British Medical Journal: Ban Long Knives
Kyle Becker | On 26, Dec 2012
What writer Mark Steyn has rightly called the “stupid and contemptible” public discourse on gun control in this country is getting even “stupider and contemptibler” overseas. The U.K. has once again done America a solid by providing a glimpse of the country’s Oceanic future: British medical “experts” are calling for kitchen cutlery control.
That’s right, America’s transatlantic in-laws, twice removed, have taken to contemplating a long knife ban in order to reduce the number of fatal stabbings.
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.
As this graphic suggests, why don’t we ban baseball, since baseball bats are a leading killer, according to the FBI? How about stairs? Motor vehicles? Alcohol, anyone?
Fast-food doctors need to stick to treating knife wounds, which they know something about, instead of opining about matters of social science. The hyper-sensitive quacks’ call for a long knife ban displays in the clearest manner imaginable that ideas matter. In fact, why don’t we have a government board look into the length of scalpels and see if they aren’t to blame for any recently botched surgeries?
If people believe that inanimate objects kill, and that banning possibly deadly inanimate objects reduces crime, then sky’s the limit (ban high mountains, also). However, if each person has free will, and thus every person should be held individually accountable for his actions, then the course of action is to punish crime. Crime prevention becomes a matter of probable cause, based on the supposition that each person is innocent until proven guilty (in the case of unlawful gun use, 99.7% of gun owners are innocent).
If we extended the logic of the gun control and knife control set out to its reductio ad absurdum conclusion, there should be no such thing as prison and no such thing as crime. It’s always society’s fault or that of an inanimate object. That is truly absurd, right?
What happened at Newtown, Connecticut was horrific, and as someone who lives near Sandy Hook and sees the playgrounds nearby still flying flags at half-mast, it is haunting. But for something else that is disturbing, witness this video of the maniac who assailed small children with a knife at a China school on the very day of the Newtown shooting.
More news that got lost in the public’s mourning of Newtown is that a shooting at a movie theater in San Antonio, Texas was halted by an off-duty police officer who was working at the theater. This makes the call for increased police presence at schools all the more plausible as a deterrent, although the residents of local communities should decide if they want to pay that cost.
An article discussing the recent news about a Seattle mall shooter, who killed two people and injured another, goes into why the killer did it (and also divulges that the shooter had stolen his AR-15 semi-automatic rifle). It gives some background statistics on random mass murders that give much-needed context:
On average, there are about 20 mass murders every year, and the trend has been steady since the 1970s, said James Alan Fox, a professor of criminology at Northeastern University in Boston and author of five books on mass murder. [...]
“The rarest form of mass murder is the completely random shooting,” Fox said. “Those perpetrators tend to be younger (in their 20s). They are more likely to have profound mental health issues, as opposed to the older guy who is quite sane, knows exactly what he is doing, and just decides that life is miserable.”
The random shooter, Fox said, feels “the whole world is unfair, someone has to pay, and it doesn’t matter who.”
The root cause of human violence is always psychological in nature, since people are not automatons who react automatically to their environments. Whether or not someone chooses to use a gun, a knife, a gas can and match, a truck full of fertilizer, or even an airplane used as a missile, mass murderers will always find a way to kill, provided they have the motive and the moral cowardice to take their rage out on innocent people.
H/T Becca Lower