Tuesday, October 13, 2009

On Liberty, American Culture, and Pocket Knives

Saw this this morning on the news … the 17 year old in New York … Eagle Scout … has completed military basic training ….

Suspended, for having a regular utilitarian 2″ pocket knife in his car!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Folks, since I was about 12, I have had a pocket knife in my pocket every day, all the way through the last part of grade school, all of high school, and college, at school, and there’s one in my pocket right now. I use it all the time.

A certain extended family member, who is a progressive, can’t understand it. But I use it often. Even at her house — typically to fix or improve. It’s just there. Part of my standard equipment that gets transferred from one pair of pants to another as I change pants. Wallet. Keys (including my bottle opener keychain which also has a P38 can-opener on it). Change. Pocket knife. And usually a guitar pick or two.

Ask yourself how a country founded on liberty, limited government, and a basic right to self-defense is compatible with a country where a pocket knife in your car, off of your person can be considered a threat. Especially when, as the kid pointed out, the girl’s softball team walks around with baseball bats and there’s also a tire iron in his car which is far more dangerous than his bitty pocket knife, which again, was in his car. Not to mention that a car itself is a far deadlier weapon.

Kid can be trusted to drive a car to school and not kill anyone, but can’t be trusted with a bitty pocket knife in his car.

And they extended his five day suspension to a month.

Never mind the fact that it's a stupid rule anyway, made to make progressives feel good about themselves. After all, if everybody walked around with inch and a half pocket knives in their pockets, why there'd be slashing and bloodshed in the halls!

Of course, if everybody (or even 25%) on the planes had had boxcutters on 9/11, the hijackers would not have been successful. Perhaps this is an opportunity for teaching the value of the second amendment. Everybody in school should carry a pocket knife. See how much violence erupts from it.

A pocket knife speaks of self-sufficiency, self-determination -- not having to ask someone else to do little things for you that you could easily do yourself. This idea of higher-ups controlling every little detail of our lives to protect us from each other is the antithesis of our founding principles of liberty and self-determination.

In my culture (and I demand my culture be respected ... I mean, aren't we multi-cultural?) it is a rite of passage and a symbol of a level of responsibility. At 7 you get a watch. At 12, you are trusted with a pocket knife. At 14, you get a BB gun. At 16, you get a driver's license. At 18, a rifle or shotgun. At 21, you are trusted with alcohol.

I suspect that someone didn’t like his politics and/or the fact he is joining the military. I suspect. I’ll bet I’m right.

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