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Why Do People Hate Knives?

Posted: Sun May 10, 2015 3:44 pm
by MattM68
I never really realized this until recently, but it seems my entire family is afraid of knives. My dad carries a gun every day, but is afraid of knives, and acts like I'm insane for carrying a pocket knife. A couple of my aunts refuse to go into stores like Gander Mountain, just because they sell guns and knives...

Does anyone else experience anything like this? Maybe it's just Michigan? I'd like to hear other stories so I don't feel like I'm the only one. :)

Matt

Re: Why Do People Hate Knives?

Posted: Sun May 10, 2015 4:02 pm
by Surfingringo
Too many knife buyers/collectors see knives as weapons. If the people carrying the knives are defining them as weapons then how can we expect the folks that aren't carrying them to look at them without fear?

I'm not saying its rational...I'm just saying that its understandable given the way the "tactical" knife market has developed.

Re: Why Do People Hate Knives?

Posted: Sun May 10, 2015 4:14 pm
by MattM68
That's a valid point, and I'm sure that contributes to it. Same with how they're seen in movies. It's strange though, because my family thought a pocket knife meant a SAK, or a multi-tool, and actual single bladed folders don't count as a "pocket knife". I just hate how people are afraid of everything. I have an aunt who's a teacher, and she thinks scissors are weapons.

Matt

Re: Why Do People Hate Knives?

Posted: Sun May 10, 2015 4:22 pm
by Surfingringo
MattM68 wrote:That's a valid point, and I'm sure that contributes to it. Same with how they're seen in movies. It's strange though, because my family thought a pocket knife meant a SAK, or a multi-tool, and actual single bladed folders don't count as a "pocket knife". I just hate how people are afraid of everything. I have an aunt who's a teacher, and she thinks scissors are weapons.

Matt
And she's quite right. Scissors are weapons. Knives are weapons. A brick is a weapon. A hammer or a chair or a christmas tree stand. All weapons. It's really easy to hurt someone with just about anything if you are crazy enough. The problem is we try to deal with the insanity in our culture by vilifying objects. That will never work. Just look at what the TSA does. No knives, no forks, no lighters, no guitar strings, take your shoes off.....blah blah blah. Are we safe yet?? How about a guy gets on with a coarse dmt and one of those butter knives they give you on the plane? But I thought we were safe???

You can't stop crazy with fear.

Re: Why Do People Hate Knives?

Posted: Sun May 10, 2015 4:27 pm
by MattM68
Yeah, and I tried explaining that to her, but people really never change the way they think. Anything can be a weapon. It's all about how you use it, not how you CAN use it. My pocket knife could easily be a weapon, but so could scissors, a pencil, keys, a baseball bat, etc. I guess this is just something we'll have to get used to!

Matt

Re: Why Do People Hate Knives?

Posted: Sun May 10, 2015 4:37 pm
by yablanowitz
As a wise man here once said, "The only real weapon is your mind. Everything else is just a tool." The people who fear everything fear responsibility the most. They were raised to accept no blame, to take no responsibility for their actions, and they believe everyone else is just like them, to they can't blame the people who do bad things. Since it can't be the people, it must be the objects that are responsible.

Re: Why Do People Hate Knives?

Posted: Sun May 10, 2015 4:57 pm
by brick
Honestly, I think it's a symptom of a much bigger societal problem: we fear each other. I can understand not blindly trusting a total stranger since there are plenty of good reasons not to do that. But I think a huge number of people (who have likely been watching WAAAY too much TV) walk around expecting the next random guy on the street to victimize them. Sure it can happen but odds are staggeringly against it. (Just divide the number of people who have tried to murder you by the number of people you have encountered over the course of your life.) But that doesn't stop people from being afraid. And if you are already afraid then it's not a big leap to take the cue from today's mass entertainment outlets that a pocket knife is a weapon.

Several weeks back my own wife saw me walking out the door with an uncut grapefruit and asked me how the hell I was going to eat it at work. I un-pocketed my completely legal and work-compliant Urban and said "very easily." Her first reaction was "You can take that to work? You could murder someone with that!" It was an early-AM pre-coffee zero-thought gut reaction but it shows how deeply ingrained these things can be. This is someone who is well used to my carrying a knife for 100% utilitarian purposes. (It took her about three seconds to figure out why her comment didn't make the slightest bit of sense.)

Re: Why Do People Hate Knives?

Posted: Sun May 10, 2015 5:10 pm
by chuckd
This bothers me a lot as well.

I recently (I think easter weekend?) was visiting my family and brought my Spydie collection up to show some new members to my brother and Dad. A friend of my sister was there and when she saw my ~36 Spydies laying out in their carrier, she asked "Why do you have so many knives? For killing people?"

I wanted to go crazy because that isn't something that should be taken lately, calling someone a murderer, but had to calmly deflect her question and explain the beauty in them.

It is the same way with firearms and knives for me when I was in school. Berkeley, CA is not exactly the most welcoming to those two areas of interest.

Re: Why Do People Hate Knives?

Posted: Sun May 10, 2015 5:15 pm
by MattM68
People are also just confused about things they don't fully understand. My dad was with his brother in law(my uncle), and witnessed my uncle get stabbed multiple times by a couple of high-school kids about 20 years ago. I can understand why he's afraid of knives, but still, it's the person, not the tool.

Matt

Re: Why Do People Hate Knives?

Posted: Sun May 10, 2015 7:06 pm
by 3rdGenRigger
I can tell you I'd rather have a baseball bat or a golf club than a knife if I ever got into a fight for my life. I get a similar reaction every so often, but people around here are actually very good for the most part. I have a Spyderco in my RFP, and my Leatherman Skeletool in my LFP (Also looks like a pocket knife to a non-knife person) at all times, and I make literally zero attempt to hide or conceal them...some of my knives have lanyards on them even. I've been asked why I carry such a device by people before, but no one has really freaked out overly yet after my explanation. At work I have my coveralls on and have my Leatherman and at least two Spydercos right clear in the bib pockets. Some places are definitely more paranoid about knives though due to media, laws, etc.

Re: Why Do People Hate Knives?

Posted: Sun May 10, 2015 7:10 pm
by SpyderEdgeForever
Matt, I agree with you completely. I love knives and it gets me how so many people seem to have an irrational fear of knives, and then the anti-knife politicians and special interest groups jump on that bandwagon and use it to pass laws against certain kinds, types, shapes, and sizes of knives and cutting tools and other tools and objects.

A friend of mine who is a long time knife collector and user (And who loves Spyderco knives especially" told me one reason (and this was mentioned in a previous post on here) is when they have seen some of the damage inflicted by edges. He said, as an example, people in the military, law enforcement, and security world have often seen some of the severe damage inflicted by knives, such as massive gashes and blood-gushing wounds, and that helps get that mindset going, and I can sympathize with that.

At the same time, I believe we need to err on the side of freedom and rights, instead of presumed safety at the expense of individual freedom. Ie, I would love to live in a world where we can all have and carry and own and use any and all sorts of knives and weapons we want, AND, where noone would ever abuse them to attack others. However, in the real world, I would rather live in a society where people have the freedom to be armed and carry and own any kind of knife or sword or gun they want, any personal arm, even if it means there is the risk of someone abusing that power, than, live in a world where government bans personal arms and bans self defense....and those determined to attack others will find a way to do it anyway.

Right to keep and bear arms all the way my friend :)

Great insight, Matt, thank you.

Years ago I sat down with someone and showed him my personal knife collection I had at the time: Daggers, Tantos, Folders, etc. The guy would look at each knife and say "wow that can really do someone in" and "wow that could really cut the __ out of someone" and I felt upset, because as a knife collector and enthusiast, I try to look at the materials, shapes, positive uses, and structures. Yes, there is a place for defensive weapons and tools, ofcourse. But this person's attitude was focused on how much each particular knife could inflict damage on others, and it made me feel somewhat uncomfortable.

Re: Why Do People Hate Knives?

Posted: Sun May 10, 2015 7:21 pm
by bdblue
MattM68 wrote:I never really realized this until recently, but it seems my entire family is afraid of knives. My dad carries a gun every day, but is afraid of knives, and acts like I'm insane for carrying a pocket knife. A couple of my aunts refuse to go into stores like Gander Mountain, just because they sell guns and knives...

Does anyone else experience anything like this? Maybe it's just Michigan? I'd like to hear other stories so I don't feel like I'm the only one. :)

Matt
It may be your location, I have never had that kind of reaction to any of my knives.

But consider this- almost anywhere in the country go into any kitchen and almost all knives that you find will be larger than the typical knife that most of us carry. And we have more cooking shows on television than ever before- nobody accuses Rachel Ray of wanting to be a murderer.

Re: Why Do People Hate Knives?

Posted: Sun May 10, 2015 8:25 pm
by OldHoosier62
yablanowitz wrote:As a wise man here once said, "The only real weapon is your mind. Everything else is just a tool." The people who fear everything fear responsibility the most. They were raised to accept no blame, to take no responsibility for their actions, and they believe everyone else is just like them, to they can't blame the people who do bad things. Since it can't be the people, it must be the objects that are responsible.

Very well put Sir. The public has gone to extremes to abdicate responsibility on all levels, expecting the government to do everything for them....protect, feed, educate.....etc.....

Re: Why Do People Hate Knives?

Posted: Mon May 11, 2015 6:50 am
by Doc Dan
This mindset is especially common in countries once, or still, controlled by England. The royals always had to be afraid of the serfs as serfs with weapons can fight back, they reason. Go to Singapore. Even a Victorinox Classic is considered a deadly weapon. People in Malaysia, Singapore, and other countries will almost wet their britches if they see a knife. (chickens apparently come into the world quartered).

Re: Why Do People Hate Knives?

Posted: Mon May 11, 2015 8:18 am
by demoncase
Doc Dan wrote:This mindset is especially common in countries once, or still, controlled by England.
As an Englishmen, I have to agree.....Remember the carrying of a sword marked you out as either a gentleman (as this was your right) or a criminal.
We have let that little preudice remain, even after gentlemen ceased to carry a means to defend their honour.
(This is also true of a number of other societies...Though I feel we should revive the ancient custom of the duel with rapiers- Many a man would keep their tongue between their teeth today to avoid steel between the ribs tomorrow morning ;) )

We need look no further than the frankly bizarre knife laws of my country- Where a UKPK is a legal EDC pen-knife but a Ladybug with half the blade length could potentially land me in jail if I am carrying it "without good reason" simply because it locks.
UK Cops generally just nick you, confiscate it, then let the magistrates court sort it out later- as 'good reason's is that judged by a magistrate, based on your circumstances and charachter.....

There's a government introduced 'Ban On Fighting Knives'- which has made precisely no impact on the sales of Gerber Mk2s, Kabars, Fairbairn-Sykes etc etc- because it's got an edge so you can still work with it as a utility blade.

Here's an little example from my hometown of Wolverhampton-
The Crown Court has a metal detector in this day and age, and they reported 950 instances in one year of having to confiscate 'bladed articles' from people entering courts.
When they added in the same article that 850 of these items were returned to the owners after leaving, the local press (and the letters page) went thermonuclear
"How can we be re-arming obvious criminals?"
"Why are we not removing these weapons from our streets?"
"All knives MUST be banned- only criminals carry knives"- (this one was my extra special favourite- Clearly this person receives all their food in cardboard clamshells marked with a big yellow M or KFC)

So it goes.... Some people look at a scorpion and recoil in horror- associating it only with the sting and death.
Others look at the marvel of evolution and wonder at this ancient beast that still stalks the world.

I collect knives....In my local paper (again) there is a woman who has spent £1000s of pounds collecting rubber bath ducks. She has 1000s of them, arranged on shelves around her house.....I see my collection no differently to hers.

I

Re: Why Do People Hate Knives?

Posted: Mon May 11, 2015 9:51 am
by Doc Dan
Actually your collection makes sense and hers...well, you know ;)

It is sad at all the paranoia over knives. Yes, criminals do carry knives. They also drive cars, which are more deadly, and blend into the environment. I read that in NZ, people are not allowed to carry knives around without a good reason, but a SAK is considered a tool and doesn't count. You can carry those. I am not certain that is accurate, but if it is, it makes no sense.

Re: Why Do People Hate Knives?

Posted: Mon May 11, 2015 10:33 am
by HorserloverFat
To be frank there is a plurality of gun and knife owners that do not model the best behavior while carrying the same. And yes I am aware that there is a large group of individuals that do not like guns and knives that also happen to display bad behavior. But which group happens to be the one that is carrying the weapon(s) ? Also, the media/press will grab onto anything that can be sensationalized in order to attract the maximum amount of viewers/readers in order to sell soap flakes.

My grandfather and uncle taught me growing up to always be polite and civil and even more so while carrying and/or using firearms and cutlery. Do not act like a redneck or wingnut (this is from conservative southern gentlemen). Think of how polite Mr. Sal and son come across. Do your best to model this good behavior and perhaps the negative attitude towards knives will change.

Re: Why Do People Hate Knives?

Posted: Mon May 11, 2015 10:38 am
by Donut
I believe it has to do with people believing movies and the news reporters.

In movies, only the bad guys have knives. (This is part of the reason I initially started carrying a knife, I asked myself "Why do only the bad guys carry knives?"

In the media, practically the only time knives are mentioned is when something bad happens.


This is the same thing as spiders and sharks and things. It is because we don't know, we are afraid.

Re: Why Do People Hate Knives?

Posted: Mon May 11, 2015 11:07 am
by bearfacedkiller
"Rather perish than hate and fear, and twice rather perish than make oneself hated and feared"
-Nietzsche

As humans we possess irrational fears of each other and for that very same reason we wield fear/intimidation as a weapon against each other. It is not just the non-knife people and their irrational fear of knives that is the problem but it is also the society that portrays knives as weapons and things to be scared of. This being the fault of the entertainment industry, the media, the tacticool industry and our population in general. I recently cringed at the thread topic about what is the most intimidating looking Spydie because in my eyes that is the exact mentality that is doing us as knife lovers a disservice. We have already made the comparison to guns as an example so I will include them as well. Why were guns and knives not feared to this degree when I was younger? Well, we carried a lever action 30/30 and a Buck 110 and not a AR15 and Szabo folder. Why do we feel the need to carry these tools instead of the tools of yesterday? In my opinion it is because we have been conditioned to be both violent and to be scared by our culture and society and these tools make us feel safer for a couple of reasons and one of those reasons is because they are designed to be intimidating.

I could go off for a while on how we are subjecting ourselves to conditioning that is making us both fearful and violent. Unfortunately I cannot control the fear mongering media or the entertainment industry. :( Did we learn nothing from Clockwork Orange? :confused: Conditioning works and to an extent there is considerable social pressure in our society to subject yourself to it. Think about this, what happens when you are naturally revolted by something in a scary movie and turn away? You are ridiculed for being squeamish so instead you force your self to watch against your instinct. Is this not similar to having your eyes held open by force? This is very common amongst younger adults and it is a form of conditioning for fear and desensitizing to violence.

I will add that I am a proud supporter of the second amendment and a knife lover and for that reason I try to be the best ambassador that I can be and avoid intimidating tools.

Re: Why Do People Hate Knives?

Posted: Mon May 11, 2015 11:12 am
by bearfacedkiller
oops, quoted myself by accident :confused: :o