Monday, February 22, 2010

The knife: weapon of choice

Handguns are bulky, hard to conceal, costly and difficult to obtain. Knives, on the other hand, are light, readily available and easily concealed.

Perhaps more importantly, a knife is a man's weapon – any girl can stand back and blast away with a gun but a knife is an up close and personal weapon used by only the most macho, or so wielders delude themselves.

Regardless, the knife is now the weapon of choice:

Some researchers believe teenagers and young men carry knives for defence, while others believe they carry them because they think it is cool.

Victoria Police Deputy Commissioner Kieren Walsh says unlike guns, knives are easy to obtain.

"One of the things that we have detected is that some of these weapons are normal household domestic kitchen knives or steak knives, which are very easy to grab from the kitchen as you are leaving the house," he said.

"We see quite a variety of injuries - on the weekend specifically we saw some stabbings to the abdomen, the chest and also to limbs.

And of course, many young people acquire the knife-carrying habit at school, where bullying is rife:

The school principal speaking out is Tony Simpson from Melbourne Copperfield College.

Speaking to The Age newspaper on Saturday, he confirmed the entrenched culture of denial by schools about what is happening.

He says principals fear losing enrolments and damaging the image of their school, but says for him it is too late in his career to worry about that.

Mr Simpson says all the theories about knives in schools are true, but that social disconnection is the main reason why teenagers bring knives to school.

Educators in denial: amazing!


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