Annals of Knife Violence: They're Coming for Your Cutlery


To illustrate one of the more reckless fallacies within the pro-gun community’s rhetoric, let’s envision a scenario in which knife violence has been haunting the national imagination in a frenzied, nightmarish way.

Let’s say knife headlines are everywhere. Let’s say there’s been a notably savage incident in recent weeks, and let’s say it was savage enough to have inspired a political response.

Let’s bear in mind that basically everyone is a knife owner. We’ve all got sharp stuff in our kitchen drawers, right? Steak knives, fish knives, apple peelers. But we all likely meet the expectations for responsible knife-ownership without even thinking about it.

Let’s say, though, that the knives which have been used in knife attacks are of a trademarked and highly suspect ilk. They’ve been dubbed “Assault Knives” by those in the know but in fact they’re more like swords. They’re big, fat, almost industrial pieces of equipment that must be hefted upon one’s back a la Final Fantasy VII. They have zero practical uses. Deployment as cutlery or camping accoutrement would be preposterous even in the realm of practical joke.

In this alternate universe, let’s say the proposed political response is aimed only at these humongo-knives: weapons, recall, which have “Assault” in their official name.

That any American who uses knives every day — to cut her meat, say, or to gamely scrape up the dregs of his strawberry jam — would feel personally affronted by said legislation is absurd.

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Sam Allard

Sam Allard is the Senior Writer at Scene, in which capacity he covers politics and power and writes about movies when time permits. He's a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University and the NEOMFA at Cleveland State. Prior to joining Scene, he was encamped in Sarajevo, Bosnia, on an...
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