Many years ago I had a butterfly knife in my fishing tackle box. If you don’t know the style, its handle is in two parts, both hinged at the blade so the handle folds over both edges of the blade. I was quite adept at flicking it open, using it and flicking it closed again. Since you held both halves of the handle when it was open it could not close on your fingers in use.
I had that style because I could open and close it one-handed while trying to deal with a line or a fish with the other hand, and because when folded, it was safe to delve your hand into the fishing box without looking.
Then they were made illegal and I couldn’t use it any more. Instead I had a lock-knife. This had a little lump on the side of the blade so you could pop it open with one hand and it would lock open. No danger of it folding on your fingers. Not as handy as the butterfly because you needed two hands to close it again (liner lock – you have to press down a spring on the back while folding the blade) but nonetheless safer than either a fixed blade or a folding non-locking one.
Then they banned those too.
I have never stabbed or cut anyone or even threatened them with a knife, yet now all I am allowed is an unsafe folding knife. I don’t think any fixed-blade knife is legal outside the home but they wouldn’t be safe in a fishing box anyway. They can slip out of the sheath when the box is moved. The non-locking folding one is safe in the box but not safe in use because it can fold onto fingers, especially those slimy from handling fish – and it needs both hands to open it.
The only knife you can carry in public in the UK is a non-locking folding penknife with a blade less than 3 inches (7.5cm) in length. Anything else and you will have to prove to a court that you had a damn good reason to have it. This applies even if you had it out of sight and didn’t even show anyone – if you are stopped and searched and it is found, you’re arrested and charged.
In the seventies, after a camping trip, I got off the train in Cardiff with an eight-inch camping knife on my belt and went shopping. Nobody even noticed. Now they’d have helicopters and armed police surrounding me. I wouldn’t have to do anything, wouldn’t even have to touch the handle of the knife. Mere possession is a crime now.
Oh, and I bought that camping knife, alone, in a shop, when I was 15. Try that now, all you teen warriors demanding ever tighter controls on your lives. By the time you get to my age you’ll need to be over 30 and have three forms of ID to buy a paper clip.
Let me reiterate. It is illegal in the UK, and has been for some time, to be in possession in public of anything bigger than a folding three-inch knife. Anything else and you need to have a good reason to be carrying it.
Do we really need more laws than that?
Well we’re going to get them.
National figures show police in England and Wales recorded a rise of a fifth in knife and gun crime in the year to September.
Right. So the answer to people committing illegal acts using things that are already illegal is not to enforce those laws, but to make new ones that make more things illegal.
I notice there is no mention in the article of a clampdown on guns. Oh wait, those are already illegal. Criminals don’t care about laws though. What to do, eh? Well, there are a lot of Americans who think gun control will end shootings, including one I came across on Twitter who describes herself in her bio as ‘open minded’ and has a banner saying ‘The NRA are a terrorist organisation’.
Actually, more vegan animal rights activists (1) than NRA members (0) have gone on shooting sprees lately so as terrorist organisations go, I’d say the NRA really haven’t got the hang of it at all.
Back to the knives. The plan is to make even more forms of knives illegal, and to make buying them online as near to impossible as they can make it. Well. That’ll have no effect at all on street stabbings.
If the stabber is over 18 they can get a knife in a local shop. If the stabber is under 18 they will simply take one from their parents’ kitchen. Making them harder to buy will do nothing at all.
You cannot buy a handgun legally in the UK but criminals seem to have no problem getting them anyway. Knives? You can make one in your shed with a hammer, file, whetstone and a piece of fencing steel! You could even make one from oak or hickory. Yeah, it won’t work for long but it doesn’t need to, does it? Actually I won’t go into any more detail on that one because it has details I don’t want to hand out to any Mr. Stabbys out there.
The problem is not knives. Especially since carrying anything bigger than a whittling penknife in public is already illegal. The problem is people stabbing each other. Nobody in Government wants to address that. Oh, we know why but they made it illegal to say it.
Soon it will be illegal to be in possession of a set of kitchen knives in public and impossible to buy them online and have them posted to you. So, if you need kitchen knives, how are you going to get them home?
I have bought whisky online. I once bought a log splitter online. The delivery courier had to check I was of legal age to have them before handing them over. If there is nobody of legal age to sign for them then they won’t deliver. So, under-18s buying knives online can only get them if an adult signs for the delivery. That’s law now. They cannot ‘sneakily order them’ because the delivery agent won’t hand them over to the kid.
It’s the same as the argument that tobacco companies ‘market to children’. It’s as ridiculous as claiming Danish Bacon ‘markets to Jews’. Why would you ‘market’ a product to a group who are not allowed to buy it?
Likewise, it does not matter how hard you market your range of bladed items, scissors or dressmaking pins to those under 18. They are not allowed to buy them. Yes, I said dressmaking pins and scissors. You can get married at 16 in this country but you can’t buy anything sharp until you are 18 so you’ll have a married life with only plastic knives and forks for your first two years and can’t hang any pictures because you can’t buy nails.
This is not ‘where we are going’. This is where we are. Now. Today. And an allegedly Conservative government under the daftest woman ever put in charge of anything is about to make it worse.
There has been a lot of talk about Corbyn’s mob of hate-filled harpies (I’ve met a few and yes, they are) and how the Labour party needs to sort itself out. The damn Tories need a purge too. They are, really, no better. Criminalising people who want to buy a bread knife online? Stating that anyone in possession of acid in public is committing a crime? What the hell do they think is in a car battery? What do they think the chemical definition of vinegar is? Are they going to arrest anyone in possession of a lemon?
Ludicrous? Of course it is. It all is. We have a ludicrous government and a ludicrous opposition. What else can you expect from them?
If someone wants to buy a bottle of sulphuric acid, that should raise a red flag. They might want it for a legitimate purpose of course, in which case they won’t mind providing ID and having the sale recorded. I have no problem giving my name and address and proving who I am when I buy a scythe blade or any of the viciously sharp items in my tool room. I really wouldn’t be happy with a random lunatic having access to those things.
If I buy dangerous chemicals or bacteria for the lab I have to prove I have a lab capable of containing them and that I am a legitimate scientist with the knowledge to safely handle these things. That is as it should be – I can, and have, bought live cultures of some seriously dangerous bacteria in the past. That should not be available to some spotty teen who wanders in off the street. Okay, they’d probably kill themselves before they killed anyone else but even so… do you want to ban all research into intestinal disease becasue the causative agents are dangerous? I bet there are some who do, you know.
The law will just say ‘acid’. Leaving a chip shop with vinegar on your chips? You are in possession of an acid in a public place. The law they propose will get you arrested for that.
Would the police be so petty? Hahahaha! They recently revealed on Twitter the ‘weapons’ they found in a sweep in London. A butter knife, a rubber mallet and a garden fork. Derisory. No guns, machetes, Samurai swords (why is it always Samurai swords? I find the short double-edged sword much easier to handle). Not even a big camping knife. Nothing that wouldn’t be laughed at by the man in the street but would be taken very seriously by a dusty judge in one of our zombified courts.
So, imagining they are only looking for 20-molar and above concentrated and actually corrosive acids is not being real. They will arrest you for having cranberry juice. Incidentally, if you don’t know what I mean by ‘molar’, please don’t lecture me on acids.
It’s not just acids that are corrosive. Better not hand out blatant clues but getting past the ‘acid’ part and still having something deadly is not actually a problem for those of us who had a genuine education.
Finally, a lot of legitimate businesses are about to bite the dust. I bought a lot of great stuff here in the past – including the heavy hat in the top banner – and I’ll order something – anything – in the next few days to give them a little boost before the government shuts them down. They have never been linked to any crime, ever. Their only ‘crime’ is selling sharp things. Like these guys and a lot of other innocent businesses too.
Once they ban all blades online, of course, nothing will change in the World of Stabby so they’ll ban the sale of knives in the high street too. Think they won’t? Then you have not been paying attention to how this works.
I already have a peening hammer, plain hammer, files, whetstones, oilstones and a grinder in my tool room. If you don’t, then get those things now before they are banned too.
It’ll be the only way to make something to cut your tofu when you grow up, kids.
Oh, and if they still have metalwork classes in schools, take that class and pay close attention. You’re going to need it.
Better wake up in chemistry class too, if that even still exists. You might need that one.