London has a problem with knife stabbings. Since the start of 2018, at least 35 people have been stabbed to death in London. The Metropolitan Police reported over 12,000 knife-related offenses in London in 2017. The homicide rate in London has overtaken New York City for the first time ever, and much of it appears to be due to knife crimes. In fact, knife crime across the UK rose by 21% from September 2016 to September 2017.
The response by London authorities has been in line with the typical Leftist solutions to these kinds of problems: more government and less individual responsibility, with government assuming the role of accountability within each individual, almost like the angel on one’s shoulder. By adopting a “zero tolerance” approach to carrying knives, the authorities have regulated both the sale and carrying of knives and implemented a type of “stop and frisk.” And, Mayor Sadiq Kahn’s office has launched a peculiar PSA campaign called: “London Needs You Alive: Don’t Carry a Knife,” in which the virtues of “just say no to knives” are extolled to London youths, like this is an anti-drug campaign:
The young people of London are incredible. We want you to know how important you are, that your lives matter and that London would not be London without you.
That’s why you shouldn’t carry a knife.
Police departments in and around London are following the mayor’s lead, for instance, tweeting out absurd PSAs under the hashtag #KnifeFree, as if there’s a culture of knife-carrying that can be defeated by an awareness campaign.
The most ridiculous of these tweets is the one informing people there is no “safe place” on the body to stab, as if the point is to safely stab someone.
These tweets betray a mindset that people are children who can’t control themselves without Big Daddy government telling them how to behave. Indeed, when you treat stabbings the same way you treat drug addictions (replete with PSAs to the young: “just saying no to knives”), this is how you get more stabbings and, perhaps not coincidentally, more government putting itself in place of the accountability role one should play for oneself.
Put aside the obvious issues that drug addiction is about hurting oneself, not others, and that knifing people does not create an addiction the way drugs do. Banning knives won’t work for the same reason banning drugs or banning guns doesn’t work. The problem is not the implements of harm. The problem is the people wielding those implements.
The more we remove the responsibility from individuals and transfer it to the government, the worse any body of people get. And the worse the government gets. The UK is much farther down this path than we are, but the bottom line is the government is exercising more and more control over what individuals are allowed to do and taking ever more responsibility for their actions with every new ban. And as these bans become harder and harder to enforce, the solution is always more bans, more government responsibility, and worse people. This is the path to tyranny.
Both the UK and the US are becoming nations of children. What’s more, we’re using children to market this message, in addition to marketing the message to them. So, we have the Parkland teens, treated as our enlightened betters, encouraging everyone to give up their freedoms and submit to being collectively treated as irresponsible children because there are some bad actors out there. Never mind that we are ignoring the bad actors themselves, like Parkland shooter Nick Cruz, and are relieving the government officials of responsibility, like the ones in Broward County who neglected every opportunity to stop this massacre before it happened. Just pass more bans that become more difficult for authorities to consistently enforce and submit to incremental tyranny. Indeed, this perverse scenario shifts responsibilities onto governments that prove time and time again they are incapable of accepting.
At some point, this cycle of transferring responsibility to the government has to stop. At some point, we have to focus the responsibility solely on the actors directly causing harm, instead of diffusing it, or we will truly become a nation of children, with the government as a neglectful, cruel, and arbitrary parent.
*Special thanks to @Patriot_Musket, who provided his own unique insights to help write this piece.
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