With the situation in Murryville, Pennsylvania still unfolding, CNN anchor Carol Costello and contributor Dr. Jeff Gardere injected the debate over gun violence into the mass stabbing at Franklin Regional High School that has resulted in 20 wounded, seven of them critically so. WPXI is now reporting that those patients are expected to make full recoveries.
As part of their live coverage, CNN interviewed clinical psychologist Dr. Jeff Gardere, but it was Carl Costello who observed that the male suspect “chose to use a knife.”
“It is too early to talk about it,” Dr. Gardere replied, then added “I hope the gun lobby doesn’t get into this idea guns don’t kill people, people kill people. Yes, it was a knife, but there are probably mental health issues going on.”
As has become de rigueur in live cable news coverage of this sort, Dr. Gardere then went on to speculate that “Probably, this person, if he is not medicated or self-medicated, was in a frenzy, may have been having some sort of emotional issues along with some rage. He has this adrenaline. He is pumped up. That’s how you are able to do something that is so monstrous.”
The specter of gun violence naturally hangs over this story, especially given the identical number of victims in this case to the number of children who were killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School. On the same day that Sandy Hook occurred, there was a mass stabbing in China that claimed 23 children as victims, none of them fatal. If gun violence becomes part of the media narrative of this story, the obvious takeaway seems to be that the absence of guns in today’s incident, as well as the mass stabbing of 14 that happened one year ago today, resulted in few, if any, fatalities. It’s unlikely that the gun lobby, or anyone else, would see this incident as an argument in favor of greater access to guns.