We must act to de-weaponize knives

We have our work cut out for us. Knives are almost universally viewed as weapons today. I see it everyday here at CNJ as I read through various news stories involving knives.

Man banned from carrying knife to church in NC

It really hit me this morning as I read about a man who may get kicked out of church because he wears his knife on his belt. It is a sad story. The particulars of this one situation aren’t the point here, instead what is is we- the knife manufacturers, knife industry and collectors must act in together to help people understand the danger is not the knife, instead, if there is one, it is the person.

Show and Tell

Folks nowadays are frequently shocked when we collectors pull out our knife. I witnessed it firsthand just the other day. I was part of a show and tell exercise in a small group meeting.

I took my favorite knife and when it was my time to show and tell, I pulled it from my pocket- you could feel the air being sucked out of the room as everyone gasped. Now I must admit the knife is a large pocket knife, but nothing like a bowie, or large fixed blade. It is simply a large pocket knife, that’s all. Most were even scared to handle it as it was passed around the room.

Knives have become weaponized and are viewed by society as a dangerous object that can be wielded at any moment.

Tom Arrowsmith, the president of W. R. Case, said, in his interview here at CNJ, his firm works very hard not to promote or foster the public’s perception of knives as weapons, but many makers do.

I don’t have the answer but if those in positions of influence could work with our clubs and associations to brainstorm ways to address this P R problem before we end up with all knives outlawed. Slowly community by community, municipality by municipality are tightening knife laws. And unfortunately groups like Knife Rights simply don’t have the manpower, or funding to combat this.

I’m not sure fighting this on a national political basis is the answer anyway. Instead, I see it as changing people’s attitudes.


I’d love to see a national whittling contest sponsored by a large manufacturer,  like Cattaraugus Cutlery Co. did back in the 19450s.

We need the various knife clubs, associations, and even manufacturers working together to educate young people, and their parents, on knives. Knives provide utility, fun and a worthwhile hobby, educating on properly handling knives and the fun projects knives can be used for.


We must pull together

Here’s where I am on this– It’s time to act. If you are a part of a knife group (online or off), club or association, or if you are a maker, executive or worker of a manufacturer- we need your help. A plan needs developed and implemented, on a grassroots level to help folks see knives aren’t bad. No, the bad is caused by people. And even if you took all the knives out of circulation, like they are trying to do in the UK, bad guys will still cause harm and kill.

All one has to do is look back through the history of this great country to see the important role knives have played- both as a work tool and pastime recreation.

Published in: on March 5, 2009 at 9:29 am  Comments (4)  
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4 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. You are right Scott, times have changed. I just wish they would change back to the life style of the 1950’s when I was a kid. Now about kids these days; I have my oldest grandchild signed up as a junior member of the Case Collectors Club. If she continues showing a intrest she will have some nice knives when I pass on. But the important thing is that she starts her own collection so she can experience the excietment that goes along with it; and I am here to help her. I tend to forget that not everybody is into knife collecting; Last Christmas I gave a relative of mine a “mint 1984 Case trapper, new grind, in a collector tin” as a gift; the first thing he wanted to do was sharpen it. How a wish I would of given him a neck tie and I had that Trapper back. Sincerly, Your frind, Mark. P.S. I have a few pocket knives in my “Chest of Drawers”

  2. Mark
    Maybe you can put a bug in the guy’s ear to give it back to you for your B’day 🙂

    I also signed up my son when he was 15 in the CCC and he wasn’t interested. Oh, well. It’s not for lack of trying, is it? We’ll keep pulling away.

    🙂 Chester Drawers- I actually wrote it that way and then wondered if it was a real term. I looked it up. That’s when I realized it is southern slang. But now I know what it really is.

    Take care

  3. Scott,
    I think you are very much on target with your asessment that lifestyles have changed greatly. To be honest, even though I live on a small farm, I never felt comfortable allowing my children to ramble unsupervised the way I did as a child. There are just too many horror stories now about children being abducted or molested or what have you.
    I personally think one of the best ways to help introduce a kid to the joy of owning a good knife is to take them camping, frequently, not just once. Camping and using a knife just naturally go together, always have, always will. One of the many things I enjoy about camping is carrying a knife like a Buck 110 or a medium sized fixed blade. I carry at least one knife with me any time I leave my home, but normally it’s something smaller. When camping, I usually have a pocketknife and a larger knife on my person.

    When a kid goes camping, he or she will inevitably find a use for a knife. That’s when the teaching opportunities present themselves. We just need to be ready when they come. You can talk about how the early pioneers carried knives at all times. You can talk about knife safety and proper knife care. You can talk about a myriad of things related to knives, and you will most likely have an attentive audience, assuming you have had the wisdom to round up the electronics and put them away for the duration of the camping trip. Give a kid a stick and a knife and let him whittle wood shavings to use starting the campfire. (not much skill required) Let them help set up camp and use thier knife to cut a clothesline or tent line. Just show them a knife is a wonderfully versitile tool. That’s how you get them interested.

    My daughter was home from college recently for a weekend visit. When I returned home from a knife show I showed her the knives I had bought. I had gotten a great deal on some user quality knives, so I had brought home several. When she asked me which one was for her, I gave her and her boyfriend their pick. The next time I saw her, I asked what she had done with that knife. It was in her purse. She carries it daily. The boyfriend had his in his pocket too. By the way, I took her camping many times while she was growing up.

    I grew up carrying a knife and still do, because it was and is a useful item to have with me. If a kid can learn just how useful a knife is, he is much more likely to want to carry one. If he gets in the habit of carrying a knife, he’s not too far from developing an interest in collecting them. If he never carries one, it’s very unlikely he will ever be interested enough in them to start a collection.

  4. Philco. Thanks for sharing your observations and experiences with us. Good insights.

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