Japan, which has effectively outlawed all private ownership of guns for self-defense, has suffered from a spate of murders lately -- and the weapon of choice in each case was a knife.
Now, one Japanese city is responding by taking the next logical step along the gun control path: knife control.
Via Japan Today, Kyodo News reports:
KOBE — The city of Kawanishi in Hyogo Prefecture announced Monday it will propose a bill to the municipal assembly to require registration of knife buyers in the city, following a series of incidents in which knives were used as weapons including the recent killing of a teacher at a school in neighboring Osaka Prefecture.The proposed bill is ridiculous on its face for several reasons:
A prepared form requiring the name and address of the buyer of a knife with a blade of at least 15 centimeters, as well as the purpose of the purchase, would have to be submitted to the shop under the bill the city plans to put into effect in June.
First, any positive impact it might have is completely undermined by the arbitrary cut-off (no pun intended) at 15cm. What about blades measuring 14.5cm? We're on a slippery slope here, limiting law-abiding citizens' access to perfectly good knives and gaining nothing in return.
Second, the law is unenforceable, unless the Kawanishi cops are going to perform random door-to-door surprise inspections, checking for unregistered knives, and stop residents at the city limits, searching their bags to make sure they're not smuggling in black-market knives from out of town.
Third, even if all knives are in fact registered, that won't prevent a registrant from using one in a crime later on. Someone crazy enough to burst into a school in broad daylight and stab the teacher is not going to think twice because his name is on the registration form.
The good thing is that the proposed bill is so silly that it makes the arguments against gun control all the more clear. One hopes that before this folly progresses much further, the bill's proponents will come to their senses and realize that when knives are outlawed, only outlaws will have knives.
Gindy points out a post by The Astute Blogger, noting that knife crime is rampant in Britain, where draconian gun control laws are in effect. As other bloggers have noticed, it's leading to the same sort of foolishness over there.