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UK: Reducing knife crime, We need to ban the sale of long pointed kitchen knives
British Medical Journal ^ | 05/28/05 | editorial

Posted on 05/27/2005 7:27:55 AM PDT by Pikamax

Reducing knife crime We need to ban the sale of long pointed kitchen knives

"Britain in the grip of knives terror—third of murder victims are now stabbed to death." Daily Express, 31 January 2005 "Stabbing rampage kills one, injures five—a large kitchen knife was found." Independent, 24 December 2004

Violent crime in the United Kingdom is increasing; figures from London show a 17.9% increase from 2003 to 2004,1 and one easily accessible weapon used in many incidents is the kitchen knife. Unfortunately, no data seem to have been collected to indicate how often kitchen knives are used in stabbings, but our own experience and that of police officers and pathologists we have spoken to indicates that they are used in at least half of all cases. UK government statistics show that 24% of 16 year old boys report carrying knives or other weapons and 19% admitting attacking someone with the intent to harm.2 Although other weapons—such as baseball bats, screwdrivers, and chains—are also carried, by far the most common weapons are knives.3 In the United Kingdom in the first two weeks of 2005 alone, 15 murders were attributed to stabbings and 16 other non-fatal attacks.4

To tackle this increasing problem, various measures are being considered by the government, particularly targeting the adolescent age group. These include raising the minimum age for purchasing a knife from 16 to 18 years and allowing head teachers the power to search pupils for knives.5 However, not all crimes are committed with newly purchased knives, and every household and home economics department in schools contains a plethora of readily available weapons. The modern stainless steel kitchen knife has a high quality blade that makes it unnecessary to look further for another lethal weapon.

Most domestic kitchen knives are based on two designs, the dagger variety with a pointed tip—for example, vegetable knife or carving knife—and the blunt round nose variety—for example, bread knife. When using a knife to harm, a blunt nosed knife is unlikely to cause serious injury, as penetrating clothing and skin is difficult with it. Similarly an assault with a knife with a short blade such as a craft knife may cause a dramatic superficial wound but is unlikely to reach deep structures and cause death. A dagger type knife, however, can penetrate deeply. Once resistance from clothing and skin is overcome, little extra force is required to injure vital organs, increasing the chance of a fatality (likened to cutting into a ripe melon).6

As knives are so readily available, does a culinary reason exist for so many domestic knives to be of the dagger variety, or are we just sticking to tradition? Knives as we recognise them were made first from copper and bronze between 3000 and 700 bc, and some are very similar in design to those used today. Personal eating knives were first used in Britain in the 14th century and became commonplace during the 1800s when manufacturing processes improved.7

Knives were used to spear meat, lifting it from plate to mouth, so pointed tips were vital for this function. Also, with repeated sharpening of a flat blade, a pointed tip inevitably develops. However, now domestic knives do not need sharpening, and numerous other kitchen utensils can be used to spear food. The current practice of eating with forks and blunt ended table knives was introduced in the 18th century to reduce the injuries resulting from arguments in public eating houses. In 1669, King Louis XIV of France noted the association between pointed domestic knives and violence and passed a law demanding that the tips of all table and street knives be ground smooth.8 Today many households have a block of kitchen knives of which several will be of the long pointed variety.

Perhaps the pointed kitchen knife has a culinary purpose that we have failed to appreciate? We contacted 10 chefs in the UK who are well known from their media activities and chefs working in the kitchens of five leading London restaurants. Some commented that a point is useful in the fine preparation of some meat and vegetables, but that this could be done with a short pointed knife (less than 5 cm in length). None gave a reason why the long pointed knife was essential. Domestic knife manufacturers (Harrison-Fisher Knife Company, England, personal communication, 2005) admit that their designs are based on traditional shapes and could give no functional reason why long pointed knives are needed. The average life of a kitchen knife is estimated to be about 10 years.

Many assaults are impulsive, often triggered by alcohol or misuse of other drugs, and the long pointed kitchen knife is an easily available potentially lethal weapon particularly in the domestic setting. Government action to ban the sale of such knives would drastically reduce their availability over the course of a few years. In addition, such legislation would make it harder to justify carrying such knives and prosecution easier.

The Home Office is looking for ways to reduce knife crime. We suggest that banning the sale of long pointed knives is a sensible and practical measure that would have this effect.

Emma Hern, specialist registrar in emergency medicine, Will Glazebrook, specialist registrar in emergency medicine Mike Beckett, consultant in emergency medicine


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events
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1 posted on 05/27/2005 7:27:55 AM PDT by Pikamax
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To: Pikamax

My Gawd...This isn't a joke.


2 posted on 05/27/2005 7:29:38 AM PDT by Dallas59 (" I have a great team that is going to beat George W. Bush" John Kerry -2004)
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To: Pikamax

Yep! Just can't have those long pointed things running around creating havoc. Do you think sterlization would work??? (Give me a break!!!)


3 posted on 05/27/2005 7:30:51 AM PDT by Virginia Queen (Virginia Queen)
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To: Pikamax
However, now domestic knives do not need sharpening, and numerous other kitchen utensils can be used to spear food.

And people. Might as well ban all pointy objects...

This is absurd. Next they'll try to ban large rocks.

4 posted on 05/27/2005 7:31:13 AM PDT by frogjerk
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To: Virginia Queen

Just wait until those eggheads figure out files and grindstones can be used to make blunt knives into sharp tipped ones.

They'll clamor for a law banning files too.


5 posted on 05/27/2005 7:32:42 AM PDT by boofus
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To: frogjerk
Next they'll try to ban large rocks.

Would that be the large rocks you use to kill people with or the large rocks you use to sharpen your blunt knives on?

6 posted on 05/27/2005 7:33:16 AM PDT by randog (What the....?!)
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To: Pikamax

Give them back their gun rights and the knife problen will go away.


7 posted on 05/27/2005 7:33:21 AM PDT by Sunshine Sister
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To: Pikamax

If well-balanced, high carbon stainless pointed chef's knives are outlawed, then only outlaws will have well-balanced, high carbon stainless pointed chef's knives.


8 posted on 05/27/2005 7:33:34 AM PDT by Buck W. (Yesterday's Intelligentsia are today's Irrelevantsia.)
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To: Pikamax

need a 5 day waiting period.
ban so called "saturday night" blades
and liablity lawsuits must be filed.


9 posted on 05/27/2005 7:33:45 AM PDT by FlatLandBeer
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To: Sunshine Sister

Oops. Should be "probelm."


10 posted on 05/27/2005 7:34:41 AM PDT by Sunshine Sister
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To: Sunshine Sister

Sigh! Problem.


11 posted on 05/27/2005 7:35:18 AM PDT by Sunshine Sister
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To: Pikamax

What about the melon baller crisis in Britain? I have several friends in the UK who have been attacked with intent to garnish.


12 posted on 05/27/2005 7:36:20 AM PDT by Buck W. (Yesterday's Intelligentsia are today's Irrelevantsia.)
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To: Pikamax
Knife roundup. Are screwdrivers next ?
Unpleasant thoughts to be confiscated ?
13 posted on 05/27/2005 7:38:28 AM PDT by Eric in the Ozarks
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To: Pikamax
"What if he has a pointed stick?"

"Shut Up! Now, how to defend yourself from a man armed with a banana..."

14 posted on 05/27/2005 7:38:43 AM PDT by jonascord (What is better than the wind at 6 O'clock on the 600 yard line?)
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To: randog
Next they'll try to ban large rocks.

Would that be the large rocks you use to kill people with or the large rocks you use to sharpen your blunt knives on?

Both.

15 posted on 05/27/2005 7:38:47 AM PDT by frogjerk
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To: frogjerk
And people. Might as well ban all pointy objects...

And that would certainly include the authors of this report.

16 posted on 05/27/2005 7:39:28 AM PDT by doc30 (Democrats are to morals what and Etch-A-Sketch is to Art.)
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To: Pikamax
What about pencils, pens, rulers, and scissors which are all known to be weapons that can kill? HUH? DUH? OMG, we will have to strip all the schools in America of pencils, pens and rulers!

The MSM is out of its mind reporting such idiocy about knives. How can they report this nonsense with a straight face? Even a small pen knife could be used to kill.

Did you happen to see the films "The Bourne Identity" and "The Bourne Supremacy?" One film showed the protagonist using a Bic pen to defend against a knife attack. In the other film, Jason Bourne used a rolled up magazine to kill an attacker. No big deal. I was taught by a CIA operative to kill with pens, pencils, magazines and newspapers when I was just a child. A magazine is a very nasty weapon in the hands of someone who knows how to use it.

17 posted on 05/27/2005 7:40:06 AM PDT by ex-Texan (Mathew 7:1 through 6)
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To: doc30
And people. Might as well ban all pointy objects...

And that would certainly include the authors of this report.

Was thinking the same thing when I wrote that... ;)

18 posted on 05/27/2005 7:40:09 AM PDT by frogjerk
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To: Pikamax

First they came for our guns. Then they came for our sharp, pointy objects. Next person suffocated the'll come for our pillows. And, oh yeah, our cars (CO2, ya know). Oh, and our safes in upper floors. Dang, it's becoming harder and harder to off someone in today's world.


19 posted on 05/27/2005 7:41:12 AM PDT by Inwoodian
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To: Pikamax

Wooden baseball bats are next, then heavy chairs.

Finally, only rubber knives and eating utensils will be allowed.


20 posted on 05/27/2005 7:41:26 AM PDT by ZULU (Fear the government which fears your guns. God, guts, and guns made America great.)
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To: ex-Texan
UK: Reducing knife crime, We need to ban the sale of long pointed kitchen knives,

Blunt objects and human hands will be banned next...

21 posted on 05/27/2005 7:41:44 AM PDT by frogjerk
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To: Pikamax; MadIvan

This would be hilarious if it wasn't so sad.


22 posted on 05/27/2005 7:44:17 AM PDT by jimt
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To: Pikamax
We suggest that banning the sale of long pointed knives is a sensible and practical measure that would have this effect.

Inevitably the word "sensible" from a prohibitionist is followed by the most idiotic ideas imaginable. I wonder do these people have their brains sucked out at birth or do their delusions of adequacy come from excessive use of recreational chemicals?

23 posted on 05/27/2005 7:46:31 AM PDT by from occupied ga (Your government is your most dangerous enemy, and Bush is no conservative)
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To: ZULU

The government will eventually ban eating utensils and establish a new civil service to chew people's food for them.


24 posted on 05/27/2005 7:46:43 AM PDT by Mr. Lucky
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To: ZULU

I've thought baseball bats, hell, the whole game should have been outlawed years ago.


25 posted on 05/27/2005 7:47:10 AM PDT by MarkeyD (<a href="http://www.johnkerry.com">Loser</a>)
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To: Pikamax

Kitchen knifes now, ping pong paddles next.

Will the insanity ever stop?

The apes are in control Mr. Heston


26 posted on 05/27/2005 7:48:27 AM PDT by SunnySide (Ephes2:8 ByGraceYou'veBeenSavedThruFaithAGiftOfGodSoNoOneCanBoast)
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To: Buck W.
What about the melon baller crisis in Britain?

Its worse than you think. Undergound and in back rooms they are referred to as "gougers."

27 posted on 05/27/2005 7:51:31 AM PDT by Phantom Lord (Advantages are taken, not handed out)
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To: Dallas59

I had to double-check the source! I thought this was from Scrappleface! Un-freakin'-believable! What's next? Nail files? Attack of the manicurists!


28 posted on 05/27/2005 7:52:51 AM PDT by Polyxene (For where God built a church, there the Devil would also build a chapel - Martin Luther)
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To: Dallas59

Yup, on the level alright.

So, how's about banning automobiles? Those things kill thousands of people annually.

Good Lord Almighty, when does this kind of thinking cease?

This proposal makes about as much sense as blaming rain on wet streets.

Cheesh.


29 posted on 05/27/2005 7:55:26 AM PDT by RexBeach ("Anyone can see what's wrong, but can you see what's right?" -Winston Churchill)
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To: Pikamax

"Pointed stick kitchen knives? Oh, oh, oh. We want to learn how to defend ourselves against pointed stick kitchen knives, do we? Getting all high and mighty, eh?
30 posted on 05/27/2005 7:59:41 AM PDT by Stultis
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To: Pikamax

They'll have to pry my Henckels out of my cold, dead fingers.


31 posted on 05/27/2005 8:00:38 AM PDT by EggsAckley
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To: Stultis

"When Butcher knives are outlawed, only Butchers will have knives"

Mandatory Cooking School for people who want thses knives in their kitchens.


32 posted on 05/27/2005 8:02:59 AM PDT by massgopguy (massgopguy)
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To: Pikamax
Potential felon, armed and dangerous.....


33 posted on 05/27/2005 8:03:38 AM PDT by Uncle Fud
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To: Pikamax

Think of the havoc you could create if you had a knife and an SUV!!


34 posted on 05/27/2005 8:04:54 AM PDT by River_Wrangler (You can't be lost if you don't care where you're at !)
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To: Mr. Lucky

Kind of like the Department of Pre-crime.


35 posted on 05/27/2005 8:15:02 AM PDT by Eric in the Ozarks
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To: Pikamax

Geebus H. Soupfig! :-(

I'm not sure whether this is more stupidity than insanity...or more insanity than stupidity...or perhaps equal [and quite incomprehensible] measures of both...but it is SO sad to see how far the once-free people of no-longer-Great Britain have fallen...:'-(


36 posted on 05/27/2005 8:19:08 AM PDT by FYREDEUS (FYREDEUS)
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To: Pikamax

Another asinine case of "it's the weapon, not the perp."
What's next -- nerf hammers or pillows with emergency air supplies.


37 posted on 05/27/2005 8:19:58 AM PDT by Dionysius
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To: Pikamax
As knives are so readily available, does a culinary reason exist for so many domestic knives to be of the dagger variety?

Britain has gone totally, merrily, insane.

38 posted on 05/27/2005 8:27:49 AM PDT by Lazamataz (The Republican Party is the France of politics.)
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To: Pikamax
As knives are so readily available, does a culinary reason exist for so many domestic knives to be of the dagger variety?

Britain has gone totally, merrily, insane.

39 posted on 05/27/2005 8:27:51 AM PDT by Lazamataz (The Republican Party is the France of politics.)
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To: Inwoodian
First they came for our guns. Then they came for our sharp, pointy objects. Next person suffocated the'll come for our pillows. And, oh yeah, our cars (CO2, ya know). Oh, and our safes in upper floors. Dang, it's becoming harder and harder to off someone in today's world.

The minute they banned guns, the murder rate in England went to zero.

The minute they ban knives, the murder rate in England will go to zero, again.

40 posted on 05/27/2005 8:29:48 AM PDT by Lazamataz (The Republican Party is the France of politics.)
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To: Pikamax; Darksheare; Darkchylde; scott0347; timpad; KangarooJacqui; The Scourge of Yazid; ...

This isn't a Troll post.

Just weigh in and spread mayhem!

;-)


41 posted on 05/27/2005 8:37:44 AM PDT by tiamat (Can't sleep...clowns will get me..can't sleep...clowns will get me...can't sleep....clowns will get)
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To: Mr. Lucky

Yeah. And they will get four swallows for each mouthfull they chew up.


42 posted on 05/27/2005 8:39:22 AM PDT by ZULU (Fear the government which fears your guns. God, guts, and guns made America great.)
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To: frogjerk

Why don't we just ban eating! Then there would be no need for those darn pointy objects. The human race would die. Henceforth, no more global warming, yaddy yaddie..yaddie...yaya and the liberals will be happy!


43 posted on 05/27/2005 8:40:32 AM PDT by Conservative Texan Mom (Happy to Homeschool)
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To: Pikamax

The English aren't exactly recognized for their cuisine, so I suppose it wouldn't matter. If it was france, there'd never be any discussion. Gotta give the frogs credit for something.


44 posted on 05/27/2005 8:45:47 AM PDT by AmericanChef
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To: Pikamax

I question his basic assumption that a cook only needs a small blade parer and a rounded tip bread knife. A large 'chefs' knife is needed to debone a chicken, to cut up vegetables and onions, to fillet a fish. A big knife can also push the stuff in the pot from the cutting board. I can't use a tiny knife for that. What about cleavers to cut large boned meat? I'm sorry, I can't cook without my Henkels knives.


45 posted on 05/27/2005 8:54:56 AM PDT by sportutegrl (Huh?)
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To: Lazamataz
The minute they banned guns, the murder rate in England went to zero.

Your either being sarcastic and forgot the tag, or you truly have no idea what your talking about.

Aside from murder by firearms, the rate of crimes committed with a firearm in England skyrocketed after the gun ban. And England is a freaking ISLAND!

46 posted on 05/27/2005 9:06:07 AM PDT by Phantom Lord (Advantages are taken, not handed out)
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To: jonascord
"....What if he has a pointed stick?"

"Shut Up! Now, how to defend yourself from a man armed with a banana..."

I was thinking the same thing...I love that MP skit...

47 posted on 05/27/2005 9:14:09 AM PDT by Chinito (6990th Security Group, RC-135/Combat Apple, Class of '68)
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To: tiamat
Most recent laws are so ridiculous that everybody is noticing now.

There is still gas and rags
why haven't they banned those?



48 posted on 05/27/2005 9:36:59 AM PDT by Lady Jag (Googolplex Star Thinker of the Seventh Galaxy of Light and Ingenuity)
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To: Pikamax

I've been expecting this call...wonder what they'll want to ban next? Pencils? Knitting needles? brooms? Frying pans?


49 posted on 05/27/2005 9:39:19 AM PDT by Knitting A Conundrum (Act Justly, Love Mercy, and Walk Humbly With God Micah 6:8)
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To: tiamat

Silver Hammers are the real threat. Ask any of Maxwell's victims.


50 posted on 05/27/2005 9:40:26 AM PDT by Conspiracy Guy (Caution. Contents under pressure.)
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