British Doctors Want A Ban On Kitchen Knives To Prevent Stabbings


When we debate gun control in America, gun rights advocates who want to illustrate that guns are just a tool and not the cause of crimes ask, facetiously, if we ought to have knife control laws too to prevent stabbings and robberies committed with sharp, pointy objects.

This is usually dismissed as being absurd by gun control advocates, but in Great Britain (where gun violence has surged after the country instituted tough new gun bans) a group of doctors are advocating for a ban on kitchen knives to prevent stabbings.

A team from West Middlesex University Hospital said violent crime is on the increase – and kitchen knives are used in as many as half of all stabbings.

They argued many assaults are committed impulsively, prompted by alcohol and drugs, and a kitchen knife often makes an all too available weapon.

They consulted 10 top chefs from around the UK, and found such knives have little practical value in the kitchen.

None of the chefs felt such knives were essential, since the point of a short blade was just as useful when a sharp end was needed.

This illustrates the absurdity of attempting to address crimes with policy aimed at restricting access to the tools of those crimes. For whatever reason, violent crime is up in Great Britain, so these doctors assume that if people can’t just grab a kitchen knife when they’re angry and go on a slashing and stabbing rampage there will be less crime.

Which is foolish. The knives aren’t motivating the crimes any more than the guns are. People don’t commit crimes because they have a knife or a gun handy. They commit crimes because of other factors, and the guns/knives become a means to an end.

To the extent that policy can address things like violent crime, it should be aimed at the motivations for that crime not the implements of it. Because it is foolish to limit the freedoms of the vast majority of law-abiding citizens in whose hands a gun or a knife is no threat to society at large because a small minority of citizens might use those things for evil.

Rob Port is the editor of In 2011 he was a finalist for the Watch Dog of the Year from the Sam Adams Alliance and winner of the Americans For Prosperity Award for Online Excellence. In 2013 the Washington Post named SAB one of the nation's top state-based political blogs, and named Rob one of the state's best political reporters.

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  • Roy_Bean

    They don’t want to ban all knives, just the “high capacity” knives.

    • Roy_Bean

      I’m sure that when they ban knives they will move on to other “dangerous weapons”.

      • kevindf

        This will help the sharp stick industry.

    • Wayne

      Or ‘assault’ knives. You know, the ones with ‘military characteristics’.

      • banjo kid

        Or multi blades .

  • mickey_moussaoui

    You will have to pry my Ginsu knife from my cold dead hand

    • Thresherman

      When knives are outlawed, only outlaws will have knives.

  • nimrod

    They should have formed a National Knife Association to present the side of the legal knife owners.

    • Rob

      Too bad they don’t have a constitutional right to keep and bear sharp objects.

  • banjo kid

    We must move fast to ban all subways as we have had our third killing this year by subway or is it the hands that need banned ? or maybe just the tracks or the tunnel yeah that would stop it . or should we out law shoving ? you will have to pry my subway from my cold dead fingers. LOL

  • banjo kid

    Of course if they ban hands there will be nothing left to pry my subway from.

    • silverstreak

      Well…it’s the thought (or lack of it) that counts! lol

  • silverstreak

    Here’s another thought…
    All though,I have no real data or facts to support this I am going to take the liberal position because I FEEL this.
    Hundreds if not thousands of people are electocuted in this country every year.
    Most of those deaths seem to be from do it yourselfers trying to save a buck.
    So…lets ban sales of electrical supplies to non-licensed professionals.
    I realize that this would probably lead to a blackmarket for electrical recptacles so maybe we should just go ahead and ban electricity outright!
    Better yet…let’s just completely ban home improvement warehouses.
    Just look at the rows of potentially death causing devices, Shocking!
    At the very least…we should probably institute mandatory training and a 3 day waiting period to buy a chain saw.
    Hey…it’s for the children!!!!

    • Wayne

      Banning home improvement warehouses would also benefit the unions so let’s do it!

      • silverstreak

        See what you can come up with if you really set your mind to it.
        Of course if you are a conservative thinking person.
        The only way you can ever reach the level of the enlighten liberal mind is through drugs such as Acid.
        Just look at what it did for Timothy Leary.
        But…In the short term you may be able to reach this enlightened state by whacking yourself in the head with a hammer several times. lol
        Of course…we probably need to ban hammers also considering the number of people are murdered by those.

    • DR

      Ah silverstreak, committing the classic and always handy slippery slope argumentative fallacy. I have seen it so many times before, and yet it still always gets a chuckle out of me.

      • silverstreak

        What’s slippery about people that are armed to the teeth wanting everyone else to be unarmed for some reason?

        So…chuckle all you want.

        Unlike you at least I did make a comment based on factual observations.

        Of which you did not try and even dispute one of them but chose to attack me personally.

        Classic liberal move. lol

        • DR

          Nice try nancy, except I’m libertarian, not liberal. I also didn’t attack you personally. I merely pointed out that you are using an argumentative fallacy, which you are, so in actuality the only one of us who really is making a statement based on factual observations is me. Please read up on the definition of the slippery slope fallacy, then come back (or don’t, as I presume you’ll realize your mistake).

        • DR

          And by the way, there’s nothing in your post for me to dispute. You are not asserting any positions that can be disputed. You’re merely throwing out wild and ridiculous hypotheticals. The comments you are making are fallacious, which is what the term “argumentative fallacy” means…it means your stance is based on an error in reasoning. I assume at this point, given the manner of your response, that you are either a young child or, at best, have the mind of one, so I won’t bother to waste my time further.

  • flamemeister

    Just to take this seriously for a moment: The testimony of the “10 top chefs” is pure horse crap. High-quality kitchen knives are a treasure close behind having a source of heat. Try boning out a ham, carving a turkey or preparing fish filets with a paring knife. And WTF does a “sharp point” count for? Considering the reputation of English cooking, such BS comes from the most likely source.

    • Bat One

      “English cooking”??? I seem to recall an old story about the joy of having an English butler, a French oook, and an Italian mistress.

      • flamemeister

        A story: Years ago I was staying at the University Arms Hotel in Cambridge, England. The bar was magnificent. It claimed to have every scotch produced in the British Isles. The dining room offered vintage ports (like from the 30s and 40s) for a couple of quid. Fresh vegetables were supplied from a lavish garden behind the hotel. I had dinner there. The vegetables were cooked into a grey paste.

  • tony_o2

    I’d rather be attacked with a large knife than a small one. The larger it is, the more surface you can strike when knocking it out of their hands.

  • Thresherman

    So, now they are coming for knives and when the knives are all gone they will come for hammers and screw drivers and when they are all gone they will finally have to come for the stones and by then, having eliminated all tools and other apparatus, they will look around their now barren land find that people are choking each other with their bare hands to obtain whatever sustenance remains. This then will be called “bad luck”.

  • C. Y.
  • Fatalerror94

    We should take this banning argument to it’s natural conclusion and just band hands. Think about it; what good are rocks, knives, chains, bats, pitchforks, torches, bows & arrows, and guns if their are no hands to pick them up and wield them? And, whats more, some people train to be able to kill with just their hands alone!!!

    So we must mobilize and pass emergency legislation to make the possession of hands illegal retroactively. All citizens will hence be ordered to report to their nearest Obamacare compliant medical center to have these dangerous articles surgically removed.

    A handless society is a safe society… Until bad guys start using their teeth, then we’ll have to pass laws against having those too.

  • Proof

    There’s no “sporting purpose” in taking down a deer with a kitchen knife. (Ducks, yes. Deer, no.) Be sure to ban knives with pistol grips and thumbhole stocks as well.

  • Hannitized, Proofs obsession

    The day a deranged idiot could walk into a movie theatre and murder 27 people with a knife, I might listen to his argument. Right now, it’s just a distraction for wannabe assault weapon owners.

    • LibertyFargo
      • Hannitized, Proofs obsession

        He didn’t murder anyone. I’ll wager those parents of the CT school would trade knife wounds to their child’s scalps for their lives.

        • LibertyFargo

          I think there is a saying here about forests… and trees… hmmm… I can’t really remember…

          • Hannitized, Proofs obsession

            You can’t, you’re right. But just because you fail to understand that murdering less people is the result, doesn’t mean that those children weren’t murdered and the parents of those other children, who were gunned down, wouldn’t trade for their child’s lives.

          • LibertyFargo

            Clearly you missed the sarcasm. I am fully aware the phrase is “missing the forrest for the trees.”

            Now, nobody is arguing that parents would rather have dead children than wounded children. Any attempt to frame my argument that way is just a reduction to the absurd. No one is arguing that there is no different.

            The LARGER point though is that attacks can AND DO happen using knives, homemade explosives, fertilizer bombs, and other “weapons” of choice. You want to frame certain weapons as “assault weapons” as if THEY are the problem while failing to see that criminal, dare I say, the sinful actions of humans might actually be the culprit of these terrible acts.

          • Hannitized, Proofs obsession

            Parent’s would rather have wounded children vs dead. You got it backwards… usual.

            And you’ve got it wrong here too, the LARGER point is that we can’t stop murder, but we can stop the efficiency of it. There would not be 26 dead in a movie theatre with a guy armed with a knife. Nor would Columbine have been a story if the two had knives.

            Get real.

          • LibertyFargo

            What? I said that Nobody is arguing for dead children vs only wounded children… which is what you were implying was my argument. Besides… you don’t know me so “as usual” seems like a troll move rather than an actual dealing with the argument… (ad ad hominem much?)

            You argue that we can stop the “efficiency of murder” is that correct? And you would do that by taking away certain types of guns and the magazines that hold over a certain amount… correct?

            If so, who gets to decide those rules? On what grounds? Hunting? Here is where YOU are missing the larger argument that it isn’t about the TYPE of weapon used to kill but the person doing the killing. You are confusing the terrorist with the tool of terrorism.

            Did you read the article this post was based on? They want to ban certain types of knives because they are “more dangerous” than other types. It is the same argument and is a ridiculous one.

          • Hannitized, Proofs obsession

            You have a problem with reading comprehension or writing. Because of this I am not going to get wrapped around the axels trying to help you figure out the basics.

            No, I was arguing for reducing the efficiency of murder, not “stop” it. You can’t stop murder, but you can reduce the efficiency of it. That’s exactly what banning semi-auto’s which accept magazines that carry multiple bullets can do.

            You can keep denying the basic logic of that, but it’s not helping your cause.

          • LibertyFargo

            I’m sorry “Reducing the efficiency of murder”

            As solid as you claim your logic to be, the fact is that the stats don’t support your theory that fewer guns (of certain types) reduces violence or deaths.


            (with 19 footnotes of data sources)

            (with 182 footnotes)

            These are obviously “pro-gun” but if you care to read them, they (particularly the article) are extremely well-researched and argued.

            The reality is, your theory of removal of certain guns (or magazines) doesn’t produce the decrease in violence, crime, or terrorizing (mass killing) that advocates of “gun control” want to argue. The stats worldwide just do not show it to be true. It is a great emotional argument and logically seems like it is a cause-effect relationship but according to scores of data from many sources this just isn’t the case.

            SO, as the above article (where this post started) when a removal of a certain type of “weapon” doesn’t have the desired result (removing guns doesn’t reduce let alone stop crime/death) then the “logical” next step is knives… which is exactly what these British doctors are proposing.

          • Hannitized, Proofs obsession

            Sorry, but the facts do support the statement. In fact, if we look at the US as a whole, and not just your cherry picked examples, we see that the murder rate in the entire country has gone down as the individual rate of gun ownership has gone down. And even though with all the right wing paranoia causing a slight uptick in gun hoarding, the recent shooting in CT is proof that more murder occurs as more guns are hoarded.

            So I can give you statistics all day long that prove my statements, but let’s face it, you will choose not to believe them.

          • LibertyFargo

            Seeing as how you’ve provided no stats and completely failed to interact with ANYTHING that I posted in my last comment (except only to dismiss what the links as “cherry picked” examples) it is clear that you don’t actually want to debate stats, correlation cause & effect. Rather, you are the one holding to a position and unwilling to at least consider that some statistics might challenge your assertions.

            As an example… lets look at DC and Chicago, IL. Some of the toughest gun laws in the country and yet murder rates that are WELL above the national averages (even compared to similarly sized cities)



            What you say is “the murder rate in the entire country has gone down as the individual rate of gun ownership has gone down”

            But the stats actually tell us that the murder rater, on the whole, is declining with regardless of legislation or percentage of gun-owners. In fact, in the places with the highest control you have an much-higher rate of violence, and violence with a gun.

            But look, we don’t have to go around in circles here. It is clear that no matter what I post you won’t change your mind and I don’t think there is a stat you can show me that will change mine.

            Not because I am a gun-hoarder… in fact, I don’t currently own any firearms. But because I’ve seen both sides of this argument and looked at the stats and have come to, what I believe, is a reasoned and logical position. Do others come to reasoned and logical positions in opposition to mine? Sure. I just don’t think the current push for weapons bans is either reasoned or logical.

          • Hannitized, Proofs obsession

            I’ve posted the stats over and over. You really don’t know that the US murder rate has gone down as individual gun ownership has gone down, proving all other stats in the US to be meaningless?

            I’ll post them again, if I am forced to, but everyone knows I have posted these stats….and you’re missing the larger point, again. Just because a murder rate exits where cities have gun laws doesn’t mean the murder rate would not be higher if guns were legal to have. You can’t prove a negative, and that’s always the last resort a gun rights activists touts when they are losing the argument.

            There is no sane person who fails to understand forcing a murderer to use a single shot bolt action vs as semi-auto assault weapon style rife would result in fewer victims, specifically related to spree killings where mass casualties are the result.

          • LibertyFargo

            Right. Only your stats are meaningful. Thanks for the dialogue.

            “Just because a murder rate exits where cities have gun laws doesn’t mean the murder rate would not be higher if guns were legal to have.”

            And you claim that I am trying to “prove a negative” when, in fact, you are attempting to make an argument from silence.

            Your argument of “gun violence reduction paralleling lower gun ownership” is a classic post-hoc fallacy. You are assuming cause and effect of two separate (although related) things.

            But as I said before, we probably aren’t changing the others mind no matter the stats or studies posted.

            Good luck to you. Perhaps we can argue on another topic on sayanything sometime soon.

  • $8194357

    And while we’re at it…

    Tell the liberal hollywood hypocrits to shove it as well…

  • Mark

    I would also like to have a ban on tourist buses. Oh does anyone know how many were killed in tour bus accidents in 2010 and how many killed by guns in 2010

  • Sped Man

    In Great Britain they have already banned firearms. That hasn’t stopped crime at all. Now the criminal is using knives. If they ban the import and use of knives, criminals will use long pointy screwdrivers. It will get to a point where no one will be able to fix anything ;-)