Whenever I discussed gun control and the topic of Great Britain came up, I often times would point out their massive knife violence problem to suggest that bad people will do bad things regardless of tool and would often joke about the U.K. introducing “knife control” legislation to try and “combat” it, which would help about as much as gun control typically does.
But one British politician, Tory MP Scott Mann, made a suggestion on social media that the U.K. implement a knife registry like they do with guns and to plant GPS trackers on every knife.
Specifically, he wrote: “Every knife sold in the UK should have a gps tracker fitted in the handle. It’s time we had a national database like we do with guns. If you’re carrying it around you had better have a bloody good explanation, obvious exemptions for fishing, etc.”
While this is not exactly an official proposal, it is at least testing the waters to see if Parliament should go forward with something similar, but obviously with far greater detail.
But all this got was (much deserved) mockery.
One Twitter user wrote: “’There’s been a stabbing.’ ‘Quick, get me the GPS tracking for every knife in a 3 mile radius.’ ‘OK, it says there are 120,000 of them, mostly in kitchens.’ ‘Bollocks, thought we had them then.’ ‘Could ask those young lads with the machete.’ ‘Nah, they’ve got a mackerel, been fishing.’”
Another user wrote: “Have you got much in the way of a plan for how the police monitor the movement of the UK’s, let’s say 300 million knives?”
And this all barely gets into a fraction of the problems with this idea.
Shall I go over them quickly, since I’m fairly certain they will try and propose something like this at some point anyway and it’d be good to think over all the negatives, impossibilities and outright idiocies attached to such a plan?
Okay, then. I’ll do that. But where to begin? How about the fact that it’d be incredibly expensive and difficult to fit a GPS device into every single knife put into development from the moment the legislation passes?
Seriously, I don’t know how much it would cost to actually do that, but that sort of equipment is expensive and hard to mass produce for what I can only assume is a relatively conservative estimate of 300 million knives (considering the U.K.’s population sits at around 66 million and most people have a multitude of knives in their homes, I’d say that’s a very conservative estimate since each person would have to have roughly 4.5 knives and most people’s kitchens have A LOT more than that).
Another thing to consider is the fact that it’d be outright impossible to track every single one of these knives and even whether or not they are outside. The accuracy of these systems begins to dip farther than 5 meters or 16 feet. You would have to have an agent nearby surveilling particular knives to see if they are outside for any given reason, which makes it pretty much impossible to accurately track these things.
But perhaps the most laughable aspect of this entire thing is that, even if you did somehow find a way to pay for the implanting of GPS trackers in EVERY SINGLE KNIFE in the U.K. and could somehow track each one to an accurate degree, these GPS tracking systems are not likely to be dishwasher-safe and require batteries to operate. Meaning the person OWNING the knife would have to replace the battery of the GPS tracker in order for the tracker to work. And guess what people who don’t care about laws will prefer to do with a dying battery on a GPS tracker on what will be their desire weapon of choice?
So even if you somehow managed to climb over the massive hurdles relating to cost of both implanting GPS trackers into the knives and having enough man-power to track every single knife that winds up outside for any reason, the actual device would only be able to keep track of people who DON’T INTEND ON USING IT AS A MURDER WEAPON! If people are required by law to change the batteries in the systems, only THOSE WHO ABIDE BY THE LAW WILL DO IT.
And thus, we get right back on to the most important point anyone can make in a gun control or knife control argument: criminals, by definition, don’t care about the law.
As I have explained multiple times in the past, murder is already illegal. You are not allowed by law to kill your fellow human being unless it can be proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that it was in self-defense. And yet, people still do it. It’s not a problem with the law, but a problem with being unable to always enforce that law.
It is illegal to rape people, murder people, sell drugs to people, harass people, assault people, threaten people, etc. All are things that people do anyway because man is naturally evil.
So having a knife registry where you keep track of every knife via a GPS tracking system would AT BEST only keep track of law-abiding people AKA the people the government shouldn’t be targeting.
And that’s a best case scenario. Again, you would have to clear the nearly or actually impossible hurdles of 1) paying for the GPS tracking system in each and every single knife, 2) having the man-power to keep track of knives that somehow end up outside and 3) coming up with a way to not have the systems get destroyed upon the first wash.
And that’s all to amount to still not being able to stop knife crimes! Yeah, no, this is a great idea.
But this is ultimately what I’m trying to say: you can’t legislate evil. Evil will find ways to be evil. If evil wants to kill someone, they’ll find a way to do it. Take away evil’s gun, they’ll use a knife. Take away the knife, they’ll use blunt objects like baseball bats, pipes, and whatever they can get their hands on to inflict physical harm. Take away all of those things and they’ll use their fists. And as impossible as it is to take away people’s blunt objects (because just about anything can be a murder weapon from a baseball bat to a pen to even the very keyboard I’m writing on), you 100% cannot take away people’s fists to prevent them from hurting someone else.
The unfortunate truth of reality is that man is naturally evil and will often do evil deeds. You can’t enact these laws because these people don’t care about laws. You can try to enforce those laws, but that will never fully prevent anyone from doing something egregious. And most of the time, these laws end up hurting people more than helping them. Often times, when someone wants to legally buy a gun, they can run into trouble while the process is still going through. This sort of thing is especially the case if someone is trying to protect themselves from a dangerous and crazy ex or overall a stalker.
Something else to note is that people who intend to commit crimes with a gun will more often than not choose not to buy the gun legally.
How often has a shooter used his parents’ or friend’s weapons to commit the egregious act? How do you counter that? Often times, no new gun laws proposed in the aftermath of a shooting would include something that could’ve prevented the shooting. Even Diane Feinstein, in the aftermath of the Las Vegas shooting, admitted that no new gun law that Congress was looking at would’ve prevented that massacre.
There are simply way too many factors in place surrounding the event of a shooting or a knife attack for legislation and government agents to be able to work out. Certainly spending an irresponsible amount of money to invest in a device that at best will only help to keep track of the very people you do not need to keep track of is no way to do it.
And don’t misunderstand, there are people in Parliament who are looking to see what they should or could do with something similar. That tweet wasn’t just a random thought; it was testing the waters. They think it’s a solid enough idea that would simply need to be better polished and better explained than in a 280-characters-or-less tweet.
The fact that something like this was even suggested by someone in the U.K. government tells you the level of stupidity that is in place. Even if he’s a rarity in the U.K. government (which I highly doubt), he certainly at least brings down the curve.
“But a stupid man will get understanding when a wild donkey’s colt is born a man!”
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