In the aftermath of two high-profile fatal stabbing incidents, one involving four victims and the other which left a Macy’s security guard dead, nobody in the media appears to have labeled these crimes as “knife violence,” despite the habitual labeling of firearms-related crimes, and even suicides, as “gun violence.”
Why the double standard?
Making national news over the weekend, a bloody case of apparent domestic violence at a home in New York City’s Queens borough left a man, woman and two youngsters dead. The suspect, described by the New York Daily News as a “crazed killer,” was identified as 38-year-old Courtney Gordon. After stabbing two police officers at the scene, he was fatally shot.
Down in Philadelphia, a suspected shoplifter attacked two unarmed store security guards with a knife, slashing one and fatally stabbing the other, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer. The guard who was killed was identified as 27-year-old Eric Harrison.
The suspect has been identified as 30-year-old Tyrone Tunnell. According to ABC News’ local affiliate WPVI, Tunnell “has been arrested more than a dozen times for retail theft, robbery and drug offenses across the region, including Philadelphia and Bucks, Delaware and Montgomery counties,” according to court documents.
Last month, on the night before Thanksgiving, a man was fatally stabbed in Edina, Minnesota while waiting at a bus stop, according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune. The suspect in this case was arrested at the scene, and was described as having a “criminal history of largely nuisance crimes.”
How all of these crimes were reported signals a media double standard which involves the use of the term “gun violence,” which was manufactured by the gun prohibition lobby years ago and quickly absorbed into the media lexicon. Second Amendment advocates have tried to counter this habitual demonization of guns by explaining there is no such thing as “gun violence,” only violent crime. Regardless of the weapon actually used, be it a knife, blunt instrument, brick, rock or even an automobile, only firearms are specifically mentioned—as if to wear some of the blame—when someone is injured or killed.
The Washington Post keeps a “gun violence database.” So far this year, according to the newspaper, there have been 38 mass shootings in this country in which four or more people were killed.
The Hill is reporting that the “Gun Violence Archive” says there have been 630 “mass shootings” this year in which at least four people were injured. Anti-gunners use this number more often in their arguments because it is far more dramatic than the much lower figure kept by the WaPo.
Nobody apparently maintains a “knife violence archive,” although in any given year, according to FBI Uniform Crime reporting, more people are fatally stabbed than are killed with either rifles or shotguns, yet anti-gunners including President Joe Biden want to ban so-called “assault rifles,” while anybody can walk into a hardware or cutlery store and purchase a knife without so much as an eye blink, much less a background check.
An Arizona-based organization called Knife Rights keeps tab on knife laws in the various states, and has been responsible for changing or reforming knife laws in several states.