We also attended a local show, the Arizona Knife Collectors Association Show in Mesa, Arizona, and thanks to Pete who again pitched in to help at the table. Despite being a much smaller show, we signed up just about the same number of members as we did at Blade West.
Local knife and gun shows are the grassroots of the industry and everyone who attends is a potential Knife Rights member. Iâ€™d like to encourage you to get a table at your local shows to help spread the word. In most cases, organizers are happy to provide one at no cost. In some cases, Knife Rights may help with costs. Weâ€™ll be happy to provide a package of buttons, handouts and applications, all you have to do it contact your local show and make arrangements for a table. Please contact us if youâ€™re interested.
I cannot do it all myself. I cannot attend every local knife or gun show. The success of Knife Rights in this early stage requires more than just paying your membership. YOU are an important part of the drive to sign up members. These local knife and gun shows are a great way to accomplish that. Email us at shows@KnifeRights.org if youâ€™re interested and weâ€™ll help you get it done.
Just Posted â€“ Required Reading for Knife Owners
We recently added a new article to the Knife Rights web site. This article by Evan Nappen, a noted Second Amendment lawyer, provides a guide to what to do, and what NOT to do, if you find yourself in trouble with the law over your knife. This should be required reading for any knife owner.
Second Amendment to Supreme Court
In the past few months there have been some interesting developments on the legal front. The Supreme Courtâ€™s decision to accept District of Columbia v. Heller (formerly Parker v. District of Columbia) for review will likely have a very significant impact on your right to own and carry your knives. We originally published an article on that case, which is still up on the site at http://tinyurl.com/2wz22x.
Now that the Supreme Court will in fact weigh in on this issue, it is like just about anything else that ends up in court, the outcome is hardly a sure thing. It doesnâ€™t matter that the decision being appealed is well founded and supported by ample logic and evidence. No matter how strongly you feel about the Second Amendment protecting your right to "keep and bear arms,â€ which includes knives, a majority of those nine judges could just as easily reject the logic and make a decision that could virtually wipe away the protections many of us are confident that this amendment guarantees. An adverse decision would set the stage for not only more anti-weapon laws, but could also be the beginning of the end of the generally accepted right to self-defense that most Americans enjoy, and which is hardly universal elsewhere in the world.
Even if the Supreme Court upholds the decision, that’s hardly the end of it. While this would add considerable weight to efforts to oppose or rescind other laws and regulations that might infringe on these rights, many will still have to be challenged and work their way through the system. Moreover, the Antiâ€™s will continue to try to pass laws and regulations restricting our rights in some manner or other to get around any ruling. These fanatics are not the sort to give up, but it would become just a bit easier to fight them.
On the other hand, if the decision goes against us, the stage will be set for a major political fight. The push would be on for both federal laws and a 28th amendment that clearly and with no ambiguity guarantee citizens both the right to keep and bear arms and to self defense while the anti’s and their European supporters would be pushing to capitalize on their good fortune with more restrictive laws. For now, itâ€™s a waiting game. Prayer is about the best you can do for now.
Our Neighbors to the North
Historically, many restrictive laws work their way from Europe to North America first via our neighbors to the north. Canada already makes it difficult to import some knives. Many Canadian customs agents seem to be anti-knife and go to extraordinary lengths to interpret their laws to keep many commonly available pocket knives from entering the country. To add insult to injury, there is a move afoot now to further restrict, at a national level, knife ownership and carry. The Canadian Federal Justice Minister announced this Fall that he was looking at new knife laws, noting that Canadians are far more likely to be assaulted by someone with a knife than someone with a gun. An interesting development considering what an unmitigated disaster Canada’s gun registration laws have been.
Across the Pond
Type "knife crime" into Google and you’ll be swamped with stories and articles from the U.K. with truly terrifying examples of the virtual police state that exists there with regards knives. Involuntary magnetometer scans at train stations, the underground (subway) and pubs are becoming common. In some cases, police are literally stopping citizens on the streets. The Royal Armouries, which just happen to have one of England’s most extensive collection of knives, has launched an anti-knife web site, No To Knives at: http://www.ntk.org.uk/ I’m sure you’ll find the message encouraging, or perhaps not. This type of web site underscores how the Web can be used to work against rational thought.
The issue isn’t that these crimes using knives as weapons are not a problem in the U.K., the issue is that the solution of banning knives doesn’t address the root problem. Once again we see a society that prefers to blame the tool instead of the instigator, because that’s a lot easier than solving the real problem. Throwing out the baby with the bath water has never solved any problems, but it sure does beat admitting to underlying difficulties with no easy or cheap answers. As always, society and law abiding individuals are the losers here.
What’s surprising is that even the Brits have figured it out, they just find it easier to ignore reality. According to a recently published report from the Centre for Crime and Justice Studies at Kingâ€™s College London, "enforcement and punitive action to tackle knife carrying and knife use, such as harsher sentences, fail to take account of the fact that it is `merely one expression of interpersonal violence. Success in tackling knife crime will only come with success in dealing with the underlying causes of violence, fear and insecurity."
A summary can be found here in the press release about the report: http://www.crimeandjustice.org.uk/knifecrimepr.html
The full report can be downloaded here: http://www.crimeandjustice.org.uk/opus439/ccjs_knife_report.pdf
It is worth noting further that, "according to official statistics the number of violent crimes involving knives in England and Wales has remained stable in recent years." In other words, as we have pointed out before, the whole "knife crime" epidemic in the UK is essentially a fabricated crisis. However, that’s never toped politicians from acting to take away freedoms and it continues unabated…and if the Anti’s have their ay, it will be coming to a U.S. city or town near you, you can be sure.
Most recently, the U.K has virtually banned the import, sale and rental of "samurai swords" from April 2008. Those who violate the law could face six months in prison, and a maximum fine of Â£5,000 (approximately $10,000). Exemptions (read that as a license required) will be allowed for rare, genuine Japanese swords valued by collectors, and also for the kinds of swords often used in martial arts. This comes on top of these previous moves in the past year:
- >doubling the maximum sentence for knife possession from two to four years creating a new offence of using somebody to store a weapon
- giving teachers powers to search students for weapons
- raising the minimum age for knife ownership to 18
On to Knife Rights administrative matters. Our donated membership card printer finally bit the dust and we’ve been hunting for a replacement that we can afford. We lost a couple auctions on Ebay, but finally managed to grab one just before Christmas. It will be here just after New Years. So, we’ll shortly be able to catch up on the past few months of new memberships.
Our small classified ad in the back of the NRA magazines is continuing to produce membership inquiries at a rising rate each month. We plan to keep that ad there for the foreseeable future. A very supportive article covering Knife Rights in the Surefire sponsored Combat Tactics magazine generated a very good response. We were also fortunate that the good folks at Brigade Quartermasters were kind enough to donate space for a Knife Rights advertisement in their catalog this Fall.
It’s time to start delegating, so we are looking for an editor to take over production of this News Slice newsletter. Our aim is to make this a more regular publication and that takes someone dedicated to the job. This is a great opportunity to make a difference and help Knife Rights grow. Please contact me at dritter@KnifeRights.org if you are interested.
As we approach our first anniversary, it renewal time for our earliest charter members. We’ll be contacting you by email. Please renew promptly; your membership dues are what allows us to continue to build this organization.
On a related note, we have recently received a few emails via the Knife Rights web site, but because the email of the sender was not entered properly, our response bounced. Please know we aren’t ignoring you, we respond to most emails within hours, but without a correct email, it isn’t going to get to you.
Become a Knife Rights Board Member?
As we promised when we founded Knife Rights, once membership started growing we would reach out to members for additional members of the Board of Directors. We are opening up two Directorships to the general membership.
We are looking for enthusiastic individuals willing to dedicate a significant portion of their spare time to Knife Rights, willing to travel to knife shows to represent the organization, and willing to work hard to develop this organization and protect our Knife Rights. This is an unpaid position.
The Nominating Committee consists of the existing Board of Directors. All submissions for a seat should be received no later than February 28. If you are interested in running for a seat on the Board, please submit a resume detailing your qualifications and a brief summary (not to exceed 500 words) of why you feel you should be elected. Qualifications are covered in the Bylaws at http://www.kniferights.org/KR_bylaws.pdf
Send your resume and summary to: board@KnifeRights.org
Knife Rights at the NRA
Knife Rights will have a booth at the NRA Annual Meeting in Louisville, Kentucky, May 16-18. Thanks again to KA-BAR who cooperated to allow us to get a really excellent location. If you are planning to attend, we could use some help to staff the booth. Please email me at NRA2008@KnifeRights.org if you’re interested in assisting.