The Second Amendment Also Protects Knife Carry?

This is the argument being forwarded by the founder of Knife Rights, Doug Ritter:
One reason is Knife Rights, whose mission is “to ensure a Sharper Future for owners of one of mankind’s oldest and most commonly used tools” and uphold the Second Amendment, which, Mr. Ritter argues, applies to knives as well as guns.
“As you will note, the Second Amendment doesn’t say ‘firearms’; it says ‘arms,’ ” he said.
He cited a 2013 article in the University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform authored by legal scholars Dave Kopel, Clayton Cramer and Joe Olson, which makes the case for constitutional protection for knives.
I'd say he has a fair point there (pun intended).

They've been around for ten years, and have apparently done some pretty good work

Knife Rights also has an app that gives guidance on knife laws in all 50 states- which if you are travelling, or live in a place like California (as I do), could be pretty handy (though it does cost $1.99).


raven said...

We need some rational thought on this. I am reminded of the Seattle man who was convicted for having a 3" paring knife in his pocket. The charge was "carrying a a dangerous weapon". On appeal to higher court, his argument was the knife was protected under the 2nd. The court, in it's wisdom, ruled against him, stating that the paring knife was not dangerous enough to qualify as a weapon, ie, not commonly carried as a weapon. So, by their reasoning, if he had had a sword, or bayonet, he would have been OK. Somehow, I doubt this. The knife was not available for comment, having been destroyed by the police and preventing any possibility of actually measuring the blade (apparently a 2 7/8" blade is innocuous but a 3 1/8" blade is a devastatingly dangerous implement.)

Grim said...

I greatly support this concept. I purchased their app.

Eric Blair said...

I've read case law going back to the 1870's that says no. The judge basically laughed it out of court.

Grim said...

The 1870s were the grand origin of arms control, though. Southerners introduced tons of gun control laws to control free blacks; Northerners introduced tons of gun control to control Southerners. The Shootout at the OK Corral was an attempt by Republicans to impose gun control on Democrats; that's 1882.

What the Founders meant isn't necessarily what the immediate generation post-Civil War decided upon. "Arms" in the Founding era extended to cannons; it also extended to swords and tomahawks.

Christopher B said...

By the end of the ACW what we would consider modern pattern firearms - semiautomatics firing cartridges from a magazine - were becoming standard in the form of revolvers and lever action rifles. Before about 1850 you generally have single-shot weapons but always black powder loads. A bladed weapon might even be superior in some circumstances.

Grim said...

They still are, in some.

raven said...

There are weird paradoxes in the law- "Miller" was decided in favor of the Gov. because sawed off shotguns were, allegedly, not commonly used in war, and thus not protected as a militia arm. (although in fact they were widely used in war.)
Now, we have arguments that AR 15's and the like are not protected by the 2nd, because they ARE used in war.

Eric Blair said...

True enough, the case I'm thinking of, the judge enumerated the arms of the militia, that is an infantryman's rifle and bayonet, the cavalyman's saber and pistol and carbine and the artilleryman's cannon.

The knife the guy being prosecuted on (basically for starting a barfight, IIRC), was not included at that time.

Now, if the 2nd amendment read more like section 21 of Article 1 of the Pennsylvania constitution:
Right to Bear Arms
Section 21
The right of the citizens to bear arms in defense of themselves and the State shall not be questioned.

That seems pretty inclusive, and we might not keep having these cases.

E Hines said...

The right of the citizens to bear arms in defense of themselves and the State shall not be questioned.

That seems pretty inclusive, and we might not keep having these cases.

Of course we would. The Left will always argue over what arms are needed to defend oneself, and besides, when defense of the State becomes necessary, the State will issue the arms to be borne. Look at all the hue and cry today about "what do you need an [assault rifle] for!?"

Besides, there's nothing about any right to keep arms in the Pennsylvania Section 21. If a citizen needs to bear an arm for his own defense, the responding police officer will issue one to him.

And: there's nothing at all in that Section talks about a need, much less a right, to defend another. Again, that would be a determination of Government and the Government's man responding.

These are just some of the more obvious arguments of the Left.

Eric Hines