What was supposed to be another day of learning at an elementary school in central China instead turned to one of terror, as a man slashed 22 children and one adult with a knife.
The injuries were gruesome, and reportedly include cut-off fingers and ears, but this story had a different outcome from the massacre 8,000 miles away in Newtown, Conn. Everyone survived.
Private ownership of firearms is banned in China, making gun crimes rare in the country, according to the Chinese government’s official English language website. Pistols and revolvers are permitted for hunting, and only with permission.
Instead, knives have become the weapon of choice in China. While the United States combats gun violence, China has dealt with a spate of knife attacks in which the victims, while scarred, often survive.
Massacres in public spaces in the United States are most often carried out by white men between the ages of 15 and 25, according to FBI profilers. In China, the knife-wielding assailants are predominantly middle-aged men, who are dissatisfied with their lives and resentful toward society, Yang Yongchao, a psychologist at Zhengzhou No 8 People’s Hospital, told the China Daily.
Min Yingjun, 36, was arrested for the knife attack Friday morning at Chenpeng Village’s Wanquan Elementary School. Local officials said he may be suffering from a psychological illness.
On Thursday, a man was arrested after cutting the faces of several female passengers on a Beijing subway, China Daily reported.
The man, whose surname is Hu, reportedly wanted “revenge on society” after being scorned by a former girlfriend.
While China deals with its crimes at home, the country has largely been critical of U.S. gun violence.
In its annual human rights report, released in May, the Consulate General of the People’s Republic of China in New York condemned U.S. gun ownership.
“The United States has mighty strength in human, financial and material resources to exert effective control over violent crimes,” the report stated. “However, its society is chronically suffering from violent crimes, and its citizens’ lives, properties and personal security are in lack of proper protection.”