Xun Zi said: “A person is born with feelings of envy and hate. If he gives way to them, they will lead him to violence and crime, and any sense of loyalty and good faith will be abandoned.” We live in a dangerous world, full of evil, violence, crime, and malcontent. We live in a country that is obsessed with violence, and guns. According to the FBI, in 2011, there were approximately 8500 murders committed using guns. Bless the good President Obama, and the Democrats for rushing to enact gun control; for we are in dire straits. But what about other weapons? What is being done to stop the violence of knives?
According to ABC News Houston:
“A stabbing attack on the Lone Star College Cy-Fair campus Tuesday left more than a dozen people injured…The Harris County Sheriff’s Department confirmed there were 14 victims. Four patients were taken by Life Flight to Memorial Hermann Texas Trauma Institute and two more patients were transported by ground ambulance…Two of the victims are listed in critical condition…’According to the statement the suspect voluntarily gave investigators, he has had fantasies of stabbing people to death since he was in elementary school. He also indicated that he has been planning this incident for some time,’ the Harris County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement.”
Steven Maida, an eye-witness, reported the following horror: “I didn’t see him hit anybody, I just saw girl walk out with hole in her cheek. One girl had a hole in her neck, and this other guy had cuts on the back of the neck, and the other guy had a slice on the neck.”
This incident is a grave reminder that knives are dangerous and shouldn’t be in the hands of those who would use them maliciously. According to the FBI statistics on violence in the United States, 1,694 people are murdered each year by knives of varying kinds. That statistic does not include knife-related violence where victims survive. Expanding the data pool using FBI statistics: in 2010, there were 152,195 attempted robberies and aggravated assaults using knives or cutting instruments. Finally, for a statistical comparison, BCS estimates that in the UK, roughly 169,000 people were injured in knife-related crimes in 2005/2006.
In short, violent crime involving knives is a compelling problem. The UK–unlike the US–has done something about it. After England essentially–and rightfully–outlawed guns, violent crime using knives has risen sharply. In response, England has tried to reduce the incidents of knife-related crime by enacting numerous laws.
According to the Telegraph: “The Restriction of Offensive Weapons Act 1959 banned the carrying, manufacture, sale, purchase, hire or lending of flick-knives and ‘gravity knives’. The Criminal Justice Act 1988 contained a list of prohibited martial arts-style weapons and made it an offense to carry an article with a blade or sharp point in a public place. The Offensive Weapons Act 1996 made it illegal to sell knives to children under 16. The Knives Act 1997 prohibited the marketing of combat knives.” However, in spite of the numerous laws restricting guns and knives, crime still occurs in the UK. I am flabbergasted.
The United States needs to follow England’s lead and enact laws to prevent the wrong people from owning knives. I have some suggestions:
1. Universal background checks for those purchasing knives (that includes purchases made through undocumented distributors at Home Shows, Tupperware parties, and television Ginsu knife sales).
2. Banning knives longer than 2 inches in length (special permits could be offered to chefs, unless they have murderous intent).
3. Psych evaluations for those intent on purchasing knives (perhaps Rorschach tests, word associations, and Sodium Pentothal).
4. Placing “Knife Free Zone” signs on college and high school campuses; therefore completely protecting students from knife violence.
5. Outlawing concealed carry of knives, so that criminals cannot conceal knives on their person without breaking the law.
6. Increase the price of knives. If they’re too expensive, people won’t buy them.
7. Initiate a “knives for cash” buyback program. People with cash are more happy than people with knives, and therefore less likely to kill.
8. Only allow the sales of pre-cut meats and vegetables; making knives irrelevant.
9. Reduce, eliminate, or make illegal the display of knife violence in movies, on TV, and in video games. This will protect our children from the notion that sometimes, people use weapons.
10. Discourage or ban woodworking in high school shop class so that our teens won’t figure out how to whittle anything into a sharp object, resembling a knife or blade.
These are just a few of a litany of ideas on how to reduce knife violence in the United States. We have a responsibility to take every means of perpetrating violence out of the hands of those who would act to harm us. This incident in Texas is a grim reminder that we have a long way to go in the battle for knife control.
Next up on the agenda: hand and fist control. How do we keep hands and fists out of the hands of those who would use them with malicious intent? I have several ideas:
1. Place “No Fist Zone” signs in every household.
2. Cut off everyone’s hands.
3. Replace hands and fists with soft gripping tools.
4. Increase taxes on everyone who possesses hands. If they’re more expensive, people will be less likely to use them.
5. Discourage the display of hands in movies, TV, and in video games.
We can’t stop at knife control; we must eliminate all means of violence. Without a weapon, people are generally pretty decent; and crime could be eliminated if we act quickly. According to the FBI, in 2010, there were 315,868 robberies and aggravated assaults in the United States using hands, fists, and feet.
It’s time to make a push for hand control. Next on the agenda…