We’ve been blogging a lot lately about efforts to regulate knives, such as a proposed law in Nevada that would make it illegal for a parent to carry a pocket knife to a high school football game.
In researching knife laws, I’ve realized they’re often very similar to gun laws: fear-based and irrational.
I recently checked out a pretty cool video about guns in Switzerland. The Swiss have a proud military tradition and require all males to serve in the militia until the age of 30. When joining, each Swiss citizen is issued a SIG SG 550 automatic rifle, and must keep the weapon at home during their service in case of an invasion. The weapons are inspected regularly to make sure that no unauthorized use occurs and incidents of the guns being used for crime are extremely rare. Militiaman are allowed to keep their weapon after the service, though it is removed of its automatic function.
So, the big question, obviously, is what are the results of this novel experiment?
Well, despite that the fact there are 500,000 automatic weapons kept in homes in Switzerland, there were only 39 attempted murders with guns in 2006. Switzerland has a total population of over 7,600,000, meaning that less than one person in 250,000 is targeted in a gun related incident. In fact, the country even has more knife crime than it has gun crime. Sixty-nine murders were attempted with blades during the same year.
What does it all mean?
Making a country safe isn’t about prohibiting or regulating weapons, it’s about educating the populace to respect them. As America’s politicians continue to erode our freedoms, it’s important to remember that knives and guns are not inherently dangerous things and that endless prohibitions won’t make us a safer nation.
Maybe some day the politicians will wake up to this idea, and every homeowner will be required to have not only a rifle, but also a survival knife at home.