THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE
Number 426, July 15, 2007
"Get a rope."
Credit The Libertarian Enterprise
First an apology. The Dolly Parton CD referred to in the article Triviality last week is Heartsongs, not Heartland. It's from a live concert and is really quite good. She combined forces with Altan for "Barbara Allen."
Now to the point of this article. When we talk about problems with statists trying to disarm people we usually talk about gun control. How about addressing knife control once in a while?
My home state of Texas, for example, more or less bans the public carrying of knives longer than somewhere between five and a quarter and five and a half inches, double edged knives, throwing knives, and switchblades (which may or may not include balisongs, Texas law can be incredibly obscure on this issue and many others). Texas then throws in so many ifs, ands, or buts at the whole thing it would take two Houston law firms to figure it all out.
Basically what it gets down to is the cops can take you in if they want to and have excuses for letting you walk if they don't. This is a recipe for tyranny, strongly mitigated by Texan and Texican anarchistic tendencies. Check your own state and applicable Federal laws and I'll bet you find the same situation, only with more oppressively consistent enforcement.
Knives are necessary tools for so many daily chores, even ones you must carry out away from home. Sometimes these chores require the use of large knives. They are also reasonably useful defensive weapons. Texas is big enough that people must travel overland vast distances without police protection, so knife (and other weapon) laws are relaxed for travellers. On the other hand acrimophobia (the fear of sharp objects) is relatively widespread. So we end up with knife laws with a split personality. All things being equal, knife laws tend to become more oppressive and less rational over time, just like a person with such a huge psychic contradiction.
Admittedly guns are more effective as weapons and politically significant as weapons, but don't the 2nd, 9th, and 14th Amendments as well as Article 6, Section 2 of the Constitution protect knives as well as guns? Don't people see that submitting to knife control sets precedents for gun control and vice versa?
More importantly, isn't it time to put those who would disarm their law abiding neighbors on the defensive and show that in many ways they are as criminally inclined as the evil doers they claim to be trying to restrain?
P.S. I know L. Neil Smith and others don't like my habit of making excessive references to the 14th Amendment. However, I'm more interested in swamping the other guys' arguments in court than ideological purity and philosophical exactness. Just look at it as taking an engineer's point of view rather than a scientist's on dealing with the law and Constitutional theory.