No one saw it coming… at least not the students at Franklin Regional High School in Murrysville, PA. But just as the day was beginning, so was the rampage that would terrify the school. A high school sophomore brandishing two knives ran through the hallways stabbing anyone in his path. Many were injured, some critically, so do we now ban knives? Or perhaps do we look at the real problems in society?
As reported by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Alex Hribal went on his stabbing spree shortly after dawn on Wednesday.
Alex Hribal went on a rampage through a wing of the Murrysville school in a scene straight from a horror movie, slashing and stabbing 21 students and a security guard with two 8-inch knives. The swift and apparently random attack ended only when an administrator tackled the boy. Within five minutes, a high school hallway was transformed into a bloody crime scene; sleepy students waiting for first period suddenly became victims of violence; and a slender, dark-haired 16-year-old from Murrysville described as quiet and studious, and looking younger than his years, emerged as the latest face of the national epidemic of school violence.
Here’s a report from KOIN.com:
According to the KOIN.com story, “Investigators haven’t determined a motive, but Seefeld said they’re looking into reports of a threatening phone call between the suspect and another student the night before. Seefeld didn’t specify whether the suspect reportedly received or made the call.”
There are a number of questions that come to mind in the aftermath of this incident, especially when compared to some of the shootings that garnered so much national attention.
The first question is, “Do we blame the weapon or the person wielding it?” So far, in the stories I’ve read, all have focused on what may be wrong with the attacker. What led him to do this? None has called for a banning of knives… yet.
What this story shows is that bad or disturbed people will find a way to do bad and disturbing things. You could ban guns, and they would use a knife. You could ban knives, and they would use a car. And on and on. We can’t stop violence by turning everyone into a victim. So those people who knee-jerk and call for a ban on guns just because a gun was used in a crime need to see the bigger picture.
Another question that comes to mind is whether this would have happened at all if students knew that teachers, principals, and others (like security guards) were actually armed. How willing would a student be to take violent action if the consequences were real. This student got tackled… tackled! In the process, the security guard got stabbed. How about pointing a firearm at the kid and keeping yourself safe? Is this what we are asking from our “security guards?” You see a guy with two knives, so you go tackle him?
If we care about public safety, then we should promote a society that’s allowed to defend itself. As soon as we rely on government to do it, we all turn into potential victims.