Monday, December 06, 2010

Knife-rights advocates hope to build on successes

Illegal knives confiscated in New York City
The gun-rights lobby receives most of the attention in the debate over carrying weapons, but recent victories in Arizona and New Hampshire have given new life to its cousin, the knife-rights lobby. "Its vision is a knife-friendly America, where blades are viewed not as ominous but as tools — the equivalent of sharp-edged screw drivers or hammers — that serve useful purposes and can save lives as well as take them," Marc Lacey of The New York Times reports. (Photo by Hiroko Masuike)

Arizona, once considered an anti-knife state recently liberalized its regulations so that "everything from samurai sword to a switchblade can be carried without a quibble," Lacey writes. New Hampshire recently lifted a ban on switchblades, stilettos, dirks and daggers. Knife-rights advocates don't claim knife fights and knife attacks are not a concern, but say "the problem is with the knife wielder, not the knife itself ... sounding very much like those who advocate for gun rights," Lacey writes. D’Alton Holder, a veteran knife maker who lives in Wickenberg, Ariz., explained, "People talk about how knives are dangerous, and then they go in the kitchen and they have 50 of them."

"Knife advocates contend that the Second Amendment applies to knives as well as guns," Lacey writes. "They focus their argument elsewhere, though, emphasizing that knives fill so many beneficial roles, from carving Thanksgiving turkeys to whittling, that they do not deserve the bad name they often get." Urban areas remain the prime advocates of tighter knife control, Lacey reports. Knife rights advocates hope success in Arizona will help broaden the conversation. "Arizona is now the model when it comes to knives," Todd Rathner, the lobbyist for Knife Rights Inc., told Lacey. "We’re now going to be moving to other states, probably in the Rocky Mountains and the Southeast. There’s probably half a dozen or more places that are ripe for this." (Read more)

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