USA Today provided some background on mass knife attacks in the United States. Apparently there have been only 7 instances since 1901 where 4 or more people have been killed in a public stabbing spree.
“Mass stabbings are exceptionally rare,” Duwe (Criminologist-MN Dept of Corrections) said. “Guns, or explosives, are generally more effective at killing large numbers of victims.”
“Mass stabbings usually occur in the home, where the suspect uses a knife on unsuspecting family members, Duwe said. Public knife attacks, where victims can possibly outrun an assailant, are much less likely, he said.”
The last high-profile mass stabbing in the USA was the 1989 case of Ramon Salcido, a vineyard worker in California who killed seven people, including his wife and two small daughters, before fleeing to Mexico, Duwe said. He was later convicted of the murders.
“Only a handful of stabbings have been reported in other countries. On Dec. 14 – the same day as the Newtown, Conn., school shooting – a knife-wielding man attacked students at an elementary school in central China, wounding 22 children and one adult.”
Obviously the author is not including the mass slaughter of thousands worldwide with machetes. But I digress…
It will be interesting to learn what weapon was used. I have read an unconfirmed report that it was an Exacto-type knife. Hardly a tactical tool, and it would explain the lack of fatalities.
“Unlike recent high-profile attacks where guns were used, Tuesday’s incident likely won’t lead to national debates on knife safety or tighter regulations on their sales, said James Alan Fox, a criminologist at Northeastern University in Boston.
“Knives just don’t create that same sense of fear,” he said.”
The fact is, knives should not create any sense of fear. Mentally disturbed individuals are a different story.