Politics, Foreign Policy, Current Events and Occasional Outbursts Lacking Couth

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Britains Ridiculous Knife Control

An increase in fatal stabbings has led to a staggeringly short sighted bit of proposed deterrence.

Rather, says Dr Beckett, it's a possibility for design to help save lives.

"Car manufacturers constantly refine their product to make them less likely to cause harm. Razor blades have been redesigned so as not to slit your throat.

"Kitchen knives could be redesigned so that they retain their cooking function, but are not lethal. But as it stands, you can go into a supermarket and buy for £10 something that's a murder weapon - no questions asked."

And a redesigned kitchen knife can be easily modified back into a lethal weapon. A $40 angle grinder and five minutes is about all one would need. In fact it's not hard at all to imagine Dr. Beckett's proposals become reality and a nifty little niche of black marketeering is born. I suppose Dr. Beckett would then suggest banning or altering angle grinders?

(Nod to Whited Sepulchre. and Nick M.)


Adrian said...

Most criminals are too stupid and/or lazy to go through that much work to create a weapon. If they have a gun or knife lying around, they'll use it, if not they'll swing a pipe instead and the victim will get a bruise instead of a cut. It'd be perfectly possible to get a firearm even in an environment with heavy gun control like the UK, but most criminals don't because it's difficult and expensive. Something like redesigning kitchen knives seems like it would have zero cost and would probably have a good benefit.

Flagg707 said...

Hmmm. I hate to disagree with Adrian, but a general survey of prison weaponry indicates that criminals are quite motivated and competent in the narrow areas of arming themselves - - click thru the pics using the tags on the top right.

Jay@Soob said...

Adrian, a few decades ago a member of my extended family (I never knew her) was murdered with a pipe. If the pipe becomes the weapon of choice should the British then instill regulations on density and weight of metal piping? How far should this "treat the symptom" mentality go?

Michael, I thought much the same. Building a deadly stab instrument out of newspaper was not some scientific epiphany.

Adrian said...

It's better that a knife is the weapon of choice than a gun, and it's better that a pipe be the weapon of choice than a knife. Eliminating all violence everywhere is a false goal, but you can reduce it fairly simply by having simple controls on weapons - trigger locks, background checks, maybe safer knives. The fact that inmates can make knives out of anything doesn't mean prisons would be safer if everyone was issued a switchblade, and prisons are pretty unique places anyway.