If you listened to NPR this morning, you heard on the national news that there was a stabbing in Pittsburgh last evening. Around 5pm, a man ran from Penn Ave into a Target store in East Liberty- waving a long kitchen knife. He was chased by two men whom he had been in an altercation with on the street, and he ran inside the store where he grabbed a 16 year old girl who was in a checkout line with her family. He stood at the top of the steps holding the girl by her hair and stabbing her repeatedly in the back and arms while yelling "I will keep stabbing her!". Three men jumped on him and for their efforts were slashed in the face and hands. One man finally took out the attacker with a baseball bat and police have him in custody.
The entire episode lasted only a few minutes, a witness reports.
This Target store is a half mile from my house and was where I was headed at 530 last evening to grab a bag of charcoal and liners for the Diaper Genie. I saw all the ambulances and was rerouted down Highland Ave.
In my neighborhood, if we make the news it starts with "Another shooting in East Liberty...". In the year we have lived here, we have seen guns take the lives of too many kids and seen the stuffed animal memorial on too many curbs. It is heartbreaking and makes the pandering about gun control and Second Amendment rights hard to sympathize with. Some arguments I have heard are that if we "take their guns, they will still find ways to kill each other" and "mentally unstable people won't be stopped by gun control".
Here's the thing, though. That mentally unstable man who had the knife DIDN'T KILL ANYONE. He sure tried, but it didn't happen. Imagine for one moment what would have happened if he would have run into that Target and had a gun in his hand. How many people would he have shot before the bravest guy took out his knees with a baseball bat? Would that guy have gotten close enough to use the bat before the 16 year old girl died because he had a gun rather than a knife?
If I had been in that Target with Knox and Pursy my odds of being able to protect them from one man with one knife are much greater than trying to protect them against one man with a gun. Desperation and a loaded gun would have made him a mass murderer. The 16 year old is being treated at Children's Hospital and the two men who saved her life are in local hospitals. Alive. The man with the knife is alive and will be in jail, held accountable for his acts of violence.
Please tell me one more time why tighter gun control is a problem for you. Please, I am listening. Just know I probably won't be listening objectively.