Sunday, May 29, 2005

British University Hospital team calls for ban on kitchen knives

Not content to disarm their populace by making private ownership of handguns illegal, a group from West Middlesex University Hospital thinks "long, pointy" kitchen knives should be next on the list. I'd love to say I'm making this up, but...

::::::::A&E doctors are calling for a ban on long pointed kitchen knives to reduce deaths from stabbing.

A team from West Middlesex University Hospital said violent crime is on the increase - and kitchen knives are used in as many as half of all stabbings.

They argued many assaults are committed impulsively, prompted by alcohol and drugs, and a kitchen knife often makes an all too available weapon.

The research is published in the British Medical Journal.

The researchers said there was no reason for long pointed knives to be publicly available at all.

They consulted 10 top chefs from around the UK, and found such knives have little practical value in the kitchen.

Those of us who have fought for the Second Amendment here in the States have long claimed that the second a so-called "gun control" group managed to get a handgun ban passed, they'd keep right on going by trying to ban more and more items they feel are too dangerous for slack-jawed morons like, well, the rest of us clearly are. The kitchen knife thing usually comes up as a ludicrous joke. Obviously we weren't taking ourselves seriously enough. So an implement available to Britons for literally centuries has suddenly become so dangerous that Britons can't be trusted with them? I also love the BBC's accompanying photo on the story, showing a slice on a person's face from the corner of their 1 eye around to the ear with the caption, "Kitchen knives can inflict appalling wounds." I could produce exactly that kind of injury on a person using a dime-store keychain cutter with a blade less than 1 inch in length. How is that kind of injury germane to the discussion of "long" kitchen knives? No mention in the story about how long a knife has to be to qualify, either. Five inches? Six? Ten? And how pointy is "pointy"?

And do you love the authority they go to on the matter? Chefs! Oh, and not just "chefs", but a whole 10 of them. Out of millions of Brits, they get the opinions of 10 of them - not identified, of course - and that's good enough to start shouting about confiscating the cutlery. Note also that they don't actually tell you what the chefs said, or even what they were asked. I'd also like to know why, if such knives have little practical value in the kitchen, do such knives seem to always be present in the kitchens of "top chefs" like those who were supposedly asked about this?

The worst thing is that the current climate in public discourse demands that the government actually expend time and effort addressing such lunacy. How about this: prosecute the people who commit the crimes? Put. Them. In. Prison. Make them pay off the medical bills - in their entirety - that are generated dealing with the injuries they caused. Put their pictures in the paper with big, bold headines showing all their friends and neighbors that they're untrustworthy nutcases who thought it was a good idea to punctuate their arguments by perforating their opponents. Make them have to answer in the affirmative on the job applications when the question comes up, "Have you ever been convicted of a felony? Give dates and details." (Yes. I was convicted of assault and battery with a deadly weapon because that frothing idiot William said something wonky about Manchester United. Will that be a problem getting hired on here?)

In short, address the crime by addressing the criminal, not the law-abiding citizenry of your nation. The issue isn't the knife, it's the decision that sticking it into someone is a reasonable response to the situation. The next joke in the line we 2nd Amendment folks bring up after the kitchen knives deals with banning screwdrivers. I wonder if the West Middlesex University guys have come up with that one yet.