Today I stumbled upon these two videos during my breakfast and I listened to them at 1,5 speed. At least this story has a good-ish end:
As an outsider, I have always considered UK laws about knives absurd. The same goes for similar daft laws that are active worldwide (like for example in the USA, Canada, Germany, Japan, and more). If laws were made based on evidence and logic, these would be significantly revised and reduced long ago because they are doing diddly squat to reduce actual crime. Instead, it seems that the UK is going in the opposite direction – more and more vague restrictions that do nothing to solve the problems, but make it easier for the police to harass innocent people.
Vague laws that are difficult to not break and/or that can be interpreted in a dozen of ways some of which can criminalize ordinary people on a whim are a staple of authoritarian regimes. What baffles me is that when it comes to knives, they appear to be a staple of even democratic-ish regimes. I completely do not understand it. And in the UK, allegedly, both of the ruling parties in their ludicrous non-representative voting system agree on this one thing and both parties propose these nonsensical laws when they are in power.
I am not in opposition to regulating carrying certain types of knives in certain situations or areas, although they are not necessary in my opinion. There is no causal link between the crime rate and the availability of any type of knife whatsoever. If there were, the Czech Republic would be absolutely riddled with knife crime. It is not. I was capable of only finding approximate statistics of stabbing deaths and CZ is not an outlier within the EU, there are countries with knife restrictions that are both above and below. I would argue that there is even no correlation between how restrictive knife laws are and how high is the knife-related crime rate, although both of these factors are difficult to quantify with any degree of accuracy.
Inventing ever more ridiculous knife laws as a response to rising crime in some areas (allegedly in the case of the UK to rising knife crime in gang fights in London) is pure “performative governing”, i.e. one that pretends to do something to address a problem without actually doing something that actually would effectively address the said problem.