Friday, November 20, 2009

Knife Owners Beware!

The Federal Government, through the U.S. Customs,
tried to pass a new law passed on the definition of switchblades and gravity knives that would basically outlaw a bulk of the pocket and hunting knives used in this country every day. It was defeated. The definition that was proposed would have reclassified any knife that could be opened with one hand as a switchblade in federal law. The action would have banned the importation of such knives, and because most state and local laws regarding knives use the federal definitions for local enforcement, the move would have successfully banned roughly 80 percent of the folding knives sold in the U.S. First Guns, now knifes, what is next? You can be sure that this is not going to be the only attempt to ban knifes. Hear a little and there a little and your right to own a pen knife, that you can carry in your pocket, or purse, or owning a hunting knife will be gone. In a few years the ownership of pen knives and hunting knifes will be the same as it is now with the ownership of fire arms. Defeating the proposal was the result of a grassroots effort by knife owners, The American Tool and Knife Institute and support by many outdoor recreation groups. That effort, by these groups of Americans convinced Congress that the proposed new law would be overly restrictive and it would not add much, if anything at all, to our national security. Let's face facts. The illegals that are coming across our border use the knife as weapon of choice, most of the time, when committing a crime. That is a fact, it is not profiling. This is not saying that they are the only group of people who use a knife to commit a crime. The U.S. customs know this, so to try to stop the problem they wanted a law that would stop this. The honest law abiding citizens of this country would once again pay the price. I commend the U.S. Customs in their effort to stop crime by the use of knifes, guns, or by any other means, but once again, the government is going about it in the wrong way. Sometimes I wonder how we ever elected people into office or give them government jobs the way they think.

Removing the proposal of this new law from the appropriations bill (FY2010 Homeland Security Appropriations Billwas the right move because it allows workers and outdoor enthusiasts to choose the tools that work best for them. It doesn't take much imagination to visualize many situations in which one would have only one free hand with which to open a knife when one was needed. Nearly all knifes that are sold now have a small knob on the side of the blade that helps in opening the knife. This will not stop the government because they will only try some other, back door way, of outlawing most knifes. What is next? The hunter's mussel loader or his bow and arrow? How long before they start on baseball bats?

The 1958 Switchblade Act which was enacted during a time of fear that was based on over-the-top portrayal of street gangs being armed with switchblades. Other than simple pandering to fear, it's difficult to imagine a reason to ban any type of knife simply because of the way one opens the blade; is a switchblade inherently more dangerous than one that must be opened with two hands? Knives are dangerous in the hands of dangerous people, so are firearms, regardless of how they're opened or used. Laws should address the actions of people, not tools they choose to misuse.

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