Stabbing in Japan--Ban Knives?

In so many of these debates, gun control advocates have said that no one can kill a bunch of school children with a knife. Indeed, most cases of mass school killings involve a gun. Now comes this guy in Japan who stabs 24 people and kills 8. This gives Columbine a real run for its money, injury and death wide.

So now that this has happened, is anyone for banning large kitchen knives. It seems to me that the gun control debate hinges on the belief that anything capable of wide scale killing should be banned. There is no need for a 12" knife. Ergo they should be banned, correct?

(I know, we need another gun debate like a hole in the …heart? Chest?)


Gun control proponents often cite two reasons for restricting guns that are relevant here. Firstly, guns are not designed to have utility beyond their offensive function (even in self-defense). Kitchen knives have obvious utility beyond their offensive ability. The existence of sporting uses for guns complicates this no end, of course, so this is not a knock-down argument by any means. On the other hand, for those of us not concerned with constitutional interpretations on the right to own firearms kitchen knives have a greater argument for being available.

The second argument would be that kitchen knives are not as effective or lethal a weapon. You can’t kill someone from distance with a kitchen knife. It’s harder to kill large numbers of people. It may or may not (depending on the type of gun and ammunition) be harder to kill (as opposed to wound) people with a knife.

I’m sure someone will be along in a minute with exceptions to both points, but the gist is that kitchen knives have a utility beyond their ability to injure and that they are not as easy to be used in incidents such as Columbine. The fact that this occurred in Japan is a horrific tragedy, but does not invalidate these points.

Interesting point. I have to correct you on one minor detail though - the attacker apparently used a 6" knife., so I guess we’d have to look at banning all blades of this length or greater.

To argue against you though, I would put forward that this isn’t really comparable to Columbine. The attacker was an adult male, who knew the layout of the school well as he’d worked there previously. Also, the pupils at the school are all under the age of 12.

So, in this circumstance, imagine if the attacker had been armed with pistols. Would two unarmed teachers have been able to wrestle the assailant to the ground, as happened in this case? Would the death tally have been even greater?

[ol][]The knife used had a 6" blade, not 12".[]Please, which gun control advocate has made the claim that “no one can kill a bunch of school children with a knife”?[]I don’t do Opal references.[]I wondered how long it would take for someone to try this.[/ol]

This is faulty logic. If the argument is that anything capable of wide scale killing should be banned, then 12" knives should be banned if they are capable of wide scale killing. That there is “no need” for them is not a reason for banning, according to your percepetion of gun control rhetoric. You also have to define “wide scale killing”. If you consider the killing of 8 school children ‘wide scale’, then this incident is proof that 12" knives (or 6" as may be the case here) are capable of wide scale killing. And if gun control advocates really do want to ban anything capable of wide scale killing, then by these definitions, they would want the type of knife used here banned.

Even the Education administrators of Osaka agreed that the problem was not the knife but the security of the school. In Japan, anyone can walk in the front door of a school. They would probably be ignored, but maybe greeted politely. No one would question them as to their reason for entering the school unless they “seemed” suspicious. Knives shouldn’t be banned, strangers should be banned.

Why stop at 12 inches? I have a Gerber Chef’s knife that is six inches long that would do a hellacious amount of damage to a human being.

Then the next logical step would be to start banning all kinds of things like pointy sticks, power tools, pens, hammers, axes, screwdrivers, kitchen chairs, steel toed boots, pry bars, files, household chemicals, rope, pocketknives, multitools, and propane torches.

These items are just a short list of things that could be used to kill you if wielded by a skilled assailant.

My just realized local Canadian Tire Store has an unrealized potential as a weapons distributor.

But seriously…

Banning weapons isn’t going to prevent these kinds of tragedies, this kind of violence is something that Japan hasn’t had to deal with until recently and I would expect that their schools may begin to look more like their North American counterparts with strict regulations, security, and probably even metal detectors at every entrance.

School used to be a such a safe place.

Excuse me for calling the accused a stranger, I was basing my reply on the early news when they ( the media) didn’t know who did it. Now that I am listening to the late news, I have to retract my statement about him being a stranger. My son’s school sent home a letter addressing the issue and the lax security in Japanese schools. I hope something comes of this, but I am very sorry that this had to happen.

mattk wrote:

So gun control proponents would have no problem with outlawing swords, then? Swords aren’t designed to have utility beyond their offensive function (even in self-defense) either.

I take it you’ve never learned the art of knife throwing, then.

Who, moi?
O :slight_smile:


Smartarse! :wink:


Swords: swords are less commonly owned and less lethal - sword massacres or sword snipers not being commonplace, AFAIK.

Knife-throwing: kitchen knives are not designed or weighted for throwing. Even an expert knife-thrower would probably have trouble killing someone from distance with a kitchen knife. And finally: once you’ve thrown that knife, you don’t have it - unlike a gun.

Also remember that this madman was going after children… do you think that the columbine kids could get very far knifing people in their school? They would have been taken down very quickly. But I am afraid that kids could not do a bangup job of protecting themselves. He could probably have done the same amount of damage with his fists to those children.

Isn’t there already “knife control” in Japan? I get catalogs that have several pages of knives. Most things in the catalog have little symbols that indicate mailing restrictions. Most, if not all, of the knives are noted “Cannot be sent to Japan”.

I don’t see how anyone can equate knives to guns and keep a straight face. Guns are far more useful for killing than a gun is. How many stabbing deaths were there in Vietnam or WWII compared to gunshots? A gun is hugely more efficient a killer.

I would also contend that there is a greater psychological barrier to overcome in using a knife. Shooting a gun from a distance is a bit more impersonal than getting very close to your victim and plunging a blade in. Obviously many people to overcome this barrier (and this wack job was able to go after young children to boot). Nevertheless I’d say a gun in your hand enables you more than a knife to be a killer.

Even if you get past the psychological barrier to this it is in a killer’s best interests to use a gun. Unless we use throwing knives (which require greater skill than shooting a gun) you have to get close and personal with the victim which affords them a chance to defend themselves. It would seem preferrable, from the killer’s viewpoint, to remain at a distance do the damage from there. Less chance of getting hurt yourself and a better chance of getting away.

As I started reading this thread it occurred to me a pencil can be a deadly weapon but Feynn already beat me to it (with a more broadly defined pointy stick weapon no less). Then it occurred to me that the killer could probably have achieved much the same effect with his bare hands but it looks as if DJScherr beat me to that punch. So, why did I just write this? Because I think it bears repeating. There are LOTS of ways to kill another human being and children under age 12 are particularly easy targets.

Trying to suggest that this has a bearing on the gun debate defies logic. If you really think your guns equate to knives then I encourage you to swap your guns for them. We’ll trade a a Rambo (sorry…don’t know the real name) knife for a Desert Eagle and work down from there. Maybe an automatic weapon will equate to a bandolier of throwing knives. Sound good?

When? Nostalgia can deceive us because we want to be deceived, but it’s always been a dangerous world. Ever hear of the Bath, Michigan school bombing?

“On May 18, 1927, 45 people, mostly children, were killed and 58 were injured when disgruntled and demented school board member Andrew Kehoe dynamited the new school building in Bath, Michigan out of revenge over his foreclosed farm due in part to the taxes required to pay for the new school.”

This is isn’t exactly a new problem… Keep in mind that there are more people alive now than ever before (and therefore more troubled people than ever before). Due to technology, the wide-spread communication of these tragedies is far more efficient, so it seems there are more of them, and possible copycats are quickly informed. There are people who prey on the innocent and helpless now just as there have always been. So is our society worse, or is it simply that problems that have always been with us are being exposed?

I do not wish to minimize the horror of the events; rather, I simply want to point out the problems we face are human ones. Remove a weapon from the hands of a potential murderer and you still have a potential murderer. We debate symptoms while the cure for the disease lies within us.

I know some of you might response harshly to this, as from a pragmatic standpoint, you wish to minimize the damage that dangerous people are capable of. But you also must realize that you will never be able to eliminate that danger by taking away the means, and that is why I think it would be of far greater benefit to stop arguing about the right to bear arms and start talking about how we can identify and help people in our society who would endanger others.

Please tell me, is the OP willing to stoop any lower at defending gun advocacy here in American and the violence it breeds? Please lets try so you can crawl back under the rock. I just left a news website with a picture of the troubled little faces of children as they squatted in the playground outside their school yesterday. I won’t even resort to logic on this one because this defies it. And other posters have already called you on the merits of this ill conceived thread. All I can say is shame on you for attempting to use this horrible incident to further your perverted views on “gun rights”. You should have thought this one out a little better. This line of thinking is a good example of why gun control just might be a real peachy idea.


I think also another thing that separates gun control from this theoritical concept of “knife control” is simple statistics. While isolated incidents such as Columbine and this recent one in Japan serve well to inspire people to take action, it is through boring, generally unrecognized and unpublicized tragedies that action becomes more or less necessary. I would think it’s pretty reasonable to say that more people are murdered by guns than by knives (if someone has a cite to prove me wrong or right I would be very appreciative) and thus it’s much more reasonable to address guns as a cause for concern apropos of violent crime.

Mr. Blue…what an enlightened and logical idea. I couldn’t agree more. I have looked at the 2nd Amendment and am not entirely sure that it guarantees anything of the sort that “gun advocates” are so violently trying to defend, but I have to agree that the point might be moot. People who are willing to resort to violence will do so whether they have access to guns or not. The time has come for our society to put an end to solving our problems with brute force. There was a time when it looked as though we would. But a rapidly changing society and economic pressures have taken it’s toll on us as individuals. And there are people who would exploit our differences no matter how minor in an attempt to create a climate of fear and mistrust that furthers their own agenda. This has a direct impact on us as a society and as individuals. We hear the lament that our culture is permeated with a “climate of violence” but little constructive action is taken to alieviate the problem. In fact the opposite is true. In our thrist for violent retribution we have resorted to killing the mentally impaired and our own children. Perhaps because we falsely believe that this is somehow what it means to exercise justice. We have lost ground in our efforts to create a society were every citizen is offered equal opportunity to live a free and prosperous exsistance, because this scores across the status quo and is perhaps the easiest of all fears to exploit. So we debate and argue about gay rights, affirmative action, and women who work. Some of us become obsessed with these issues and can do nothing but project anger for our own short comings onto these individuals. So much easier to blame someone else than change ourselves. We go home to our families and take our frustrations out on them because they are the easiest target and the most likely to forgive us when we fail to use logic and reason to solve our problems.

Many of us have become so wrapped up in our own self interest that we have little more than disgust for those who are less fortunate, after all, if they can’t help themselves who can? This way of thinking feeds upon itself like a cancer. I have decided that I will no longer buy into the hollow rethorical sound bites that we are fed every day we turn on the TV or pick up a newspaper. I will not listen to so-called spiritual leaders when they scream messages of hate and intolerance from the pulpit. I’ve decided that I will not go home in the evenings and take out my frustrations on my family because everyday I’m exposed to a society that is moving farther and farther away from civility.

You are right. It is time for us to become more proactive when addressing the violence of our society, but adressing it with more violence will not be the solution. We need to wake up and see that this polarization among will destroy many of us and only those with enough money to remain removed from it will be left to reap the benefits.


First of all, a clarification. I am not equating guns with knives. A madman used a knife to stab 24 people and kill 8. clearly a knife can be used in a columbine level tragedy. Now a knife has some utility in the kitchen. But is it really worth the lives of 8 innocent children to have allow such a dangerous weapon? Should children die so that you can chop carrots?

Need said

Which is on par with the gun control nuts. Logic goes out the window when there are pictures of sad little faces. Please.

shame on me for wanting to discuss something.

In past gun control threads people have said that a knife doesn’t pose the danger that a gun does. I do not know how many multiple killings have happened at schools, bu I am hard pressed to think of one involving a gun that involved 9 or more fatalities.

So this guy comes along and offers proof that you can do some widespread damage with a knife. Clearly a knife is a dangerous weapon when misused, as are guns. The fact that guns may be more effective does not nullify my point. Stinger missiles are more deadly than a gun. This does not mean that guns should be legal because they are “less deadly”

Knives are less deadly than guns, but this does not mean that they should not be banned because they are less deadly.

In a cost benefit analysis gun control advocates do say (not a straw man) that their utility is outweighed by the damage they cause. I can’t see that knives over a certain length are any different.

Of course I feel that guns should be legal and less restricted. I am just trying to show that the logic behind gun control, must lead to certain conclusiont that are absurd.

If it saves just one human life, it is probably not worth it.

Need I was thinking about you saying

Funny. The gun control advocates have been using every school shooting to forward their perverse agenda. I merely discuss it and suddenly I am an Ogre. Look How Columbine was used in an attempt to create new gun restrictions. Here in Colorado they started filing gun control laws named after Columbine before the bodies were cold. I merely discuss it and suddenly I am an Ogre. I take umbrage at your irrational accusation there pal.

Hey, I have an idea, Mr. Z. Instead of addressing only the most emotional and least factual post, why not address all the others as well? Or did you read those?