By now we've all heard about what happened in Newtown, Connecticut: yet another mass shooting not unlike what has happened so many times over the years, only this time it was 20 murdered children and six murdered adults. There's no need to go into the details now, we're all going to hear it ad nauseum for the next couple weeks. It's easy to foretell how the national conversation will go: there will be a hue and cry for better and more effective (and more effectively enforced) gun control laws (Mayor Bloomberg is already raising the gun-control flag), and as soon as we all finish recoiling in shock and horror, gun-rights advocates and the NRA (in a repeat of what they did after the massacres at Columbine, the Gabby Giffords rally, and in a theater at Aurora, Colorado) will release statements that go along the line of "We are deeply sympathetic to the victims and the bereaved families, but in this time of sorrow we should not allow ourselves to overreact and take guns away from law-abiding citizens".
Their logic goes along the line of the old conservative saw that "Guns don't kill people, people kill people", that guns cannot in and of themselves be a significant factor in our nation's shameful homicide rate; indeed, most conservatives seem to think that "An armed society is a polite society", never mind that there is precisely zero evidence that crime somehow becomes less of a problem if everyone carries their own guns. In fact, the homicide rates of the South show quite the opposite when compared to that of the rest of the nation.
But something else happened today, something that shows indisputably the difference between a supposedly polite armed society, and one where firearms owners are very much the exception to the rule. Today a man in China's Henang Province attacked a schoolteacher and students with a knife. The teacher and 22 students were wounded, some critically, but none died.