The British Government Wants to Turn the People’s Knives into an Angel Statue

by Charles C. W. Cooke

Per the BBC:

The family of a man killed after being stabbed 52 times in a Wrexham pub are backing an amnesty on knives.

Craig Maddocks, 34, was attacked with a flick knife during an incident in a toilet cubicle in June 2013.

His mother and sister are now supporting the campaign to try to prevent more stabbings.

Knife banks will be set up in towns and cities in several counties with the blades being melted to create a statue in memory of knife crime victims.

Not just any statue, mind you:

Metal from the knives collected will then be turned into a 24ft sculpture of an angel as a tribute to those who died as a result of knife crime.

What happened to Mr. Maddocks was terrible. But this instinct — to remove from the citizenry anything that is remotely dangerous – is becoming almost laughable. Because catharsis for grieving families is held to be more important than basic human liberty, Britons now live in a country in which single mothers are warned by the police if they use knives to scare away intruders (actual quote: “Hertfordshire police warned her she should not have used a knife to scare off the youths because carrying an ‘offensive weapon’, even in her own home, was illegal”); in which men who defend themselves when attacked by armed maniacs can be charged with murder; in which, despite assurances that the strict gun regulations worked and that firearms threats have therefore been diminished, police are beginning to arm themselves as a matter of routine; and in which even the Olympic shooting team is forced go to Zurich to practice their sport. Worst of all, perhaps, there exists no meaningful debate about these measures. As Dan Hannan learned recently when he correctly recorded that the British handgun ban was the product of press-driven hysteria and not sober inquiry, to so much as suggest that disarming everybody might be a touch extreme is inevitably to be accused of hating children:

Yesterday, irked by the bandwagon of outrage set in motion by Nigel Farage’s support for the licensing of handguns, I Tweeted that the rationale for the original ban had been false, and that it had been brought in following a nasty tabloid campaign.

If you know Twitter, you’ll easily imagine the response: murderer, fascist, moron, resign, blah blah. I’ve been getting these remarks from Lefties for so long now that, as the poet says, they pass me by as the idle wind which I respect not. But, this time, they weren’t just coming from permanently outraged teenagers; they were coming from a number of Labour MPs – including Jim Murphy, a member of the shadow cabinet, who wanted me to apologise for my “repulsive” comments about “the murder of innocents”.

Hannan was rightly irritated by the “authoritarianism” of this response:

Seventeen years on, they no longer have the excuse of being overcome by the horror of the moment. Theirs is an authoritarianism born, not of high emotion, but of self-righteousness – or perhaps of calculated cynicism. It’s an authoritarianism that regards criticism as morally rather than intellectually wrong. An authoritarianism that cannot understand the difference between disapproving of something and banning it. Save us from such politicians.

This is fair. But his exasperation is ultimately directed at the wrong target. These “politicians” only get away with their “calculated cynicism” because the general public demands it. In the last fifty years, British voters have happily given up their right to keep and bear arms, their right to defend themselves in their own homes, and — in a more basic sense — their unalienable right to self-defense per se. Now, a good number will hand in their knives so that the state may turn them into art. This isn’t the fault of the political class. It’s the fault of the people themselves.