“He used a knife, we need to ban knives”
“Modern medication is to blame, that is the common link”
“If someone had a gun, he wouldn’t have stabbed all of those people”
These are the comments being made regarding Dylan Quick and his attack on 14 students at Lone Star College. The hyperbolic comparisons to the national gun debate, the unproven link to medications and more sensationalism meant to detract from the gravity of the situation in order to further the cause of the people that support the pro-gun movement.
So, here are the facts as I have been able to discover through the magic of reading:
Dylan Quick was born deaf and was given an implant at the age of seven so that he could hear. He was an avid reader. He was also home schooled. Why does this matter? Developmental disabilities have a profound impact on a person’s ability to socialize and develop connections with people outside of their family circle. Combine his disability with his seemingly non existent social skills, and you begin to see a person struggling with his place in society and unable to cope with the challenges of social life.
Dylan had been fantasizing about stabbing people since he was 8 years old. The attack that occurred on April 9th had been planned for some time. This was not an impulsive action or psychotic episode, this was the action of someone with a mental health condition.
A typical knife was not used, this was a “razor hobby knife”. It wasn’t a steak knife or a hunting knife. Thinking of his weapon of choice as a “specialty” knife is a more realistic thought than simply saying it was a knife.
NO ONE DIED!! This may seem like a small thing but it is actually a massive fact to consider. Dylan Quick wanted to stab people, for whatever reason, this was his fantasy. What if he wanted to shoot people? Chances are he could have gotten a gun (this happened in fucking Texas, for fucks sake). People were injured, some refused help at the scene and the two most injured victims are currently in “good” condition. This was a non-fatal attack (sorry gun nuts, I know you were hoping for at least one death to rally behind).
Dylan is cooperating with the police. He did not resist being arrested and is answering questions and explaining what happened and why.
Here is the article I found with the largest number of available fact: Suspect in Texas Stabbing.
So, now it is the part where I share my thoughts:
Is this the new “take guns out of the hands of people”? No, of course not. Banning knives is impractical and anyone the suggests it even in jest is a fucking moron. I realize it is hyperbolic when people are saying it, but you still look like a fucking moron. This was an isolated incident in America, this is not indicative of a trend in American culture where mass stabbings are going to be seen as “cool” or “effective social protests”. This isn’t going to draw attention to any movement within the American culture related to knives. People need to stop trying to move the spotlight off of a social trend that has increased dramatically since 2010 and has a body count increasing every few months, mass shootings.
For all we know, and what I believe, Dylan Quick is mentally ill. Recognizing that you have had fantasies of stabbing people since you were eight and being aware enough of this to tell the police, indicates that he has had some sort of therapy and has been medicated. Chances are, Dylan has been on medication most of his life. The trauma of being born deaf and having an implant would have most likely resulted in visits to a mental health professional and an early diagnosis. Assuming that he has been on medication most of his life, he has been effectively treated for some time, so there must have been a recent change in taking the medication (possibly him stopping or using some other self medication).
We have a shitty mental health system in this country, that is a fact. We stigmatize mental illness and we do not have a system in place to identify or treat all of the people that need to be diagnosed and treated. This needs to change but in order for it to be changed we need people to recognize that it exists and stop pointing fingers at situations and trying to make it about their cause.
This isn’t about gun control, based on the facts as we know them this isn’t about the overuse of medication in America, this may not even be about the mental health establishment in America. This may actually just be a random attack at a college in Texas where no one died. Guess what, college is stressful and people react poorly to stress when they are not equipped to deal with it.
Lets try to at least pretend the facts might be important when discussing this and not make this an event that is twisted to fill some fucked up, illogical agenda.