David McNew /Getty Images
Germany is on high alert after being rocked by a string of terror attacks in recent days.
The first came on Monday, when a 17-year-old Afghan man with ties to the Islamic State wielded an axe on a crowded train in the state of Bavaria, injuring several passengers before he was fatally shot by police:
Then, on Friday, a mass shooting took place at a mall in nearby Munich which claimed the lives of nine people and injured dozens more.
...only to be followed by a second shooting later that day at a train station, also in Munich:
Now, reports are spreading of a machete attack by a Syrian refugee near Stuttgart, which left one dead and two others injured:
An eyewitness noted that:
“The attacker was completely out of his mind. He ran with the machete behind a police patrol car.”
The BBC reports that a massive blast killed a suicide bomber and injured 12 people in Ansbach, Germany, on Sunday night. It is yet another heinous way that murderers can strike civilians, and especially disarmed ones:
They said a man - “according to our current knowledge the perpetrator” - had died in the blast.
The intended target was not clear but about 2,000 people have been evacuated from a nearby open-air music festival, the Bavarian interior ministry said.
It is third attack in the state of Bavaria in the past week.
The striking thing about these deadly attacks, besides their geographical location, is that only two of them involved firearms.
In fact, far fewer murders in the United States are being committed today by rifles than they are knives, blunt objects or other personal weapons.
As this chart from the Crime Prevention Research Center show, having an assault weapons ban doesn't necessarily decrease the death count in mass shootings.
The sad truth is that mass murders are going to happen worldwide, regardless of what type of weapon the perpetrator wants to use. And that could be an assault weapon, a bomb, or even a machete.