Knife Rights News Slice – WE DID IT!

Knife Rights News Slice Vol. 2 Number 19 – October 13, 2009

Knife Rights Changing Perceptions

Ritter (left), Gottleib (right)The weekend before last I was invited to speak at the annual Gun Rights Policy Conference put on by the Second Amendment Foundation and the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms. While I was there, I took the opportunity at their annual awards luncheon to make a special presentation to CCRKBA President, Alan Gottleib.

When this issue with Customs first reared its ugly head, Alan and the Citizens Committee were the first to step up in support of our efforts to achieve a legislative solution when it became clear that nothing else would work. CCRKBA helped to the tune of $30,000. Lest you think that covered all the expenses, let me assure you that it DID NOT, but it was a HUGE help. Alan also offered his wise counsel at critical junctures. In recognition of this major commitment, I was very pleased to present Alan with a custom Mini Eros Gentleman’s Tactical Folder generously donated by renowned knifemaker, and Knife Rights Cornerstone member, Ken Onion.

My remarks later in the day, which focused on the fact that the Second Amendment doesn’t say “firearms,” it says “arms,” apparently struck a chord with the nearly 700 participants. When it came time for resolutions, which guide the two organizations in terms of policy, my points were reflected in a historic change to one recurring resolution and the introduction and acceptance of a second.

The “Farmer” resolution was originally passed at the first GRPC twenty four years ago. This year it was amended to say that “an attack on any class of arms is an attack on all classes of arms,” in recognition that knives, as well as other arms, are due equal protection. This represents something of a watershed event for Second Amendment policy which heretofore has focused almost exclusively on firearms.

Jeff Knox of The Firearms Coalition was inspired to introduce a new resolution, which was adopted, that reads, “Whereas: The banning of any personal tool or weapon has never resulted in increased public safety,…We support the repeal of the Federal Switchblade Act and any other federal, state or local laws and regulations banning tools and weapons rather than addressing behavior.” Jeff’s heart is in the right place, we all know the Federal Switchblade Act was simply political theater and a sham, but the reality is that after 50 years as law of the land a legislative solution eliminating it is unlikely. However, it’s the thought that counts and it once again is indicative of a historic change in attitude. Jeff’s resolution is a strong statement of support for the concept that tools and weapons should not be blamed for social ills or criminal behavior and neither should they be regulated or banned for those reasons.

You can read the complete text of the two resolutions at: grpc2009resolutions.pdf

Common Sense Isn’t Very Common at Downes Elementary

Just in case you haven’t caught it on the national news or online, the latest example of nonsense involving no-tolerance excess and knives was featured in a New York Times article published on Sunday and involves a 6-year-old student.

Zachary Christie, a bright, highly regarded, and well-behaved first grader, was suspended and now faces 45 days in the school district’s reform school for bringing to school his “camping utensil” that includes a knife, fork and spoon. Young Zachary was reported to be so excited about recently joining the Cub Scouts that he wanted to use his camping multi-function tool at lunch. When it fell out of his pocket at school, the sheeple at the school apparently went off the deep end.

We can debate the reasonableness or lack thereof of zero-tolerance policies that leave no room for reason or common sense, but one thing that seems unrefutable is that policies such as this teach our youth that tools such as knives are weapons first, not tools that reasonable and responsible members of society can and should be free to use. Is there any question why so many kids today grow up without ever being around a pocket knife or, even fearing them?

Be Prepared, But Not At This School

In another zero-tolerance action, a17-year-old Eagle Scout Honor Student in upstate New York received a 20-day suspension for keeping a well-equipped survival kit, including a pocketknife, locked in the trunk of his car. Matthew Whalen, a senior at Lansingburgh Senior High School, clearly lives by the Boy Scout motto to “be prepared.” His car is stocked with a sleeping bag, water, food and the 2-inch bladed knife, which was given to him by his grandfather, a police chief in a nearby town.

After discovering the knife locked in his car, he was suspended him for five days. An additional 15 days was added after a hearing. Now his dreams of attending West Point may be dashed by over-zealous school administrators. One hopes that West Point has the common sense to see beyond this one blot on his record, but given the intense competition…

Read articles about Matthew’s situation here and added details here.

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Copyright 2009, Knife Rights, Inc.
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