A Knife Fight in the Virginia Legislature

“Sen. Barbara A. Favola (D-Arlington) was aghast. “This is just bad public policy,” she said, pointing out that the change would make it legal to give knives to toddlers. “Why would you want to put our children at risk?” (Washington Post, Knives for Kids? How you view it may depend on where you live.

We have already discussed the KnifeRights-led effort to repeal Virginia’s Switchblade ban, but that isn’t the only fight over knives that is occurring in the Virginia legislature. As is typical  in most knife-law legislation, the rural/urban divide is on full display.

Virginia law already allows adults to give handguns to someone under age 18, as long as the child is a family member or it’s for “the purpose of engaging in a sporting event or activity.” It prohibits those types of knives, however, and (Sen. Richard H.) Stuart was proposing to change the language to mirror guns.

“In Virginia a minor can use a shotgun to hunt deer, squirrel” or other animals, Stuart said, “but you couldn’t give them one of these knives to skin it with.”

Stuart replied (to the Sen. Favola’s quote at the top) that a father might want to give his son or daughter a particular knife, just as he would present them with a fine hunting rifle. “I understand they may not do that in Arlington County,” Stuart said. “But there’s a whooooooole other part of rural Virginia where they do do things like that.”

We must ban pointy things,for the children. The Washington Post suffers from the same hoplophobic affliction as Senator Favola, the article is full of agitaprop like the passage below.

Sen. Richard H. Stuart (R-Stafford) sponsored a bill to make it legal to give dangerous knives to children.

Makes your head explode doesn’t it?

A local columnist with the Herald Mail, Tim Rowland, sums up the situation thusly:

What ensued was a classic case of two sides talking directly past each other.

Northern Virginia lawmakers were aghast to think than a mere school child should be in possession of a blade. You don’t do that; it is just common sense.

Rural lawmakers were aghast that anyone would think a kid old enough to shoot a buck should not be entrusted with the knife it would take to skin it. You have to do that; it is just common sense.

Having lived in rural America all my life, I had no idea it was illegal anywhere for a kid to have a knife. As a matter of fact, a knife was what defined you as a boy. A penknife, a butcher knife, or a Bowie — we took them to school for second-grade show and tell, for crying out loud.

By contrast, we never really trusted a kid that had a Swiss Army knife; there was just something funny about those boys, in our view.

And you know what? No one ever got stabbed to death, not once. That is not to say there weren’t injuries, but 99.9 percent were self-inflicted, and 99.9 percent of those were caused by the rudimentary safety devices they were just starting to put on pocket knives that made them too hard to close safely.

As my great-uncle would say, “He has horse-sense”.

The bill passed the Virgina Senate 21-19.




  1. Cadeyrn says:

    Doesn’t matter what gets passed by Virginia’s Legislature. Governor McAwful will veto everything.

  2. Hannibal says:

    I look at that state seal and I have to ask them… do they think things got better, republic-wise, after Caesar got ganked?

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A Knife Fight in the Virginia Legislature

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