The online community of knife collectors, A Knife Family Forged in Steel
Are you interested in knife politics and laws? If so, read on.
Member Clint Thompson recently posted a poll of iKC members entitled "HELP! FELLOW iKC MEMBERS. I NEED YOUR HELP", in which he asked for iKC members' input on some research he is doing for Knife Illustrated magazine. His questions included the following:
"As a potential reader about firearms, knives, camping and other outdoor related subjects, what would a magazine cover have to have in order to attract you attention to pick it up? Once the magazine is in your hands, what articles listed on the cover would cause you to open it up and look inside? What subject matter would cause you to buy this magazine?"
Several members responded to his poll and expressed their support for Knife Illustrated adding a regular feature discussing the issues of American knife companies having their products made in foreign countries to stay competitive here and abroad, laws and taxes that are unfair to the American knife industry and consumers, and the politics involved in trying to solve these problems. After some discussion by several iKC members, member Tobias Gibson commented that: "... it would be nice to have a moderated place where we could have a reasoned discussion on both global and local knife politics and laws", and "A moderated discussion group that would screen for personal attacks and off topic trades would be worthwhile. A similar section in Knives Illustrated could also be of interest, especially if it discussed local knife laws and legislative actions that will (have) an impact on the industry."
In response to the aforementioned discussion and and Tobias's comments specifically, I am proposing this new iKC Discussion: THE UGLY POLITICS OF KNIVES. Please give us your input.
I would like this discussion to include more than just suggestions for Knives Illustrated. (That's why I started it under the Discussion of "Knife Current Events".) I intended for it to be a new discussion rather than just continuing under the "I NEED YOUR HELP..." discussion started by Clint Thompson.
Anyway, I don't see why "anything political" is necessarily controversial. According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary Online, "political" has the following definitions:
1 a: of or relating to government, a government, or the conduct of government. b: of, relating to, or concerned with the making as distinguished from the administration of governmental policy
2: of, relating to, involving, or involved in politics and especially party politics
3: organized in governmental terms em>political units>
Can anyone give us an example of a knife-related policy, law or tax that they like or dislike and why?
Here is a link to a report on the City of Boston's consideration of blanket restrictions on the sale of pocket knives. This report was copied from another iKC discussion.
Here's a link to a discussion of "Knife Laws by State/Country" started by Steve "Hog" Hanner elsewhere in these discussions. Thanks, Steve.
Well like it or not, the discussion has begun. My own thought. Many of America's knife companies were first American companies that were importers of foreign knives. They only started buying american made knives when it became less expensive to make them in America and the quality of the American made knives could compete with those made in Europe.
Today, you see American companies moving to other states to avoid local taxes and stay in business. How many people lost jobs in CA when Buck moved its company back to Idaho? Would Buck been able to make that move if it didn't outsource to China? ( I digress, a lttle)
Recently Case, annoucned it would be mating a set of Tacticals. But Case is not set up to make Tacs. Now obviously they wouldn't be doing this if they weren't feeling the pinch of dwindling traditional market. They've opted to go "global" and have the production out-sourced to China. Would you rather Case go belly-up than make its tacs in China?
Camillus was going to move Camco production to China because it was too costly to make the econo-line here. They weren't quick enough and went belly-up.
They same has gone on with some the great European companies Like it or not businesses evolve and compnaies that don't keep up, fail. In many ways, it isn't the cheap ability to manufacture in China that is killing off old American companies. it was an inability to keep up with American tastes. If you want to blame some innocuous entity, I'm going to blame those box cutters on steroids the young whipper-snappers call tactical knives. New upstart companies came along and offered new concepts at competitive prices.
I could go on, but as you can see, in the end the argument goes nowhere. It is what it is.
In regards to all that has been said above, I tend to have a Darwinian outlook, that is the best cutlery manufacturers WILL survive because their quality and dedication to craftsmanship will find customers at any price point world wide.
As for your last question, I think blade length limiting laws are wrong. In New York City where I live and in California (that I know of) they're limited, severely limited, the exception being made at least in NYC for "art" knives, read custom $1000 knives. I well understand the intent of the crime fighting thoughts behind these laws, but a knife is a knife, and a ten dollar kitchen knife available at any supermarket let alone hardware store, or Lowes, Walmart, or Kmart will be longer than the law allows and more easily available to those with bad intentions. A brick, a stick, a stone, and a baseball bat, let alone a cast iron frying pan can all be used as lethal weapons.
A knife collector is not a threat as neither is a chef, a barber, a butcher, a surgeon, a gardner, a luthier, a sculptor, a farmer, a scout, or a whittler all of whom have a use for a bladed instrument of one sort or another. We collectors as a lot should not be treated as those who would pervert the finer uses of these simple and essential tools, one of ,if not the first, we as humans invented. That the knife was invented for both lethal and constructive, creative, use is the crux of the matter. Whereas the knife is an inanimate object it is always handled by the animating spirit of a person, and one would hope for the good of one and all.
Very well put, Luca.
Most collectors collect what they like. Having said this,anyone who does not recognize the International complexion of the knife industry,both currently,and historically is missing out on the true collecting experience. Substitute "German" for "Chinese" or Sheffield for Solingen,etc.,etc.
I noticed an interesting news article on U.S. trade with China that you all might be interested in, although it appears to be only indirectly connected to U.S. knife manufacturers who have knives made in China to stay competitive. Here's the link to it:
Notice the last of the article, concerning Boeing. This is the very same company that the federal government is fighting, in their move to stay competative within the United States. As soon as the government wil allow American companies to operate on a level playing field, and stop playing favorites, things will improve.
Thank you , that is indeed interesting. Cant wait to see how that plays out