A number of states such as California have embraced gun control. Proponents of the measures say such laws are necessary because they reduce things like homicides. They’ll spout “gun homicide” numbers as proof something needs to be done about firearms.
Yet that argument’s always felt more than a little silly to me.
Oh, don’t get me wrong here. Homicides are awful and we definitely need to address the murder rate in this country.
What’s silly is this focus on gun homicides, as if other murders just aren’t that big of a deal or just don’t happen.
The problem is, they are and they do.
A California father and daughter were brutally stabbed to death in a shopping center parking lot on Thursday. The two were attacked by a man in broad daylight while working on their vehicle.
According to the Los Angeles Times, 54-year-old Ken Evans and 22-year-old McKenna Evans were fatally stabbed in a parking lot in Palmdale, California, around 11:52 a.m. on Thursday.
Law enforcement was called to the scene “regarding an assault with a deadly weapon.”
Police reported that a male suspect approached Ken Evans and asked him for assistance with his vehicle. The two got into an argument that led to a physical altercation. The suspect then stabbed and killed Ken and McKenna Evans.
McKenna Evans died at the scene, and Ken Evans died after being transported to the local hospital.
The suspect was arrested, but no murder weapon was recovered.
Now, let’s think about this for a moment.
This murder will not show up in any “gun crime” statistics. It won’t count as a gun murder or anything else.
Does this make this particular crime somehow less worthy? Are those who cared about these two somehow irrelevant?
The focus on guns essentially boils down to making the case that it’s somehow better to be stabbed to death than shot. It’s almost as if it’s not a real murder unless people are shot.
By focusing on the tool, though, people ignore the act itself. That act is homicide. Murder. The taking of another person’s life.
That is the issue, not the implement used to take it.
The surviving loved ones of these two aren’t somehow consoled that their beloved family members weren’t shot to death, only stabbed.
And stabbing homicides are an issue here in the US. We have a rate of “knife murders” well above those in Europe. Making guns go away won’t change that except to drive it higher. After all, a lot of “gun” murders are simply murders that are going to happen and the killer will use whatever tool they can to facilitate that homicide.
It’s well past time to start focusing less on the implement used and more on the behavior itself, namely murder. It seems the alleged killer in this case was strung out on drugs and homeless himself. Maybe therein lies the issue and a way to reduce murders.
Or maybe it’s something else.
We can’t really know because too many are focused on guns.