Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Knife Control

The mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, says, “There’s never a reason to carry a knife.” Well, Mr. Khan: there’s always been a knife in my pocket for more than fifty years. It’s a little one with a two-inch blade and a very handy tool. Mr. Khan further states: “Anyone who does will be caught and will feel the full force of the law.”

I’ll be in London April 28th, but only for a stopover on the way back from Barcelona. I won’t be carrying my knife because it’ll be in my checked luggage. A real visit to Great Britain is on my bucket list however, and I plan to carry my pocket knife after I go through customs in London —unless it’s confiscated.

It’s made by Schrade, says “Old Timer” on the handle, and costs $16.01 on Amazon and given that I turned sixty-seven last Saturday, the “Old Timer” label is ever more appropriate. I ordered four of them recently to have spares on hand because I lose them sometimes. Three times I’ve had to forfeit my knife at airport security checkpoints because I forgot to put it in my checked luggage.

One of my students told the principal several years ago that she got scared when I used it to peel an orange in my room during snack time. He came up to see me and said, “You’re not supposed to have those you know.” I responded that I was going to keep my little pocket knife until he told the custodians they couldn’t have utility knives and the cooks couldn’t have cutlery. He left me alone after that.

Just last month New Hampshire’s Berlin Daily Sun reported that a Gorham, NH high school teacher was being investigated for doing a classroom demonstration on search and seizure using a jack-knife which he temporarily gave a student for the demonstration. When the parent complained, the superintendent, the police chief, and the district attorney all got involved to consider charges against the teacher. All this over a jack-knife that boys in my Cub Scout den carried. “There were other students in the classroom at the time,” said the article. Of course there were; it was a demonstration! What’s next? Will the school provide grief counselors for students who’ve seen a jack-knife?

So far in 2018, the city of London has had more homicides than New York City. Most have been stabbings so Mayor Khan wants a knife ban. Handguns have been banned in the UK since 1997. Khan is also banning acid because there were more than four hundred “acid attacks” in 2017 mostly by young men against other young men in certain London neighborhoods.

Acid attack victim

Though NYC police are banned now from using “stop and frisk” tactics, London police have been empowered to “stop and search” suspected knife wielders. Mayor Khan had previously called that “racist” and “Islamophobic” because they were often done with Muslim immigrants. Nearly all the attacks, however, occur in Muslim immigrant neighborhoods — also called “no-go zones” because police and other civil servants are violently discouraged from going there by their Muslim inhabitants. Officially, however, there aren’t any “no-go zones” in the UK and if you claim there are, you may be investigated for a hate crime.

Snopes insists “no-go zones” don’t exist in Europe anywhere. Last month, however, German Chancellor Angela Merkel admitted they do. When asked to clarify a statement on citizen safety in public places, she said: “It means for example that there cannot be any no-go areas, that there cannot be areas where no-one dares to go but there are such places. One has to call them by name and do something about it.”

According to the Daily Wire: “Parliament is also set to take up heavy ‘knife control’ legislation when it resumes this week. The U.K. government is expected to introduce a ban on online knife sales and home knife deliveries, declare it ‘illegal to possess zombie knives and knuckledusters [brass knuckles] in private’ — ‘zombie knives’ are those defined as being manufactured for the purpose of being used as a person-to-person weapon — and ban sales of caustic materials to anyone under the age of 18, the Independent reports."

British actions would seem to empower classic arguments long made by gun control opponents in the US, like: “Guns don’t kill people; people kill people.” Killers use what’s available whether it’s guns, knives, poison, or explosives. It’s not the instrument; it’s the person, they insist. 

“It’s also not clear what local Londoners will now use to cut their food,” says the Daily Wire.


Anonymous said...

You really should get in the habit of checking out the facts of what you write about. Your knife is perfectly legal in the UK as it is a folding knife with a blade that is not over 3 inches. Relax, and peel your oranges in peace.

Anonymous said...

"What if I told you that people murdered each other before guns"?

Then I would reply, tell me about the time that one person single-handedly murdered dozens of people in a matter of minutes before guns.

People also killed before nuclear bombs. I guess they're alright too then.

P. C. Poppycock said...

"Then I would reply, tell me about the time that one person single-handedly murdered dozens of people in a matter of minutes before guns."

Oh, I don't know. How about 9-11 and flight 93?

How about Nice, France?

Let's not forget how credit cards can become weapons. Will they collect those before you get on a plane?

The word "innovative" should come to mind. Decades ago, zip-guns were common.

Do we really think evil hearts and minds will yield to "wars on this" and "wars on that?"

Scarcity drives innovation. Scarcity combined with malice is a potent force.

Anonymous said...

Those things did not happen before there were guns. If anybody commits instant mass murder with a credit card then yes, they will probably collect those.

Anonymous said...

Oddly, folks "behind the counter" at several of the places I get hardware/ auto parts/ etc. don't instantaneously soil themselves, when after I've paid (usually in cash) for
that item, over packaged to deter theft, I pull a "one hand opening" clip knife frommy pocket RIGHT THERE AT THE REGISTER,, liberate the item, put it in my pocket, and return the (usually "blister") packaging.
Either I simply exude an astounding level of integrity and trust*, or I do business with folks of of a superior aptitude for "common sense".
(* Unlikely, as I now sport facial hair, a leather jacket, and often wear a baseball/trucker's "style" hat.)

Brian said...

Here are some things that are harder to get in the US than an assault rifle:

A Driver's license. Submit proof of your identity. Pass vision and written tests. Drive around a couple of weeks on your learner's permit. Then pass the driving test. Depending on the state, it takes completing all that to get your first ever driver's license. Also, some states, like Maryland, put you under a probationary status for a few months when you get your driver's license.

A Passport. You have to prove you're a citizen, submit paperwork and a photo and usually wait about six weeks to get your hands on your first U.S. passport.

Cold Medicine. There's a limit on how much of some cold medicine you can buy every month. That's because the active ingredient in those cold medicines is pseudoephedrine.

A Puppy. In most cases, you must be 21, show ID and you may be asked to provide personal references. In some cases, the adoption agency may do a home check before handing over the pet.

A Handgun. Florida has a mandatory waiting period, but not for the military weapons. Huh?

How does this make sense to you?

Virtually nobody wants to "take your guns", or even ban guns. They just want common sense regulations like these, and so many other things.

Anonymous said...

An article where I can for the most part agree with you. Pocket knives are very useful things to have. I can understand banning carrying around military knifes, or switch blades or any other type of knife that really isn't intended to be used as a tool. I can see banning knives on planes. A few people with knives might be able to take over the plane.

I'm not a big fan of guns myself. I really don't have a problem with them being regulated. If someone is convicted of trying to kill someone, I think that they have lost their right to own or carry a gun from that point on. If they're caught with a gun, off to prison.


Anonymous said...

I'm wondering what the purpose was of Tom including a horrid photo of a victim of an acid attack. The only thing that makes sense is that he sensibly wants dangerous things like acid to be banned in public. But that seems to go against his not wanting big knives banned in public. Very confusing.

Brian said...

I have no problem with people disagreeing about political matters like gun control, but I do have a problem with A-holes like Laura Ingraham, and this recent conservative commentator from St. Louis saying he would like to sexually assault Parkland survivor Brian Hogg with a red hot poker. What kind of cretins use their forum to say disgusting things about high schoolers just because they have political differences? Get a grip. Some kids are tired of getting shot up and want something done about it. That does not make them the devil. Calm the f%$ down.

Chuck L. said...

The heck with knives, why is it that the government can have an arms race with nuclear weapons, but individual citizens are not allowed to have these same arms? Our 2nd Amendment rights are getting infringed upon! It doesn't say what kind of arms, it says arms! Anybody want to argue this? Probably not.

Anonymous said...

“It’s also not clear what local Londoners will now use to cut their food,”

uh.....unless you are braindead, knives is the answer, as they are not in any way banned for such use.

Poor wacky right, can't try to make any point without falsehoods. Just look at the whole premise of Tom's whining in this column, he is worried about his knife while visiting the UK. Then, after it is pointed out to him that his knife is perfectly legal, he shuts up and hides. The right wing way.

Anonymous said...

Looking forward to the next column in which Tom whines about not being able to use his Bic lighter because flame throwers are not allowed to be used in public.

Anonymous said...

I'm worried about my trip to Germany next week. I was going to bring along a kitten, but Germany has a ban on tigers in public!

Outraged said...

I wish all the wimpy anons would stop with their FAKE NEWS!!

Mr Ed said...

I can't imagine how such lengthy comments can be posted about the absurdity of banning knives. Of course we have Brain here who constantly has to throw his 2 cents in about how evil guns are and knives too apparently.

What kind of an adult does not have a knife handy? I'll tell you what kind of, someone that doesn't do much work other than just counting money or swiping their card.

Someone who never get their hands dirty, someone who is dependent on others to have a knife, a tool or a god forbid gun.

Anonymous said...

I suspect that Tom's student was not so much concerned that he was using a knife as much as she was concerned that he was using a knife. Can't say that I blame her. Some people are so inhinged, they shouldn't have access to any weapons.