China’s copy-cat killings

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Over the past 10 weeks, China has been shaken by a series of particularly nasty attacks on students and teachers at various schools across the country. While initially blamed on people who were ‘mentally ill’, it is becoming increasingly obvious that the motivation behind the attacks is potentially an outlet of frustration for those dissatisfied with the current political climate in China. Individuals are potentially reading about the attacks in the media, then undertaking their own as a possible gory protest against the government. You could potentially label it social unrest at its worst.

 In the most recent attack, a 48 year old man named Wu Huanmin butchered 7 kindergarten children and their teacher with a meat cleaver, whilst further injuring another 20. He then returned to his home and killed himself in what has become a common element to these killings.

The government has called for immediate increases in security, where most schools are already protected by security guards night and day, who man stations at the main entrances. Equipment such as prods has been provided to assist with bringing down potential attackers, though with 8 incidents and counting, it’s not clear how many it’s going to take until drastic measures are put into action.

 Obviously now the question of censorship is coming in to play. Does the media subdue these stories from the general populace, hoping to stop further would be attackers from revealing themselves? Or is greater public knowledge and understanding a better way of potentially understanding the underlying issues causing the problem? I think labeling the attackers as simply victims of mental illness is scape goating the real issue of ways for troubled people to vent in a country where venting in any other way is almost impossible.

In China, if one speaks out about anything, one is promptly jailed. While it certainly may not be the motivation behind these attacks, I suspect it is, because the old saying rings true – actions speak louder than words, though in this case, with horrifying results. Could it be that the general populace is becoming so frustrated that only via means such as this can they release it.

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2 Responses to “China’s copy-cat killings”

  1. Ray Says:

    Political climate mostly likely had nothing to do with the motives of the killers themselves, which were likely prolonged grievances against social and economical injustice that had no avenues of redress.

    I agree that censoring these killings just on the grounds of preventing copycat killings is a weak justification and that there are deeper reasons than just chalking it up to mental illness.

    There has actually been much insightful analysis and speculation of the conditions that’s led to these tragedies in Chinese internet discourse in the past few weeks. If you read Chinese, it can be found on the blog community http://www.yadian.cc/

  2. Marcus Says:

    I can’t read that unfortunately – well without translating the page which has mixed results.

    Is there a general consensus as to the possible reasons?

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