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News-Sentinel.com Your Town. Your Voice.
Opening Arguments

Didn't see this one coming

Not sure, but I think this may be a solution in search of a problem:

A Senate committee Tuesday voted 9-0 for Senate Bill 181, legalizing the sale and possession of spring-loaded knives, also known as switchblades.

"Maybe back in the '50s there was a feel-good reason to ban them, but today it just doesn't make sense," said state Sen. Jim Tomes, R-Wadesville, sponsor of the proposal.

Tomes said his legislation will help Hoosiers with arthritis and others, such as paramedics, who'd benefit from being able to quickly open a knife by pressing a button.

How often does a paramedic really need to "quickly open a knife"? And don't most people with arthritis live in homes just like the rest of us, which have lots of knives already, you know, open? Maybe there's a whole army of arthritic campers I'm unaware of.

On the other hand, he's probably right that the ban doesn't make sense. "Never take a knife to a gunfight" was once pretty good advice, but it's pointless these days.


Harl Delos
Wed, 01/16/2013 - 3:13pm

Dad used to carry a pocket knife.  Most farmers did.  And Dad probably used it 3 or 4 times a day.

But carrying around a fixed-blade knife in a sheath is cumbersome and not very safe; you're likely to accidently cut yourself.

If I could open a penknife, I'd be using it to remove staples, and open boxes. I don't think it's be much good for tamper-resistant packaging.  But with my arthritis, I can't open a Swiss Army knife.  I have to get my straight razor in order to open a bag of generic mini shredded wheat.  The bag says tear off the top strip, and reseal with the zipper, but the bag won't tear. A straight razor is easy to open, but the disposable blade is so thin that it won't handle staples.

Most of the stuff an EMT uses is disposable, sealed to remain sterile.  You need to tear it open - but if the plastic isn't fairly sturdy, the seal gets broken accidently, and a piece of tubing that costs $1 to make and $65 in a sealed sterile package becomes worthless.

And if the EMT isn't in a hurry, they ought just call him an MT, and tell people not to call 911 unless they need Fearless Fosdick.