De-criminalize the carrying of ALL knives whose purpose is peaceful

People carrying everyday knives — yes, even big ones — should not be seen as criminals.

You might have just bought a set of foot-long kitchen knives to carry home. Or you might have been invited to a Christmas party and are taking good quality one to lend to the host because the ones he owns are dysfunctional.

Yes, I know there is a clause allowing people to carry such knives provided they have "good reason".

But this exactly where it breaks down. The boundaries are vague and open to abuse by police bent on harrassing members of the public.

And there is scant evidence that this law actually reduces knife crime.

If there really are politicians who respect liberty and are not afraid of the tabloids they will begin by abolishing this law. 

Why is this idea important?

People carrying everyday knives — yes, even big ones — should not be seen as criminals.

You might have just bought a set of foot-long kitchen knives to carry home. Or you might have been invited to a Christmas party and are taking good quality one to lend to the host because the ones he owns are dysfunctional.

Yes, I know there is a clause allowing people to carry such knives provided they have "good reason".

But this exactly where it breaks down. The boundaries are vague and open to abuse by police bent on harrassing members of the public.

And there is scant evidence that this law actually reduces knife crime.

If there really are politicians who respect liberty and are not afraid of the tabloids they will begin by abolishing this law. 

self-defence

In dealing with personal defence the questions to be answered are such as:  ‘What are you going to do if – you have intruders in the house – a gang is damaging your property – armed intruders break into your house, cinema, shop, school?’ etc. 

The police have no legal obligation to protect individuals from violence.  You alone are responsible for dealing with such incidents in the first instance.  In addition you have a civic and moral duty to be prepared to protect yourself and others.  All laws relating to assault and the carrying of weapons must thus be amended to allow citizens to act in such situations without fear of prosecution.  

Reasonable force.  This term should be abandoned – it is a contradiction in terms. Personal violence is inherently unreasonable because it is always life-threatening and automatically invokes our ‘flight or fight’ survival response.  Our bodies change involuntarily to protect us and our minds  focus solely on what we can do to survive – we become less human.  Given that few of us experience violence, the idea that the righteousness of our actions in a few frenzied seconds of terror and panic can be determined calmly in a court of law is both ludicrous, offensive and an asset to the criminal.  

Weapons.  The current laws forbidding the carrying of weapons should be repealed and replaced by one relating to their use:  brandishing one in public would be an automatic offence (fine) and also make the brandisher a legitimate self-defence target for other citizens;  threatening with one would be an automatic jail sentence.

The law banning the carrying of knives has not prevented any killings but has had law-abiding people prosecuted for carrying multi-tools and Swiss Army knives etc.  90 years of very strict firearms ‘control’ legislation has not prevented spree killings, or a relentless increase in firearms crime.  It has however, given criminals a cast-iron. Government-backed guarantee that their victims will be defenceless. 

To claim that the availability of weapons encourages their use is not supported by evidence and, in a politician, shows a profound lack of trust in the people.  The Swiss have more firearms per head of population than the US and very little armed crime and even in the ‘infamous’ US itself, burglary and house invasions are quite rare.   

The only thing that might have stopped Michael Ryan at Hungerford, Thomas Hamilton at Dunblane, Derrick Bird in Cumbria or so-called terrorists taking to our streets as in Mumbai is the possibility that any citizen, anywhere, might be in a position to return fire. 

Incidentally, being safe with a firearm is blissfully easy – well within the intellectual compass of the average six-year old.

See also http://yourfreedom.hmg.gov.uk/repealing-unnecessary-laws/repeal-the-terrorism-laws

Source:  http://www.alternativeparty.org.uk

Why is this idea important?

In dealing with personal defence the questions to be answered are such as:  ‘What are you going to do if – you have intruders in the house – a gang is damaging your property – armed intruders break into your house, cinema, shop, school?’ etc. 

The police have no legal obligation to protect individuals from violence.  You alone are responsible for dealing with such incidents in the first instance.  In addition you have a civic and moral duty to be prepared to protect yourself and others.  All laws relating to assault and the carrying of weapons must thus be amended to allow citizens to act in such situations without fear of prosecution.  

Reasonable force.  This term should be abandoned – it is a contradiction in terms. Personal violence is inherently unreasonable because it is always life-threatening and automatically invokes our ‘flight or fight’ survival response.  Our bodies change involuntarily to protect us and our minds  focus solely on what we can do to survive – we become less human.  Given that few of us experience violence, the idea that the righteousness of our actions in a few frenzied seconds of terror and panic can be determined calmly in a court of law is both ludicrous, offensive and an asset to the criminal.  

Weapons.  The current laws forbidding the carrying of weapons should be repealed and replaced by one relating to their use:  brandishing one in public would be an automatic offence (fine) and also make the brandisher a legitimate self-defence target for other citizens;  threatening with one would be an automatic jail sentence.

The law banning the carrying of knives has not prevented any killings but has had law-abiding people prosecuted for carrying multi-tools and Swiss Army knives etc.  90 years of very strict firearms ‘control’ legislation has not prevented spree killings, or a relentless increase in firearms crime.  It has however, given criminals a cast-iron. Government-backed guarantee that their victims will be defenceless. 

To claim that the availability of weapons encourages their use is not supported by evidence and, in a politician, shows a profound lack of trust in the people.  The Swiss have more firearms per head of population than the US and very little armed crime and even in the ‘infamous’ US itself, burglary and house invasions are quite rare.   

The only thing that might have stopped Michael Ryan at Hungerford, Thomas Hamilton at Dunblane, Derrick Bird in Cumbria or so-called terrorists taking to our streets as in Mumbai is the possibility that any citizen, anywhere, might be in a position to return fire. 

Incidentally, being safe with a firearm is blissfully easy – well within the intellectual compass of the average six-year old.

See also http://yourfreedom.hmg.gov.uk/repealing-unnecessary-laws/repeal-the-terrorism-laws

Source:  http://www.alternativeparty.org.uk

De-criminalize Swiss army knives

I remember the media headlines about knife crime in certain areas of London and the subsequent ban but it never occurred to me that the little Swiss army knife in my pocket can be considered an illegal weapon. The little pen knife, about three inches long, used to such tasks as peeling an orange or sharpening a toothpick. In other words I was not aware that I became a criminal because I did not remove my pen knife from my pocket when the said law was introduced. I was rudely (quite literally) informed of that fact when I attempted to enter the Houses of Parliament  with a group of journalists carrying a concealed weapon in my pocket. I was told expressis verbis that I would be arrested unless I voluntarily give up the said concealed weapon.

I am not the only person to whom it did not occur that a Swiss army knife can be considered an illegal weapon. This is an anecdotal evidence only but I know a number of people who still carry one. My late mother carried one in her handbag all her life.

A knife is first and foremost a tool, the most universal and ubiquitous tool known to man. I can understand a ban on knives that are made to be weapons and are intended to be used as such but a blanket ban to carry a knife could criminalize almost anybody. Even a kitchen knife has to be carried from a shop to a kitchen which means that almost everybody has committed a crime. And what about outdoor camping? Anyone attempting to walk the Pennine Way is a criminal because it is impossible to camp in the wild without a knife.
 

Why is this idea important?

I remember the media headlines about knife crime in certain areas of London and the subsequent ban but it never occurred to me that the little Swiss army knife in my pocket can be considered an illegal weapon. The little pen knife, about three inches long, used to such tasks as peeling an orange or sharpening a toothpick. In other words I was not aware that I became a criminal because I did not remove my pen knife from my pocket when the said law was introduced. I was rudely (quite literally) informed of that fact when I attempted to enter the Houses of Parliament  with a group of journalists carrying a concealed weapon in my pocket. I was told expressis verbis that I would be arrested unless I voluntarily give up the said concealed weapon.

I am not the only person to whom it did not occur that a Swiss army knife can be considered an illegal weapon. This is an anecdotal evidence only but I know a number of people who still carry one. My late mother carried one in her handbag all her life.

A knife is first and foremost a tool, the most universal and ubiquitous tool known to man. I can understand a ban on knives that are made to be weapons and are intended to be used as such but a blanket ban to carry a knife could criminalize almost anybody. Even a kitchen knife has to be carried from a shop to a kitchen which means that almost everybody has committed a crime. And what about outdoor camping? Anyone attempting to walk the Pennine Way is a criminal because it is impossible to camp in the wild without a knife.
 

Simplify and clarify the laws on carrying knives

At the moment the laws on the carrying of knives are hopelessly confused and complex. Because of hasty ill thought out legislation many people are unwittingly breaking the law by, for instance, carrying a life with a lock blade whilst walking in the country. Most good quality penknives these days have lock blades but for some reason carrying one can be illegal. If the law were simplified making it for instance "unlawful to carry a knife in a situation which may lead to a breach of the peace" then it could be left to the common sense of the Police and Courts to differentiate between those engaging in peaceful pursuits and those carrying knives in city centres or similar.

Why is this idea important?

At the moment the laws on the carrying of knives are hopelessly confused and complex. Because of hasty ill thought out legislation many people are unwittingly breaking the law by, for instance, carrying a life with a lock blade whilst walking in the country. Most good quality penknives these days have lock blades but for some reason carrying one can be illegal. If the law were simplified making it for instance "unlawful to carry a knife in a situation which may lead to a breach of the peace" then it could be left to the common sense of the Police and Courts to differentiate between those engaging in peaceful pursuits and those carrying knives in city centres or similar.

Legalise Balisongs/Butterfly Knives.

Butterfly knives became illegal to buy, sell, manufacture, import and lend under the 1988 Criminal Justice Act. I personally feel this is a pointless piece of legislation, butterfly knives, whilst they may look quite frightening, are no more dangerous than any other knife legally availiable in this country, and banning them has had no impact on violent crime whatsoever.

I propose that the 1988 Criminal Justice Act be ammended, allowing all those over 18 to once again be allowed to buy, sell and possess Butterfly Knives legally, in the United Kingdom.

Why is this idea important?

Butterfly knives became illegal to buy, sell, manufacture, import and lend under the 1988 Criminal Justice Act. I personally feel this is a pointless piece of legislation, butterfly knives, whilst they may look quite frightening, are no more dangerous than any other knife legally availiable in this country, and banning them has had no impact on violent crime whatsoever.

I propose that the 1988 Criminal Justice Act be ammended, allowing all those over 18 to once again be allowed to buy, sell and possess Butterfly Knives legally, in the United Kingdom.

Put Lock Knives on the Same Standing as Folding Knives

The current situation where a penknife with a locking blade is illegal whereas a folding knife isn't is ludicrous.  Folding penknives are dangerous and result in far too many injuries.  THe law should be changes to allow a person to also carry a penknife with a locking blade of no more than 3 inches, the same requirement as the folding penknife.

The current law criminalises innocent people like myself who garden, fish and do woodcraft activities with their sons who have routinely carried a locking penknife since their early teens, in my case for over 30 years.

I doubt the restriction has made a single knife-wielding thug change their weapon of choice to a folding knife with a blade under 3 inches.

Why is this idea important?

The current situation where a penknife with a locking blade is illegal whereas a folding knife isn't is ludicrous.  Folding penknives are dangerous and result in far too many injuries.  THe law should be changes to allow a person to also carry a penknife with a locking blade of no more than 3 inches, the same requirement as the folding penknife.

The current law criminalises innocent people like myself who garden, fish and do woodcraft activities with their sons who have routinely carried a locking penknife since their early teens, in my case for over 30 years.

I doubt the restriction has made a single knife-wielding thug change their weapon of choice to a folding knife with a blade under 3 inches.

Don’t prohibit everyone from carrying a knife

I feel like a criminal whenever I go to my allotment with a knife for cutting off the tops of carrots or leeks or rhubarb. I've stopped taking a knife in my rucksack when I go out for the day and have food that needs cutting up.

Why is this idea important?

I feel like a criminal whenever I go to my allotment with a knife for cutting off the tops of carrots or leeks or rhubarb. I've stopped taking a knife in my rucksack when I go out for the day and have food that needs cutting up.

Penknives are no more weapons than cars

I am 61 years old. I have carried a penknife with me since I was 10.  I now find that I am a criminal to do so because it could be used as a weapon.  By the same logic, we should have a law that makes driving a car a criminal offence.  When I ride my bicycle or drive my car, I carry an assortment of tools for use in the event of a breakdown. One of these tools is a multitool that has a blade. I find myself a crimimal once again.  This is a nonsense.  It would not be so bad if the police used common sense, but they are put in a position today of being more concerned with the letter of the law rather than the spirit.

Why is this idea important?

I am 61 years old. I have carried a penknife with me since I was 10.  I now find that I am a criminal to do so because it could be used as a weapon.  By the same logic, we should have a law that makes driving a car a criminal offence.  When I ride my bicycle or drive my car, I carry an assortment of tools for use in the event of a breakdown. One of these tools is a multitool that has a blade. I find myself a crimimal once again.  This is a nonsense.  It would not be so bad if the police used common sense, but they are put in a position today of being more concerned with the letter of the law rather than the spirit.