Share This Page

Attack at Franklin Regional: More madness

| Wednesday, April 9, 2014, 9:00 p.m.

After an unhinged student's early morning stabbing and slashing spree Wednesday at Franklin Regional High School, those quick to assign “solutions” to episodes of mass casualties probably find themselves in a quandary.

Is it time for “comprehensive knife control”?

Police say a male sophomore, 16, went on a rampage with two knives at the Murrysville high school, about 18 miles east of Pittsburgh, injuring at least 19 students and a security guard. A vice principal came to the aid of the guard, tackling the student, who's in custody. They were then aided by the school's “resource officer” (a local police officer).

A fire alarm pulled during the attack likely reduced casualties. And there's no question that the textbook response by school officials and emergency crews saved lives.

But far deadlier than the knives used is the grim, all too familiar evidence of a troubled mind. For whatever reason, this young man picked his weapons and went to school determined to injure others.

Whether it's a knife or a gun or even box cutters in the hands of maniacs, the intent to harm as many people as possible is not limited by the weapon of choice (or convenience). Neither is the carnage contained by simplistic “bans.”

As starkly demonstrated recently, Laurel Michelle Schlemmer of McCandless needed no weapon at all when, according to police, she drowned her two young children in a bathtub.

Reaching people before they mentally implode is crucial, of course. But equally important is a citizenry that's capable of defending itself, in schools and anywhere else, whenever such madness erupts.

Related Content
TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.