September 6, 2009

The once great nation of England

From the London Daily Mail:
Britain's blade culture claims another victim ...Scouts' penknives
Along with a box of matches and a piece of string, they've always been an essential part of a Scout's kit.

But now penknives are going to be restricted on scouting trips as a seemingly innocent tradition succumbs to concerns over the nation's blade culture.

The Scout Association is advising boys and their parents that they should not bring such knives to camp - despite it being legal for anyone to carry a foldable, nonlocking blade in a public place as long as it is shorter than 3ins.

Scouts have been taught to carry knives and have used them to cut firewood, prepare food or carve tools ever since Lord Baden-Powell founded the movement more than a century ago.

But in a recent edition of their official in-house magazine, Scouting, they are advised that neither they nor their parents should bring penknives to camp.
A bit more:
The Scout Association says the advice is designed to help reduce intimidation and bullying among its members. But some troop leaders believe the directive undermines the aims of Scouting.

Sheila Burgin, a troop leader for 4th Sevenoaks Scout Group in Kent, said: 'Whatever happened to the first Scout Law: a Scout is to be trusted - that is to carry and use a knife safely?

'I allow my Scouts to bring a knife to meetings, but with their parents' permission. They are taught how to use it correctly and risk losing it if they use it inappropriately.

'If you teach young people to respect knives they will value them as a tool. If you treat knives as dangerous implements they may never feel comfortable with them and that is a great loss.'
Good lord -- I have always carried a knife since I was in my teens. The idea that it should be banned makes about as much sense as banning silverware and saying that we now need to eat with our fingers. You can make a weapon out of almost anything -- why target knives? Posted by DaveH at September 6, 2009 1:41 PM