The recent tragic death of the 11-month-old infant who onlookers were unable to free from a burning car because no one had a knife to cut the baby free from a jammed seat belt is heartbreaking. First and foremost, a young life was snuffed out in a most painful, terrifying way. My thoughts and prayers go out to the child’s parents and family, as well as those on the scene who were unable to save the infant. The incident will continue to haunt all concerned for many lifetimes.
The lack of a knife carried by any of the bystanders to cut the seat belt and free the baby was a contributing factor in the infant’s death. The fact it happened in Los Angeles with its strict anti-knife ordinances is even more detestable, where anti-knifers continue to succeed in their crusade against knives. Anti-knife laws indirectly—some might say directly—kept the child from being rescued, and no doubt will prevent others from being saved in future catastrophes as well. (For more, see “For the Want of a Knife” in the “Forum” at http://knifeshowcase.blademag.com.)
Ordinances designed to keep people from carrying knives and, as a result, from saving the lives of others in emergency situations must be repealed. Of course, organizations like the American Knife & Tool Institute and Knife Rights and elected officials such as New Hampshire Rep. Jenn Coffey are the standard bearers in focusing on the repeal of anti-knife legislation. By joining and supporting them and speaking out on your own, writing your legislators and local newspapers, voicing your concerns on social media like Facebook, Twitter, etc., you can do your part, too. And be sure to voice your concerns in non-knife venues. You are “preaching to the choir” if you do it in pro-knife venues. It is the non-knife ones that need to hear the message.
In a heartrending way, the infant’s horrific death in a burning automobile magnifies the folly of anti-knife laws. In fact, thousands upon thousands more fatalities occur in car accidents than because of knives.
In place of anti-knife ordinances that exaggerate the problem, why not institute pro-knife ordinances that not only protect your right to carry knives, but also address the slaughter that occurs on our nation’s highways by enabling you to respond to emergencies such as the one in L.A.? Moreover, why not require the manufacturers of automobile baby seats to equip each of the seats with a seat-belt cutter conveniently placed for a parent or onlooker to use to cut the baby’s seat belt in an emergency? And while we are at it, why not require automobile and truck manufacturers to stock each and every vehicle with a seat-belt cutter?
Ideally, said manufacturers would take the lead and include seat-belt cutters with their products. Not only would it be a public service, the manufacturers would add value to their baby seats and vehicles. However, in today’s cost-cutting atmosphere, most manufacturers probably will not act without some kind of legislative push.
A number of knife companies have seat-belt cutters with the edges recessed for safety. Columbia River Knife & Tool offers one—the model also has a window breaker and flashlight—that attaches to a seat belt and is thus immediately accessible in an emergency situation. Seat-belt cutters can be the next best thing to carrying a knife, and are probably better and definitely safer when it comes to cutting a person from a jammed seat belt.
Repealing anti-knife legislation and promoting a seat-belt-cutter law would save the lives of innocents like the baby in L.A.—and, ironically, given the proper circumstances, maybe even the politically correct idiots who refuse to carry knives themselves.
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Columbia River Knife & Tool’s Exitool is a seat-belt cutter, flashlight and window breaker that attaches to a seat belt—where you need it, when you need it. (CRKT photo)
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