[Paleopsych] NYT: British Medical Experts Campaign for Long, Pointy Knife Control
Lynn D. Johnson, Ph.D.
ljohnson at solution-consulting.com
Tue May 31 04:01:29 UTC 2005
Next on the agenda: Large, dangerous rocks must be outlawed. But when
rocks are outlawed, only outlaws will have rocks.
Premise Checker wrote:
> British Medical Experts Campaign for Long, Pointy Knife Control
> [Switch blades have long been illegal in New York State, so precedents
> for knife control in this country are already in place.]
> 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
> 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.
> The authors of the editorial argued that the pointed tip is a
> vestigial feature from less mannered ages, when people used it to
> spear meat. They said that they interviewed 10 chefs in England, and
> that "none gave a reason why the long, pointed knife was essential,"
> though short, pointed knives were useful.
> An American chef, however, disagreed with the proposal. "This is yet
> another sign of the coming apocalypse," said Anthony Bourdain, the
> executive chef at Les Halles and the author of "Kitchen Confidential."
> A knife, he said, is a beloved tool of the trade, and not a thing to
> be shaped by bureaucrats. A chef's relationship with his knives
> develops over decades of training and work, he said, adding, "Its
> weight, its shape - these are all extensions of our arms, and in many
> ways, our personalities."
> He compared the editorial to efforts to ban unpasteurized cheese.
> "Where there is no risk," he said, "there is no pleasure."
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