Sunday, October 17, 2004

"Knife culture"

I've always maintained that if you ban one method of self-defense, people will think of something else. You ban guns, they use knives. Ban knives, they use pick-axes. Ban pick-axes, they use forks. Etc. etc. ad nauseum.

But in a culture where guns are banned and crime is at an all time high, the British are shocked, SHOCKED, I tell you, that youth are carrying knives.

This story is not worth a full fisk, but there are several choice passages.

"Knives are more at the top of the list than guns at the moment, because it ain't kids our age that's carrying guns. Where would you get a gun from?" she added.
Friends of hers admitted it was very common for children to carry knives - in fact they claimed to know of one who had a pocket knife at the age of seven.

A pocket knife at the age of seven. I think my grandfather got me my first Swiss Army knife when I was younger than that. In this article they never specify if they are talking about 2 1/4" pen knifes or SOG Seal Pups.

And David, who wants to be a laywer when he grows up, gave a shocking answer when asked how many of his friends had had a knife pulled out on them.
"All of them, all of them."

On top of being a stupid story, this is indicative of the BBC or "fill in the blank" as far as their lazy editorialship. You might find it shocking that a kid (David) of unspecified age has two friends who have been shown knives (they never say threatened with), but what I find shocking is a vast news organization that can't spell "lawyer." This is a blog run by one guy with only third-hand reviews of its content. When I note a typo or some unsound grammar in a post, I correct it. I'm sure some sloppiness still seeps through, but the BBC posted this story Friday and apparently never reviewed it for typos nevermind the bone-headedness of its content.

The other thing shocking is the ineptness of the source material:

Another girl in the group, Sofia, said: "Well, most people wouldn't really care to use it, cos it's like it wouldn't make them feel guilty or nothing.

First of all, there is no closed quotes. I think this quote speaks for itself. This is what Dan Rather would refer to as an "impeachable source."

Another gratuitous dumb quote:

"I've seen someone carrying but two knives, and do you know what, they weren't even knives, these were like Chinese chopper things.
"I ain't lying. You could put your hand in and they were like a blade saw, but they were long, and they weren't blunt, they were sharp."

"Chinese chopper things?" What the hell is this kid talking about? Every Chinese knife I've ever seen is a righteous POS.

But the most chilling message came from a teenager called Jamie-Lee, who said that most parents had no idea of the level that the knife culture was at.

I guess we have to look out for the "fork culture."

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