A Note On Mass Victim Knife Attacks

By John Lott
A note on mass victim knife attacks: a single, very small 16 year old was able to wound at least 24 people with a knife in just 5 minutes

Alex Hribal
Alex Hribal, the suspect in the stabbings at the Franklin Regional High School near Pittsburgh Wednesday, is seen taken from a district magistrate after he was arraigned on charges in the attack.:: KEITH SRAKOCIC/AP
John Lott
John Lott

USA – -(Ammoland.com)- I had a discussion about the Pennsylvania knife attack on Coast to Coast AM (April 10, 2014 from 1:08 to 1:11 AM).

Franklin Regional High School near Pittsburgh, PA was the site of a horrific scene on Wednesday April 9th 2014 with “at least 24” injured, including 5 critically wounded.

But the carnage, which was done in about five minutes, could have been worse.

Fortunately, the attacker in this case also seemed not to understand how to properly use the knife, usually slashing his victims. In addition, at least one life was saved by another of the victims: “A surgeon came out and congratulated one of the victims by saying she had saved the person’s life by applying pressure to the person’s wound.

The attacker was very small physically, with him described as “a 16-year-old kid who looks like he’s 10.”

Guns obviously make it easier for people to kill others, though they also make it easier for people to defend themselves. Still the harm that can be caused from knife attacks within a very short period of time, even by someone who doesn’t know what they are doing, as can be seen by looking at some cases of multiple victim knife attacks from China. (This analysis is not meant to be complete as we only spent a short time putting this together, though if people know of other cases, I would appreciate hearing about them.)

For the average multiple victim Chinese knife attack since 2010: 4.4 people were killed, and 14.5 injured.
Excluding the Kunming Railway Station attack the average is: 3.1 people killed and 8.6 injured.
If you look at all the cases where at least 4 people were harmed the average attack had: 4.7 people killed and 15.8 injured.

AmmoLand Editors Note: John Lott is the founder of the Crime Prevention Research Center, the leading organization standing between the flood of bogus anti gun research and your rights. Please support the CPRC. Donate today: http://crimepreventionresearchcenter.org/donate/

About John R Lott:
John R. Lott, Jr. iis an economist and was formerly chief economist at the United States Sentencing Commission. Lott is also a leading expert on guns and the op-eds produced on that issue are done in conjunction with the Crime Prevention Research Center. He is the author of eight books including “More Guns, Less Crime.” His latest book is “Dumbing Down the Courts: How Politics Keeps the Smartest Judges Off the Bench” Bascom Hill Publishing Group (September 17, 2013). Follow him on [email protected].

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When I was in the Cub Scouts (early 1950’s) I had an official Cub Scout knife. It was a very good knife with a locking blade; it would not collapse and cut your finger if you use the main blade to bore a hole. SUCH A KNIFE WOULD BE ILLEGAL IN GERMANY AND MANY OTHER COUNTRIES!!! My always-carry knife is a German Army knife and does not have a locking blade (so it is OK in Germany, no exception for soldiers). In those days, most boys had a pocket knife because we were not allowed to get up during class… Read more »


Someone suggested societal influence might be a cause for the mentally ill to act out violently. Well, years ago even the “village idiot” could find a job. Those “too sick” to work or function were placed in mental hospitals. Those hospitals were phased out because of “rising costs” and they allegedly infringed on the “rights” of the occupants. So here we are, pay now or pay later!


They need to stop looking at the weapon and start looking at why these types of attacks are happening. Why are people all of a sudden doing these mass attacks. Only when the root cause is dealt with will things get better. I don’t have the answer. Maybe it is better mental health care or maybe we need to take a close look at what kind of medications these people are taking. Maybe it is some sort of societal influence.


Perhaps faculty should have less then lethal weapons for situations like this.


Great article, it illustrates the point that any type of tool (a knife in this case) can be deadly weapon in the hands of a deranged individual. Now I guess they will make all knives illegal and for those who own one, will have to register it with the Feds and then get finger printed. When buying a new one we will have to obtain a permit from the local PD, wait 60 days to obtain it and be limited to 1 knife every 30 days, but no serrated blades over 3″! We live in a land of fools.