British Medical Experts Campaign for Long, Pointy Knife Control

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Sadly, that is the actual headline from an actual New York Times story, although you could be forgiven for thinking it was produced by the staff of The Onion on an off day. Among other things, the medical experts argue that no one but a murderer really needs a pointy knife.

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  1. They can have my 8-in Henkel chef’s knife when the pry it from my cold dead hands.

  2. Come to think of it, I can’t recall ever actually using the point when I cook. It’s all about the edge.

    That’s what Gurney Hallek taught me, anyway.

  3. Ralphus,

    You beat me to it. I use that knife for everything, the rest of the set just sits there.

  4. Oh my god, what’s next – blunt instruments???

  5. That’s right Caveman. Hand over the club.

  6. http://www.jumpstation.ca/recroom/comedy/python/banana.html

    The current state-of-the-art in Britian only provides protection from oranges, apples, grapefruit (whole and segments), pomegranates, greengages, grapes, passion fruit, lemons, plums, mangoes (in syrup), cherries (red and black), and bananas.

  7. What we really need to do is get control of the cheap pointy knives of the sort they sell at Wal-Mart. (Sunday Night Specials.) These knives are not well-made enough for kitchen hunting, and the only reason to have one is to stab someone with it and quickly dispose of the weapon.

  8. henkel makes a damn nice set of knives.

    not that these limey barbarians would know anything about that.

  9. Welcome to the post-reductio world.

  10. Digigamma-I used to jokingly tell pro-gun control friends of mine that the only result of banning firearms would be an increase in stabbings. Looks like I was right.

    Also, they seem to be talking about kitchen knives, but I have to wonder how they would feel about things like KA-BARs and Buck knives. Field dresssing a deer with a long blunt knife or a pointy paring knife doesn’t sound all that practical. The same is true for any number of tasks for which a big, pointy knife is handy. I guess they’ll start with the KA-BAR, since it’s military-looking and intimidating. No civilian needs a knife like that anyway.

  11. No one really needs two kidneys, and think of all the good that could be done if the government held on to that extra one everyone’s carrying around!

  12. “Field dresssing a deer with a long blunt knife or a pointy paring knife doesn’t sound all that practical”

    now that ban on fox hunting earlier in the year makes a lot more sense…

  13. henkel makes a damn nice set of knives.

    It’s all revenge for WWII. The British just want to stick it to the Germans and their Henkels. As an American, my Global is probably equally treasonous.

  14. It’ll be kabob skewers next.

  15. No one needs air conditioning either, nor power windows. As to needing a sharp pointy knife, I once shot a deer only to realize I was without my knife. I ended up field dressing it with a Leatherman?, and while I didn’t `need’ a sharp pointy knife, I sure wish I had one.

    In the former Soviet Union, people worried about needs. In the US, it’s all about wants.

  16. “As an American, my Global is probably equally treasonous.”

    Your Global is an American?

  17. A disloyal one at that.

  18. Your Global is an American?

    sheesh. you expect posts to make sense?

  19. And to think the statists have always scoffed when the “slippery slope” argument is used with regard to gun control.

    Good ol’ Airstrip One.

  20. Hasn’t England had a higher crime and murder rate than the US for a while now?

    That was one of the things is Micheal Moores movie, where he compares gun deaths here to gun deaths in England. Where they are much higher here than England, but the Brits more than make up for it with knives.

    Now they are going to try and change it with the stupid knife law. But they don’t understand the much maligned, yet true NRA slogan “guns don’t kill people, people kill people”.

  21. At least they had to wait until Julia Child died before pulling this shit!

  22. I can’t wait for West Side Story, Brit edition, wherin the Sharks and Jets whip out their butter knives…

  23. Hasn’t England had a higher crime and murder rate than the US for a while now?

    No, The UK murder rate is less than half that of the US. Their crime rate overall is higher.

    What is different is while the US crime rate is trending down, the UK rate is rising.

    The UK murder rate increased dramatically a few years ago, but when you start with an already low number a small number of murders can look like an alarming increase.

  24. Isaac,

    This may be premature, but the decade-long downward trend in crime and violent crime in America seems to have levelled off over the past couple of years.

  25. This is old news. My cousin (who had never been in trouble with the law) in Bristol did time for defending his house from some three assholes (all with rap sheets as long as your arm) with a knife. One guy died from a stab wound. A law had just been passed a few months before increasing the severity of a crime if it was committed with a knife (no joke) and the judge wanted to make an example out of my cousin. (Remember, he was defending his own property at the time)

    It was such a clusterfuck of a decision the local police actually went over to my aunt and uncle’s place to apologies to them for the whole ordeal.

    England ain’t the England I grew up in anymore. As much as we complain about nanny statism here it doesn’t hold a candle to the crap that goes on there.

  26. Joe,
    It’ll keep going down when more states adopt conceal carry laws.

    And even the crime in the solid blue states will go down when GW sign’s federal conceal carry laws.

    It will further plummet when welfare is done away with.

    But the biggest drop in crime will happen when Roe v Wade is overturned. Not, I don’t really have an opinion on the whole abortion drama, but in Esquire there was an article about a statistician, and he tied crime statistics to legal abortion. Of course correlation does not indicate causation, but if the correlation stays true…

  27. Forgot to mention this was about 6-7 years ago.

  28. Nathan,
    some years back I was taking a criminal justice class and there was a case in Massachusets if I recall correctly, where a woman was pursued through her house, and eventually she in the basement, she shot the assailant.

    She was prosecuted for not trying to escape through a door in the back. A door she would probalby not have been able to get out of anyways.

    Some motherfucking communist statist elitist bastard prosecuter, prosecuted a woman from defending herself in her own home. He prosecuted a woman for defending herself!

    I wish all the ill in the world on that prosecutor.

  29. “But the biggest drop in crime will happen when Roe v Wade is overturned.”

    i’ve never heard this particular theory before. care to briefly expand upon it?

  30. But the biggest drop in crime will happen when Roe v Wade is overturned. Not, I don’t really have an opinion on the whole abortion drama, but in Esquire there was an article about a statistician, and he tied crime statistics to legal abortion. Of course correlation does not indicate causation, but if the correlation stays true…

    Actually, the corrolation shows the exact opposite: that crime statistics (with an 18 year lag) have gone dramatically down after Row v Wade. If the correlation stays true if RvW gets overturned you can expect a spike in crime about 18 years after.

    (This is all from Steven D. Levitt’s Freakonomics)

  31. Also, they seem to be talking about kitchen knives, but I have to wonder how they would feel about things like KA-BARs and Buck knives.

    I have it on mediocre authority that carrying anything larger than a penknife is currently criminal in Britain. SpyderCo has actually produced a knife the express purpose of which is to be legal in Britain.

    Field dresssing a deer with a long blunt knife or a pointy paring knife doesn’t sound all that practical.

    Hunting in Britain? Stop, yer crackin me up.

    G

  32. kwais,

    The only correlation I’ve seen between gun laws and crime rates is the significant reduction that occured after the adoption of the Assault Weapons Ban, and the uptick they may be occurring since it sunsetted.

    Most of this reduction occured in blue states, particularly in the large cities of blue states.

    You were saying something about correlations?

  33. And no, I don’t think the Assault Weapons Ban caused crime to go down, any more than I think the Olympics cause our politicians to start running campaign ads.

  34. Really? I’ll have to go and buy the magazine now, I had just read it on the shelf.

    An 18 year lag? I don’t really know if that can be called a correlation. Specially for a one time event. If it had happened the next day, then something could be said for it.

  35. and the uptick th[at] may be occurring since it sunsetted.

    Slow down there joe, you don’t want to scare people with such damning, statistically technical phrases as “that may be occurring.”

    Someone call the Journal of the Royal Statistical Society. I have done breakthrough research on the monkeys that may be flying out of my butt.

  36. Joe,

    What statistics are you looking at? No less a gun-antipathetic outfit than the CDC produced a study in 2003 that failed to produce any evidence that the gun control laws they studied had any effect on crime. Which is one of the reasons the Assault Weapon Ban expired with so little drama: even the Violence Policy Center acknowledged that they expected the expiry of the ban to have little or no effect.

    G

  37. An 18 year lag? I don’t really know if that can be called a correlation. Specially for a one time event. If it had happened the next day, then something could be said for it.

    I believe the rational is that 18-30 years of age is the criminal “sweet spot.” Thus, you’re not going to start observing a noticable reduction in crime until 18 years after the wide availability of abortion. Remember, fetuses don’t commit crimes; but 18 year olds who were unwanted and raised without a father / in a poor household have a much higer probability of doing so. That’s why it takes 18 years to see the proported effect of abortion on crime.

  38. Joe,
    There is no statistical change in crime due to the Assault weapons ban coming or going.

    There is a drop in crime rate that correlated with states adopting concealed carry laws.

    Gun control advocates argue that there was no causation, because statistically the larges percentage drop that correlated with the carry laws was with youth offenders, and victims that would not be affected by the new gun laws.

  39. An 18 year lag? I don’t really know if that can be called a correlation.

    Actually, from a purely statistical point of view lags in time don’t diminish corrolations. You deal with them all the time (especially in economics).

  40. Nathan,
    I see your point. I was thinking of how the legality of abortion would affect the crime rate by pushing teenagers to do something illegal (when not able to raise the child), or in the case of it being legal, it might say, cheapen human life in their eyes or something. I don’t know, it is a strech either way.

    So your point makes more sense. I guess if there are more kids aborted, there are fewer unwanted kids to grow up and commit crimes.

    Seems to me in that case abortion is at best a half measure.

  41. More info on the aborition issue can be found at http://www.freakonomics.com (this interview with the authors on O’Reilly has some good background).

  42. This may be premature, but the decade-long downward trend in crime and violent crime in America seems to have levelled off over the past couple of years.

    joe, how many times do I have to debunk that claim before you stop making it? The violent crime rate fell 3.1% in 2000, 0.4% in 2001, 2% in 2002, 3.7% in 2003, and 2% through the first 6 months of 2004. When the FBI releases the UCR for the whole year (probably next month), it’s extremely likely to show a drastic decline in murders and robberies (I’m expecting ~5%).

    If any violent category increases, it’s likely to be rape — though it’s difficult to determine how much of that is simply more reporting due to the ever-increasing support available for victims. Enormous numbers of rapes still go unreported, so any minor fluctuation in the reporting rate is going to show up in the UCR. I’d also hazard an educated guess that most rapes aren’t committed at gunpoint.

    Of course, tying crime statistics to gun policy (in either direction) is very iffy business. Demographics and economics play an enormous role in forming those numbers. Bickering over numbers that might very well have no bearing on the debate is no replacement for discussion and debate about the proper trade-off between liberty and security. Differing standards in that area are what form individuals’ opinions about guns anyway — not the statistics both sides try to rally to their cause after their minds are already made up.

  43. I’ve heard abortion called many things before, but I’ve never heard it called a “half measure”.

  44. Also note that you can get a good idea how strong the correlation is with respect to abortion as opposed to other factors since Roe v Wade only affected some states. Other states either already had legal abortion or have it in theory but not in practice even today.

  45. I’m reading Freakonomics right now. I haven’t read the chapter on abortion yet, but I’ve skimmed it. There’s apparently more to the argument than just “well, something happened 18 years after Roe vs. Wade.” For instance, states that legalized abortion sooner supposedly saw reductions in crime sooner. And other things like that.

    The argument may be right or wrong, but it is more sophisticated than just “Well, something happened in 18 years later.”

  46. The argument may be right or wrong, but it is more sophisticated than just “Well, something happened in 18 years later.”

    Totally agree. I was just trying to give the cliff notes version. The “something happened 18 years later” is an easy to understand, laymans intro to the piece (its seems to be the jumping off point for Levitt in his recent interviews).

  47. I have it on mediocre authority that carrying anything larger than a penknife is currently criminal in Britain. SpyderCo has actually produced a knife the express purpose of which is to be legal in Britain.

    You don’t have to go as far as GB for that. It is illegal to carry a knife 4″ or longer in New York State. There are several exceptions, one is while you are hunting and another is at an official Boy Scout function by a member. In most states it is illegal to carry such a knife concealed (in CCW states they are covered by a permit).

    Many people are unaware on exactly how many restrictions there are, in this country, on the possession and carrying of weapons or things that are considered weapons.

  48. Fair enough, Nathan. The problem on this forum is that if you give the easy layman’s version of a social science study then everybody scoffs at those darn social scientists for not being more rigorous.

    And if you give the longer version, then everybody’s like “Well, did he test for this alternative variable that I just pulled out of my ass a second ago?”

  49. joe, love the Dune reference

  50. Freakanomics was very entertaining and his section on crime has certainly drawn the most attention (although I think the section of cheating schools was the best overall). The numbers are strong to indicate that abortion has had an effect on the crime rate, after all, less at-risk kids means less crime. But there were two other very important factors, namely the amount of police and prisons. I like to sum it up with the phrase police, prisons and prophylactics.

    As far as I know, it’s illegal to carry a knife in the US that has a blade longer than the width of your hand. While I may disagree with that, it’s still a far cry from regulating kitchen knives. I suspect a conspiracy with Big Frozen-Food.

  51. This may be premature, but the decade-long downward trend in crime and violent crime in America seems to have levelled off over the past couple of years.

    joe,

    levelled off, I think, is the key phrase. The numbers furnished by phocion at May 27, 2005 12:58 PM seem to indicate a brief reduction in the rates of decrease. However the UK is experiencing a sizable increase in crime rates.

    I hesitate to claim to know why that should be, but I do think that their tendency to criminalize self-defense (as illustrated by Nathan’s horror story) and their emphasis on implements* rather than behaviour has something to do with it.

    I think it was Joyce Lee Malcolm who found that no country had ever experienced a decrease in murder rates after passing gun control legislation and most had experienced increases. I prefer her work to John Lott who I think has compromised himself with too much shoddy work.

    *I mean, have the writers of this study even remotely considered the how a ban like this could be enforced?

  52. Ayatollah:
    As to needing a sharp pointy knife, I once shot a deer only to realize I was without my knife. I ended up field dressing it with a Leatherman?, and while I didn’t `need’ a sharp pointy knife, I sure wish I had one.

    From context, I deduce a “Leatherman” is not a knife. What kind of handy tool is it, then? (“Leatherman” is one of those terms I fear to Google.)

  53. Never mind, I threw caution to the wind and Googled it anyway. A kind of Swiss Army pliers, it looks like.

  54. Maybe I don’t NEED the points on my long, pointy knives, but I LIKE them.

    If pointy knives are outlawed, and stabbings decrease, I predict an increase of brutal deadly hackings.

    THEN what??

  55. Why are you all telling me gun control laws don’t change the crime rate? I just said that, myself.

    kwais, there is no statistical change DUE TO the assault weapons ban, or DUE TO the change in concealed carry laws. However, the drop is the national crime rate roughly coincided with the passage of the AWB. Just as, apparently, there have been some drops in crime rates in some of the states that have loosened up their concealed carry laws.

    phocion, Isaac, we’re not going to be able to see if the drop in crime rates is continuing, slowing, stopping, or reversing for a couple of years. Hence the use of “may have” that has Nathan all atitter.

  56. If pointy knives are outlawed, and stabbings decrease, I predict an increase of brutal deadly hackings.

    THEN what??

    Licenses for AXES?

    What about when clubbing becomes the favored means of homicide? Special permits for cricket players*. Or maybe they’ll just ban the sport altogether (no great loss, to my mind:).

    * I was going to write “baseball players” but I remembered it’s the Brits we’re dealing with here. Besides I think the right to play baseball, and therefore the right to keep and bear bats, protected somewhere in the penumbra of the Bill of Rights.

  57. (Scene) A dark kitchen in London. A burglar and homeowner meet, surprising each other.

    Homeowner: “Please don’t hurt me.”

    Burglar: “Sorry but you’re dead mate! What! Only a 4” knife! Curses! You’ve escaped me this time.

    Homeowner: “Whew! Thank you Parliament!”

    They’re right of course. I’ve never thought that I would actully kill someone until I held a long pointy knife. But whenever I hold my 6″ Henkel those murderous voices start shouting in my head. It’s a miracle that I haven’t killed already.
    We also need laws requiring background checks for butchers, chefs, and lunch ladies.

  58. My, I’ve always been a poisoner. Insects, mule deer, noisy neighbors. Guess it’s just my way.

  59. Before we start throwing stones, let’s take a quick look at our own glass house. Not that this law isn’t ridiculous. With switchblades being illegal, a switchcomb is that much moer fun.

  60. This may be premature, but the decade-long downward trend in crime and violent crime in America seems to have levelled off over the past couple of years.

    That’s because the moon isn’t in the seventh house anymore.

  61. “That’s because the moon isn’t in the seventh house anymore.”

    Douglas,
    Had you read Diane Keaton was in Broadway’s “Hair,” but refused to appear nude?
    Then there she was in the fairly recent movie with Jack Nicholson. Nekkid.
    What’s up with that?

    Are you in favor of putting your “moon” in Diane’s seventh house?

    Hell, I’d put my moon in her sixth house.

    This is the 7-Up joke told in reverse.
    Lap lap lap

  62. Ha! I think you’re on to something there, Doug.

  63. joe, joe, joe,

    Here is the thing, there is no correlation anywhere of restricting weaponry of the citizens and reducing crime. There is a statistical correlation between allowing weapons concealed or otherwise and a drop in crime. Correlation, perhaps not indicating causation.

    The only law that I am aware of where a weapons restricting law led to less crime, was a law in England stating that policemen couldn’t carry.

    However, even if there is no reduction in crime associated with allowing citizens to carry concealed, why would you not allow them to? Why ever would you restrict the freedom of the citizenry, given that absolutely does not make them safer? Why Joe why? Why do you want to be Joe Stalin?

    Also, I responded to you in the women in combat thread below.

  64. I am a short, skinny, physically weak woman, and in hand-to-hand combat, pretty much any healthy male above the age of ten could kill me if he so desired. I read of a case in Britain where a woman like me, who had to walk down a dark, deserted road to get home from work, got in legal trouble for carrying a KNITTING NEEDLE in case she needed it for self-defense. So I’d like to know why British, and increasingly American, lawmakers think it’s a good idea to require people like me to count on the good graces of violent psychopaths to keep us safe?

  65. Whoops. I did a Google search and the woman in question wasn’t actually in trouble for the needle, but was used as an example of the sort of thing which MIGHT lead to trouble under new British laws. Still disturbing, though; check out these quotes (full link at the bottom):

    During the debate over the Prevention of Crime Act in the House of Commons, a member from Northern Ireland told his colleagues of a woman employed by Parliament who had to cross a lonely heath on her route home and had armed herself with a knitting needle. A month earlier, she had driven off a youth who tried to snatch her handbag by jabbing him “on a tender part of his body.” Was it to be an offense to carry a knitting needle? The attorney general assured the M.P. that the woman might be found to have a reasonable excuse but added that the public should be discouraged “from going about with offensive weapons in their pockets; it is the duty of society to protect them. . . .”

    In the House of Lords, Lord Saltoun argued: “The object of a weapon was to assist weakness to cope with strength and it is this ability that the bill was framed to destroy. I do not think any government has the right, though they may. very well have the power, to deprive people for whom they are responsible of the right to defend themselves.” But he added: “Unless there is not only a right but also a fundamental willingness amongst the people to defend themselves, no police force, however large, can do it.”

    That willingness was further undermined by a broad revision of criminal law in 1967 that altered the legal standard for self-defense. Now everything turns on what seems to be “reasonable” force against an assailant, considered after the fact. As Glanville Williams notes in his Textbook of Criminal Law, that requirement is “now stated in such mitigated terms as to cast doubt on whether it [self-defense] still forms part of the law.”

    http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1568/is_6_34/ai_93090050/pg_2

  66. Jen,
    “I am a short, skinny, physically weak woman, and in hand-to-hand combat, pretty much any healthy male above the age of ten could kill me if he so desired”

    I am sure you could kill any red blooded man with a look.

    In unrelated news, I saw an Iraqi girl today that made my heart stop beating. I wonder if I can meet her.

  67. Jennifer,
    Thanks for the enlightening info. It’s the duty of society to protect me. So if I ever run into trouble on a dark street, I can just start screaming for society to come help, right? (Kitty Genovese comes immediately to mind). I guess the politician who said that didn’t have the same mental picture I do of just how incredibly, completely, utterly stupid that is. Forget the knitting needle and pack some heat.

  68. kwais,

    I don’t generally support broad laws to ban weapons, the “guns off the street” type of laws. The laws I do support are targetted at keeping dangerous individuals from posessing guns, or keeping particularly dangerous equipment out of general circulation.

    The type of broad disarming of the general public that the most extreme (in this country) advocates of gun control support don’t make a very convincing public safety argument, so I’m not swayed. Though I don’t by any means share the “Stalinists are going to march us all to camps!” paranoid fantasies that motivate the real gun control opposition.

  69. Though I have to admit, once you accept the proposition that Stalists are waiting to march you off to the camps, private ownership of .50 cal machine guns become a perfectly reasonable conclusion.

  70. Joe,
    I’m curious about your comment that the type of broad disarming of the general public that the most extreme (in this country) advocates of gun control support don’t make a very convincing public safety argument. The last person I encountered who made this argument was an American who had spent some time living in England, and he insisted that broad disarmament has made it a much, much safer place than the U.S. He was totally convinced that broad gun control made everything safer. I’m just wondering, what is it about that argument that you don’t find convincing? I’m interested to hear from someone who favors some gun control about why you don’t buy the argument that we’d be safer without any guns, since a lot of liberal-leaning people I meet find it very convincing.

  71. LisaMarie,

    Broad-based disarmament is possible in England. It isn’t possible here. You’ve got shoeless hillbillies 100 miles from the nearest police station. You’ve got hunting as a generational legacy among the working and middle class in many areas, not just the titled aristocracy. I don’t thing the laws have a chance of being enforced, even if they were somehow passed. So we’d end up with a prohibition situation, with the government fighting an endless War on Guns and organized crime raking in billion of dollars every year.

    Prohibitionist laws can work against activities that are rare and broadly despised, but when they’re tried against things that are commonplace – like drinking beer, smoking weed, or owning shotguns, in America – they have no chance of achieving their goals, but a very good chance of creating a violent black market. No thanks.

  72. Joe,
    I take it you are in favor of banning .50 cal sniper rifles?

    If so why?

    Also, how do you feel about concealed weapons laws? That is a big red state issue, and also an issue of freedom.

  73. There was no Assault Weapons Ban. It was a hoax by liberal politicians who figured their constituents were too stupid to realize it. They were right.
    The same firearms were for sale after the ban as before the ban. The specifically named weapons (Colt “Sporter”) had to change the model designation of the firearm.
    The large magazines could no longer be sold on the weapon, but had to be purchased separately, and you could buy it in the same purchase!
    Large magazines continued to be manufactured, imported and sold throughout the ten or so years of the “ban”.

    Didn’t any liberal ever look in a gunstore window andd wonder about all those brand new AK and M16 clones on the shelves? Didn’t they see those stacks of big banana magazines with the $14.99 price tags on them?

    Sheesh!

    Keith

  74. kwais,

    I’m what you’d call “persuadable” on .50 caliber rifles. Belt fed machine guns and six shooters are the easy cases.

    On concealed carry, I think “shall issue” laws go too far. I prefer to deferring to the discretion of the local police chief, with standards to prevent arbitrary behavior.

  75. I’m what you’d call “persuadable” on .50 caliber rifles. Belt fed machine guns and six shooters are the easy cases.

    The best rule of thumb that I’ve heard is that the citizens should be allowed to have up to the same level of weaponry as the cops. If the cops need a certain weapon to fight criminals, then we should be allowed the same means for defending ourselves against criminals.

    Of course, such a stance would upset libertarian purists who care deeply about the inalienable right to keep and bear stealth bombers and nerve gas, but I think most sane people could accept such a compromise.

  76. I told a ditz this very weekend that all drugs should be legal.
    The response was, “All drugs? I could understand marijuana. Hem, haw.”

    The issue is not how “frightening” the drug or firearm is. The issue is the harm caused by banning it. That is, trying to ban it.
    And another issue is the pure failure of government being able to ban anything.
    King Canute had common sense.

  77. You gun nuts out there answer me this:
    A military officer’s standard side-arm was a 45 caliber pistol–before it became a 9mm.
    We are now getting anal about 50 caliber?
    Does 5 one hundredths of an inch in diameter make that much difference?

    Could a woman answer?

  78. When cars are outlawed, only outlaws will speed

    5,000 people die every day in “car crimes” and “car-related crimes”. “Car crimes” are directly responsible for 50,000 deaths a year in the U.S. alone, and countless pregnancies. Not only are cars used to commit such crimes as drunk driving, speeding, racing, and tailgating, but they’re the weapon of choice for bank robbers, rapists, stalkers, and hit-and-run drivers.

  79. Ruthless and Joe,

    The .50 cal that I am talking about is the .50 caliber sniper rifle. (Not a true sniper rifle, because it won’t hold a minute of angle). The rifle that shoots the same bullet as the Browning M2 Machine gun.

    It is not a hunting rifle, the bullet is too big and too powerfull, and the gun is too heavy. It is illegal in CA, and the LAPD apparently sent some people to argue that it become illegal, even though the LAPD has them in their inventory for God knows what.

    The rifle is never used in crimes, but really serves no practical purpose to a civilian other than target practice, that I can think of. I don’t have one, but I might want one. I really want one if they become illegal.

    Joe,
    For me to sell you on the idea that the .50 cal should not be made illegal, I have to ask you why would you want to make something illegal. If everything we are to own, we have to justify why we should be allowed to have it, then it cannot be claimed we are free.

    Why do you want a car that can do more than 55? Why do you want pink hair dye? Why do you need a news show outside of NPR?

    My intent to convince you that a .50 cal should be legal is to show you that anyones argument to forbid them is irrational.

  80. Ruthless,

    A rifle bullet is much longer and heavier than a pistol bullet, even if they are the same diameter. I’m sure one of the nuts will pop in to break down the grains, velocities, etcetera for you.

  81. kwais,

    I agree that the burden of proof is on the people who want to ban something, not on those who want to allow it. The justification behind banning .50 caliber rifles, as I understand it, is that the rounds they fire have such a high weight and velocity that they could be used to bring down an aircraft shortly after takeoff. Apparently, they are capable of doing so much damage to an aircraft engine as to knock it out. I don’t know the merit of this charge.

    Now, any object has some degree of risk. You could choke on a popsicle stick. The question becomes, is the risk from that type of weapon serious enough to justify and intrustion on people’s liberty? And if so, would a ban have a good chance of actually succeeding in preventing the weapons’ proliferation?

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