UK sharp knife ban?
May 27, 2005 12:49 PM   Subscribe

The end of the British slasher film? [Article on NYT which needs account.] Love the phrase (with reference) "Once resistance from clothing and skin is overcome, little extra force is required to injure vital organs, increasing the chance of a fatality (likened to cutting into a ripe melon)."
posted by birdsquared (17 comments total)
Maybe if you belong to a knife club you will be able to keep your knives at the clubhouse (under lock and key). You could just do all your recreational cutting there.
posted by 445supermag at 12:59 PM on May 27, 2005

Registration-free link to New York Times article cited.
posted by ericb at 1:00 PM on May 27, 2005

The authors of the editorial argued that the pointed tip is a vestigial feature from less mannered ages, when people used it to spear meat. They said that they interviewed 10 chefs in England, and that "none gave a reason why the long, pointed knife was essential," though short, pointed knives were useful.

Chefs might not be the best people to poll about this. Most chefs I know have a whole collection of knives and therefor may not see the utility of having a single knife that has both a point and a long cutting edge.

I wonder if they'll be after ice picks, awls and lineup punches next?
posted by Mitheral at 2:02 PM on May 27, 2005

I love the Brits. The same people who brought you an epic 18-year battle for softer government-issue toilet paper.
posted by warbaby at 2:04 PM on May 27, 2005

I'm getting definite Modest Proposal vibes from this.

If I'm wrong, though, I'm a little scared.
posted by dersins at 2:05 PM on May 27, 2005

ericb: Thanks for the no-reg link. (How do you do that?)

dersins: You are not the only one who thinks that.

I think they're being serious, though highly misguided.

Mitheral: To be slightly fair (and I'm not defending the proposal, only the scope), it's not as though almost every household has any of those items readily available for a drunk or high assailant.
posted by birdsquared at 2:36 PM on May 27, 2005

You are not the only one who thinks that.

There's nothing at that link. Unless I'm doing something wrong.
posted by dersins at 2:46 PM on May 27, 2005

Over the past year I have had a running debate with a friend of mine over gun control in Canada. He (a rabid gun-nut) continually likened the restrictions "urban" Canadians have imposed on "responsible rural gunowners" to a ban on the ownership of kitchen knives, and wouldn't that be stupid. I can now thank the British government for settling this debate in my favour.
posted by lunaigh at 3:43 PM on May 27, 2005

It doesn't seem as stupid to anyone who has experienced the atmosphere in a British city centre on a weekend post 3am, or who has been stabbed. Having said that it is sentencing that should be reformed, not the sale of kitchen goods.
posted by fire&wings at 4:06 PM on May 27, 2005

dersins: The link is simply to the Rapid Responses portion of the main link, to wit: the response of Andrew Lessnoff. When I click on the link, it comes up properly cued...
posted by birdsquared at 4:13 PM on May 27, 2005

birdsquared: When I click on it, it brings up the Rapid Responses portion, and a line saying "No Rapid Responses have yet been published."

Could this be because I am not a registered user? Is anyone else having this issue?

Failing that, what is Andrew Lessnoff's response?
posted by dersins at 4:21 PM on May 27, 2005

It doesn't seem as stupid to anyone who has experienced the atmosphere in a British city centre on a weekend post 3am, or who has been stabbed

I have been stabbed AND have experienced the atmosphere of a British City at 3am (though not both simultaneously).

And it is STILL fucking stupid to attempt to ban the sale of knives or whatever goofy scheme these guys are attempting.

When are these emotional over-reactionary prohibitionists going to learn? This shit doesn't work.

I can now thank the British government for settling this debate in my favour.

No. I'd say exactly the opposite. Or are you being funny?
posted by tkchrist at 5:11 PM on May 27, 2005

ericb: Thanks for the no-reg link. (How do you do that?)

I used the New York Times Link Generator. To use properly, be sure that you are signed out of NYT's website before entering a URL.
posted by ericb at 6:28 PM on May 27, 2005

If they ban knives then the blokes down at the pub will have to learn martial arts to settle their grievances.
posted by ph00dz at 6:44 PM on May 27, 2005

In America we've solved our stabbing problem by making handguns cheap and readily available
posted by nanojath at 7:25 PM on May 27, 2005

Just how long before some legislator in the US thinks this is a great idea, and proposes our own banisment?

**Grumbles away in disgust**
posted by Balisong at 8:09 PM on May 27, 2005

For dersins:

I am writing in response after seeing an article about this editorial on the BBC news website.

When I was first alerted to this idea, my first thought was it must be a spoof. The notion that anyone, let alone people as educated as doctors, would consider banning (types of) kitchen knives to be either justified or practicable seems incredible. Various criticisms / points to consider (in no particular order):

• Contrary to the implication of the editorial, long pointed knives are useful. I use them when preparing food. True, I could use a different design, but often a large knife with a point is simply the most effective tool for the job.

• But even if they were not “needed”, why should people not be allowed to use them if they so wish? This is (supposedly) a free country. Surely people should not have to prove a “need” in order to be “allowed” to do anything. Rather, the government should have to prove a need to ban something. And I would insist that such a ban is neither “needed”, justified, nor practical.

• If a criminal or violent person wishes to cause harm, then there are many, many “weapons” they could use. Bricks. Bottles. Baseball bats. Hammers. Chisels. Frying pans. No laws can remove all potential weapons, and violent criminals by their very nature will tend to break or circumvent laws. And even if all such “weapons” were somehow removed from the world, death or serious injury can still easily be inflicted with fists or feet. (Should the possession of steel-toe-capped boots be prohibited except for licensed builders?)

• On the other hand, kitchen knives, and any other improvised (or even genuine) weapon have no mind of their own. Without a criminal or violent person to wield them, they are harmless. They are harmless when sitting in a kitchen draw. And they are harmless when held or used by the overwhelming majority of the people. The vast majority of the owners of kitchen knives are of no danger to anyone, and will not be made any less dangerous by the removal of (some of) their knives.

• Further more, banning and removing these knives will require enforcement: if someone chooses to ignore the ban, then home searches, arrests, the potential threat (or actual use) of force by the arresting officers, fines, imprisonment, etc. All of which are harmful to the arrestee, and their family, and out of all proportion the “danger” that they pose to the public. Not to mention the waste of police and court time and resources that could be spent on pursuing those who are an actual danger to the public.

Yours sincerely,

Andrew Lessnoff

Competing interests: None declared
posted by birdsquared at 11:49 AM on May 28, 2005

« Older Hey you kids, get off my lawn!   |   Squeeze me! Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments