The UK is in the midst of an epidemic of knife attacks so, naturally, the idea is being floated to ban them.
Crown Court Judge Nic Madge said in a speech that there should be a nationwide program to file down the points of large kitchen knives and to ban their sale.
Judge Madge told the assembled judges, barristers and court staff: “These offences often seem motiveless – one boy was stabbed because he had an argument a couple of years before at his junior school.”
He said laws designed to reduce the availability of weapons to young would-be offenders had had “almost no effect”, since the vast majority had merely taken knives from a cutlery drawer.
He said: “A few of the blades carried by youths are so called ‘Rambo knives’ or samurai swords. They though are a very small minority.
“The reason why these measures have little effect is that the vast majority of knives carried by youths are ordinary kitchen knives. Every kitchen contains lethal knives which are potential murder weapons.
“Accordingly, it is very easy for any youth who wants to obtain a knife to take it from the kitchen drawer in his home or in the home of one of his friends.”
Why stop at banning kitchen knives? Let’s get to the root of the problem and ban kitchens.
He asked: “But why we do need eight-inch or ten-inch kitchen knives with points?
“Butchers and fishmongers do, but how often, if at all, does a domestic chef use the point of an eight-inch or ten-inch knife? Rarely, if at all.”
“Acknowledging that any blade could cause injury, the judge pointed out “slash wounds are rarely fatal.”
So, he said: “I would urge all those with any role in relation to knives – manufacturers, shops, the police, local authorities, the government – to consider preventing the sale of long pointed knives, except in rare, defined, circumstances, and replacing such knives with rounded ends.
“It might even be that the police could organise a programme whereby the owners of kitchen knives, which have been properly and lawfully bought for culinary purposes, could be taken somewhere to be modified, with the points being ground down into rounded ends,” he said.
When I was a kid in suburban Chicago, an old Italian guy would sometimes troll up and down the tree-shaded streets pushing a cart and calling out to the housewives to bring their knives and scissors out to be sharpened. I think this judge has hit upon a brilliant scheme to create jobs. Think how many knife sharpeners would have to be hired to file down the point of every large kitchen knife in America.
Obviously, scissors would be next on the judge’s list. Or colanders. Have you ever hit someone over the head with a colander? Gruesome.
The list is endless: spatulas, whisks, apple corers, egg slicers. And lets not forget the original deadly kitchen weapon: the rolling pin.
Everything but the kitchen sink. (Come to think of it…)
One thing’s for sure: that British judge thinks like an American gun control advocate and would feel right at home among their number.