UK docs say ban long kitchen knives
Medical journal report claims they serve no good purpose
World Net Daily | May 27 2005
It's time to ban long kitchen knives because they serve no good purpose except as weapons, write doctors in the British Medical Journal.
The doctors, as part of their research into ways to reduce violence, say they consulted with leading chefs who said long knives were not needed for cooking.
Dr. Emma Hern, a specialist registrar, and D. Mike Beckett, an emergency medicine consultant, contend in their paper that a short knife may cause a substantial superficial wound if used in an assault, but is unlikely to penetrate to inner organs. But a long blade pierces the body like "cutting into a ripe melon."
"Many assaults are impulsive, often triggered by alcohol or misuse of other drugs, and the long pointed kitchen knife is an easily available, potentially lethal weapon, particularly in the domestic setting," wrote Hern.
The doctors say long knives are used in as many as half of all stabbings in the United Kingdom.
"Government action to ban the sale of such knives would drastically reduce their availability over the course of a few years," wrote Hern.
Professor Anthony Busuttil, a Scotland pathologist, backed the medical journal report.
"All the statistics show that for the last 15 years, victims of stabbings, whether fatal or seriously injured, are caused by kitchen knives such as steak knives rather than knives bought specially for the purpose," is told the Scotsman.
But the restaurant industry reacted with horror to the report.
"Kitchen knives are designed for a purpose," said Malcolm Duck, chairman of the Edinburgh Restaurateurs Association. "It would be like asking a surgeon to perform an operation with a bread knife instead of a scalpel. Anything in the house like a cricket bat could be used as weapon in the hands of an idiot."
Chief Superintendent Tom Buchan, president of the Association of Scottish Police Superintendents, said although a ban on sharp, pointed kitchen knives would be welcome, it could be difficult to enforce.