Thursday, April 12, 2018

Blade fade?

I was surprised to read about a British "art" project that's supposed to mobilize social opinion against "knife crime".  You can read about it here, but the video below is probably more enlightening.  (George R. R. Martin or HBO might be justified in suing them for copyright infringement, but clearly the artist(s) think that social progress is more important than mere commercial considerations.)

The real problem, of course, is that, just as with gun control, those agitating against "knife crime" in Britain are completely misguided.  They're focusing on the instrument, not the person(s) wielding it.  This campaign is utterly pointless (you should pardon the expression).  Consider:
  • In a case of drunk driving, we charge the driver, not his vehicle.
  • In a case of arson, we charge the arsonist, not the fuel and/or ignition source he used.
  • In a case of medical malpractice, we charge the doctor(s) and/or nurse(s) concerned, not the medical instruments and/or appliances they used.
  • In a burglary, we charge the burglar, not the tools he used to break and enter property.
  • In knife crime, we charge the person using the knife, not the knife itself.

In every case, the instrument(s) is/are not at fault, not responsible.  They have no ethical standards or moral volition of their own.  They're simply tools, things.  One might as well blame a hammer if one wields it inexpertly, and hits one's thumb instead of the head of the nail.  Guess what?  Your thumb will still hurt just as much, and you'll add being a dumbass to being a poor handyman.

There's a reason for the old proverb:  "A bad workman always blames his tools".  It's because, from time immemorial, that excuse has been used by those who either can't, or won't, do anything effective to solve a problem.  Whether that problem is to build a piece of furniture, or discourage the use of knives by criminals, the result is all too often the same - adopting an ineffective approach, then when it fails, blaming anything (and/or anyone) except adopting an ineffective approach.  You want to stop knife crime?  Pointless "art" displays of an ethically and morally guiltless instrument won't do it.  Neither will banning the carrying of knives in public.  (Remember how well Prohibition worked [NOT!], and how well the current War On Drugs has worked [NOT!]?)

No.  If you want to stop knife crime, make it so costly to the criminal that others will learn from his/her example, and not emulate it.  This might be one time when an Islamic standard of punishment actually has a meaningful application in a non-Islamic society.  Why not cut off the hand, or the fingers, of anyone using a knife to injure someone during the commission of a crime?  Do it in public, without anesthetic, and let people hear them scream.  I guaran-damn-tee you, it'll have an instant and very chilling effect on other criminals.  It'll certainly be a lot more effective than slapping them on the wrist in court, and giving them a few months or years in a cushy prison where they can learn from their peers to be better criminals!  (A similar approach might be a more effective deterrent to "gun crime".  Use a gun in the commission of a crime?  Get shot with that same gun, or a similar one, in exactly the same body part[s] where you shot your victims.  If that means you won't survive . . . well, you shouldn't have started it, should you?)

Does that shock you?  Do you think it's heartless, even barbaric?  Then make up your mind about your priorities.  Do you really, truly, genuinely want to reduce knife crime?  Then name an alternative that will be as effective as that punishment in achieving that objective.  Go on.  The ball's in your court.  Return it.

Fortunately, I and many of my readers live in a country where we can still respond to a knife-wielding criminal with something more effective than a strong word and a pointless, useless law.



LL said...

Looking for some rationality in the chambers of the progressive heart is a futile effort. Eliminating knives from a society is so absurd on its face that it amazes me that the Brits are advocating it. AND with all of the knife and acid attacks, why WOULDN'T people carry knives to protect themselves and those they love?

Maybe we should send the hog kid over there. Better there than here.

STxAR said...

We have a man in custody that admitted to shooting a bunch of kids at school. We have DNA that ties him to the weapon, ballistics that tie the weapon to the murders.

With evidence that tight, he should swing within a week. As I remember, hanging is probably the most humane way of offing these folks. That should help the soft hearted. The Preacher tells us in Ecclesiastes, that the "hearts of man are fully inclined to do evil because justice is delayed." So, speed up the execution dates to weeks in a case where the DNA evidence is airtight. Or there is a willing confession. I agree with using the same weapon on them, in the same manner.

I'm with you on the wounding issue, too. Eye for an eye was first mentioned in the Bible when 2 idiots are fighting and wound a pregnant woman. When the baby is delivered, if there are any injuries, it was eye for eye, tooth for tooth. Tell me the baby isn't worthy of protection in the womb. God said so, and that's good enough.

kamas716 said...

I'm missing how this piece of art infringes on Rape Rape Martin or HBO. Did they at a statue similar to this to Game of Thrones?

Borepatch said...





These are the traditional stages of policing. You increase the cost by integer multiples each time you move to the next stage.

The control movements (gun or knife) want to live at the "Prevent" stage because it's cheapest and because it gives much more control over the (law abiding) population to the authorities. It's a Fool's Errand, but that's Government for you.

The strategy changes when you shift to deter, as it must. Decentralized, rather than centralized wins. This is what we keep saying, but it more and more seems like shouting into the wind.

But the failure of both gun control and knife control is baked in at the beginning.

Steve Sky said...

In Britain, the point isn't the charging perpetrator, the point is disarming the populace by any means possible (they first got rid of guns). Note the home owner who was charged with murder, for defending himself & his property against a burglar. The end point is a disarmed populace where you'll only be allowed to let the police defend you, and at that point, "some animals are more equal than others" will apply.

That end point also applies to the U.S., as your previous post about gun confiscators indicates. After the guns are confiscated, the knives will follow, and no, it isn't a Onion satire.

freddie_mac said...

@ Steve Sky
In Britain, the point isn't the charging perpetrator, the point is disarming the populace by any means possible (they first got rid of guns).

An intelligent (non-PC) police force would look at factors behind the upsurge in knife/acid attacks, and go after those root causes. Since its un-PC to do that, they focus on disarming the populace. The safety of the overall population is deemed less important than not offending the violent ethnic groups. Gimmie Giuliani's "broken windows" and "stop and frisk" policies, which fixed NYC.