Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Sharp Things Can Hurt You!

As most of your regular readers know, I am a lifelong "knife guy;" we knife guys (and guyettes as well) used to have a saying:
Guns are guns, but knives are important!
Well, the Wall Street Journal, titularly our friends, have opened a fascinating can of worms with this story. I'm referencing it off The High Road rather than the WSJ site so you don't have to sign up:
Wall Street Journal Looks at Pocketknives
How New, Deadly Pocketknives
Became a $1 Billion Business
July 25, 2006; Page B1

A decade ago, Jim Ray brought together a champion martial artist, a former Navy Seal and a police-weapons specialist to draft designs for what he hoped would be the perfect pocketknife.

But the high-tech knives the team created were never meant to whittle sticks. Instead, the team produced knives whose blades could be flicked open with one finger faster than the widely outlawed switchblade -- but were still perfectly legal. "Nobody wanted to call it a weapon" at the start, says Mr. Ray, a former proprietor of a North Carolina tourist shop. But eventually, he adds, "that changed." And soon Mr. Ray and the company he formed, Masters of Defense Inc., were marketing the blades' utility when "shooting is just not appropriate."

The knives have ergonomic grips and are compact -- and they can inflict deadly damage.Mr. Ray was a pioneer in a technological revolution that has transformed "tactical" knives -- originally used in military combat -- into a $1-billion-a-year consumer business, aimed at just about anyone in the market for a small knife. These 21st century pocketknives, with their curved, perforated or serrated blades and ergonomic grips, can inflict deadly damage, but they are also compact, easily concealed and virtually unregulated.

In March, a monthly FBI bulletin alerted law-enforcement agents nationwide to "the emerging threats" posed by the knives. Though there are no statistics on how many crimes have involved tactical-style knives, the FBI says knife-related crimes have edged up, to 15.5% in 2004 from 15% in 2000. In that time, violent crime in general dropped 4.1%.
"Virtually unregulated?" I'm am shocked...shocked, I tell you!

Of course, a lovely Emerson commemorative HD-7, MSRP'ing at $364.95 if — and this is a big if — you can pry one out of the hands of a knife collector, is NOT ONE BIT DEADLIER than a sharpened stick, which can be obtained rather freely by breaking off a branch of a tree in your backyard. Those damn sticks are "virtually unregulated" as well.

Before I carried the Spyderco "Yojimbo," before I carried my Emerson, before I carried my Pacific Cutlery Bali-Song, before I carried ANY knife with a pants clip, I carried a straight-razor that I got for $1.00 from a barbershop going out of business when I was still in junior high.

Let me tell you about a straight-razor in Tactical-Speak — it is "compact;" has an "ergonomic grip;" is "easy to conceal" and "fast-opening" with an "easy-open" stub that allows "even minor manual movement" to open the knife; can be "closed with one hand," and can "inflict deadly damage."

In fact, my very first knife "sensi," a black man named Rozell who delivered packages for my grandfather's drugstore in one of Memphis' less desirable neighborhoods Back in the Back When, said it best — "Straight razor'll kill you before you know you cut." That's why he used them.

Straight-razors are also "virtually unregulated."

Who'd'a thought it?

Anyhow, you all get my point (haha!) — no sharp thing is more dangerous or less dangerous than the hand who wields it.

BTW, in my on-going effort to keep SHOOTING GALLERY on the straight-and-narrow Path of Total Political Correctness, in a couple of weeks we'll be filming our third episode with master instructor Michael Janich. He's one of the specialists referenced in the first sentence of the WSJ article; now chief designer for Masters of Defense Knives, also referenced in the article, and acknowledged as one of the great masters of the blade.

The topic will be: Knife Training For The Gunfighter, a look at integrating folding knife techniques with firearms concealed carry.

Sharp, huh? I know...I know...we could have done a a dull-as-dirt episode on some lame rifle because its makers were paying us a bunch of money to say how good it is...maybe next season.


Anonymous said...

Working in the Republic of CA for a few weeks. As I recall, they have fairly draconian knife regs. No matter-stop by the nearest Safeway, Albertsons or Walgreens and head for the kitchen ware shelf/section. Lots of really sharp, really cheap, really concealable knives and even a cleaver or 2.

Michael Bane said...

I did some training with Dan Inosanto a few years back, and he did a whole thing on using SNEAKERS as deadly weapons.

Those things are barely regulated, too!


Anonymous said...

My understanding is that it is only in the opinions section that WSJ can be considered as our friends.

Anonymous said...

The WSJ editorial desk is fairly good.
The WSJ news desk is as bad as any lefty MSM rag.

Graduates of Journalism schools (and practically any University since 1980) had the oxymoronic Political Correctness subtly, and not so subtly, molded into their psyches. I experienced it twice. Some of us have escaped that prison, most have not.

Idiots is perfect, because they think they're so damn smart and so damn "enlightened." The ridiculous stories I could bore you with...

Anonymous said...

"The topic will be: Knife Training For The Gunfighter"

Thank you Michael!

P.S. The Denver Custom Knife Show is Aug 18-20 at the Holiday Inn- DIA

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