In events reminiscent of the gun control hearings of the 90s, council members in Boston are considering putting more restrictions on the sale of pocket knives to fight the high rates of knife crime in the city.
According to Knife Rights, which sent a representative to speak at the hearings, Boston lawmakers are thinking about licensing the sale of knives because there have been more than 1,300 knife attacks over the past two years. Instead of going after the criminals, the logic here is to go after the “weapon” and make it harder for people to get.
Here’s an excerpt of what Knife Rights representative and Executive Director of Gun Owners’ Action League Jim Wallace said at the hearing:
“I urge the City Council to review what it is about to do and reflect on the failures of gun control,” said Wallace. “Over a decade ago I had to testify before committees in the state house with grieving families in the background. Now I sit before you a decade later with grieving families behind me again. If you proceed down this path and get it wrong again, ten years from now we will likely repeat this scene yet again.”
The same types of restrictions didn’t seem to quell the amount of gun violence in the area. While guns have less of a practical everyday use, knives are often used for hundreds of tasks at work and home.
Wallace also pointed out that stores that sell knives already have to be licensed, have to pay a fee and are restricted from selling knives with blades longer than 2 inches to minors.
At the hearing, there were a number of heartbreaking examples of how knife attacks have affected families. It is true that knife crime is a major problem and should be dealt with in a serious manner, but making it illegal to buy a knife or even carry one is not the best way to do that. Curbing knife violence begins with education that’s aimed to shift the paradigm away from misusing the tools. Even though there are examples of knives being used for violence, there are also plenty of cases where knives have saved lives.
The council is still considering how to handle the increase in violence and will likely not draft something on this for a few weeks, so if you live in the area, feel free to contact the councilors to give your opinion.