Only a handful of stab­bings have been reported in other coun­tries. On Dec. 14 – the same day as the New­town, Conn., school shooting – a knife-​​wielding man attacked stu­dents at an ele­men­tary school in cen­tral China, wounding 22 chil­dren and one adult.

Unlike recent high-​​profile attacks where guns were used, Tuesday’s inci­dent likely won’t lead to national debates on knife safety or tighter reg­u­la­tions on their sales, said James Alan Fox, a crim­i­nol­o­gist at North­eastern Uni­ver­sity in Boston.

Knives just don’t create that same sense of fear,” he said.

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