It’s Time To Do Something About Knives

Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is a New York writer focusing on radical Islam. He is completing a book on the international challenges America faces in the 21st century.


knife controlThe gun control background check measure may have been defeated, but that just means it’s time to move on to knife background checks.

Knives are all around us. Most people own 2 or 3. Some even own a dozen. Some knives are safely dull but others can cut through anything. Flip through the television channels late at night and you can catch infomercials in which grinning men in red aprons cut through wood, metal and leather with knives that anyone with a credit card and no common sense can buy.

Most people don’t think about knives at all. They don’t think about knife culture. They don’t think about what’s wrong with a society that allows anyone to buy a set of Japanese ceramic knives that claim to be able to cut through bone faster than any other knife on earth for only $29.95 plus shipping and handling.

They don’t think about the knives until the knives come after them.

On April 14th, Dylan Quick, a Lone Star College student, stabbed fourteen fellow students, many in the face and neck. Quick had fantasized about stabbing people to death and wearing their faces as masks since he was eight years old. And with a knife, he almost succeeded in making his dream come true.

It would be all too easy to fall into the trap of blaming Dylan Quick for his actions, but we must look deeper and ask, what about the knife?  Without the knife, Quick would have been just another college student fantasizing harmlessly, like most college students do, about cannibalism and necrophilia. It was the knife that made Dylan Quick dangerous. He wouldn’t have gotten very far stabbing people with his hands.

Quick carried out his stabbing spree with an X-Acto razor utility knife. X-Acto knives are manufactured by Elmer’s Products, a company that markets a paste made out of congealed dead horses to children. While Elmer’s goes to great lengths to hide its association with the deadly X-Acto knives, in the wake of the Texas stabbings, the Austin Association of Unwed Lesbian Mothers Against Violence And Gendered Pronouns has called on the company to demonstrate responsibility by taking voluntary steps to make its weapons less of a threat to life and limb.

X-Acto describes its Z series, which features a Zirconium Nitride-coated blade, as the sharpest blade ever, but does any law-abiding crafter really need a weapon that sharp?

Imagine if Dylan Quick had been armed with Fruit Roll-Ups or a Nerf bat instead of a blade so sharp that it can cut through metal? It’s easy to blame Quick, but it was the knife culture that blended exploitative consumerism with macho fantasies that put a deadly weapon within his reach.

New York City, which has become known for responsible legislation aimed at curbing soda and salt abuses, outlawed the sale of utility knives to any child under the age of 21 and the possession of utility knives by any child under the age of 22. Dylan Quick was a child of only 20. If Texas had similar laws on the books, this entire tragedy might possibly have been averted. You never know.

Despite New York City’s ban on switchblades, gravity knives and box cutters, the number of knife killings actually doubled in 2008. Last year there were multiple stabbing sprees, including 3 men stabbed in a single half-hour and another man sentenced to 200 years in prison for stabbing three people to death.

But New York City’s progressive knife laws are inhibited by a patchwork of national regulations. The United States banned switchblades in 1958. Texas bans carrying bowie knives in public, but not utility knives. Once gun control has been wrapped up, it will be time to stand up to the knife lobby and pass national reform legislation that will comprehensively tackle the issue of killer knives.

While millions of Americans still cling bitterly to their assault rifles and their X-Acto razor utility knives, Europe has led the way in fighting knife crime. The UK’s 1959 Offensive Weapons Act was far more restrictive than its 1958 Yank counterpart and their knife bans in the 90s outdid anything in Gotham. Somehow despite these common sense measures, knife crime in the UK continues to rise.

Knife robberies increased by 10 percent last year. Knife crimes in London increased by 6 percent during the previous year.  An estimated 175 persons are robbed at knifepoint every day and a knife crime takes place every eight minutes. Some experts suggest that this is because the UK has not gone far enough in outlawing knives. While pocket knives with blades over 3 inches have been banned, knife criminals are turning to long kitchen knives to do their stabbing.

A team of British doctors has suggested that there is no reason for long pointed kitchen knives to be available to the public at all when short knives work equally well. But short dull kitchen knives can still be used to inflict terrible violence. And does anyone really need to cut anything at all?

Cutting is an act of violence. Serial killers begin practicing their craft on animals, but what is cooking if not the work of an aspiring serial killer?

What are we to make of individuals retreating to the narrow confines of a small room and then ritualistically carving up pieces of birds and animals with sharp knives and consuming their flesh? And these serial killers of fowl and cattle aren’t satisfied with having ordinary knives; importing sharper and deadlier knives from late night infomercials with which to mutilate dead animals.

In our modern age where information is a click away and Apps and 3D printers can do anything at all, why do so many of us still cling to the sharpened caveman’s tool?  There are kitchen appliances that can do most of the work of knives. And if any cooking task really requires a knife, we should ask ourselves whether it’s worth doing.

Most parents know that kitchen knives are dangerous. That’s why they hide them from their children. Why then doesn’t the nanny state follow their example by hiding knives from dangerous children like Dylan Quick?

Obama told us, “If there’s even one life we can save, we’ve got to try.” Is there any doubt that banning knives would accomplish that goal?

We can start small by mandating an end to the manufacture of knives that rate above 4.0 on the Anago Sharpness scale. We can outlaw the sale of utility knives to anyone who is not a member of a historically victimized group. We can even launch a program to buy back dangerous knives in the inner cities. And we can confront knife culture at its source in magazines like Knife World and Blade Magazine.

The first step is to get the knives out of your kitchen. Throw them out the window. Pawn them. Give them away to homeless vagrants. Rope them together into crutches for the blind. Bury them point up in your backyard.

The tens of thousands of stabbing victims deserve a vote. And those of us who are truly concerned will vote on their behalf.

It’s time for a petition. It’s time for a bill. It’s time for a ban.

Freedom Center pamphlets now available on Kindle: Click here.  

  • SCREW SOCIALISM

    How about banning FPS (First Person Shooter) video games that desensitize and normalize shooting people?

    • neveradullmoment

      Because i would be bored sh**less.

    • defcon 4

      That would stop islamofascist terrorism wouldn't it?

    • UCSPanther

      Playing Doom makes me an expert on shooting people as much as playing The Elder Scrolls Series (Including Skyrim) makes me an expert on swordfighting…

      • defcon 4

        It's the same as going to an islamic terrorist training camp!

    • defcon 4

      Have you ever heard the expresssion: "those who beat their swords into plowshares, will plow for those who didn't."?

  • tagalog

    How about a government-sponsored Knife Buy-Back Program?

    And how do we distinguish "assault knives" from the other kind?

    • andy58-in-nh

      "Assault knives" are the ones with scary matte black finishes and serrations that no one really needs to own, as Dianne Feinstein might well aver.

    • UCSPanther

      What would they classify a Claymore as?

      • tagalog

        You're talking about the Scottish claymore and not the "This Side Toward Enemy" Claymore, aren't you?

        Good question.

  • WatcheOntheWall

    Don't forget, we also need a ban on pressure cookers!

  • Guest

    What about hammers and baseball bats? They can be just as lethal!

    • EthanP

      Actually Guest, hammers and baseball bats are used to kill more people each year than 'assault weapons'. Thats what the FBI says.

  • watsa46

    Next will be the fork then the spoon! What about tooth-pick and straws?

    • defcon 4

      Forks are very scary and sharp. I like sporks better — sometimes I can even get them in pretty colors!

    • Guest

      You can have my citrus zester when you pry it from my cold dead hands!

  • CO Conservative

    Not long after Obama and the Dems hit it hard on gun contol, our local liberty group decided to take matters into our own hands and formed MAGIK (mothers Against Garden Implements and Knives). We are working hard to get these dangerous things outlawed because like the Obama quote in the article said, "If you can save one life…"

    • EthanP

      A teacher in W Virginia was just given a 4 day suspension for bringing common household tools and gardening impliments into her 2nd grade class. Seems they ARE considered 'weapons' to the PC left.

      • pagegl

        Pliers are especially lethal. They are too dangerous for the average person to own.

  • billraz

    Is this a joke? April Fool's was 26 days ago.

    • DDay66

      Any day is a Fool's Day when there are this many Progressives not institutionalized.

    • Chiggles

      It's called satire.

  • Alex Kovnat

    Given how many people have unhealthy diets, perhaps KNIVES, FORKS and SPOONS should be heavily regulated. Along with of course, all the unhealthy stuff we cut with knives and then place on forks and spoons to put into our mouths and bodies.

    About knives: If the government were to ban same, you are going to see a big increase in the number of people interested in the craft of knife-making. We will see a big increase in the number of shops equipped with the tools and equipment required for first-rate knifemaking. Coating the edges with zirconium nitride is the icing on the cake (another unhealthy food material!), but isn't really essential for criminals and sickos intent on hurting people.

    Now to get serious: If you have sick, twisted people willing to take the time and effort to acquire any one or more of a variety of deadly weapons (AR-15 type rifles, handguns, knives, baseball bats, pressure cookers filled with gunpowder) to kill and hurt other people out of sheer cussedness or whatever other motive, that is reason enough in my book to allow law abiding citizens to carry handguns.

  • pagegl

    Ban pencils and pens; they cause spelling errors. And they're pointy and can be used to stab people.

  • truebearing

    But if we ban knives Obama can't bring his gun to a knife fight. I guess he'd just have to shoot unarmed people then…as if that hasn't been the Left's goal all along.

  • truebearing

    "Bury them point up in your backyard." LOL!

  • Anonymous

    Daniel, Daniel, Daniel, you shouldn't be giving mayors like Bloomberg ideas! (Btw, a certain city in Canada banned knives in public several years ago — see National Post, Kevin Libin: "Edmonton bans knives. Also sense.")

  • RUI

    Why not just ban people altogether? "If there's even one life we can save" then it has to be worth it.

  • Chiggles

    http://kniferights.org/
    I never leave the house without my Smith & Wesson Homeland Security lockblade.

  • Anonymous

    Or to borrow a quote from Hamlet: We must immediately ban bare bodkins!

  • Anonymous

    The Death By Cold Steel Report also reported on this on YouTube. They are the best source on bladed weapon altercations on the internet…

  • candy

    Why didn't i think of that ?
    When my grandmother had her throat cut by a woman and her 11 year old son,i spent months attending the trial to make sure they were convicted. I could have just saved the time by blaming her chef knife. I am a bit baffled how the knife carried off her tv and emptied her bank account.

    And all the money i spent on my ex's hospital bill's when he was stabbed 6 times in a robbery, i could have recouped by suing the real culprit – the knife mfg.

    I'm going to call my cousin and tell her the hammer she was beaten with also ra ped her,not the sob that drug her off into the woods.

    Silly me i've been holding people accountable for their actions. I guess i make an awful Barrybot.

  • Fritz

    Yes, we must do something about knives, we must have a knife registry and only allow trained and licensed people to use them. We also need to license and resister pressure cookers, hot water tanks, propane tanks, and not allow anyone other then licensed plumbers and gas fitters to buy black iron pipe, nipples, and pipe caps. We should also do something about matches, cigarette lighters, butane, gasoline, kerosene, old tires, dry bales of hay, non dairy creamer, and crumpled newspapers, all of that stuff can cause fires and can be used for arson.

  • CurmudgyOneJr

    This is dumb.

  • Neil Woodcock

    We should at least ban high capacity knife blocks. Why do people need instant access to 10 – 15 knives anyway. Only one can be safely used at a time. We can start by limiting capacity to 7 knives, or at least outlaw placing more than 7 knives in a higher capacity knife block.

  • Jill

    I think there needs to be a law about keeping knives (if one must have knives) in a knife safe. It should be mandated that every kitchen have a knife safe in it, and the local knife inspector will come and make sure that the knives are properly locked in the safe, and registered with the proper governmental agency.

  • http://www.naturalbird.com/index.php?Itemid=0&option=com_fireboard&func=showcat&Go=Go&catid=0 Elinor

    There is definately a great deal to know about this topic.
    I like all the points you made.

  • http://www.metacafe.com/f/channels/moversa+roma5vio angelo

    Ciao! Vorrei solo dire un grazie enorme per le informazioni che avete condiviso in questo blog! Di sicurò diverrò un vostro fa accanito!

  • carolwilliams24

    Knives is just being knives and it do good if one do good at it like using it to prepare food and stuff since it's the most common use on to it. But, in some cases it's one of the commonly use to hurt someone since it's available in house or anywhere you might go since you need to eat something and in order to do that you need this utensil. My point is the knives don't have the problem and it’s the person whose using it who'll take the responsibility what they've done by it.
    SafetyKnife.net

  • PhaserFace

    it’s time for you to shut up. man has been using knives for over 2 million years . and banning them won’t stop people from picking up any peice of metal and sharpening it into a knife

  • G. Salazar

    This is almost to hard to read. The stupidity behind Greenfield’s article almost makes me think he is being sarcastic!

  • Matthew Blacker

    Daniel, clearly you suffer from hoplophobia. Do yourself a favor and get your head examined. You are a fellow at the “Freedom Center”? How ironic.

  • TruthHurts

    This article has opened my eyes… The UK has led the way in the knife ban, yet their knife related crime has climbed… Well then it MUST BE WORKING!!!

    The truth is, if somebody truly wants to hurt/kill somebody, they will find a way. You honestly think outlawing knives would have changed the outcome of what Quick did? Whether its with a sharpened stick to stab with, a baseball bat or crowbar to bash with, gasoline and a match to burn with, or a car to run people over with; people will find a way to get the results they desire. Blaming the TOOL used in a crime instead of the PERSON responsible is seriously stupid. Not to mention that knives are NECESSARY in our world, because they are TOOLS. The people who make your clothes; grow/hunt, prep, cook, and serve your food; and build your home use them EVERY DAY AS TOOLS.

    Also, outlawing something only really limits it from the law abiding citizen, not the criminals. Criminals have ALWAYS found ways to get around laws, most (if not all) of the weapons they have were acquired illegally. If simply outlawing/banning something actually worked, our country wouldn’t be drowning in drugs.

  • frank da tank

    A knife is a tool. The writer of this article is also a tool.

  • Jason Williams

    Liberals are neat

  • Anonymous

    As a responsible Canadian knife owner and a freedom loving Patriot I say:
     
    “From my dead cold hands for I will not be disarmed.”

  • Matt Da Slayr

    thanks toTruthHurts and PhaserFac for agreeing with me. this guy knows VERY LITTLE. if “John” weants an illegal knife, HE WILL MAKE ONE OR BUY ONE FROM AN ILLEGAL DEALER!!!!!!!

  • MySwitchblade

    Knife is a best cutting tool but now-a-days people misuse and purposely
    doing something nonsense. That is why in most cases, it is banned for
    safety purpose.

  • BossTrophy

    Well what about the outdoorsmen like me we need knives. We go camping and hunting and most of us know that with a weapon comes responsibility. America is getting wussified.

  • Joe CItizen

    This tone of this “writer” was so shrill and panicked I couldn’t tell whether this was a serious article or a joke. Anyway I think some of you people need to grow spines. The world is a dangerous place and turning yourself into a sheep certainly isn’t the answer. When you fascists disarm all the criminals then perhaps we law-abiding citizens (not serfs) will sit down with you and discuss what problem to solve next. Until then we’re not making ourselves defenseless, even if it would have made you feel better.