Whatever your views of personal security and freedom, it’s worth considering that other people may not share your concerns, plans and opinions. I recently attended a meeting at a local company where we all had to fill in a paper ballot for a vote. The ballot slip was on the bottom of a piece of photocopy paper and had to be filled in and then torn off the sheet and handed in. I folded my piece of paper and then used my Spyderco folding knife with 3 ¼ inch serrated blade to neatly separate the ballot slip from the sheet.
I got a few general comments from other people in the room questioning if the knife was legal; what a big and dangerous blade it had; asking why I carry a knife and whether it was permitted on company premises. I defused the situation by making a joke out of it and saying that I carry a folder because carrying scissors would be silly.
However, here’s the more serious problem: Some people regard objects that may be used in a dangerous manner as always dangerous, regardless of the skill, intelligence, morality and maturity of the person in charge of that object. As a society, we are losing our ability to judge individual situations and behavior on their merits. Instead, we dumb down everything to the lowest common denominator. There is a saying that I believe originated in the old East Germany back when it was a part of the Soviet Union: “everything which is not allowed (by the government) is forbidden."
There is an underlying sentiment that everything is forbidden unless it is specifically allowed. If this is the way we want our society to function, then it should be made clear who has the authority to make good decisions and why they are so much better at making good and appropriate decisions than the individual citizen.
I choose to carry a knife because it’s a valuable tool that I use in a responsible, lawful and appropriate way. I resent having to explain that to my colleagues who don’t understand the way that a free and open society operates.
“They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.” Founding father Benjamin Franklin from his Memoirs of the life and writings of Benjamin Franklin