Monday, July 7, 2008

"...Then they came for my spoon, and no one was left to speak up."

Ack! My go-to reducto ad absurdum has prophetically come to pass.

Anyone caught carrying a knife without a good excuse should expect to go to prison, Tory leader David Cameron says.
A gun ban, I think, is wrong. But I can understand the logic. A gun is in class by itself. It is very dangerous, allows attacks from a distance, and its very difficult to improvise a gun.

A knife, on the other hand, is just a sharp thing. You cannot ban any and all sharp things, its ridiculous, look at airport security. They get so caught up in where to draw the line that they don't allow fingernail clippers. There's no solid line that separates knives from ordinary objects, so a ban is a slippery slope all the way down. A dull rock can inflict as much damage as a knife can, and ironically, long fingernails are more dangerous than fingernail clippers!

The scariest part, to me, is this:
"So we're proposing that anyone convicted of knife crime should expect to go to jail. I don't believe the government's presumption to prosecute is enough. It doesn't send a strong enough signal. We need a presumption to prison."

He urged police to exercise "common sense" by not prosecuting people carrying penknives for angling, or for bringing home kitchen or garden equipment from the shops.

"This is about kitchen knives stuffed down the front of tracksuits," he told The Sun.
When you give police the authority to arrest essentially anyone (because everyone at all times is carrying something as potentially dangerous as a knife) and only ask them to exercise it at their discretion, you have created a police state. The police have absolute power. There's a passive threat hanging over everybody's head: you don't HAVE to commit a crime to be hauled off, all you have to do is get on a cop's bad side.

So if a little old lady is coming home from the shop with a kitchen knife, she will not be arrested. Why not? Only because she is a little old lady.

In England, you are now presumed guilty until proven innocent, and it is only through the benevolence of the police that you remain on the streets. This is the concept of original sin, backed up with the threat of government.

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