On March 5, 2018, the Texas Tribune newspaper featured an article about Lori Brown, whose son Harrison was tragically murdered on the University of Texas campus last year by an individual who had previously been involuntarily committed to a mental institution, but who was inexplicably released. The murderer used a knife that at the time was prohibited from being carried. Now Brown is calling for the reinstatement of that same knife ban that didn’t prevent her son’s senseless murder. Moreover, it’s a ban that still exists on the campus where the murder was carried out.
There is no clearer repudiation of any knife ban than the fact that the knife used in the murder of Harrison Brown was illegal to carry at the time of his murder. That didn’t stop this severely deranged individual from committing murder. And, let’s not lose sight of the fact that murder is, itself, a capital offense. Criminals are never dissuaded from committing criminal acts by laws or weapons-free zones. Reinstating bans will not be any more effective at stopping some future violence using any knife, banned or not.
Knife Rights Chairman Doug Ritter said, “We cannot begin to comprehend Mrs. Brown’s grief. It is understandable that this grieving mother would want to do something to address the cause of her son’s murder, but restricting the freedom of law-abiding Texans by reinstating clearly irrational and ineffective bans on some particular type of knife is not a solution.”
Brown, in a telephone conversation last Tuesday afternoon with Knife Rights Director of Legislative Affairs, Todd Rathner, also suggested she would seek restrictions on sales of some types of knives and perhaps licensing of individuals and/or background checks to purchase or possess certain types of knives. With the vast majority of violence committed with knives being accomplished with common kitchen knives, available in any home, restrictions such as these make no sense.
That antiquated knife ban which prohibited carry of knives with blades over 5 ½ inches in length, or a Bowie knife, among other types of knives, was repealed last year, after that tragic murder, by an overwhelming vote of the legislature. In a limited number of locations, knives with blades over 5 ½ inches remain prohibited, including at schools which is where the murder occurred. The enactment of that legislation allowing Bowie knives to be carried was recently celebrated with the presentation by Knife Rights of a custom Texas Heritage Bowie to Governor Greg Abbott.
That this clearly mentally unstable and dangerous individual was let back out on the streets without his mental health problems being adequately addressed is the serious problem that needs to be focused upon. Bans do not address this societal problem.
Ritter said, “We can only hope that Mrs. Brown can be persuaded to channel her determination to do something positive towards the real cause of her son’s murder, not towards an unreasonable and ineffective attack on law-abiding Texans. Knife Rights will oppose any effort to reinstate any knife ban and will continue to fight to repeal ineffective and irrational knife bans throughout America.”
Knife Rights is already working hard to prevent any backsliding in Texas knife law. Stay tuned!
Whether we are fighting to repeal existing irrational knife bans, or fighting to prevent new ones, or in this case, fighting reinstatement of a ban we got rid of, it takes money to lobby for good bills or against bad bills. Please consider making a donation or joining Knife Rights to help Knife Rights continue to forge a Sharper Future for All Americans™.