Friday, June 06, 2008

What's the point?

The headline is ANOTHER TEENAGER STABBED IN LONDON. Knife crime is becoming an increasing problem in our big cities. Knife amnesties have turned up thousands but still it continues. The Prime Minister announces that 16 year-olds found in possession of a knife will be prosecuted with the full weight of the law.

When I was 16 every boy had a scout knife with a large steel spike for removing debris from horses' hooves. It would have made a killing weapon had we been so inclined. My children had Swiss-Army knives with 17 blades including scissors, screwdrivers and toothpicks. I still have a pearl-handles pen knife that I inherited from my father-in-law.

However, the commonest weapon in these stabbings is a kitchen knife. We all need knives in our kitchens, so it is hard to see how these can be restricted. Then I saw a suggestion that kitchen knives don't really need a point. You couldn't really stab someone with a bread knife. We have several kitchen knives with sharp points. I asked my wife whether she really needed them and probably she doesn't. A TV chef suggests that you need the point for filleting fish, but whoever fillets fish these days. We buy fish already filleted.

So, how about a redesign for kitchen knives, removing the point?

I suppose we would then have an outbreak of stabbings with screwdrivers and meat skewers.


Anonymous said...

You're on to something.

Baseball bats have been used to kill. Ban them. The heavy lamp in many movies where the 'the butler did it' is dangerous. Ban them. A crazed person killed a university professor, after a bad grade, with a hammer. We certainly don't need hammers. There have been a rash of assaults with nail guns. Get rid of them!

People have been killed by defenestration. Ban windows. People have been thrown from castle towers, bridges, and skyscrapers. They must go! Wives have murdered husbands by running over them with the fancy SUV. Off with them! Poisoning is a favorite murder weapon; ban all dangerous chemicals such as alcohol and weed killers. Rope, belts and pillows can kill. Certainly we can live without these terrible killing machines, if for no other reason than 'for the children'.

Only a concerted effort by a nanny government can save us!

Terry Hamblin said...

I see you have spotted the irony. Or should i say the iron(monger)y.

However, we ought to put the other side of the argument. When we changed from coal gas to natural gas the suicide rate went down. Much murder is fueled by drugs and alcohol. Crash helmets, seat belt law and anti-roll bars have reduced deaths on the road. Monocoque construction has reduced deaths in racing cars. Better design has made nuclear power stations safer.

You can't stop evil people doing evil, but you can make it more difficult for them. Many people do harm by having an evil impulse that they act on. If that impulse can be restrained their victim can be saved.