Politicians, Activists Rush to Blame Ohio State Stabbing Spree on Guns

Many appear to celebrate stabbing as preferable to shooting

Police respond to reports of an attack on campus at Ohio State University, Monday, Nov. 28, 2016 / AP
November 28, 2016

Politicians and activists rushed to decry gun violence and advocate new gun control legislation as an attack on the campus of Ohio State University unfolded Monday.

An 18-year-old Somali man attacked a group of people with a car and butcher knife, police said. Due to erroneous media reports during the attack, many people assumed it was an act of gun violence and began calling for stricter gun control laws before police officials commented on the event.

Among those prematurely condemning loose gun laws or decrying gun violence were Moms Demand Action founder Shannon Watts and Sens. Chris Murphy (D., Conn.), who later deleted his tweet, and Tim Kaine (D., Va.).

Deleted Senator Chris Murphy (D.,Conn.) Tweet / Google Cache
Deleted Sen. Chris Murphy (D., Conn.) tweet / Google Cache

Other liberal activists shared similar reactions on Twitter.

Some media outlets also attempted to connect early reports of the Ohio State attack with gun violence. Vox originally posted a video on "America's gun problem" in their piece explaining the attack.

Vox later removed the video from its report on the Ohio State incident and added an editorial comment explaining the changes. "Correction: Based on original reports from Ohio State and media, this article originally noted that the attack was a shooting," the comment said. "Later reports clarified that it was a car-and-knife attack."

As police confirmed that the attacker used a car and butcher's knife to commit his crime and the only shots fired in the incident came from police, those who had condemned gun violence went back to Twitter to share their thoughts. Some thanked God and appeared happy that the attacker stabbed his victims, instead of shooting them.

Others said the weapons used in the attack were irrelevant and tighter gun control measures are still needed.

Sens. Kaine and Murphy, the latter of whom deleted his original tweet, updated their followers on the weapons used in the attack and expressed their concern for the victims.