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Should weapons be banned?

David Epps's picture

A terrible incident, which could have resulted in multiple murders, occurred a few days ago in Texas.

A 20-year-old man went on a rampage at a Texas community college and attacked and wounded at least 14 people. Several had to be life-flighted to an area hospital as the young man went from building to building seeking targets of opportunity.

What makes this attack stand out from similar attacks elsewhere is that the weapon the man brandished was not a firearm. It was a knife.

For centuries, a knife, or versions of it, was the deadliest weapon available to soldiers, mercenaries, bandits, mad men, and people with a grudge to settle.

At close quarters, a knife is as deadly as a gun and, in some cases, superior.

When I attended a Citizen’s Police Academy at Georgia’s Peachtree City Police Department some years ago, the firearms instructor demonstrated how an assailant wielding a knife could quickly close distance and inflict a fatal wound on a person holding a gun before that person, even if the person was a police officer, had a chance to react.

According to a news report, “A student who told police he’d fantasized for years about stabbing people to death was charged Tuesday with carrying out a building-to-building attack at a Texas community college that wounded at least 14 people, many of whom were stabbed in the face and neck, authorities said. The Harris County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement that 20-year-old Dylan Quick used a razor-type knife, and that he told investigators he’d been planning the attack at the suburban Houston campus for some time. Two people remained in critical condition late Tuesday.”

There are two things that seem to me to be obvious:

1. Even if a society were to rid itself of all firearms, the world would still be a deadly and dangerous place. Crazy people will still do crazy things.

If knives were outlawed, people would use clubs, or bricks, or sharpened pencils to commit their mayhem. Murders, domestic violence, assaults, robberies, and such would still occur. Mankind is, and always has been, extremely violent. There is no end in sight to that dilemma.

2. If someone at the Texas college had in his or her possession a defensive weapon, and the training and the will to use it, Dylan Quick’s rampage might have ended with minimal casualties.

Lawmakers could, I suppose, mount a campaign to ban all knives. But banning guns, knives, box cutters, spears, bows and arrows, sharpened sticks, rocks, and bricks, does not solve the problem.

Weapons are always available. They always have been and they always will be. The problem is found within the human heart, which, from the beginning of time, has been found to lean toward violence. Evil, unfortunately, always seems to find a way.

Good people must guard their own hearts. The propensity for violence and evil lurks somewhere in every person. Good people must also recognize the dangers that are ever-present and take steps to avoid it or, when it cannot be avoided, to defeat it.

The notion that, “if all weapons were banned, there would be no violence,” is folly.

[David Epps is the pastor of the Cathedral of Christ the King, 4881 Hwy. 34 E., Sharpsburg, GA 30277. Services are held Sundays at 8:30 and 10 a.m. ( He is the bishop of the Mid-South Diocese( He may be contacted at]


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