attempt. It plays right into any emotional argument the other side espouses (e.g. “thank God she didn’t have access to a gun”). If someone has an AMA-based fact that gun/knife suicide attempts have little difference in outcome, that would be a pertinent argument. Personally, even with multiple (locked) guns in my house, if, God forbid, one of my children decided to make such an attempt, I’d want the gun to NOT be the method available.

        • Suicide by hanging may not be a quick and neat as a method but tieing a rope around your neck and jumping off the table is just as irrevokable as pulling a trigger. Don’t fall for the gun grabber line that someone just wakes up one morning and decides on a whim to kill themsleves. People who jump off bridges, hang themselves, crash into brick walls, step in from of a train or car, and yes, shoot themselves have thought about it for a long time. It was not meant as “cry for help.” It was meant to end their lives.

        • Preaching to the choir. Put yourself into the mindset of those you wish to persuade. Any quick google-fu will show scads of method efficacy rates and guns are at the top of each list. Knives are way down the list. You are not making a distinction between those that want to die vs those that are sending a signal for help. If you wish to use this as a central point of argument, other than macro-based suicide rates (wherein many factors are in play, not the least of which is culture-based), you’ll find the medical facts are not in our favor.

        • You are misusing the statistics. The more effective methods are used by people who actually want to kill themselves whereas the less effective methods are used by people sending a a message.

      • Nope. Exactly to the point of THIS news item’s topic. The victim chose a knife which is a less-effective means than guns…message sent.

    • Take it from someone who worked for CNN and other media outlets for 20 years: it’s a cultural bias. They don’t have to issue “orders” any more than a queen bee has to tell each bee what to do. They’re bees. It’s what they do.

  5. Given that carrying a knife for self-defense has more restrictions on a state by state basis and less legal protection and isn’t even considered in the context of “the right to bare arms”, I’d say the media doesn’t demonize knives because they’ve already won that battle. Back when knives where what poor people carried for self-defense the media did a hack job on them.

  6. Simple. Mass shootings happen all the time, but theres never ever ever been a mass stabbing…OH WAIT.

  7. the media needs eyeballs. They report unusual things. Defend your home and family? Sure, anyone would do that. Shoot someone in cold blood? Not too many people would do that. Lots of crime (rape, robbery, etc. along with DGUs) are vastly unreported.

    The fact that the media hates guns is a side effect of their job – i know a lot of family lawyers who demonize marriage because they spent the bulk of their day around families breaking apart.

  8. Because it is easier to shoot down a mob of unruly Citizens armed with knives than a mob that may have guns.

  9. You might be a progressive if you believe that a cultural shift towards physician assisted suicide is a good thing but that society should restrict the means to do the job for oneself.

  10. Wedge, thin end of. Beware.

    Guns are the biggie. Get those banned or severely restricted and the left’s main battle is won. Knives, screwdrivers, etc. etc., ad nauseam, will all follow in good time.

    And who says they’re easing up on knives? As I carry a pocket knife to work (office environment), I always choose either a small bright red Swiss Army Knife (a Classic), which looks non-threatening to everybody, or I have a 30-year-old Schrade medium or small Stockman pattern, which looks Olde Tyme enough.

    When I wish to push the envelope, I carry my old Boy Scout folder, which has the traditional 4-blade design. If people question it, I tell them that I bought it myself when I was 11 years old, and add that every Boy Scout was expected to have one. As were Girl Scouts.

    So….what’s the problem?

  11. The majority of people employed in the mass media industry hold socialist values and lack critical thinking skills. Knives, unlike guns, are not perceived as a threat to the ruling order of America’s Royalty or political elites. It is probable that edged tools will eventually receive the same level of absurd attacks that guns are currently under.

  12. I’d say because we’re always going to need kitchen knives. And those are as lethal as any. When you sart regulating kitchen knives, even the sheep poke their heads up and say hmmm?

    • Yes, you can show a small pocket-size folding knife and people act like it’s a terrifying instrument of death.

      Then I always ask the person, “So how many knives does your kitchen have? And how big are they?” The response is usually a sheepish smile.

  13. The same reason many of them are cool with shotguns:

    Because a citizenry can’t repel tyranny with a knife.

    • Repelling tyranny with knives is less direct and more “personal”. The first task would be to use knives to acquire firearms and related equipment from the enemy.

  14. The “news media” consists of leftist, “progressive” statists who believe the elites (including themselves) should control everything the peasants do. “Gun control” has always been about control of society – they don’t really care about any deaths that are not their own (witness their lack of outrage to 500+ murders per year in Chicago – those are minority urban youth murders, so the media does not cover them). As described above, the British “knife control” will be their concern if they ever manage to disarm us.

    If you want to see where “progressive thought” leads, read Friedrich Hayek’s “Road to Serfdom”.

  15. Why does the media demonize guns but not knives? Because they already “did” knives, that’s why. From the 50’s forward, the MSM did a very good job of portraying any assisted opener as the tool of vicious gang members, good for nothing but stabbing each other and scaring women they were about to rape.

    All those laws are being re-written now after sixty years or more only because the MSM has moved on to guns. But like ripe radishes, they’ll be back.

    • Many states have absurd blade length limits as well. My state’s concealed handgun license does not permit me to carry a proper defensive knife.

      • The Comintern of Massachusetts doesn’t permit me to carry a stun gun or taser even though I can carry a gun. So to defend myself, I have to use deadly force. Does that make sense?

        That was a rhetorical question.

        • No it doesn’t make sense. I can’t fathom why Tasers are illegal in some states. If anything, grabbers could point to Tasers *eliminating* the need for firearms. You’d think grabbers would be all over Taser advocacy. Then again, I never credited the grabbers with an over a abundance of intelligence. Stupid laws are clearly not limited to firearm regulation.

          To Matt in FL: I understand the question was rhetorical, but I responded anyway.

  16. look, everyone uses a knife every to eat… it is a functional every day every spectrum utensil. Yeah it can be used as a weapon, but so could a fork. I think if we replaced knives with guns at the dinner table and used them the same way, the media would treat guns the same way as they do knives.

    • Now that’s an entertaining mental image.

      Steak knife? We don’t need no stinking steak knives! Just remember to be aware of your bbq chicken and what’s beyond it…

  17. Robert I think you have the question wrong. It should be why are they not deomonizing pills and posions? check out:

    http://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/suicide/statistics/mechanism01.html

    For females over 10, poisoning was the most common mechanism for sucide. “During 2005–2009, the greatest percentage of suicides among males occurred by firearms (56.3%) while the greatest percentage of suicides among females occurred by poisoning (39.3%).”

    Also there were more accidental fatal and non-fatal poisonings in 2010 than there were for firearms.

    Accidental deaths 33,041 (poisoning) 606 (firearms)
    Accidental non-fatal injuries 831,295 (poisoning) 14,161 (firearms)
    (http://webappa.cdc.gov/sasweb/ncipc/nfirates2001.html; Select unintentional intent, poisoning cause, and year 2010-2010)

    But to answer your question, because firearms are a more effective tool for self-determination and individual liberty than knives or poisons.

  18. Or pills. Or razor blades and bath tubs. Or locked garages with running cars. Or household cleaners. Or rope. Or suicide by cop. Or tall bridges/buildings/cliffs…….

  19. Didn’t the Rwanda slaughter less than 20 years ago teach us that hundreds of thousands can be murdered with knives (machetes).

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