Not in the United Kingdom anyway. I’ve written in the next NR about the remorseless descent of modern Britain, but this story from today’s Daily Mail captures a lot of the salient features:
Full-time carer Rodney Knowles, 61, walks with the aid of a stick and had used the Swiss Army knife to cut up fruit on picnics with his wife.
Knowles from Buckland, Devon, yesterday admitted possessing an offensive weapon at Torquay Magistrates Court.
In the Nineties, Britain banned guns – and, despite being a small island with rigorous port-of-entry checks, found itself with more gun crime than ever before. However, it also found that, instead of shooting each other, Britons started stabbing each other – to the point where makers of school uniforms now offer them in Kevlar. So naturally the government began cracking down on knives. As this commenter notes:
I can remember debating this when the law first came out. We all said what about the little old lady with her fruit knife or the old man and his fishing knife.People argued that common sense would be used so inncents would not be prosecuted.
Not in modern Britain. Her Majesty’s Constabulary are among the laziest, most overpaid, most obnoxious and most useless in the world. It was entirely predictable that, given the choice between taking on violent ne’er-do-wells or harrassing harmless old-timers with pocket knives, they’d choose the latter:
Prosecutor Philip Sewell told the court that Knowles was stopped by police when he left a local pub on February 24.
He was arrested for suspected drink-driving but a breath test showed he was under the legal limit, the court was told.
But Knowles was charged with possession of the knife, which was found in its pouch in the car glove compartment…
Defence solicitor Jolyon Tuck said Knowles, who is a carer for his wife, had used the knife to cut up fruit on picnics with his wife… ‘He admits possession of it and he had no good reason for having it.’
Britain has rampant property crime to which the police are entirely indifferent. But they have all the time in the world for this. And, when the micro-regulatory statists assures you that of course they’ll wield their vast powers with a sense of proportion, always remember that pettiness is their default mode.
[UPDATE: Not unrelated:
As a gay man who is also a Buddhist I never thought I’d vote for the BNP.]