Guns are of course a polarizing topic for us Americans. But unlike guns, knife design has a far less malleable intent of purpose. Sure, the gun pendants will argue otherwise, that a gun is a tool–but its purpose is always to kill, regardless of the target being animal or human. A knife, however, may indeed be designed for killing, and it may be multi-purpose say for military or survival applications that might require killing, but it may also be very obviously designed for non-lethal utilitarian tasks. And the attempt to use the latter for the act of killing would probably bring equal harm to the wielder.
But this is difficult to explain to those whose sheltered lives never necessitated the carrying of a basic blade, for why carry a blade at all when other tools can be acquired to accomplish a blade’s tasks? And if a blade is indeed required, could it not be readily requisitioned from somewhere other than a person’s clothing?
Is it necessary to carry a knife as regular personal equipment?
This question came to mind recently when, due to my own negligence, I had my daily-carry folding knife confiscated at a Trans-Siberian Orchestra concert.
As what seems to be the increasing norm at large gatherings, security has tightened to the point of ridiculousness. Coupled with the wannabe cops that seek this employment, the experience is akin to TSA, minus the wandering hands squeezing my crotch. Humph–their loss.
But the old guy who caught me was nice (no crotch-squeezing involved), and probably just making some extra money in retirement, so rather than relegate a fine blade to the dumpster, I gave it to him on the spot. He was openly pleased at the offering, so at least I know that it went to an appreciative new owner and not a douche-bro trying to act ultra-alpha.
But back to the question: why carry a knife at all? Does its application warrant the irritation of having personal property essentially stolen? My daughter, who herself has lived an incredibly sheltered life to date, didn’t seem to think so. Maybe I just have outdated habits based on early experiences of a life I no longer live myself.
So to answer the question, I began documenting every instance where I reflexively reached for and used the knife in my pocket.
Over the course of 3 days I…
- Opened a cardboard box of making soda
- Pried a gap in some siding in order to fit a Christmas light mount
- Opened a letter
- Opened a box from Amazon
- Made a quick mark on the ceiling for mounting a decoration hook
- Opened a computer box
- Teased some fuzz out of the Roomba’s wheel well
Okay, 3 days isn’t a large sample size, but it was a tedious list to maintain. Still, it’s enough to make two observations:
- Having a knife on my person is incredibly useful…around the house.
- I don’t leave the house very often, and when I do, I haven’t needed a knife.
So perhaps it’s time to revise my loadout. I could always just stash a knife in each of the vehicles in case I’m out and need one, but as I’ve already taken this approach to flashlights and never seem to have one in the glovebox, that might not guarantee knife access.
Or maybe the world just needs to chill the fuck out.
In the meantime, I’ll just carry cheapies. Fuck you, paranoid world.