I always find it strange to see myself quoted in the national media. Nothing will top my discussing using a blowgun to shoot rats of an NYC dumpster in the New York Times, but this is still pretty cool.
In a piece for RealClearInvestigations (a division of the RealClearPolitics empire), James Varney profiles the work of Knife Rights, from the recent success in Texas, to the march of switchblade legalization, to Governor Cuomo’s recent veto of critically-needed knife-law reform legislation in New York. It is a great piece, and I am happy that I could contribute in a small way.
James Varney contacted me through The Blogfather, Glenn “Instapundit” Reynolds, and I was happy to provide him some background references (including David Kopel’s Knives and the 2nd Amendment piece) as well as answer a few questions.
While regular readers of TTAK are well abreast of the national knife rights scene, Varney’s piece is an excellent overview of the landscape as it stands today.
Knife Rights began to chip away at those restrictions, lobbying to pass laws from Alaska to New Hampshire and stopping state proposals from Washington to Florida. The group has also labored to standardize statutes, so that one state law could replace a sometimes confusing hodgepodge of local restrictions.
But the successes of the movement are not unqualified. Municipalities generally have the power to pass their own ordinances so long as they do not conflict with state statutes. And as with gun laws, some cities have passed more restrictive laws. Philadelphia, for instance, bans carrying any knife, Ritter said, while restrictions on blade length are in effect in Chicago and Boston.
Generally speaking, opposition to knife law reform comes from police and prosecutors. Restrictive knife laws give cops and prosecutors wide discretion and help plump their crime fighting numbers, public defenders in New York City maintain.
“I don’t think they hate knives, per se,” said H. Clay Aalders, a Tennessee fishing guide who runs The Truth About Knives blog. “It just comes from the ingrained thinking from law enforcement and the DAs.”
Read the whole thing.