Knife fight

As sure as night follows day when you give petty bureaucrats the authority to regulate something they will inevitably try to expand their powers and ban more things. The Obama administration wants to ban more kinds of knives:

Hunters, whittlers and Boy Scouts, beware – your knives may soon be on the government’s chopping block.

The Obama administration wants to expand the 50-year-old ban on importing “switchblades” to include folding knives that can be opened with one hand, stirring fears the government may on the path to outlawing most pocket knives.

Critics, including U.S. knife manufacturers and collectors, the National Rifle Association, sportsmen’s groups and a bipartisan group of lawmakers on Capitol Hill, say the rule change proposed by Customs and Border Protection (CBP) would rewrite U.S. law defining what constitutes a switchblade and potentially make de facto criminals of the estimated 35 million Americans who use folding knives.

“Boy Scout knives, Swiss Army knives – the most basic of knives can be opened one-handed if you know what you are doing,” said Doug Ritter, executive director of Knife Rights, an advocacy group fighting to defeat the measure.

“The outrage is gaining steam,” he said.

This is a silly and pointless fight to take on. Banning more types of knives will not increase public safety. In fact there is really no justification to banning traditional switch blades. If anything we should be getting rid of these knife regulations, not expanding them.

I teach knife safety for both Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts. Any knife can be dangerous when not wielded safely. How it opens is irrelevant except for the consideration that the harder a knife is to open or close the more likely you are to hurt yourself with it.


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