The Gun Violence Archive defines a mass shooting as an incident where four or more people are shot, not including the perpetrator. Mass murders are where a similar number are killed, but they use their mass shooting definition and the media repeats it.
Mass stabbings tend not to get tracked.
We covered one earlier this year in China, but who knows what all we’ve missed.
In fact, we almost missed this one in Louisiana.
One of four women stabbed in what officials said was a random attack on a Louisiana college campus has died, the school announced.
Annie Richardson had been in critical condition after Monday’s attack and she died of her injuries Tuesday evening, according to a statement from Louisiana Tech University in Ruston.
“My prayers are with Annie’s husband Peter, the entire Richardson family, and all who called Annie a friend,” university President Les Guice said. “Our Tech family will feel the pain of this incident for some time, but we are fortunate to have such a caring community to rely upon as we grieve together.”
Two other women were hospitalized and a fourth woman who is a retired teacher was cut but declined treatment in what officials say was a random knife attack outside a recreation center on the northern Louisiana campus. Richardson was stabbed as she left an exercise class.
Now, what does this mass stabbing have to do with guns, gun control, gun rights, or anything of the sort?
Well, a few things.
First, let’s understand that the only difference between this attack and what we typically see tracked by the Gun Violence Archive folks is the weapon used. See, they track their definition of mass shootings and differentiate between them and mass murders.
Most of what they track may not even have one fatality, but often less than the threshold of four that makes it mass murder.
Yet this won’t get a thought. It won’t even enter people’s minds as most people are completely unaware of what happened.
Had this happened with a firearm, we’d know about it. It would have made headlines for days. Hell, a single homicide on a UNC’s campus was treated like Lewiston or Uvalde not that long ago.
But it also shows that the commonality in these kinds of attacks, regardless of how many people are killed, is the fact that someone is trying to hurt innocent people. In this case, he happened to use a knife instead of a firearm, but does that somehow make it better than what happened at UNC?
Louisiana Tech was supposed to be a safe place, where violent crime isn’t supposed to happen. In fact, despite being relatively pro-gun, Louisiana explicitly forbids campus carry. Clearly, that didn’t help stop a maniac from killing and injuring people, now did it?
“But it would have been worse with a gun,” someone will chime in, but again, I’ll point out that many, if not most of the Gun Violence Archive’s “mass shootings” are little different in the number of fatalities or injuries as this mass stabbing. Why are those somehow more important?
What the lack of a campus carry law may have done, though, is prevented anyone else from carrying a firearm that they could have used to save this poor woman’s life or to have prevented the injuries to three other women.
Broken people do horrible things. They don’t need a gun to do them.