Monday, 14 July 2008

Knife carriers aren't the problem; psychopaths stabbing people are.

The last couple of days have seen increased hysteria regarding the apparent problem of 'youths' carrying knives. It seems that many of our politicians can't differentiate between someone carrying a knife, for which there are many genuine purposes, and someone stabbing someone else, which is a horrific crime.

As so often seems to be the case, politicians just can't identify the root problem, and instead pursue sweeping legislation that impacts on civil liberties but does little to combat the problem. For example, the Tories claimed today that "more knife carriers should go to prison". Firstly, there aren't enough prison places and secondly, someone should go to prison for carrying a knife that they can get from Sainsbury's for a couple of quid?

Jacqui Smith, our Home Secretary, claims that hospital visits for youths caught carrying knives will "make people realise that there is nothing glamorous about carrying a knife, it doesn't help you to be more safe and you will end up in serious trouble. I just think that's a better way of making people face up to the consequences of action and making them more likely not to carry knives again in the future." Again, the problem is not kids carrying knives, it is psychopaths and sociopaths stabbing people.

When I was a kid I carried a pen knife a lot of the time. We played in the woods, we made stuff, whittled branches, used them for mdelling and we even tried using them as throwing knives at targets for fun... but no one I knew would ever pull one out to use as a weapon against someone else.

Nor is it clear why there is a sudden interest in the media in this issue, or whether it is getting better or worse. According to the Telegraph, the only numbers available for youth related knife crime come from "the questioning of around 600 under-25s about whether they had been "knifed or stabbed" in 2007. It's not even a statistically valid number.

Last week it was already reported that the police were stopping and searching more people and even running stop and search campaigns, but apparently this isn't enough. Labour's police state agenda is marching on, and perhaps we can see the real reason for the sudden interest in stopping people from carrying knives, rather than stopping people from being homicidal.... Gordon Brown wants 'greater stop-and-search powers'. Of course our media is valiantly ramping up the hysteria of 'someone must do something!', giving the Government yet another easy ride towards diminishing our freedoms.

Yup. Stop and search isn't working, so what we need is more of it. Finding out what these mysterious new powers will be seems rather difficult though.

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