31 May 2005 09:51:23
Lee Bell
First guns, then knives, then sticks?

The New York Times
May 27, 2005

British Medical Experts Campaign for Long, Pointy Knife Control

By JOHN SCHWARTZ

Warning: Long, pointy knives may be hazardous to your health.

The authors of an editorial in the latest issue of the British Medical
Journal have called for knife reform. The editorial, "Reducing knife crime:
We need to ban the sale of long, pointed kitchen knives," notes that the
knives are being used to stab people as well as roasts and the odd tin of
Spam.

The authors of the essay - Drs. Emma Hern, Will Glazebrook and Mike Beckett
of the West Middlesex University Hospital in London - called for laws
requiring knife manufacturers to redesign their wares with rounded, blunt
tips.
The researchers noted that the rate of violent crime in Britain rose nearly
18 percent from 2003 to 2004, and that in the first two weeks of 2005, 15
killings and 16 nonfatal attacks involved stabbings. In an unusual move for
a scholarly work, the researchers cited a January headline from The Daily
Express, a London tabloid: "Britain is in the grip of knives terror - third
of murder victims are now stabbed to death." Dr. Hern said that "we came up
with the idea and tossed it into the pot" to get people talking about crime
reduction. "Whether it's a sensible solution to this problem or not, I'm not
sure."

In the United States, where people are more likely to debate gun control
than knife control, partisans on both sides sounded amused. Wayne LaPierre,
executive vice president of the National Rifle Association, asked, "Are they
going to have everybody using plastic knives and forks and spoons in their
own homes, like they do in airlines?"

Peter Hamm, a spokesman for the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence,
which supports gun control, joked, "Can sharp stick control be far behind?"
He said people in his movement were "envious" of England for having such
problems. "In America, we can't even come to an agreement that guns are
dangerous and we should make them safer," he said.