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Location: California, United States

I am a neolibertarian minded individual who feels that freedom and individual rights take precedence over the wants of government. I believe government exists to serve the people and not to protect us from ourselves. I am an advocate for private firearms ownership, smaller government, reduced taxes and freedom to live your life however you choose, providing you do not directly hurt others.

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Tuesday, June 16, 2009

'Anti-Stab' Knife On Sale in UK

New Point Knives in the U.K. is offering kitchen knives that are designed to minimize the risk of accidental and fatal stabbings while maintaining more or less their full functionality as food preparation tools. Many blogs and web sites are already overflowing with scornful comments about these products, with phrases like "knives don't kill people; people kill people" and other such rhetoric. Although I am about as pro-weapon and anti-nanny state as it gets, I decided to give this product the benefit of the doubt.
I am a somewhat serious amateur gourmet and am picky about my kitchen knives. They must each go into the proper slot in the cutlery block, be kept razor sharp, and must be washed by hand and put away the moment they are not in use. In spite of my fussiness about knives, I was hard pressed to come up with legitimate criticism for the concept of these new products. There really aren't that many uses for an endlessly long point on some larger types of kitchen knives. The New Point knives that I have seen so far do indeed have points, but the points are protected by a smooth rounded curve that would make it more difficult to thrust the blade deeply into something. Enough of the point is exposed to easily split the skin on fruit and even slice most food items. Granted, this sort of design would be impractical for various tasks such as boning, filleting and paring, but New Point doesn't appear to be offering those kinds of knives.

If the New Point knives are well balanced, sharp, comfortable and of high quality steel, I see no harm in their use and there are a few situations in which they could be quite helpful. For example, when teaching cooking in a home economics class, these knives might slightly reduce the risk of accidental stabbings in a room crowded with uncoordinated students. People with repetitive motion issues and nerve problems might find such a knife comforting as it would be less likely to stake a foot to the floor if it slipped out of a hand.

In short, I think it silly for someone to get angry about these products, especially if the person claims to believe in liberty and personal choice. Although I have no interest in owning one, I see no reason to grumble about them being on the market. To be honest, I think such grumblings just portray the pro-weapon and anti-nanny state people as unreasonable and makes it easier to dismiss their opinions on more serious issues. As long as nobody mandates their usage or tries to ban traditional knives, they aren't hurting anyone and could even be useful in certain situations (if they are of decent quality). I do, however, hope that people are not so foolish as to think that these are magically safe knives that can be treated carelessly or that all knives should use this design. They still have an edge and presumably can remove fingers and open arteries. Nonetheless, they may slightly reduce the frequency of some of the more serious accidental kitchen injuries that are commonly treated by emergency room staff.

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