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Are Pocket Knives safe?  If ever there was a convincing argument, here it is! I. There is a story told to me by WSBTV that I would like to tell you, story of a high school student by the name of Will Chandler of Cobb Country GA.  When a school officer looked through his car the officer found a Swiss Army Knife in the center counsel of the car and Will was arrested with a felony charge.  But wait is a Swiss Army Knife really all that dangerous?

I. The statistic of knives (murder, robbery & assault),

1. In the United States in 2006 with an estimated population 252,262,599, according to the FBI there where 14,990 murders 1,822 of which involved a knife, there where 447,403 robberies, 32,072 of which involved a knife and 860,853 aggravated assaults 160,979 of which involved a knife. The total number of crimes which involved a knife was 194,873.  As cited by the American Knife & Tool Institute the FBI has “speculated that kitchen knives are involved in perhaps 95 percent of knife cases”, so we can assume that out of the 194,873 knife cases only 9,743 where committed with a non kitchen knife.  In fact your odds of dying from an assault by sharp object in a year are just one in 141,249, smaller odds then you dying from a bolt lightning (1 in 81,949).

II. After having delved into the dark side pocket knives and not finding much of one, we should now look at the good.  Despite what some may say knives save lives, there are many example of this

1. like the story told to me by the Secret Order of the Swiss Army Knife, there was a neurosurgeon doing a operation to remove a plate on the patient’s cervical spine when the screwdriver used to remove the screws holding the plate on broke, they searched for a replacement, but all they could find was the neurosurgeons Swiss Army Knife, which work perfectly.

2. There is another story on Leatherman’s website, of a young doe that was caught in a electric fence and freed by a leatherman the only tool at hand.

3. Then there is the story of child who was on a bicycle when hit by a car, and a group of doctors spring with there pocket knives and performed life saving surgery right there on the spot.

4. There are many more stories of knives used to free people from seatbelts after crashes and emergency surgeries.

III. And now we must ask who uses knives?  No one knows who or how many people carry a knife, as there are no records kept on that subject, however we can look at signs and clues as to many people carry a knife. It is easy to see that many, many people do.

1. (Production figures) for a start we can at production figures of knife companies to get a feel for there sales, and with production figures like 82,000 Swiss Army Knives produced everyday, we can pretty well tell there are lots of people carrying knives out there.

2. (Interception numbers), another way we can look at how many knifes are carried is looking at the numbers of intercepted knives, which according to the Transportation Security Administration of the 13,709,211 intercepted items in 2006 1,607,100 where knives, means that on average they intercept 183 knives a hour.  This would suggest knives are such a part of people’s daily life that people simply forget to put the knife in the checked baggage.

3. (famous people who use knives)  we can also look some famous people who carry knives,
a. Pope John Paul II owned a Swisschamp
b. The Dalai Lama carries a Victorinox Classic “he stresses that it really is small.”

IV. So back to the original question are Swiss Army Knives really all that dangerous?  NO!  In fact we have seen that are anything but.  They are rarely ever used in crimes and they protect us from being trapped in burning hunks of metal, they save are lives.  Lots of people have them, even The Dalai Lama who is staunchly opposed to the use of violence.  So in closing I would like leave you with a little saying: knives save lives.

Kowalski, David D. American Knife & Tool Institute Communications Coordinator, “Knife Industry Answers WSJ”, Online posting. 4 Aug. 2006. The New AKTI Forum. 2 Sep. 2008.

The Wave Saved the Day for a Young Deer. 2008. Leatherman Tool Group Inc..

National Safety Council, The odds of dying from...,

SOSAK Online, that’s using your head. Tuesday, 01 July 2008., The Dalai Lama, 1989 Nobel Peace Prize Citation.

Transportation Security Administration, Screening Statistics,

United States. Dept. of Justice. Federal Bureau of Investigation. 2006 crime in the United States.

A roadside operation. Victorinox AG.

Two children saved from drowning. Victorinox AG.

Life saved. Victorinox AG.

A pocket-knife used as a scalpel Victorinox AG.

VIP. Victorinox AG.

Production figures. Victorinox AG.

Profile. Wenger SA.

Knife In Car Equals Felony Charge For Teen. 2007. WSBTV. September 4, 2007.