On Sunday morning, London’s Muslim Mayor Sadiq Khan responded to violence throughout Britain’s capital by declaring that no person in London should carry a knife. Seriously.
“No excuses: there is never a reason to carry a knife,” Khan tweeted. “Anyone who does will be caught, and they will feel the full force of the law.”
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. https://t.co/XILUvIFLOW
— Mayor of London (@MayorofLondon) April 8, 2018
Along with this message, Khan included a blog post about mayoral efforts to fight violent crime. The mayor listed a few rather interesting crime prevention efforts that could be termed “knife control.”
- Knife wands are now available for every school in London to help keep young people safe, with 150 schools so far taking up the offer
- The widely shared London Needs You Alive campaign brings together role models and youth influencers to send a positive message to young people – that they shouldn’t put their lives at risk by carrying a knife
- The Mayor is working to bring in more Safer Schools Officers to help to drive down knife crime in schools
Some of these efforts seem quite reasonable and wise. After all, London has seen more than 50 homicides already in 2018, and most of the city’s murder victims have been stabbed to death, as guns have been effectively banned. If the trend for the last few months continues, London will surpass the 130 murders in 2017, reaching a number not seen since the early 2000s.
In February and March, London actually recorded more homicides than New York City for the first time in modern history.
Even so, Sadiq Khan seems to have demonized knives in the same way many on the Left in America demonize guns. That particular phrase in the “London Needs You Alive” bullet — “they shouldn’t put their lives at risk by carrying a knife” — sounds rather excessive.
Contrary to Khan’s declaration, there are quite a few valid reasons to carry a knife. PJ Media has compiled a list of five below.
1. Transporting a knife.
Knives are a common kitchen item: from the flimsiest plastic butter knife to the sharpest serrated steak knife. As with all other human tools, knives wear out and need to be replaced. Does Khan really think Londoners should have “no excuse” to carry a knife right after purchasing one at the store? Would London cops see a knife in an unopened package and confiscate this dangerous weapon?
Steak knives, silver knives, and exotic knives of all kinds often make excellent gifts. Suppose a British person is walking down Baker Street with a knife wrapped up around Christmas time. Has this person put his or her “life at risk”?
2. A vocation with knives.
Many people work with knives, and not just chefs in a restaurant. Movers often have to wrap up various objects — and later cut open the boxes, bags, or other wrappings. Bartenders, electricians, and farm workers constantly need a knife.
Butchers employ knives of all kinds. Even secretaries and office workers use pen knives.
Would all of these people be prevented from taking knives outside their offices? Many of them need to use knives outside, and they may need to move from one place to another with their work tools.
3. Eating food.
Perhaps most obviously, people of all kinds — men, women, boys, girls, Muslims, Christians, atheists, everyone — need knives to prepare food. They use knives to spread butter, cut cake, slice through steak. Everyday citizens use a knife to cut an onion, prepare various herbs, and dice garlic. Some people may even go outside so as to avoid crying when cutting an onion.
Children will often carry knives in their lunch bags or lunch boxes. Adults bringing lunch to work often carry knives. This may make abundant sense, but really, who would ever want to “put their lives at risk by carrying a knife”?
4. A handy pocketknife.
Even if the average citizen may not have a job requiring knife use — in moving, bartending, or a butcher shop — boys and girls of all ages carry pocketknives for everyday use. Fraying threads or shoelaces, particularly difficult plastic wrapping, and various cardboard boxes received in the mail all require knife use of some kind.
Many pocketknives include various tools useful in all kinds of situations: bottle openers, small scissors, screwdriver heads, and more. Does a tiny blade alongside such useful nifty tools constitute a life threat?
5. Outdoor activities.
Knives are essential for hiking, camping, and various outdoor activities, as any good Boy Scout knows from experience. When eating outdoors, a knife comes in handy. A stray tree branch can become almost anything if a talented whittler is equipped with a knife.
Sadiq Khan may not personally know the joys of camping, but does he really intend to make these kind of outdoor activities off limits for all the citizens of London?
Knives are an essential human tool, useful for everything from carving up a delicious medium rare steak, to whittling a piece of wood, to opening a box of crackers, and to spreading butter on toast.
The London mayor’s remarks are offensive, not just to all the little boys and girls who may enjoy the outdoors, but to the hardworking men and women who need a knife in their daily work.
Khan’s suggestion that “there is never a reason to carry a knife” proves that a certain kind of person will always respond to tragic violence by blaming the weapon a villain uses rather than the heart responsible for irrational evil. In the United States, the Left blames guns. In London, Khan blames knives. If knives were banned, perhaps some enterprising Leftist would suggest a ban on pens — which, after all, can slice a person’s jugular.
An undeniable wickedness in the human heart leads some people to hate, bully, oppress, and kill. Morality and law exist to curb this inherent vice, and no amount of laws against weapons will prevent those who give vent to their inner demons from doing serious harm to the innocent around them.
London’s officials should try to make the streets safe, but there are myriad “excuses” to “carry a knife” that have nothing to do with attacking someone or self-defense from any expected attack. Britons should expect Sadiq Khan to know better.