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Time to start banning knives

Various cooking knives.
Various cooking knives.
By WLU (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

In the wake of the mass stabbing at Franklin Regional High School in Murrysville, Pennsylvania a lot of disingenuous comparisons are being drawn to U.S. gun laws. Conservative pundits everywhere are treating this as a "call to sarcasm" and ironically suggesting we ban knives since it wasn't a gun this time. The problem is they don't realize how ironic their suggestion really is.

In most of the United States there are very strict laws on what knives can and can not be carried, transported, made or sold. Every state sets even further limitations and every locality even more.

The standard "rule of thumb" is that the blade in a pocket knife shouldn't be more than 4 inches, or the width of your palm, but some are even more strict than that. In Ballwin, Missouri the maximum length of blade you can carry is 2.5 inches, which does not make for a very useful tool.

What matters here is the law in Murrysville, Pennsylvania, though. Pennsylvania state law is pretty strict on knives, or weapons of any kind. Their offensive weapons statute outlaws anything "which serves no common lawful purpose."

It is illegal to even own any dagger, spring-loaded knife or sword cane. It is illegal to own any implement for the infliction of bodily injury, which serves no “common lawful purpose,” most likely ruling out any sword unless "collector" has been ruled to be a lawful purpose in previous case law.

The point is, carrying those two 8 inch knives to school was already illegal. That kind of makes you look stupid when you sarcastically call for a ban on knives.

Knives are already banned, for the most part. There's much more regulation on them than there is for guns, anyway.

And yes, this stabbing happened anyway. But how often do you really hear about mass stabbings? Is it truly an honest comparison?

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