It seems that some of the major news this week revolves around the unfortunate, untimely death of a fellow named Freddie Gray, recently arrested by the city of Baltimore for carrying a knife. Gray died, riots occurred, police officers were arrested, the prosecutor is being accused of conflicts of interest and other allegations of prosecutorial over-reach. It's a damned shame on many levels. First, the idea that carrying a knife poses s a threat worthy of police intervention, second that the law is written so poorly that so many people can misunderstand the law, third that the police charged with enforcing the law have any problem deciding what is legal and what is not.
It is my considered opinion that no man is properly dressed or accoutered without a knife on his person. The type of knife should be purely a personal choice, but a sharpened bit of steel is very useful in any number of tasks. Indeed, I am reminded of my third-grade teacher, Mrs. Graham, who not only knew, but counted on the fact that every boy (and most of the girls) in her class carried a pocket knife.
A package would come to the classroom and Mrs Graham would announce "I need to borrow a knife." Fifteen little boys would begin digging in their pockets and move to the front of the class, holding out knives. Mrs. Graham would select one, critique the particular knife in question, open the package, then send the child back to his chair. This, as I recall, was about 1963. Somehow, in the intervening 50 years we've gotten the idea that a sharpened bit of steel is illegal, nefarious, criminal.
That is a dangerous mindset, because the very idea that a knife might be illegal has led, in this case anyway, to the death of one man, riots causing hundreds of thousands of dollars of property damage, the arrest of six police officers, and allegations of misconduct against an elected prosecutor. All over a sharpened bit of steel. My mind boggles at the thought.