Knife Debate.

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Crazedwraith
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Knife Debate.

Post by Crazedwraith » 2018-05-24 05:32pm

So I did a silly thing and argued politics on imgur.

Image

The initial image discussed was the Matthis quote on the bottom and how badass it is etc. Except people kept throwing the Khan quote around and the contrasting image as if the Khan quote should be mocked.

Except... I don't see a damn thing wrong with that quote.* There's been an upsurge in violence in London, really no-one does have any business running around with knives stabbing people, of course we should do something to stop it.**

The counter-point as far as I can see it run 'criminals don't obey the law' and 'We need our own knives for self-defense!' While I can see the appeal of wanting to defend yourself while on the other hand I really do question the effectiveness. Like people attacked are going to go all action hero and busting to a perfectly choreographed fight sequence to defend themselves, as I see it, there's not much difference between being stabbed in the back having a knife in your pocket or not. The attackers always got the advantage of initiative right?

There's also the feeling while criminals don't obey the laws, the government and the law should be effectively enforcing that. You have a right to self-defense, it's not one that you should have to be armed to teeth and on constant guard to exercise that right.

Am I just silly and/or naive?

*With the obvious caveat that he doesn't really mean 'no excuse'; if you have a need for knives for your job then sure. We're talking about armed gangs and so forth.
** And totally there are always more stabby objects, shanks etc and it's treating a symptom rather than the underlying cause. But there's nothing wrong with doing it in and of itself so long as you don't ignore these other avenues.
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Re: Knife Debate.

Post by TheFeniX » 2018-05-24 05:56pm

I carry a knife outside the house about.... 99% of the time. It's a tactical folder, which were illegal to carry* for quite a while since "their only use" was to attack people. Most of the anti-knife bullshit came out of Rebel Without a Cause and the switchblades. My knife also has a "window breaker" and a "seat-belt cutter." I use my knife all the time to open boxes, cut tubing, strip wire, and all other kinds of shit for work. It also comes in incredibly handy because everyone who knows me knows if they need a good knife, I've got one. Tactical folders are also incredibly useful on their own because they can be opened and closed safely with one hand.

I got THIS knife (with the seat-belt cutter and window breaker) due to having a kid who needs to be strapped into a car-seat. If the worst happens and there's a wreck and his belt jammed, I can cut through both sides in seconds without risking cutting a screaming and flailing toddler. On that note, my brother also carries a knife like mine and used his cutter to extricate an eldery woman from her car after she hit someone else, he stopped to help, and her seatbelt wouldn't release.

Then again I carry a handgun so.... the knife is kind of moot in the area of if it's safe or not for me to carry a knife.

The idea of not being trusted to carry a knife is just weird... and dumb to me. Saying "oh, but you can have them to work" is near laughable because at least in the U.S., undesirables would be hassled either way (I never would be) and you could just lie and say you have a knife for work. And if you deal with any kind of closed box at work, you actually wouldn't be lying all that hard.

*On that note: I carried a tactical folder for years (for work) even when it was illegal. No cop ever made a big deal out of it. One asked when I got pulled over:
"You know those are illegal to carry?"
"Yea, and that shit's dumb, I use mine all the time for work because I can hold a bundle of cables and cut them with one hand and close the knife with one hand."
"Yea..... the law is dumb. I was really just letting you know."

So, 5-Star police officer there (that's not sarcasm).

Now.... if you're carrying a 12" long Carbon Steel Bowie Knife... and AREN'T currently in the process of skinning a buck? .... we need to have a talk.

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Re: Knife Debate.

Post by Elheru Aran » 2018-05-24 06:47pm

I've often carried a pocketknife. I'm not a fancy tacticool type guy; we're talking nice simple Swiss Army knife, Opinels, higonokami here. Open it, cut something, put it back into the pocket (or more often than not forget it and leave it somewhere and then cannot find it for fecking weeks until I'm looking for something else and then oh hey that's where I put that).

An overall ban on knives, while perhaps useful in some ways, seems more reactionary than useful to me. It's attacking the symptom, not the cause.
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Re: Knife Debate.

Post by Crazedwraith » 2018-05-24 06:53pm

Oh I agree with that and said so myself. I just don't see a problem with treating a symptom for short term relief while going after the root cause.
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Re: Knife Debate.

Post by Elheru Aran » 2018-05-24 07:11pm

Crazedwraith wrote:
2018-05-24 06:53pm
Oh I agree with that and said so myself. I just don't see a problem with treating a symptom for short term relief while going after the root cause.
The problem with something along these lines is it's more likely to be a hindrance to law abiding citizens and won't particularly prevent Bad Stuff from happening.

Off the top of my head: a cook walking from their car to their workplace with a knife in their bag. A construction worker pulling out a knife to sharpen his pencil or cut some string, whatever. A flooring installer pulling out a Stanley knife to trim some linoleum. Things like that. Now these guys (and to be fair, women) can't do that? There needs to be some kind of exemption for workplaces, and frankly Khan should have noted that rather than just blurting out the soundbite he came up with. "there is never a reason to carry a knife outside of your home or workplace"-- how difficult is that?

The honest fact is that there are any number of reasons, up to and including simply 'habit' and 'just in case I need something sharp to do a random task'.

Regular people carrying knives isn't the problem. It's people doing bad things with knives that's the problem. Address the crimes and the criminals. How to do that? That's a separate issue, but a knife ban won't get the job done.
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Re: Knife Debate.

Post by Formless » 2018-05-24 07:59pm

Crazedwraith wrote:
2018-05-24 06:53pm
Oh I agree with that and said so myself. I just don't see a problem with treating a symptom for short term relief while going after the root cause.
Because its a waste of time and government money? As the British Youtuber Matt Easton always points out with regards to knife crime, literally every house on earth already has kitchen knives and screwdrivers in them (and probably dozens of other sharp things you can stab a person with), and those are the knives criminals usually prefer anyway. Unlike guns, they don't cost hundreds to thousands of dollars, and they are sold literally everywhere. You can ban people from carrying them, but simply having a policy means nothing without enforcement. Which brings up the problem of whether it is even enforceable. Smaller kitchen knives and folding knives are very easily concealed, and certain other sharp tools like screwdrivers aren't even considered "knives" by most laws. But they make a nice stabby thing in the hands of a thug or hoodlum that is in the know. So if you are a cop, how do you know a person is carrying a knife? Especially knives like folding knives and razor blades that were designed to be shoved into a pocket? It basically becomes something where you can only charge someone of carrying a prohibited knife after they've already used it to commit a different, intrinsically more serious crime. Kind of like how by definition, Resisting Arrest is a charge you can only slap onto someone you've arrested on other charges.

And if you don't believe me about people using kitchen knives outside of their intended purpose, my father once bought a used car and after about a week driving it he discovered a kitchen knife sitting right under the seat next to the door. It was perfectly hidden, yet it was a nook where the driver could reach down and easily retrieve it if they knew it was there. And it wasn't small, either, it was one of those kitchen knives that looks almost like a Bowie knife and has similar length. At first he was confused, but it only took us a couple of minutes to realize that the previous owner almost certainly kept it there deliberately. The hiding spot was just too perfect, and no one takes a kitchen knife that size out of the kitchen by mistake. Our only lingering question is how (or why) they forgot to take it out before selling the vehicle. We still have that knife in our kitchen, by the way.

And yes, I also carry a knife pretty much everywhere. Its not a tactical folder, just a neat utilitarian Mercator, which have been around for decades just like Opinels. I don't feel like I need to carry a weapon, but you never know when a knife will be useful for any number of things. Opening boxes, working on crafts, hell there are a bunch of first aid techniques that require a knife to perform (quite the opposite purpose to a weapon in that case!).
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Re: Knife Debate.

Post by madd0ct0r » 2018-05-25 06:32am

Elheru Aran wrote:
2018-05-24 07:11pm
Crazedwraith wrote:
2018-05-24 06:53pm
Oh I agree with that and said so myself. I just don't see a problem with treating a symptom for short term relief while going after the root cause.
The problem with something along these lines is it's more likely to be a hindrance to law abiding citizens and won't particularly prevent Bad Stuff from happening.

Off the top of my head: a cook walking from their car to their workplace with a knife in their bag. A construction worker pulling out a knife to sharpen his pencil or cut some string, whatever. A flooring installer pulling out a Stanley knife to trim some linoleum. Things like that. Now these guys (and to be fair, women) can't do that? There needs to be some kind of exemption for workplaces, and frankly Khan should have noted that rather than just blurting out the soundbite he came up with. "there is never a reason to carry a knife outside of your home or workplace"-- how difficult is that?

The honest fact is that there are any number of reasons, up to and including simply 'habit' and 'just in case I need something sharp to do a random task'.

Regular people carrying knives isn't the problem. It's people doing bad things with knives that's the problem. Address the crimes and the criminals. How to do that? That's a separate issue, but a knife ban won't get the job done.

ugh. the cases you talk about are all already legal under UK law. And while soundbite =/= law, there's a big semantic difference between the use of 'carry a knife' in British English and 'transport a knife'.
I have transported chef knives. They are a clear set, not a single knife, wrapped up neatly in a tool wrap. Not exactly something I can pull out at a moment's notice.
I have transported hunting knives, axes, machetes, and various saws (I was clearing some alottements). Again, in a tool holdall, with a clear purpose and destination.

I carry a penknife because it is very useful, and UK law makes special exemptions for them. It also allows anything with a blade less then 3". This is not arbitrary, it's based on the ability to penetrate the rib cage.

More information here: https://www.trueutility.com/uk-knife-age-restrictions/
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Re: Knife Debate.

Post by LaCroix » 2018-05-25 06:58am

Is this law banning knives sent by mail up already, or not? I can't find anything definitive about it.
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Re: Knife Debate.

Post by Broomstick » 2018-05-25 07:39am

Well, sure, "transporting" something that is actually or potentially a weapon under secure circumstances where it obviously can't be used on a whim is a fairly common concept - here in the US one way you can do that is to put it in the trunk ("boot" for some of the rest of you) where the driver and passengers can't access it easily. Also applies to carrying alcohol in a vehicle. But there are other variations (like the above mentioned tool wrap).
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Re: Knife Debate.

Post by Korto » 2018-05-25 08:39am

I think you lot aren't quite seeing the way this law could be used. I wish the two cops we used to have (KS and, umm, the other bloke) were still regularly posting, so we could get their feelings, but here's what I think the cops could do with it.

They see someone making trouble, or some known troublemakers, and they're presented with, or invent, grounds for reasonable search. In that search, they find a knife. They can now confiscate that knife on the grounds of "It's a knife", and if the person feels they have good reason to be carrying a knife while drunk and disorderly, or a known gang member, or whatever, they can explain it to a judge. It wouldn't surprise me if things like screwdrivers may also be confiscated at the same time, and even if they're returned later as not being knives, the person still doesn't have it while roaming the streets that night.
Known troublemakers could find carrying knives becomes not worth it, as they keep on being confiscated, while ordinary citizens who don't cause trouble can wander around with a knife in their pocket, because there's no reason to search them and the cops don't mind them having a knife for lawful purposes.
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Re: Knife Debate.

Post by Simon_Jester » 2018-05-25 08:46am

There's something fundamentally flawed with the approach here, in my opinion.

Firstly, as noted, there are a wide range of jobs for which a knife blade is a necessary part of the job, and a large number of people perform various kinds of manual labor NOT directly connected to their job, and correspondingly need knives. As pointed out, the main effect of the knife ban is the police going "aha, criminals tend to carry knives, so if we make carrying knives illegal, we have an extra thing to charge habitual criminals with when we arrest them for jaywalking or loitering in public or whatever."

This kind of mindset does not, in my opinion, justify forcing everyone to have to be constantly cautious and wary about how they handle such a simple tool as a knife.

I mean, even if the city of London succeeds in banning knives (impossible since the supply of knives is vast, everyone uses them, and production will continue)... Criminals can just carry rocks. Or big pieces of wood. Or for concealability, screwdrivers (as noted). Or, hell, walk around carrying dictionaries; you can bludgeon someone pretty hard with a dictionary, especially if it's illegal for them to pull out a more effective self-defense weapon like a knife.

...

The mentality that we should prosecute crime by banning weapons may work for firearms but it becomes ridiculous when applied to common civilian tools used routinely for diverse purposes by the entire law-abiding population.
Korto wrote:
2018-05-25 08:39am
I think you lot aren't quite seeing the way this law could be used. I wish the two cops we used to have (KS and, umm, the other bloke) were still regularly posting, so we could get their feelings, but here's what I think the cops could do with it.

They see someone making trouble, or some known troublemakers, and they're presented with, or invent, grounds for reasonable search. In that search, they find a knife. They can now confiscate that knife on the grounds of "It's a knife", and if the person feels they have good reason to be carrying a knife while drunk and disorderly, or a known gang member, or whatever, they can explain it to a judge. It wouldn't surprise me if things like screwdrivers may also be confiscated at the same time, and even if they're returned later as not being knives, the person still doesn't have it while roaming the streets that night.

Known troublemakers could find carrying knives becomes not worth it, as they keep on being confiscated, while ordinary citizens who don't cause trouble can wander around with a knife in their pocket, because there's no reason to search them and the cops don't mind them having a knife for lawful purposes.
Speaking as an American, I can tell you from experience that this doesn't work very well.

Firstly, it becomes a tool for the police to disproportionately harass not just "known troublemakers," but 'literally anyone they don't like.'

Secondly, it becomes a tool for the police to disproportionately harass racial minorities who are stereotyped as being criminals. If carrying knives is illegal in Australia, but the normal practice is for the police to only search people for knives if they are "known troublemakers," then I can tell you that carrying knives will soon become a privilege extended to most though not all white Australians, and relatively few Aborigines or foreigners. Because this kind of thing happens all the time in America, mostly to blacks but to a lesser extent to Latinos. Similar arguments apply to London, with different racial and economic minorities.

Thirdly, there is something profoundly dishonest about saying "there is never a reason to carry a knife outside XYZ," and passing laws against carrying knives outside XYZ, when what one really means is "carrying knives is fine, as long as you're one of those people our law enforcement agencies tacitly agree are One Of The Good People."
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Re: Knife Debate.

Post by madd0ct0r » 2018-05-25 08:58am

Simon_Jester wrote:
2018-05-25 08:46am
There's something fundamentally flawed with the approach here, in my opinion.
yes, it's fabricated clickbait and not what is actually happening.
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Re: Knife Debate.

Post by Simon_Jester » 2018-05-25 11:37am

To be clear, are you saying the "no excuses: there is never a reason to carry a knife" quote is fabricated? Or is it not fabricated? Has it been taken out of context?
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Re: Knife Debate.

Post by Crazedwraith » 2018-05-25 11:52am

It's a real tweet

And one that links to a more complex plan to tackle the current violence that just 'ban knives'
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Re: Knife Debate.

Post by TheFeniX » 2018-05-25 12:06pm

I fucking hate Twitter.

Ugh, I can't just one line this post. More to the point, I hate how we've taken a huge problem with politics (among other things), the "Soundbite," the "one-liner," the "Yes we Can!" kind of bullshit and made an entire platform built around the concept. And that platform is so incredibly popular.

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Re: Knife Debate.

Post by Zixinus » 2018-05-25 02:49pm

The stupidity of the quote is the idea that knives cause knifecrimes and the idea of a knife as some sort of seperate assault weapon.

The most common knives used in crime are kitchen knives. They are cheap, sharp enough and durable enough, while most importantly, available. There are idiots and thugs that will buy special military/martial/hunting knives. But the thing is that while these are better for combat than kitchen variety, they are not exponentially so. Especially on a one-use factor. Combat knives are primarily about being tougher, not necessarily deadlier. Thing is, if a kitchen knife brakes when it is stabbed into a person, they are already stabbed. There is no "musket versus assault rifle" argument to be made here.

Then there are stuff like machetes and long knives, even swords. There are reasonable laws that can be enacted about such however, with laws that probably already exist.

The thing is that unlike guns, knives are genuinely tools, especially the pocket variety. Why do you think they make pocket knives? Are we going after boy scouts now? Farmers?
The counter-point as far as I can see it run 'criminals don't obey the law' and 'We need our own knives for self-defense!' While I can see the appeal of wanting to defend yourself while on the other hand I really do question the effectiveness. Like people attacked are going to go all action hero and busting to a perfectly choreographed fight sequence to defend themselves, as I see it, there's not much difference between being stabbed in the back having a knife in your pocket or not. The attackers always got the advantage of initiative right?
The problem is that it is a false equivalency and possible false comparison with guns.

Against a gunman, the most practical defense is taking cover and/or getting out of the gunman's line if sight. For a civilian, the best weapon is another gun because shooting down the gunman will disable them (this is not always possible as seen in Las Vegas killer). The only tools to take down tend to be either very bulky things like ballistic shields (or outright tanks) or special stuff like smoke grenades. Or simply more & bigger guns, with more people to wield them. Look into much effort it can take to take down a sniper, lot more guys or overwhelming firepower.

The best defense against a knife-wielder is to not let that person in stabbing range, either disabling them before they attack or keeping them out of their range (again, running away). Another knife is a stupid defense because the most you can do stab the person back or, if you are lucky, serve it as a deterrent. A long stick is better because you can attack the person before they stab you. Even pepper spray is good because the knife-wielder will be blinded. Which means that more serious weapons than knives are required to defend against a knife-man.

If two people have a knife and fight, there is a legit chance that they'll stab each other or one walks away bleeding to death. Deterrence is questionable because of conceal-ability and anyone attacking you with a knife is already likely making irrational choices. The possibility of both winding up dead is good, barring hospitalization. Knife fights are messy and chaotic affairs with reason, something most martial artist will have a serious respective fear for and avoid if they can.

If the attacker is determined to kill you (or genuinely does not fear you), then it is very difficult to stop them from stabbing you. Unless you have serious martial arts training and genuine practice (there is a lot of bullshit about anti-knife defense), you are unlikely to stop a knife-wielder by hands alone. However it IS possible and not every knife-wielding thug actually know what they're doing. Even if you have the martial arts, things can go wrong.
Am I just silly and/or naive?
The thing about this silliness is that you are wholeheartedly importing the American gun non-debate talking points into a very different situation. Knives are not guns. Guns are not knives. Guns are almost exclusively weapons. Knives are not.

The problem is inter-city gang violence. The problem is thugs and such that want a weapon and in Britain, the most they can (usually) get is a knife. These people will get anything they can conceal. Trying to take away their knives or go after their knives is not completely without logic but rather desperate. Not to making policy a "guilty until proven innocent" situation that practically asks for police abuse and racial profiling.

The solution is better policing and going after the criminals rather than their tools, if not the root cause of the actual violence. But that cannot be done in a soundbite.
Oh I agree with that and said so myself. I just don't see a problem with treating a symptom for short term relief while going after the root cause.
And what if there is NO relief from the law? What if the law is passed purely as a politician's effort to shine themselves and give empty reassurances, while actually making law enforcement's job more difficult and direct their efforts away from the actual root cause?
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