the media is covering the shooting spree in newtown, connecticut very thoroughly. and, as well it should.
less noticed and little remarked upon by the prime time talking heads is a phenomena in china, in which the vulnerabilities of children to attack by adults is no less horrifically exploited by the use of deadly weapons. these multiple incidents for the past several years have wounded and killed many children.
the weapon used in china by these attackers preying on children is not the gun.
it is the knife. update: "randyron" reminds me that cain used to rock to commit homicide. 'nuff said. end update.
on december 13, 2012 a knife wielding man attacked and injured 20 children entered a primary school in chenpeng village, henan province of china. fortunately no children were killed, though several suffered severed fingers and ears, and other injuries. a 36 year old man, suspected of mental illness, is being held in custody. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2248054/China-stabbing-22-children-elderly-woman-stabbed-outside-primary-school-Chinese-knifeman.html .
other school children in recent knife attacks in china have not been so fortunate, and the death toll there is just as stunning as the deaths in connecticut, witness this report in the uk's daily mail:
"little coverage was given to yesterday's stabbing spree on state-run news channels.
there were six similar attacks in just seven months in 2010 that killed nearly 20 people and wounded more than 50.
the most recent such attack took place in august, when a knife-wielding man broke into a middle school in the southern city of nanchang and stabbed two students before fleeing.
in one of the worst incidents, a man described as an unemployed, middle-aged doctor killed eight children with a knife in march 2010 to vent his anger over a thwarted romantic relationship.
tight controls mean that gun crimes are rare in china and make knives and sometimes explosives the weapons used in mass attacks in china.
no motive has been given for the recent school attack."
the last sentence in the excerpt raises the disturbing issue that plagues analysis of such attacks, whether on children or others, and that is the difficulty in assigning any comprehensible motive to the actions taken against apparently random victims.
in a similar vein, this report in the new york times relates that on april 29, 2010 a man entered a kindergarten in jiangsu province, eastern china, and stabbed 28 children to redress some grievance not entirely clear. noted the times:
"it was the second mass stabbing of students in two days, and the third in less than a month.
many of the wounded children were just 4 years old and shared the same classroom, according to the state-run Xinhua news agency. police officers identified the assailant as xu yuyuan, a 47-year-old former insurance agent. according to xinhua, he began attacking children with a knife about eight inches long around 9 a.m. at the zhongxin kindergarten, a middle-class school in taixing, about 570 miles southeast of beijing. he also wounded two teachers and a security guard.
little other information was immediately available. taixing propaganda officials did not respond to telephone calls.
thursday’s attack occurred a day after a 33-year-old man in the southern province of guangdong stabbed 15 fourth and fifth graders at a primary school in leizhou. none of those students were seriously wounded. the authorities said that attacker, identified as chen kangbing, had taught at a nearby school but had been on leave since 2006, apparently because of mental illness.
on march 23, zheng minsheng, 42, stabbed eight primary school students to death in fujian province, also on china’s east coast. some news reports stated that mr. zheng also had mental problems, but most state media said no such evidence existed."
chinese officials, and news reporters, attribute most of these attacks to adults with mental illness problems, ... , as well they might. it is very difficult to posit any other explanation for the acts of adults carried out against children barely emerged from infant status.
it is, regrettably, not difficult to find such reports about school stabbings in china. they are so frequent, that one reporter for uk's the telegraph was moved to ask, "... what in the hell is going on in china?" http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/timcollard/100037122/three-mass-stabbings-of-children-in-a-month-what-the-hell-is-going-on-in-china/ .
well, mass killings occur with some frequency around the entire world, and i am sorry to note this fact, but the only thing that seems to distinguish the school stabbings in china and the school shootings in connecticut from the other killings which occur in this world every day, is the special vulnerability suffered by those children of tender years who have been the victims.
yet, we see infants in israel who have had their throats slit by jihadists breaking into their homes in the west bank. are we to suspect that ethnic animosities in the sudan and rhwanda have spared children as victims? i doubt it, somehow.
i do not mean to diminish what happened to the children at the hands of a depraved killer in connecticut. their deaths were tragic, their killer heinous, and the grief suffered by their families quite beyond endurance, i would suspect.
my points are simple.--
it is still a very dangerous world, even in those countries with the most advanced economies, and the most advanced educational systems, and nominally the most "civilized" and well governed in the world.
especially for children. i practiced law for 25 years, and i cannot tell you how often children are preyed upon by attackers, by sexual predators, and by other forms of victimization that are beyond comprehension.
in connecticut a lunatic killed with firearms.
in china lunatics kill children with knives.
are we to outlaw knives? blunt instruments? bare hands? silk scarfs?
in my 25 years of law practice, much of it involving both prosecuting and defending major felonies, (no, not at the same time, or "with the same hat"), i have been involved in cases where death was inflicted by pocket knives, by phone cords, by guns, by large knives, and once by the use of a full 40 ounce bottle of ale. i have seen death inflicted upon victims by automobiles.
elite soldiers are said to favor silk scarfs for use as garrotes in taking out sentries and guards and the like, without giving the victim the opportunity to sound an alarm against impending attack, or other subtrefuge.
in my kitchen i have a maple rolling pin, and an old butcher's cleaver for chopping bone. i am sure either is lethal, and expeditious for taking life.
my point is simply this.
instrumentality's do not kill people, especially children.
deranged persons kill people, especially children. and, i think the most obvious insight into why these people in china and the killer in connecticut picked on defenseless children, stares all of us in the face, and we are afraid to look at it. but, it is precisely because children are defenseless against attack, and are therefore easier prey, easier to kill.
the lion does not attack the herd bull. the lion attacks the calf, preferably before it can flee.
children, you see, cannot flee, and they cannot fight back. so, for a killer who is intent upon killing before his own demise, who is intent upon killing as many as he can before he dies, children are the perfect victims. and, not to mention, that even the dullest among killers must realize that when he kills a child, he also kills the parents, the family of the child, and a large part of the community in which the child resides.
guns, knives, rolling pins, hammers, cudgels, ... , none of these formulate intent. none "arouse" or "inspire" homicidal intent. it is inherent in all of us, and no amount of blaming the instrumentality will change that, in the least.
that intent arises in the minds and souls of killers. no where else.
john jay @ 12.16.2012
p.s. so, b. hussein obama will rush off to connecticut, and he will have his picture taken, and he will change, ... , nothing. he will effect no change, any more than if he rushes off to china to pose with the victims of the knife attacks, or the families of those children who died in those knife attacks.
he will try to effect "change," e.g., gun control. that is his agenda.
even if he gets it, he will not change the beast that turns the gun upon children. nor will he change the beast who wields the knife. or the spear. or the machete. or the cudgel. or, even for that matter, the person who wields the 40 ounce bottle of mickies ale. it is all to no avail.
except, to the politician who would exploit a disaster.