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The BBC is reporting that an student armed with a knife and a makeshift crossbow has murdered a teacher in Barcelona, Spain. “The suspect, reportedly a 13-year-old boy, has been arrested but may not face charges because of his age. The teacher killed was protecting a colleague during the incident at the Instituto Joan Fuster, reports say. Four other people were wounded. Police have not confirmed the weapon used and there is no indication of his motive.” . . .

The boy was said to have arrived late for class…and wounded a Spanish language teacher and her daughter, who was also a student.

A good guy — without a gun — attempted to respond.

Hearing screams, a male teacher…entered the classroom and was fatally wounded when the boy attacked him.

A police spokesman could not confirm whether he had been fatally wounded by the boy’s knife or his makeshift crossbow.

According to students interviewed at the scene, the crossbow had allegedly been “fashioned out of wood and ballpoint pens….”

This is a tragedy and I have nothing but condolences and sympathy for the victims of this apparently senseless crime.

The Library of Congress has an interesting page titled “Firearms-Control Legislation and Policy: Spain”, by Senior Foreign Law Specialist Graciela Rodriguez-Ferrand. Ms. Rodriguez-Ferrand advises that under the Spanish Reglamento de Armas (R.A.), crossbows are regulated alongside firearms. Spain has nine different types of arms licenses; crossbows can be possessed by citizens with a Class E License. Such weapons are supposed to be stored in a safe; weapons must be carried from their permanent storage to a shooting range in secure and locked container.

Firearms “must be marked with a unique identifying mark when manufactured, to allow them to be traced and tracked according to the procedures established in the R.A.”

Spain has a rather long history with ‘firearms-control.’ The modern Kingdom of Spain is the direct successor to the Spanish State established by the infamous dictator Francisco Franco. Franco came to power after a botched coup that resulted in a bloody, three-year-long civil war. He was denied easy victory because people loyal to the republican government opened up weapons caches and took up arms to resist.

Later in the war, as the republican government became increasingly dominated by communists aligned with the Soviet Union, the government attempted to confiscate all privately-held weapons in Barcelona. It says a lot about ideology trumping common sense when a government on the losing side in a bloody civil war fought against a Nazi-backed regime decides it needs to disarm its own people.

After the war, Franco’s dictatorial government imposed strict gun control common in places like New Jersey or New York City: firearms were completely banned for the common people, but were permitted for those who were political supporters of those in power, or otherwise prominent. By the time of his death in 1975, according to the Encyclopedia of Contemporary Spanish Culture, approximately 100,000 supporters of the regime were permitted to carry firearms.

After Franco’s death, the restoration of the Bourbon monarchy, and the rise of a parliamentary form of government, many of Spain’s laws have changed in both form and substance. But the gun control laws survived.

Shockingly, the crossbow prohibition had little effect in this case.


DISCLAIMER: The above is an opinion piece; it is not legal advice, nor does it create an attorney-client relationship in any sense. If you need legal advice on this subject, you are strongly urged to hire and consult your own counsel. This post is entirely my own, and does not represent the positions, opinions, or strategies of my firm or clients.

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  1. We had a nutjob from the east coast murder two people with a knife and a crossbow here in Wyoming a while back.

    The news was playing it up as “a professor (the perp’s father) was shot” and the national news was playing it up for all it was worth for the first evening and into the next day.

    Then the Natrona County Sheriff released details of the case and explained that the victim had been shot with a crossbow. The national news media dropped the story like a hot rock. Within hours of that press conference, it was out of rotation on all the networks.

    No clearer evidence of bias could be demonstrated.

    • This story has a disclaimer at the bottom stating it is an opinion piece, I think all news should have that these days.

    • Doesn’t this young whippersnapper know that in the 11th century the Pope BANNED the use of crossbows by Christians against each other because it was too barbaric a weapon? Guess those weapons bans don’t work like they used to !

    • It’s socialist Europe, what do you expect? Anders Breivik killed 77 people. His sentence? 21 years. LESS THAN 4 MONTHS PER VICTIM. That sort of mentality is on its way here.

      • Exactly. Whatever someone’s opinion on the death penalty is, one thing is certain. Once the liberals completely ban the death penalty, the new crusade will be “Life in prison is cruel and unusual punishment!”

        • Once they get down to “more than six weeks is cruel and unusual”, we’ll have some common sense, again. Somebody harms one of mine, when he gets out six weeks later, I will be waiting. My six week vacation can begin the same day!

  2. The leftist anti-Second Amendment media here will not cover this story, just as they did not cover the story of a knife wielding thug terrorizing a campus in Houston a year or so ago. A Muslim cutting the head off a British soldier and similar stories. The leftist media in the UK did not advocate the outlawing of Sheffield knives or similar, nor will the media even mention this much because it does not fit their prejudices.

    • I swear read somewhere (perhaps here) that Britain is trying to ban any knife that comes to a point at the end. So that you can only purchase a knife that has an edge but no tip. They even had prominent Professional Chef’s come out in support of the ban declaring that no one “needs” a knife that comes to a point, and that the Chef community was in support of the ban.

      • I could support that kind of law. Seems to me it would be MUCH more fun slicing off an inch or so at a time, than just poking and getting it over with.

    • Not long ago some political hack in NY wanted to ban all knifes over 6″ (?) or some other ridiculous size.

  3. Well if Americans didnt have guns this wouldnt have happend Good job you right wing extremist corrupted that young boy with all ur violence even in spain

  4. BAN CROSSBOWS! It seems nice in Barcelona. My brother was there in 1992 as an Olympic coach and he thought it was great. But then he’s anti-gun and left-wing so maybe not…

  5. What video games was this 13 year old playing for the last two years? See “On Killing” by Lt Col Grossman. He was a guest speaker at the NRA in nashville.

    • The world was violence free before video games. And guns. I remember as a kid we had no video games. We all stood around a campfire joined hands and sang Kum by yah. 🙂

      All snark aside. If all it takes to cause someone to murder is a video game that someone was just looking for an excuse.

  6. Let’s see.

    No gun involved, therefore it wasn’t a violent crime, leastwise not in the same category or of the same importance as the ones guns cause.

    Move along, folks, nothing to see here.

  7. In situations like this, the best way to protect potential victims is to disable the threat. Of course, without effective tools, this may not be feasible. All too often, it seems that “protect” means shielding the target with your own body. In first aid class, I was taught to use discretion in aiding a victim. It’s counterproductive to make yourself an additional victim.

    • ” It’s counterproductive to make yourself an additional victim.”

      Except to the sensationalist news media that wants as many victims as possible.

  8. #Ban Crossbo…

    Wait. It’s not a gun? Cancel that news story asap. No, I told you we have an agenda to follow! if it’s not a gun, then we aren’t bothered. *every anti everywhere*

    Robert, perhaps we should start tabulating hammer & frying pan homicides. T’would make for a hilarious way to cause them to lose their train of thought when smacked with reality. TheTruthAboutHammers kind of has a ring to it. :p

    (About the hashtag thing, almost dumbest fad ever)

  9. That is a rather crude oversimplification of the really sad end of the Spanish Republic. The effort to disarm the population should be seen in the broader frame of constant infighting among national army, communist miliatias loyal to the International, Trotzkist militias and anarchist militias. Divided they stood, together they fell.


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