Posts Tagged ‘knife ban’

Banning body armour: Another bright government initiative

March 22, 2010

Back in October of 2009 I wrote a post on the intent of British Columbia’s provincial government to pass legislation that would make body armour illegal for anyone other than a selected few – police and the like. Anyone else wearing it would be committing a criminal offense.

The move was supported and promoted (of course) by the police lobby as a great benefit to their crime fighting efforts.

At the time, I thought (and still do) that it was typically stupid legislation. But from the politician’s point of view it would allow them to say that they were being proactive in fighting crime, although in actuality the legislation would do nothing to reduce crime and violence on the streets. It would however manufacture a whole new class of criminal: body armour wearers – whether they were involved in actual criminal activities or not.

It was a given that the B.C . legislation as proposed would go through if the government wanted to proceed as it was unlikely that there would be much active opposition, as it would affect very few people on a personal level.

That seems to have been been the case, as the bill has passed 3rd reading in the provincial legislature, although it doesn’t appear to have been proclaimed yet.

Now a similar bill is being proposed in Alberta and it is interesting to see that at least one commentator has similar views about the need or value of this kind of legislation.

Body armour can in no reasonable way be described as a threat to public safety.

It is not a weapon.

The only form of self-defence more passive is curling up into a ball and begging for mercy.

If the province is determined to restrict convicted gang members from owning body armour, then let them pass a law allowing the Crown to ask a judge to make that ruling as part of post-incarceration conditions, such as existing restrictions on firearms ownership.

Further, it seems monstrously draconian to allow sales of body armour to only cops, EMTs and security guards.

The list of those able to purchase body armour should at the very least include any individual without a criminal record.

Can the province of Alberta in good conscience deny bulletproof vests to citizens at risk of criminal attack in our community, such as pizza delivery guys, cabbies driving at night and convenience store clerks in sketchy neighbourhoods?

That would be particularly ironic, given that the guy who first used the miracle fabric Kevlar to manufacture soft body armour was a pizza delivery guy who’d been shot on the job.

Regardless, I would expect that the legislation will proceed unimpeded in Alberta as it did in British Columbia.

It is interesting that last  year US Customs proposed a ban on any folder knives that could be opened one handed. In this case, the action by Customs was stopped in its tracks by public reaction. That was because Custom’s rule change would have made most of the current folding knives in the country illegal and that would have affected a massive number of people.

Which reinforces the rule that strength in numbers is always an effective strategy when it comes to dealing with politicians and the bureaucracy.

Now the threat of U.S. knife ban courtesy of their Customs agency

June 19, 2009

I’ve written a few times about proposed knife bans – usually in the UK, and unfortunately also in Canada – over concerns about sharp, pointy knives that could cut someone. No kidding. But I had always considered this to be the rantings of various nutbars. But now we see an actual threat to knife ownership in the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave (or the USA for short).

The U.S. Customs and Border Protection Agency is proposing a new definition that could be used to eliminate 8 of 10 legal pocketknives in the United States right now, according to activists who are gearing up to fight the plan.

The federal bureaucracy is accepting comments – written only – that must be received by June 21 before its planned changes could become final, but Doug Ritter of KnifeRights.org, said the implications of the decision would be far-reaching, since many state and federal agencies depend on the agency’s definitions to determine what is legal in the United States.

For a long time, those switchblades that have long stiletto blades that are spring-ejected powerfully from the side or end of the handle have been illegal in the United States, but now a review by the agency of its own approval in 2008 of a particular type of knife for import is raising serious alarms.

“They are saying that any knife that you can open quickly or any knife that you can open with one hand is therefore a switchblade,” Ritter told WND.

It really makes you wonder what is happening within the Obama administration, although I doubt that these are instructions coming down directly from the White House.

A possible explanation is that we are  seeing the reaction of a bureaucracy emboldened by how they interpret the current administration’s philosophy on governance and control.

………. the change came after the incoming administration of President Barack Obama reassigned some managers at the agency.

“What we do know is when the incoming administration reshuffled assignments at Customs, it moved the responsibility for knives and switchblades from one organization with Customs to a new organization,” he said. “That group has, as far we can tell, virtually no experiences, background or anything with knives.”

On the other hand it may be just the normal and ongoing practice of a federal bureaucracy that sets and changes regulations with seemingly little oversight and less concern about consultation with the public.

I wouldn’t hold out much optimism on the chance of getting the agency to withdraw their proposed regulation change unless some serious political pressure can be applied.

More info here.

Edmonton Mayor calls for a ban on large knives

February 25, 2009

Just when I thought that Toronto’s Mayor David Miller had a lock on bone-headedness with his calls for a total ban on privately owned handguns and the closure of approved shooting ranges as his official effort to stop gang crime in his city, we get Edmonton Mayor Stephen Mandel wanting a ban on large knives because of stabbing incidents in his bailiwick.

I guess this compares in brilliance to the Brits talking about banning “pointy knives”.

Do any of these people even try to put their brains in gear before they start moving their lips? Do they really think that these knee jerk reactions that they propose as legislation would really stop those people so inclined from performing violence on one another?

I think that I’ve probably said it before, but didn’t Cain kill Abel Sampson kill 1000 men with the jawbone of an ass? Now I’m beginning to wonder if it was a jawbone from a donkey or a deceased politician. (Oh, I know that there are some good ones out there, but there are enough turkeys spouting off in the media that they make them all suspect).

Anyway, the point is that if you want to inflict a fatality on someone there are as many ways to do it as you can possibly imagine. Whether it is a firearm, a large knife or a small knife, a baseball bat, a pointy stick or even the jawbone of an ass.

But we seem to get stuck with too many of these dickheads who feel they must impress the masses with their shallow and  intellectually challenged solutions to crime and violence while they totally ignore the root causes, presumably because they have no fricking idea of how to deal with the real issues.

And if I sound a bit snarly on this issue, it’s simply that I am fed up to my eyebrow level with these mental midgets who think the solution to the problems of crime and violence in the community is to put further restrictions on the law-abiding citizen all the while trying to convince the public that in some magical way it will deter the criminal element.

It’s always worked so well in the past, hasn’t it?

(Postscript)

Thanks to the commenter who kindly pointed out that it was Sampson that wielded the jawbone of an ass with such deadly effect and not Cain committing fratricide. So much for long repressed youthful sunday school memories.  The only thing that stuck with me about Sampson was the haircut.


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