I'm back from Outdoor Retailer Summer Market where I took the opportunity to speak with many members of the knife industry about the nascent United States Knife & Tool Association . Virtually all the response I received was positive and much of it was very supportive. That was most encouraging.
Among those I met with was Mike Jones of Gerber, the President of American Knife and Tool Institute www.AKTI.org, the industry's advocacy group. We discussed how USKTA and AKTI could cooperate to accomplish more than either of us could separately. I will be in Portland next month for the Blade West show and intend to meet with many of the leaders in the knife industry who operate out of that area to present the case for making USKTA a force to be reckoned with.
It was very disturbing to hear at O.R. that some knife industry executives received venomous and outrageous hate mail as a result of the now infamous Wall Street Journal article. I am trying to obtain permission to publish some examples. It is a sad commentary on the ignorance prevalent in the public on this subject and, more to the point, on how easily people can be manipulated by the misleading information and outright lies that the Anti's rely upon in their battle against our rights. It is yet another example of why forming USKTA and then building up a broad base of members is so critical at this juncture.
If you have not yet done so, be sure to read AKTI's response to the WSJ article which reveals both the unethical behavior of this author and details many of the misleading statements and falsehoods contained in the article: www.akti.org/news-updates/wsj.html (opens a new browser window)
USKTA is starting to gain a bit of national exposure. Here's one example from a major newspaper in New York City:
www.nypost.com/sports/knife_group_makes_the_cut_sports_ken_moran.htm (opens a new browser window)
YOU hold the success of this effort in your hands. If everyone who has signed up could just get 5 of their friends to sign up, and they get five of their friends, and so on, we'd soon have thousands signed-up. There's no other way to build up an organization like this from zero. Make it your personal goal to get five sign-ups in the next week. www.USKTA.org
Besides outright appeals to your friends and associates who also own and use knives and edged tools, you can also help with more subtle efforts. Knife writer Dexter Ewing deserves credit for being the first (that I am aware of) to add a plea to his email and online forum signatures. I've followed suit and I urge you to do so as well. Just add this to your sig:
Have you signed up? Go to: www.USKTA.org United States Knife & Tool Association Protecting your right to own and carry knives and tools
The British Isles always seem to provide some of the best examples of zealotry in demonizing inanimate objects and creating laws to make owning or carrying one a crime. In this case, no surprise, it's knives again. This despite the release of a report that says it accomplishes little or nothing. (see http://www.guardian.co.uk/frontpage/story/0,,1840313,00.html (opens a new browser window)) This is the country and these are the laws that the anti-knife crowd wants to emulate.
All that it will accomplish is to push these angry, and often drunk young men towards using another weapon. Outright criminals, by definition, simply ignore the law anyway. Man has always found a way to injure, maim, and kill others, no matter what restrictions exist. It is the honest law abiding citizen who always takes it in the chops when these do-gooders come calling. Time and time again it's been proven that controls such as this have little or no effect on the criminals, as the British study mentioned above detailed.
Scottish Answer to Crime: Knife Control
by Michele Norris
All Things Considered, August 14, 2006 · In an effort to reduce the stabbings and slashings that stem from the country's "booze and blade" culture, Scotland is cracking down on the sale of swords, machetes, meat cleavers and other knifes. Hear the complete interview at:
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5646379 (opens a new browser window)
Swords ban to beat violent crime
A crackdown on the sale of swords has been launched as part of a campaign to tackle knife crime and violence.
Shops selling swords will need a licence (sic), as will businesses dealing with non-domestic knives and other bladed weapons such as machetes.
The measures are the latest steps from the Scottish Executive to curb the problem of knife crime.
http://newsvote.bbc.co.uk/mpapps/pagetools/…/glasgow_and_west/4788881.stm (opens a new browser window)
Edinburgh Evening News
Jail term for anyone caught carrying knife in new blitz
http://edinburghnews.scotsman.com/index.cfm?id=760202006&format=print (opens a new browser window)
Safer Scotland knife amnesty ends – final tally
A total of 12,645 knives and other weapons have been surrendered across Scotland during a five week amnesty.
http://www.grampian.police.uk/output/print-version.cfm?content_refno=1831 (opens a new browser window)