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home : opinions : opinions
April 22, 2018

4/13/2018 7:29:00 AM
Knife control, life control

If you want to know exactly what the true goals of gun-control activists are, one need look no farther than London, England.

Far more progressive than the United States - meaning they are further down the path to complete government control of daily life - the city has now embarked on a serious campaign for, yes, knife control.

The UK already has some of toughest gun restriction laws in the world. Handguns are banned and even some air guns, and, for all other firearms, citizens must have a "good reason" to have them. Its effective confiscation of firearms compares more favorably to a dictatorship than to a democratic society.

As a result of all this, Great Britain has one of the lowest gun homicide rates in the world.

How nice, except there's just one teeny-weeny problem: A low gun homicide rate does not translate into a low overall homicide rate, especially in a city like London.

This past month, in fact, London's murder rate surpassed that of New York City's for the first time. London logged 15 murders in February, 22 in March, and an astounding 47 total so far in 2018.

This must be troubling for a city in which virtually no one has a gun. It must be even more troubling to have a murder rate in almost gunless London that surpasses that of a famous shooter's haven, New York.

So what gives?

Well, it seems the good folks, ur, the bad folks of London who wanted to commit crimes of violence and could not access a gun resorted to knives instead. Murderers using knives have sliced and diced their way to 31 homicides in London in 2018 alone.

Naturally, the mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has a plan to curb knife violence: He wants to get rid of the knives. Much like gun control activists in America, he wants to deal with one type of violence rather than with violence itself.

What he has in mind is the effective confiscation of knives. Here's how he put it on Twitter: "No excuses: there is never a reason to carry a knife. Anyone who does will be caught, and they will feel the full force of the law."

So that useful Swiss Army Knife you carry around in your car, with its magnifying glass, scissors, bottle opener, screw driver, and cuticle pusher, could just land you in prison. Obviously that is a terrorist's toolkit.

The mayor wants to do even more: His tough and immediate measures include a ban on the home deliveries of knives and acid (yes, there have been acid attacks, too) and expanding law enforcement stop-and-search powers.

So if you just ordered a new set of Wustoff steak knives online and you live in London, they just might be delivered by Britain's equivalent of our SWAT teams - you know, the full force of the law, and all that.

The situation in London is important for several reasons.

First, it absolutely lays bare the real goals, both short- and long-term, of all these government "control" laws, be it gun control or knife control: It's confiscation. In the long run, the government doesn't really care about gun control, or knife control; what the government wants is people control.

The government's mission is to take away all weapons so that only the government has weapons. After all, the disarming of citizens is a classic prescription for totalitarianism. The first thing dictatorial regimes do is take away the peoples' weapons so they cannot resist tyranny.

London proves this is the case. In Britain, anti-gun advocates long ago succeeded in taking away guns from people on the grounds that public safety trumped any right to self-defense. Indeed, Britain decided, there was no right to any gun ownership. Even sporting rifles and such are tightly regulated and considered a privilege.

Get rid of the guns, British officials claimed, and we'll get rid of the violence. And that they did, only the violence has continued, and it is increasing wildly.

Of course, as in the United States, gun rights activists argued that the type of weapon was immaterial; violent people capable of doing evil will find a violent format, and will creatively resort to other means when access to certain weapons is foreclosed.

And that's what happened in London. No guns? No problem. There's always a knife, or acid, or poison, or a truck, or a bomb.

Still, even after seeing the pro-gun rights' argument validated, the mayor of London and his supporters continue to insist on attacking the type of weapons used in violence, rather than the cause of the violence itself.

They attack the gun in "gun violence" and the knife in "knife violence" rather than focusing on the violence. To put it in a grammatical context, they want to repeal the modifier but leave the root subject in place.

Well, you can eliminate as many adjectives as you want, but if you leave the noun in place, you've still got the problem. A grisly murder is still a murder, even when you shed its grisly descriptor.

Of course London is just the absurd exclamation point on what has been true all along, for evidence has existed for decades that guns are not the problem and gun control isn't the answer, and that, at least at the top of the political food chain, confiscation of all weapons from the people is the real goal.

For example, according to the Crime Prevention Research Center, between 2009 and 2015, the U.S. ranked only 11th in the annual death rate from mass shootings, behind countries with much tougher gun laws such as France and Norway, and 12th in the frequency of mass shootings.

And where guns have disappeared, there's much higher rates of all those other types of mass violence - the knife, the acid, the poison, the truck, the bomb.

Here's another thing. As the Daily Caller recently pointed out, FBI statistics show that, in 2016, knives were used in 1,604 murders in the U.S., while rifles - the weapon of choice in mass shootings - were used in only 284 murders.

So, if officials here were really interested in ending violence, why haven't they already called for knife control? Why do they neglect the evidence from other countries and from our own?

Let's be clear. No government official wants to see mass violence of any kind, and we don't claim that they do. It's just that getting to the root cause of that violence - mental illness, dysfunctional home lives, drugs, the culture of poverty - is a lot more complicated than simply calling for the weapon of the day to be banned.

Besides, banning the weapon of the day takes government closer and closer to its ultimate goal: Life control.

First, guns, then knives, then what next to ban? Fertilizer? Certain types of vehicles? Baseball bats? Golf clubs?

With each decree, the government takes ever more control of our daily lives, until ultimately the people are left with no decisions to make about their own lives, and no way to object to the decisions the government makes for them.

Powerless to resist, stripped of dignity and defense, the people must comply.

Public safety is important, but a society that sacrifices its liberty and personal freedom for the sake of safety leaves no one ultimately safe from the tentacles of oppression. At the end of that dark day, no one would be secure from the government gulags and the government gallows, each of us sitting as spectators to the other's horrors, awaiting our own long-since-sealed fate.





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