London’s Sadiq Khan, the first Muslim to assume a mayor’s role for a major Western city, thinks he’s found the cause of the uptick in stabbings his community’s seen in recent times — wayward knives.
And as such, he’s banned the carrying of knives in the city. In the city where migration counts have escalated in recent times, by the way. Coincidence? To Khan — apparently.
He’s put out this message to all the knife-carriers of the city: Leave the blades at home. All violators will be arrested — they will not pass Go but instead, be sent right to Jail. Not to make Monopoly light of the situation — but really, what kind of game is this mayor playing?
“No excuses,” Khan tweeted. “[T]here is never a reason to carry a knife. Anyone who does will be caught, and they will feel the full force of the law.”
His message came as London recorded more homicides than the comparatively-sized New York, a historical first. By the numbers, London’s suffered 50 homicides already this year, most of which have been stabbed. Why? ‘Cause guns are already pretty much outlawed in London so the murderous-minded need to find a different weapon.
Just goes to show what conservatives and Second Amendment advocates have been saying for some time: It’s not the gun, stupid.
Let’s assume this knife ban reduces the number of stabbing murders in London. I don’t think it will, but let’s play along for a moment and pretend it will. What then?
Well, you’ll have more people killed by blunt force trauma, or screwdrivers, or something else they can be stabbed with.
Criminals don’t become criminals because certain tools are available. They make use of the tools available to them. If they can get guns, they use guns. If they can’t, they use knives, clubs, hammers, screwdrivers, cars, fists, harsh language, whatever they can. You will never outlaw all the tools a criminal can use to ply his trade. It’s not physically possible.
But what you can do is make it difficult for a private citizen to have the means to defend themselves. Then again, England’s not too fond of that one either. Unfortunately for them, it’s a basic human right. We have a right to defend our lives from attack, and I refuse to give that up. The British people need to speak up and protect that sacred right, as well.
However, the fact that Khan has gotten away with a ban on the carrying of knives, something that many in this nation see as an essential tool to carry every day, tells us that Londoners may already be too cowed to respond to anything.
All knives ordered on the internet must be collected in person at a store or a post office, so buyers can prove they are over 18.
The move, which will also affect millions of innocent customers, is among a raft of measures to be unveiled as the Government moves to tackle violence which has seen more than 50 people killed in London alone since the start of the year.
Other action includes tighter gun controls, banning weapons such as zombie knives and the sale of corrosive substances to under-18s, following a spate of acid attacks.
It will also be a crime to carry such harmful products in public without good reason and police stop-and-search powers will be extended.
Under a “two strikes” regime, criminals caught twice with corrosive substances will automatically face a jail term of at least six months.
A government assessment of tougher knife laws published last year recognised the online delivery ban could affect retailers. But it pointed out that eBay and big stores such as Asda, John Lewis and Wilko do not sell knives online
Other major retailers such as Tesco and Argos stipulate that knives bought online must be collected in-store, to check the age of the purchaser.
The assessment said the fatal stabbing in 2015 of Bailey Gwynne, 16, at an Aberdeen school highlighted “the fatal consequences of not having strong checks in place to prevent under 18s from buying knives online”. Bailey’s killer told police he bought the knife from Amazon “because they don’t check if you’re 18 or not”.
Victims of the latest crime wave include Tanesha Melbourne-Blake, 17, shot dead in a drive-by attack on Monday.
There have also been a series of stabbings in London, the latest victim being a 13-year-old boy, who is in hospital in a serious but stable condition.
Meanwhile, violent crime is also rising across the country.
Police recorded 37,443 offences involving a knife or sharp instrument in the year ending September 2017 — 21 per cent up from 2016 and the highest since comparable records started in the 12 months to March 2011.
Gun-related crime also went up by a fifth year on year, to 6,694 recorded offences.
London’s mayor Sadiq Khan has invited Home Secretary Amber Rudd and MPs to a summit at City Hall to discuss the capital’s crime wave.
A 17-year-old boy appeared before Thames magistrates yesterday, charged with the murder of Israel Ogunsola, 18 — stabbed in Hackney, east London, on Wednesday — and possessing an offensive weapon. The youth will appear at the Old Bailey on April 10.
The UK’s descent into absurdity continued this week as officials announced new efforts to crack down on knives and other potentially dangerous objects. The renewed interest in banning sharp objects stems from a recent spate of killings in London. In February and March, London’s murder rate topped New York City’s for the first time in recorded history.
As w previously reported, Home Office officials have taken efforts to restrict the online or mail order sale of knives, and have pursued a handful public service campaigns against knife crime. Moreover, the UK’s Sentencing Council has changed their guidelines to impose harsher sentences on those found guilty of carrying or misusing a knife.
During the past week, the UK’s anti-knife efforts have intensified.
On April 9, Home Office Secretary Amber Rudd issued the government’s “Serious Violence Strategy.” In it, the government reiterated its plans to prohibit the direct online or mail order sale of knives. The Home Office also stated that it intends to restrict the sale of “corrosive substances” to those under 18. This measure is in response to a recent spate of grotesque acid attacks in the country. The move would affect several common cleaning products.
The document also made clear that the government is “actively strengthening controls on legally owned firearms.” The strategy paper noted that the government’s actions include,
greater regulation of antique firearms; statutory guidance to be issued to the police on firearms and shotgun licensing; improving the arrangements on the use of medical information in licensing decisions; and new offenses on unlawfully converting imitation firearms and defectively deactivated firearms.
The Home Office also shared their intent to further burden registered firearms dealers.
On April 10, London Mayor Sadiq Kahn held a secret “knife crime summit” aimed at “tackling violent crime on the city’s streets.” The UK press lodged an official complaint against the city after the press and public were barred from the meeting. Two days earlier Kahn took to Twitter to declare, “No excuses: there is never a reason to carry a knife.”
In a departure from the ruling Tory party’s efforts to curtail the use of “stop and search” (akin to stop and frisk in the U.S.), London’s Metropolitan police have increased their use of the controversial tactic. According to figures from London Chief of Police Cressida Dick, police used stop and frisk power four times more in March 2018 than they did a year earlier. Kahn acquiesced to the increased use of the tactic, calling for more “targeted” searches.
Further, over last weekend, the Metropolitan police deployed 300 additional police officers to the London’s most crime-ridden areas. Explaining the move to British radio station LBC, Dick noted that the force would be “exclusively working against knife crime, exclusively in those parts of London that have been most affected recently.”
The most ridiculous recent crime control proposal came from Royal College of Psychiatrists Chair Dr. John Crichton. According to a recent report from the Express and a 2017 report from the Scotsman, Crichton has called for a ban on all pointed kitchen knives. Under Crichton’s plan, UK subjects would be forced to purchase “R” bladed knives, which have rounded points. Crichton explained, “public health measures are always about society deciding on a self-imposed restriction for the public good… It is a bit like the smoking ban or minimum alcohol pricing.”
Let’s not look at this as a parody, but as a kind of scientific experiment. On the one side, we have a nation in which the availability of guns has been increasing while violent crime has been going down, consistently, year over year, not just in one big city but across the country. On the other side, we have a nation that is famous for its strict gun control and confiscation of firearms, yet we see violent crime increasing. Clearly, the availability of guns is not the primary driver of crime. But we should have known that already.
I don’t know enough to say exactly what is causing Britain’s crime wave. The reports say that “much of the violence is tied to gangs,” which just kicks the question back a step: why are there more gangs and why are they more violent? But we do know enough to say what is not causing it. It is not some material factor — not poverty, because Britain is a wealthy country, and not guns, because they have taken virtually all of them away.