Crime experts, politicians, and religious leaders are calling on the U.K. government to ban the sale of pointed kitchen knives, KentOnline reported, to stem the tide of knife crime there, which has risen 80 percent since 2014.
Following a Friday conference titled — what else? — The Point, experts penned an open letter urging the government to "take urgent measures to promote the sale of safe kitchen knife designs and restrict those designs which have been used in so many acts of violence," the outlet said.
Research found that points on kitchen or domestic knives are no longer necessary, KentOnline said, citing the letter: "Historically we needed a point on the end of our knife to pick up food because forks weren't invented. Now we only need the point to open packets when we can't be bothered to find the scissors."
The letter added: "A five-year study in Edinburgh found that of the sharp instruments used in homicides, 94% were kitchen knives. Research demonstrates kitchen knives are used in a large percentage of homicides due to their availability and lethal nature. Criminologists have demonstrated that reducing availability in turn reduces crime," the outlet said.
"The UK has worked for the public good by restricting handguns, paracetamol [a pain reliever], smoking in public and plastic bags — now it is time to say 'no bloody point,'" the letter concluded, according to KentOnline.
How did folks react to the push to ban the sale of pointed kitchen knives?
As you might expect, Twitter users reacting to the news didn't exactly appreciate the experts' line of thinking:
- "Does anyone want to invade the UK? Figure we only need maybe a few people at this point."
- "This is where Canada is headed under Trudeau and his Merry Band of Marxists."
- "It's NOT about safety it's about control!
- "Next, banning pointed sticks."
- "They won't stop at guns, they won't stop until you are helpless."
- "Pretty soon they'll outlaw fists... It's a mental disorder."
- "I'm so old I remember when 'knife control' was a joke and not a thing that was under serious consideration."
And when there's humor happening, Monty Python can't be far behind:
Oh, but there's more
The conference was part of a month of related initiatives, including the Knife Angel art installation at Rochester Cathedral, the outlet said. The Knife Angel statue is made of confiscated knives from police stations to raise awareness about the rising tide of knife crime.
The Knife Angel will remain at Rochester Cathedral until the end of September, KentOnline said, adding that over 5,000 visitors to the monument have signed a book pledging not to carry knives.
The cathedral also hosted a special service Saturday that reflected on knife crime, the outlet reported.
Bishop Simon Burton-Jones of Tonbridge told the assembled that "knife crime rips up the lives of families and friends, piercing the networks that give us life, meaning, and support. Knife crime can be reduced if we follow the evidence trail, devote our resources to the right places, share knowledge smartly, and value the organizing power of local communities. The Church has a role to play, for it is located in most, if not all, places," the outlet said.
Among the other measures taken to reduce the knife-crime epidemic in the U.K.:
- Placing "knife free" messages on chicken boxes (which was deemed racist by some).
- Replacing knives with blunt-tipped cutlery in the kitchens of domestic abuse victims.
- Collecting knives through "surrender" boxes (one of which was broken into and cleaned out).
- A member of Parliament even suggested placing GPS trackers in the handles of every knife sold.