The only thing about UK knife law that would surprise me anymore would be a return to sanity. That said, this one raised an eyebrow anyway. Stateside, hoplophobes fixate on pistol grips, adjustable stocks, and other ergonomic and cosmetic features on scary black semi-automatics. Because we all know that a comfortable grip makes a firearm more lethal.
Apparently UK hoplophobes are clutching their pearls over green paint and reverse serrations. Because they are scary or something.
From the IndependentUK:
“A terrifying new class of knife widely available on the internet from UK retailers and increasingly carried by gangs on the streets of Britain’s cities is set to be banned from sale, The Independent can reveal.Sales of so-called “zombie killer” knives, serrated weapons with long blades inspired by horror films, have led to calls for a crackdown on the marketing methods of online vendors who sell them as collectors’ items to “exterminate the undead.
I just love the “terrifying new class” language. Oh, the horror! I sincerely feel sorry for anyone so psychologically fragile that they see an inanimate object as terrifying. See a doctor. You need help.
“But police forces have become so concerned at the potential proliferation of the knives in big cities that steps are now being taken to introduce an outright ban on the weapons.
Scotland Yard has warned that the knives, which can be bought for as little £8 and reach up to 2ft in length, are being used by teenage gang members to pose in online videos designed to provoke rivals…
…Under current legislation it is legal sell the weapons in Britain and keep them in a private residence but they cannot be legally carried in public.
Anyone interested enough in knives to be reading a knife blog likely already sees these objects for what they are: Cheap Asian mall-ninja crap. I lost interest in junk like this about the time I turned 12.
It is already illegal for people to carry almost any knife in the UK, let alone a 2′ section of Pakistani car-bumper. So now if you are caught with one, they will be illegalier. So you have been warned.
“The Independent understands that a decision was taken at a meeting last month of police chiefs and Home Office officials to move to outlaw the zombie killer-style weapons amid fears that gang members are acquiring them as status symbols. The authorities say that they believe sales of the weaponry remain relatively low but they want to act before they become more common on the streets.”
If they are status symbols, banning them is likely to have the opposite effect. It is basic human nature to covet that which one is not allowed to have.
It is possible under secondary legislation to outlaw specific types of knife and other weaponry. Bans are already in place on the sale of at least 13 different types of blade, including flick knives, sword sticks and several classes of weapon associated with martial arts.
The move to ban “zombie killer” weaponry was last night welcomed by campaigners who have raised alarm at the widespread availability of the knives on UK-based websites and the manner in which they are being marketed.
Caroline Pidgeon, Liberal Democrat leader in the London Assembly, said: “Despite all the rhetoric by so many Westminster politicians about being tough on knife crime, the reality is that many practical policies have for too long not been properly adopted to tackle the horrendous loss of young lives caused by knife crime.
They plan on using a section of UK criminal law which targets the marketing of violence.
“A Bedfordshire-based online retailer last month admitted to breaching legislation dating back nearly 20 years which makes it illegal to sell knives in a way that suggests they might be suitable for combat or “stimulate violent behaviour”.
The investigation by Bedfordshire Police, which led to the owner of the Blade Bargains site accepting a caution, is believed to have been the first time that the section of the 1997 Knives Act has been used since it was introduced 19 years ago.
Police chiefs are now keen for it to be used more widely to counter dog whistle-style marketing of weaponry to be used on the “undead” which in reality poses a potentially lethal threat to the living.”
Ah, the dog whistle. I wonder if you could be arrested for the illegal marketing of cricket bats. They can be lethal if misused as well.
The Independent is not above taking a swipe at we unruly colonials either:
The “zombie killer” weapons first grew popular in America, where they are popular with so-called “preppers” preparing for a Hollywood-inspired fantasy invasion of ghouls.
No, they were popular among mall commandos and pre-pubescent boys who are enamored with knives and pretty much anything weapon-related.
But it never miss a chance to slur those who don’t trust the official narrative that everything is peachy and a benevolent government will take care of you in a crisis.
It isn’t just scary cosmetic features that have the hoplophobes knickers in a twist:
” Another site offered a 17-inch curved machete which it sells with a sheath to allow owners to have it “on the go” in potential breach of the law on carrying knives.”
Because a sheath is designed to aid a criminal in an illegal act. It couldn’t possibly be to protect yourself from getting cut when not in use. Or to simply carry it if you wanted to trim your hedgerows.
A couple of closing thoughts. Even if a ban is “successful” in cutting off the importation of these knives, basic kitchen knives remain the most common knife in stabbings. And it isn’t difficult to fabricate verboten edged weaponry. These knives are not finely crafted weapons, they are barely hardened pieces hunks of mystery metal. You could make a 2 foot long serrated “zombie-knife” with a discarded scrap of steel and a grinder. My friends and I used to make shuriken in the garage when we we bored growing up.
Besides, if all else fails you can use an “assault-stick”.
(h/t Simon P.)