Gun control works in China

In the wake of a massive knife attack at the Kunming Railway Station, Chinese netizens have praised China’s gun control measures on Weibo.

“The only thing I can rejoice in is China’s gun ban,” International Business Times quotes one user. “It is difficult to imagine the amount of innocent lives that could have been taken otherwise.”

American gun rights supporters, on the other hand, have mocked the attack as an example of the failure of gun control. “Another win for gun control,” Bullets wrote. “Will China Ban Knives?” Godfather Politics asked. Fire Andrea Mitchell wrote, “Good thing they have strong gun control in China.”

Good thing indeed. Gun control apparently prevented the attackers from using guns.

Using knives, eight terrorists were able to stab 29 people to death in a station crowded with hundreds of unarmed travelers. When Cho Seung-Hui attacked Virginia Tech with two handguns, he killed 32 all by himself. Adam Lanza killed 27 in Newtown with a Bushmaster and a Glock.

It shouldn’t have to be said, but guns are more lethal than knives. First of all, guns can be used to attack from long-range, whereas you have to be within arms reach to attack someone with a knife.

Secondly, gun wounds are more deadly. According to the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal,

[E]xperts warn stab wounds are typically less likely to kill the victim than gunshot wounds, but a perpetrators’ choice of weapon doesn’t diminish the punishment.

“Anything in the neck is very dangerous,” he said.

Otherwise, he said, stab wounds typically aren’t as fatal as gunshot wounds because bullets typically cause more internal damage.

To illustrate that point, ChinaHush charted the number of deaths and injuries from various gun and knife attacks in America and China. The attacks were chosen based on notoriety, and a number of attacks from 2011 and ’12 were added to increase the sample size. (The number of injuries only counts those directly inflicted by the weapon, not injuries inflicted by trying to escape. Aurora had 58 gun shot injuries.) It’s not scientific, but it is more accurate than pointing at a single news headline about one day in Kunming.

Attack Deaths Injuries Death to Injury Ratio Knife or Gun?
Columbine 12 24 0.500 Gun
Virginia Tech 32 17 1.882 Gun
Aurora Theater 12 58 0.207 Gun
Newtown 27 2 13.500 Gun
Loughner, Tuscon, Ariz. 6 13 0.462 Gun
2011 IHOP Shooting, Carson City 5 7 0.714 Gun
2012 Minneapolis Workplace Shooting 6 2 3.000 Gun
2012 Seattle Cafe Shooting Spree 5 1 5.000 Gun
Oikos University 7 3 2.333 Gun
Chardon High School 3 3 1.000 Gun
Seal Beach Shooting 8 1 8.000 Gun
Sikh Temple, Wisc. 6 4 1.500 Gun
Kunming 29 143 0.203 Knife
Yan Yanming 9 4 2.250 Knife
Nanping City Experimental Elementary School 8 5 1.600 Knife
Yang Jia 6 4 1.500 Knife
Wu Huanming 9 11 0.818 Knife
Chenping Village Primary School 0 24 0.000 Knife
Shanghai Daycare, 2011 0 8 0.000 Box Cutter
Guangdong, 2010 0 17 0.000 Knife
Taixing Kindergarten 0 32 0.000 Knife

Someone getting injured in a knife attack is a terrible tragedy, but it’s not as bad as dying.


The International Business Times article does raise another important question about train station security: Should security guards have guns? Right now the guards at train stations only have mace-like spray, batons, and riot forks, but if they had guns, they might have been able to take down the criminals.

  1. Lucky in Canada and in the US black guys cannot shoot straight or the target is toast but they do leave a lot of dead bystanders behind.

    China is so stupid, run from a coward with a gun but never run from a chicken $hit knife attacker.

    Bitch slap him and kick him in the balls that’s if he has some.

  2. Except China has a tyrannical one-party state that you’ll never be able to get rid of because they have loads of guns and you have none. If Chinese had guns, the communists couldn’t have killed so many.

  3. Why do people always feel the need to try and reinforce this nonsense. A gun is a completely innocuous thing, as is a knife. It is the human element that is important here.

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