Previous Post
Next Post

April 9, 2014: at Franklin Regional High School in Murrysville, PA, a 16-year old male student stabbed 19 fellow students and one adult, leaving four in critical condition.

A 16-year-old boy was charged Wednesday after he allegedly stabbed 21 students and an adult — leaving four seriously injured — during an early-morning attack at a high school near Pittsburgh, authorities said . . .

Fox News has confirmed the identity of the suspect as Alex Hribal, a student at Franklin Regional Senior High School, the scene of the stabbing spree. The sophomore was being charged with four counts of attempted homicide, 21 counts of aggravated assault and one count of possessing a prohibited weapon on school property, according to a criminal complaint released by Westmoreland County District Attorney John Peck.

Westmoreland County Sheriff Jonathan Held described Hribal as quiet, adding that the teenager had not been talking to authorities since he was taken to be arraigned before a district judge Wednesday. He was jailed without bail.

Police said Assistant Principal Sam King tackled the boy and disarmed him, and a Murrysville police officer who is regularly assigned to the school handcuffed him.

Fellow students described the attacker predictably:

Alicia Graham characterized the suspect as a ‘small, skinny’ classmate who didn’t talk much. She didn’t know him personally, but has acquaintances who do, she said.

Also predictably, some news sources have suggested that the attacker was bullied.  This was not the only common element obvious in this attack.

Roberta Cook, a Franklin Regional School Board director and a member of its safety committee, said the local schools have well-practiced procedures in place for such events.

All indications are that those “well-practiced procedures”—whatever they might have been–had almost no influence on the outcome. Cook also expressed an understandable, but ill-informed opinion:

But I’m just glad it wasn’t a shooter, because if it had been a shooter, there would have been fatalities,’ Cook, whose children previously attended the school, told

Also common was the time frame:

A security guard at the school, in an affluent community about 15 miles east of Pittsburgh, notified authorities at 7:13 a.m. In all, the rampage lasted about five minutes.

All of this follows common patterns seen in previous school violence. The attacker—when a student—is usually said to have been bullied. If false, this early media-trumpeted claim is usually never corrected, so bullying—whatever that might or might not be—has become something of a modern myth.

One factor that’s almost universally accurate is that the police pay virtually no role in actively stopping the attack. A third factor—the suicide of the attacker—didn’t play out this time because an administrator was, fortunately, in a position to stop and help restrain the attacker.

Michael Daly at the Daily Beast was on Cook’s wavelength:

So there might well never have been the remarkable selfie that 16-year-old Nate Scimio took after his heroism at Franklin Regional High School had he faced a gun rather than two knives on Wednesday morning.

Daly’s reasoning is self-serving:

Instead of posing for a selfie with a half-smile in a hospital gown, Scimio and who knows how many of his classmates might very well have been as dead as the three soldiers who were mourned by President Obama on Wednesday in the aftermath of the latest mass shooting at Fort Hood. Obama attended a similar ceremony at the base five years ago, after a previous mass shooting left 13 soldiers dead.

Obama might even now be planning a trip to a memorial in this small Pennsylvania town 20 miles east of Pittsburgh if the mayhem at Franklin High had been perpetrated with a 9-mm pistol like the one the 2009 Fort Hood gunman used or the .45 caliber pistol the more recent shooter wielded.

Had there been a gun at Franklin High, the dead might very well have included the school safety guard known to the students as Sarge, who was stabbed in the stomach while trying to stop the attack. The very brave vice principal, Sam King, who then jumped in, might have been killed before he subdued the 16-year-old suspect.

The severity and number of injuries Daly acknowledged would seem to belie his premise:

In all, the sophomore who allegedly stormed through the school in Murrysville, Pennsylvania, stabbed Scimio and 19 students along with one staff member. Three students were critically injured.

One, a girl, was saved from bleeding to death when a classmate kept paper towels pressed against her wound. Another, a 17-year-old boy, was stabbed with such savagery that the wound in his abdomen was 2 inches wide and extended almost to his spine. The blade pierced his liver and diaphragm, missing his heart and aorta by a fraction of an inch. He was on life support after emergency surgery, but doctors remained hopeful he would survive.

And, as of the end of the day, none of the 21 victims had died. Scimio had managed to escape serious injury even as he shielded several students from the attacker and took a moment to pull a fire alarm to alert everyone else. A fellow student named Trinity McCool credited him on Twitter with saving her and a friend.

Cook and Daly are partially correct, but their observation obscures the real issues. It’s possible that had the attacker been armed with a firearm more would have been injured or killed, but there is no question that edged weapons are as deadly as firearms, particularly when one considers that the majority of lethal force encounters with guns are easily within knife range. In many ways, the wounds they inflict are more painful and long-lasting than gunshot wounds.

The police recognize this, and competent police training includes the Tueller drill, which comes from an insight and research by police officer Dennis Tueller. An attacker armed with a knife can close a distance of at least 21 feet, perhaps more, before a defender armed with a firearm can react, draw, fire and stop them. This is true of the average person armed with a knife, not a trained martial artist. Therefore, virtually anyone holding a knife within 21 feet represents a potentially lethal threat.

A single attacker armed with a knife, particularly in a crowd, can cause substantial damage, as was demonstrated in this case. Too many media commentators know little or nothing about weapons and tactics.  Firearms are not magical death machines. Each and every one must be properly and carefully aimed, and more than 80% of those hit by handgun bullets do not die.

One of the reasons so many died at Sandy Hook Elementary is because the shooter used a rifle; handguns are much more common. Long guns are easier to shoot accurately at almost any distance than handguns and rifle cartridges tend to be more lethal. The killer was able to corner large numbers of particularly helpless victims—small children and their female teachers—at close quarters, huddled in groups. In such circumstances, even a single bullet can wound or kill two or more.

In a terrible irony, the kind of “well-practiced procedures” schools use virtually always include gathering students into tight groups and hiding, which increases the potential lethality of attackers when they find those groups. Common “run and hide” policies actually aid determined attackers, who, planning mass murder and suicide, have no compunction about damaging property by shooting out locks and windows to get at hiding children.

“But hiding behind locked doors will protect students against knife-wielding attackers!” Yes, but only to the extent that they don’t attack when large numbers of students are not behind locked doors–as was the case in this attack–and only if the attacker is not prepared to breach those doors and windows, which in most schools, are only capable of delaying a determined attacker by mere seconds.

While Cook and Daly are not entirely wrong, any attack in a school employing deadly weapons, with the likely exception of effective explosives which have the potential to kill hundreds, has the potential to seriously injure or kill very large numbers of innocents.  What goes unaddressed, as always, is the sole effective means of deterring and stopping these attacks: armed school staff.

After the Sandy Hook attack, the NRA advocated armed security in every American school.  There are four primary problems with this.  A single armed security officer is expensive.  The largest part of any school budget is salaries, and in the age of Obama, money is tight at best.  In order to place a security officer at the school and school activities, which take place until late in the evening and on weekends, a large number must be hired.  For most American schools, even hiring a single officer is just not financially possible.

Many modern schools are very large indeed.  A single officer will almost certainly be nowhere near where an attack begins.  Even running at a fully sprint—assuming he is immediately aware of the attack and can immediately determine precisely where the attack is taking place and can find the attacker without delay—delay will cost lives.

Most importantly, a single security officer becomes a primary target.  At the 2005 attack at Red Lake High School in Minnesota, the single security officer—he was unarmed—was the first person the shooter killed.

Allowing school staff to carry concealed weapons, even if a given school doesn’t have a single teacher on campus so armed, confers on all schools in the area a powerful deterrent effect.  And if an attack occurs, particularly if multiple staff members are armed, the probability that the attacker will meet armed resistance immediately is greatly enhanced.  At the very least, facing multiple armed opponents greatly increases the probability that a shooter will be quickly, and finally, stopped.

Some suggest that teachers would not want to carry handguns, but consider that when a single training session organized by the late Chris Kyle was held in Texas, more than 500 (some reports indicated more than 700) teachers attended. 

Ultimately, what matters is not which anti-bullying policies are in place, whether a school has “well-practiced procedures,” locks, or gun-free school zone signs, but if multiple, responsible adults are present and ready to effectively respond when an attack occurs.  If they are not, many lives will be irrevocably changed and lost before the police can arrive, and the victims and survivors will care little about the exact nature of the weapons used.  That might be something for school boards, administrators and principals to keep in mind between now and the next mass school attack.

Mike’s blogs at Stately McDaniel Manor.

Previous Post
Next Post


  1. NC has a bill in the General Assembly to allow teachers and staff (with special training) to become armed “School Marshals.”

    NC SB-27.

    And, predictably, school officials are against it.

    One of the gripes against it is “who is going to pay for it?”

    Man, that’s a real reach. The bill calls for arming teachers and staff that are ALREADY employed by the school, and it is based on voluntary participation.


    • Well, if the school requires training beyond what the state carry permit requires, I’d say the school should pay for that training. Otherwise, how much can it cost to remove 10 or 20 “gun free school zone” signs?

    • Sounds like what I have been using in my arguments with anti’s for this issue. I have used the Federal Flight Deck Officer program as the most analogous example to what could be instituted. Minus the TSA/DHS circle-jerk on the applicants of course.

    • That is BS! How much has the state lotto brought in now? It sure isn’t going to the school system. Oh yeah, doesn’t the Department of Education have a large ammo procurement order and its own S.W.A.T. team? How much does that cost?

  2. Swords, even fake swords, are not difficult to acquire. And even fake swords can slash and stab, especially if you do not care how long they will hold an edge.

    Banning this tool or that tool will NEVER solve the problem. Even if the BG cared about your ban, they will always find another tool with which to do the job. The only reasonable solution is to allow the Good Guys to carry (and use) better tools.

    • Don’t forget bows and arrows. I seem to remember seeing a video on YouTube of how to make a pretty solid bow out of simple PVC pipe and basic materials.

    • One of the toughest place to acquire a knife is in a prison, yet many convicts have them. How on earth would we ever be able to ban knives in a free society, if we can’t even seem to abolish them in much more controlled surroundings.

  3. That’s another reason I wouldn’t put my kid into a public school; they can’t even carry a pocket knife for self defense.

    To put a child into a public school is like putting them naked and defenseless into a lions den.

      • They are more likely to at least have the choice of arming staff. A public in most states is a criminal safety zone. And you can ask about the possibility when you are interviewing schools. Public schools put you in the district you live in, period.

        For those who really care, about safety and a good education, I recommend home schooling where possible. You can choose the curriculum, field trips, safety measures, etc.

      • “For those who really care, about safety and a good education, I recommend home schooling where possible. You can choose the curriculum, field trips, safety measures, etc.”

        +One Million.

        Homeschooling solves a LOT of problems.

    • You Sir are an idiot. A school would run the risk of a blood bath if they allowed pocketknives to be carried.

      • Um; PabloB, calling someone an “idiot” because you disagree with their point of view does not open a door for a discussion.

        You are speaking from a place of irrational fear. Which is why you attacked me for my statement. When you speak from emotion instead of logic, reason, fact, history or experience, you are the one that actually shows yourself to not necessarily be an “idiot”, but only ignorant and uninformed; so like an animal, you attack what you fear.

        So when I was a child many moons ago, I and many of my fellow children carried a pocket knife on a daily basis in school and we didn’t have blood baths. Outside of school today, many children are carrying pocket knives and we don’t have blood baths.

        So tell me PabloB, if children today carry pocket knives on a daily basis and we don’t have blood baths outside of school, how does that change if they are in school?

        Just because a person is a child; does not mean they don’t have the same rights to self-defense as any other living being, even at the most minimum level, like being able to carry a knife.

        In the end PabloB, this idea that there will be “a blood bath”, is the same hysterical ravings that come from an anti-self defense advocate every time another public place is opened up for carrying a self-defense weapon. It speaks to your own transference of your feeling of distrust of your self if you were to carry a gun for self-defense.

        People can be trusted PabloB, even a child or a young adult; and those that can’t, like this teenager, a sign on the door making the space a WFZ, won’t stop them anyway. So don’t deny a human being, even a child or young adult, the right to defend their life from a homicidal maniac; because you don’t trust yourself with a weapon.

      • A school would run the risk of a blood bath if they allowed pocketknives to be carried.

        Wow. I guess I went to school in a bloodbath, then, because pretty much EVERYONE carried a pocketknife. Some even had sheath knives on their belt.

        I remember carrying a pocketknife as far back as 2nd grade.

        I don’t remember the bloodbath because IT DID NOT OCCUR.

        You sir, do not have facts on your side at all. Were you looking in the mirror when you started flinging insults?

        • It says a lot about America when you have to tool up your kids to go to school. I can just imagine you two shouting to you kids before they leave for school,have you got your lunch,books,pens,oh and don’t forget your knife. I got into many a scrap at school,and some of the lads were bigger than me; if I was getting a kicking,I’d probably use a knife if I had one,because I was hotheaded. What good would a penknife do if a teenager comes to school packing weapons like Adam Lanza? Shall we start sending our kids to school locked and loaded? I’d rather my child attended school unarmed, than have him spend his life in prison for something he done in the heat of the moment;and if you’re going to arm your kids with a penknife,what do arm the teachers with?

      • We always carried pocket knives, but don’t ever recall thinking of them as a weapon. They were a tool to be used for many things, even sharpening your pencil if needed. I remember in second and third grade, at recess playing “stretch” with our pocket knifes. Throw it into the ground outside of a persons stance, and they had to stretch the stance to the knife. Then their turn to throw. Game went on until one fell trying to reach the distance.
        As I said, a pocket knife (and I have carried one for over 55 yrs) has always just been a tool not a weapon. I supose it’s how one is raised to view it….
        We had our share of bullies as well and fights, no one I know of ever thought of trying to pull out their pocket knife, open it, then use it…. never would have had time to do so….

  4. A bladed weapon is NOT as deadly as a gun. Just admit it!! I’m on your side and all but you have to admit the obvious or your just like the other side.

    • A bladed weapon is more deadly than a gun. The only advantages of a firearm are that they require less training to use and they don’t rely on the user’s strength, and that they can be used at range. At close range a knife is considerably more dangerous than a gun.

      • Yes. Pretty much the major impetus in firearms development was some way to kill that sumbitch with the sword (or pike) before he got close enough to stab you!

      • A gun, on average, is more dangerous than a knife. Sorry but if you’re going to restrict the case to the one that is perfect for your chosen conclusion, you’re being disingenuous. Most people are not well trained in using a knife, and most people who go on spree-killings don’t even have what it takes to kill with a knife… as this case indicates.

      • I’ve heard it all now. Blades are more deadly than a gun? I rather face a ninja with a sword than a child with a gun.

    • Several highly publicized incidents in China and the UK seem to show that you are incorrect. There was one rather horrific mass-stabbing recently where several attackers killed and wounded dozens of people. The reality here is that the victims got just as lucky as the kids in Colorado who were attacked by a student armed with a shotgun. In the short term, the outcome was nearly exactly the same: One kid in critical condition, and several more badly wounded who were not considered critical. It remains to be seen if the kid who was nearly stabbed through the heart pulls through. I’m praying he does, but let’s not pretend that a knife can’t kill you pretty thoroughly. Centuries of warfare before the gun proved that.

      • Several… er… dozens of cases in many other places show just the opposite. It’s true that there was warfare before guns, but there was warfare before knives, too. Does that make a rock as good of a weapon? Of course not. The lethality of warfare also increased by far as guns evolved.

      • Several highly publicized incidents in China and the UK seem to show that you are incorrect.

        What happened in the UK? I know of the soldier being beheaded,but I don’t know of any high publicised incidents that involved mass stabbings. Lee Rigby was actually run over before he was stabbed to death,he may have fought off his attackers or simply run off had they used just a knife/sword. It’s hard to outrun a bullet.

        • How am I a troll Jerry? The UK is a far safer place to live. The only time I’ve seen a firearm in the UK is at the airports, and I like it that way.

    • Cold Steel Magnum Warcraft Tanto cutting a pig carcass in half:

      Granted, I don’t think this troubled little psychopath was using a blade of this quality. Still, a high quality blade in the hands of a skilled user makes a formidable, silent weapon. A weapon that does not run out of ammo and is easy to obtain.

      Even a cheap machete available for $10-20 has been used as a mass murder weapon:


      Knives and shivs make it into prisons and account for a multitude of deaths. It is virtually impossible to ban knives just like it is impossible for a gun ban to be effective in a gun free zone.

      To quote Gunnery Sgt. Heartman “It is the hard heart that kills.”

      There are even circumstances, such as sentry removal, that a good blade is a better weapon than a firearm. I carry both guns and knives every day. Ultimately the firearm is a better weapon, but the knife definitely has its place in modern day self defense. It’s also pretty hard to cut a seat belt with a .40 cal.

    • Every knife comes with a million round assault magazine built in. And If you played with my 9″ Cold Steel Tanto a while, you would see the error of your ways. Razor edge, needle point, strong enough to use as a pry bar.

      • Come on. Take your fancy knife and put it against any reasonable defensive firearm… would you REALLY bet on that knife? At punching distance, fair enough. At arm’s reach, yeah. Any more than that things start going bad for the knife wielder.

        People often get very confused because they hear about the Tueller Drill and conflate it with knives being equal to guns up to 21 feet. No, they are just potentially deadly within that range, so a response with deadly force is indicated.

        • Were not talking about a knife versus a gun, were talking about a knife in relation to a gun. In that comparison, a gun may have a range advantage and require less strength, but an average built male can kill an unarmed person within a confined space with a knife just as easily as with a gun.

        • In a “gun free school zone”, a knife THERE is far more deadly than a gun AT HOME!, many bulletproof vests fail miserably when facing a knife. The argument is silly, as evidenced by this attack. If someone had a gun, we’d also save money on the trial and incarceration for 5 years until we loose this fruitcake on society again.

          And I would CERTAINLY put my “fancy knife” against NO gun!

    • Gotta admit, I’ve never heard anyone wisely intone “Don’t bring a gun to a knife fight.” I can think of a situation or two where a knife could conceivably be more deadly than a gun–say, if you’re walking down a crowded hallway stabbing passersby in the kidneys as they pass. You could perhaps get into the double digit casualty figures before anyone tumbled on to what was going on enough to effectively thwart it . At the first gunshot, tho, everyone knows that something is happening and can react. Or a similar situation in which you could isolate individual victims and dispatch them quietly with a knife–you could keep going all day with that. But of course, none of those really represents the out-of-control mass killer that is the object of everyone’s nightmares at this time.

    • I’m with ya. Some people of the gun can be as disingenuous as the anti-gunners. They’ll take the best possible case for a knife and act as though it proves knives are as deadly as guns and therefore gun control doesn’t work… even when every other situation shows the advantage of a gun. It’s a bad argument and it’s absurd to anyone without an agenda, so I don’t understand why it gets trotted out because there are so many better ones to make.

      The military is very good at killing, and there’s a reason they’ve abandoned edged weapons for all but very specific duties (mostly peeling potatoes). There’s a reason no sane armed person who is not operating operationally would see someone coming towards them with a knife and draw their own blade instead of a gun (people completely misconstrue the Tueller drill!) With the exception of being at very close range and having the experience or training to use a knife, it’s far inferior to a modern firearm. That’s to say nothing of the psychological and physical difference in stabbing through someone compared to pulling a trigger. Most nuts who want to go on a spree killing have neither the physical strength or intestinal fortitude to do with a knife what they can do more easily with a gun.

      Guns make killing easier. They make suicide easier, and they killing others easier… including killing in the name of self-defense. They are an equalizer. That’s the argument to make.

    • Ever hear of the 21 foot rule. A man within 21 feet of you can rush you with a knife before you can pull your gun and fire. More deadly inside the range which it intended to be used. Guns are made for keeping distance. Knives are more up close and personal.

      More food for thought. If knives are inferior, other non-firearms are equally inferior. If this is the case explain these.
      Indian tribes winning battles against the army.
      Modern soldiers that still carry and spend lots of money for good knives.
      Amount of people that survive gun shots as opposed to the amount that survive knife or sword attacks.
      I could go on but I dont want your mind to explode.

  5. “A 16-year-old boy was charged Wednesday after he allegedly stabbed 21 students and an adult…”

    When I was 16, I had a real job and had learned how to drive. Wow. I coulda been out stabbing people.

    Hidesight ya know.

  6. If they want to ban knives in the future like the UK is trying they need to keep this in mind. All you need is a grinder and a strip of steel to make a nasty knife or shiv. Good luck banning that stuff, although I can see them try, for the children of course.

  7. A man with a knife(and no skill) can still ensure you spend the rest of your life evacuating waste into a bag.

    • “[…]’juvenile delinquent’ is a contradiction in terms. ‘Delinquent’ means ‘failing in duty.’ But duty is an adult virtue—indeed a juvenile becomes an adult when, and only when, he acquires a knowledge of duty and embraces it as dearer than the self-love he was born with. There never was, there cannot be a ‘juvenile delinquent.’ But for every juvenile criminal there are always one or more adult delinquents—people of mature years who either do not know their duty, or who, knowing it, fail.” – Robert A. Heinlein, “Starship Troopers.

  8. It’s a pretty scary game to pontificate “Thank god he used weapon X instead of weapon Y”.

    For example:

    We’re lucky the kids who attacked with guns didn’t use a milk carton full of gasoline and a bic lighter in a confined space.

    These murder-suicide mass killers seem to use whatever method is in their local popular culture. The only way to stop them is to not produce these people in the first place.

  9. These people never learn. First sentence of the second paragraph is his name, they also showed his picture (of course).

    This only serves to glamorize them and make them famous. There is a reason that in some countries you have freedom of press except you can’t show the faces and names of these kinds of people (terrorist would be the correct word, they spread fear). I believe Canada does this.

  10. Having guys try to talk tactics, who have no tactical background is getting pretty old. The Tueller drill really isn’t relevant anymore. A lot has changed in fire arms tactics since he came up with that. I have had enough time being the RED Man with hood drills to believe that bullshit anymore. Taken enough sim rounds and muzzle strikes to the face against inexperienced shooters to even think that a knife can beat a gun in under 21 feet. As for the saying why Sandy Hook had some many fatalities, small children do not take penetrating trauma well. That’s straight battlefield medicine right there. Go talk to any 18Ds they will tell you the same. Kids do not fare any were as well as adults when it comes to violence. People want to bring up China, those were Chinese terrorist who had links to Al Qaede.

  11. I’m just saying that it is a hell of a lot easier for an inexperienced person with a gun to kill a large group of people than an inexperienced person with a knife. You really can’t argue with that. If he had an ak I’m sure at least 1 person would have been killed rather than 21 knife wounds. That’s why we all carry guns..they work better.

    • A gun is generally a much more effective weapon and is effective at a much greater distances than a knife. I agree with you on that, obviously. A 100 foot shot is simple with an AR, a bit long for a handgun, and is a minimal threat with a knife. I am merely observing that there are also other deadly weapons such as knives in the hands of a juvenile psychopath that can still cause havoc. As has been pointed out before, a gasoline bomb on a public bus has been more deadly than a knife or a gun.

      Also, as has been pointed out on numerous occasions, gun free zones / knife free zones are not actually effective in stopping an armed attacker. That is the point that Obama and Co. deliberately ignore, and they will continue to do so.

    • Yes, there is that. It goes both ways, too. An inexperienced defender wielding a gun is exponentially more likely to survive a violent attack (by taking action to stop the bad guy) than one who has only a knife.

      The anti-gun (anti-violence) crowd only sees it one way: the bad guys have the weapons, and innocent people are always helpless. Violence, of course, is pure evil; like Sauron’s One Ring, it will possess and destroy anyone who uses it. So they fixate on the gun as the enabling factor in all these evil acts, never realizing that it’s possible — even necessary — for good people to harness violence when there’s no other choice.

  12. Medicating Our Troops Into Oblivion:[email protected]&utm_medium=Apr_20_2014_0401_194921&utm_source=TailoredMail&utm_term=Military+Docs+%27Medicating+Troops+Into+Oblivion%27&utm_campaign=Apr_20_2014_0401

    If this can do that to full-grown AMERICAN SOLDIERS, imagine what it would do to this kid, or the waifish Adam Lanza!

    Don’t say they’re “evil”; don’t blame THEM. Blame Big Pharma for the wanton ZOMBIFICATION of soldiers and already-damaged little boys.

    It’s not their fault. It’s not! They’ve been on mind-warping psychoactive drugs for YEARS, in most cases.

    Give thanks it wasn’t you or one of your children. This pharma-system is manufacturing severely-damaged psyches, and this is well-planned out.

  13. Every school and all businesses have a useful weapon against knives. It is called a FIRE EXTINGUISHER!
    Useful at a distance, and when empty, a heavy weapon for striking.

    • I’d rather have a Glock 23 and 40 rounds of .40 Smith. Fire extinguishers weren’t meant to be swung around.

  14. Check this out — one of the most evil things I’ve ever heard of:

    If there’s anything more guaranteed to produce explosions of mass violence than this, I hope I never see it. Considering that they spend years under the tutelage of people who embrace this appalling philosophy, I’m surprised that we don’t have even more schoolchildren who explode like dying souls gone supernova.

    • That might just be the most appalling thing I’ve ever seen, and I’ve seen some ugly sh¡t.

      I’m physically ill. Jebus!

  15. And last week, five university students were murdered with a kitchen knife at a party in Calgary, Alberta. It was merely luck that no one died during the attack in PA.

  16. Only one quibble: successful suicide by knife is fractionally less likely than by firearm because of ouch-induced hesitation or pullback.

    Otherwise, yeah: arm the damned staff. Hell, make firearm ownership and proficiency a double plus good thing in the employment application process.

  17. I know that this is off topic, but this idea jumped out at me: “Most importantly, a single security officer becomes a primary target. At the 2005 attack at Red Lake High School in Minnesota, the single security officer—he was unarmed—was the first person the shooter killed.” I understand that many people on this site push for the idea of open carry, but I have always thought that a visibly armed person is as much a target as a deterrent.

    • Open carry does, however, mean you have a much better gun because capabilities do not have to be sacrificed to service concealment. Plus, there will likely be multiple open carriers plus whichever people still concealed carry.

      The first guy will probably always be targeted. The important thing is that they have backup.

    • IIRC, that security officer was killed because he was silly enough to do his job regardless of the risk, not because he was targeted. He went after the perp instead of running, IOW.

  18. The winner of a knife fight between two combatants trained with edged weapons is the one who dies in the ER. The loser bled out at the scene.

    • +1.
      20+ yeasrs ago, the drill sergeant said essentially the same thing during bayonet training at Ft Benning. “By all means, shoot the bastards if you can. Expect to get cut if you engage bayonet to bayonet.”
      Even Special Ops guy chose/carried knives primarily as tools and secondarily as emergency close-in weapons.

    • I forgot who said this, but it was something like “If you break out the knife, expect to get cut up.”

  19. Anyone else notice that Michael Daly got it wrong when referring to the 2009 Ft. Hood shooting? The shooter used an FN Five-Seven with 5.7×28mm ammo, not 9mm.

  20. Just a few random thoughts on this story…

    * It’s damn luck – or perhaps better, divine providence – that nobody died in this attack. That it was a knife instead of a gun had nothing to do with it.

    * This was just a kid with a couple of kitchen knives. That is part of the good news. If it had been a Kabar or Ontario military knife it would have almost certainly been worse.

    * Far too many people underestimate the leathality of a knife, even in an untrained hand. 21 down, 4 in serious and 1 critical? That’s a tally that is on par with gun use.

    * As far as I’m concerned, the point above is a good thing. I’d rather be underestimated than taken seriously.

    * My Kenpo master was fond of teaching that, “Smith & Wesson beats a side kick.” Does that make studying martial arts a waste of time? Then don’t be so quick to knock a knife for self defense.

    * Knifes vs. Guns is really a case of apples vs. oranges. Or better still, hammers vs. screw drivers. Both are very useful tools when used for the right job, but you can really get yourself hurt when you use the wrong tool.

  21. Reminds me of the advice that Jack Nicholson (playing Jimmy Hoffa) gave to Danny DeVito as a new teamster union organizer:

    “Run from the knife but close on the gun.”

  22. A little late on this, I know, but I am truly sick of hearing about these little murderers being bullied. I was bullied. My awkward 120 lbs geek ass got pummeled on a near daily basis. Then one day I fought back, got suspended(naturally), and started a slow yet steady transformation from victim, to a 210 lbs red neck ( still very much awkward) who stands up for himself. Havent had many problems since.

  23. And an attacker with a gun doesn’t have to close those 21 feet to kill or maim. How many school gun assaults had 20 wounded and zero dead? You can justify your unnatural love of guns with these weak arguments, but you can’t change the facts that firearms are more lethal than knives or hammers and kill more people in the US than all other weapons combined. Firearms account for 70% of the weapons used homicides and 70% of those firearms are handguns, but firearms aren’t the problem, nooooo.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here