Among the many feelings swirling in my head following today’s mass stabbing incident in Pennsyvania, the greatest is relief. First I am relieved, and while it is too soon to be certain, it looks like all 24 victims should pull through. My prayers go out to the families and I wish them Godspeed on their recovery.
I also felt a bit of relief that it was a knife and not a gun that was involved. This is not because I want to score cheap political points, though there have been plenty of folks who have proven themselves to be just as classless as the hoplophobes who couldn’t wait to dance on the graves of Newtown and dozens of other tragedies.
Today I felt relief that I could mourn and give my own children an extra hug and just act like any sane and normal parent would when hearing of such evil unleashed. I was relieved that I would not have to simultaneously brace myself to deal with the inevitable onslaught from those who would exploit the tragedy to further assault the RTKBA.
While there will undoubtedly be some loons who will call for knife restrictions, and we here at TTAK will toss those out to you as they come to light, the fact is that thanks to grassroots activism of organizations such as KnifeRights.org the right to keep and bear edged tools is largely on the advance.
In the past year alone Tennessee, Alaska, and Kansas have all passed Preemption laws – allowing pockets of lunacy to fall to the forces of common sense, applying one standard statewide and removing antiquated local prohibitions.
Come this July 1st, Tennessee is joining Georgia in having knife laws that are about as close to perfect as can be hoped for when bans on automatic knives and blade length restrictions are repealed. Only a few holdout provisions remain regarding knife carry in schools and other fantasy “weapon free zones”. We will keep up the fight.
Even in places where legislative makeup prevents the kind of civil rights advances seen above, advances in knife rights are simply stalled. They are not under the same sort of onslaught that has faced those unfortunate enough to live in places like Connecticut, New York, or California with regards to their gun rights.
One final note: I have no earthly idea of where I first read the seed of inspiration for my editorial. In the post-Newtown insanity, someone wrote about how much it bothered them that they were not allowed to simply grieve like any average parent would because they had to figuratively take up arms to protect their literal right to do so.
I want to thank this writer, whomever they may be, for providing me the central idea around which to coalesce my swirling thoughts.
A few other links of interest:
-I have found this CBS Pittsburgh report to be the most straightforward and comprehensive of the dozens I have read today.
-If you find that today’s events land you in a debate with the uninformed, arm yourself with this excellent piece by TTAK’s legal-eagle Chris Dumm. For those who prefer to go right to the source, read David Kopel’s post at the Volokh Conspiracy. They are both great sources of intellectual ammunition supporting the position (shared by the staff at TTAK) that knives fall under the Second Amendment definition of arms as they are “typically possessed by law-abiding citizens for lawful purposes,” (as quoted from the Heller gun-rights decision).