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Why did you form Knife Rights?

We organized Knife Rights in December of 2006 as a result of an article that appeared in the Wall Street Journal article (read the WSJ article in PDF format (1 MB download) or in standard web format as published in another paper). This article served as the catalyst that focused our attention on the threat. We recognized that those with an anti-knife agenda strategically planted the seeds for this article with a reporter they knew would likely end up writing it with the slant they were looking for. Research reveals he’d been their pawn before, writing numerous anti-firearms articles. By doing so those opposed to freedom significantly escalated the stakes. That isn’t being paranoid; it’s simply how the system works.

That article went unanswered in a timely manner by any of the existing knife organizations. When existing organizations finally responded it was too late and never appeared in the newspaper or in any of the papers that subsequently re-published that article. This suggested to us that knife owners weren’t adequately organized at the grassroots level. Had an article like that dealing with firearms appeared in the Wall Street Journal, the NRA and other grassroots Second Amendment organization would have been all over it within 24 hours. We felt that if we didn’t get organized as knife owners, it would only be a matter of time before articles and attacks such as this resulted in more and more attempts at legislating what we can own and carry. If we just waited until the crisis occurred, it would be too late. We recognized the need to get started organizing the grassroots in order to be ready when the time came. You cannot build up an organization overnight that is to be a political force to be reckoned with. If you wait until it’s needed to protect our freedoms, it’ll be to late.

That turned out to be a sound strategy. Because we had an organization and plan in place a few years later, when the first federal effort to restrict knives (in modern times) occurred with no warning and little time to organize opposition (Customs’ Pocket Knife Grab in May of 2009), Knife Rights was ready to fight and, with cooperation from our partners and others, succeed in preventing it from infringing on our knife rights.

By building a larger and more effective advocacy organization we will be prepared for the future fights that are sure to come. By establishing an aggressive legislative agenda and pursuing it to the benefit of our members and all knife owners we are better prepared for future fights. It is far better to be well prepared to oppose such attempts ahead of time than to be scrambling to do so with no clout. It’s far better to take action than to always be reacting and on the defensive. You also cannot always depend upon prevailing with logic and rational arguments. Education is often not enough when the enemy is driven by emotions, not reality. Sometimes the only thing that matters is how many letters you can deliver to a legislator’s or congressman’s office. Even as a young organization, we have proven that we can deliver the goods.

Knife Rights’ major successes to date (June 2010):

  • Congress Amends Federal Switchblade Act
    to Protect Assisted and One-Hand Openers
    Read More…
  • Arizona Knife Preemption Law
    First in the Nation – Launches National Knife Law Preemption Campaign
    Read More…
  • New Hampshire Knife Rights Bill
    Legalizes Switchblades, Dirks, Daggers & Stilettos
    Read More…

“The price of freedom is eternal vigilance.”
— Thomas Jefferson