Knife Fight


Supporters of the Second Amendment have often suggested that gun control boosters will not rest until the private possession of guns is completely banned. They may be wrong: If recent events in Australia are any guide, the government won't stop there.

Last year, the state of New South Wales made it illegal to sell knives or knife blades to anyone under 16. Plastic knives are still acceptable. Everything else, though–from cake slicers to cutlery–is off-limits. In Queensland, a new law prohibits carrying a knife in public without a "reasonable" excuse–a loophole that, the police minister stressed, did not include self-defense. With those two models in place, other states and territories have adopted, or at least considered, similar anti-knife rules of their own.

On the federal level, the Australian government announced earlier this year that it will crack down harder on illegal knives, thanks to a report by the Australian Institute of Criminology that revealed a rise in the percentage of murders committed with knives and–ominously–other "sharp object[s]." There's been no word yet on whether the land of Mad Max and Crocodile Dundee intends to ban darts, pencils, and sticks.