How About Knife Control?
by Jacob G. Hornberger
Last Sunday, 24-year-old Colin Kingston entered the apartment of his 21-year-old ex-girlfriend, Kelsey Annese, and 24-year-old Matt Hutchinson, with whom she was apparently sleeping. The killer was a distraught ex-boyfriend of the girl. After the double-murder, the killer committed suicide.
The weapon that was used for the double-murder-suicide? A knife.
So far, I have not come across any gun-control advocates calling for knife control, which somewhat mystifies me. Why aren’t they calling for government licensing of knife sellers? Why no calls for background checks for knife buyers? Why no proposals to hold knife manufacturers and knife sellers civilly liable for murders committed with their products?
There is another factor to consider here — the impact of New York’s strict gun-control laws. According to Wikipedia, “New York is generally perceived to be highly restrictive for purchasing, possessing, or carrying firearms.” Owning a handgun without a permit is illegal and, needless to say, getting a permit is next to impossible. Anyone caught illegally possessing a handgun is subject to a felony prosecution. If convicted, the person faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 3.5 years in the state penitentiary.
So, who’s going to take a chance of a felony conviction and jail time for illegally owning a handgun? Certainly not your regular peaceful, law-abiding citizen.
Thus, what the New York gun-control law does is prevent people from defending themselves from a murderous attack through the use of a handgun.
Now, it’s true: It is entirely possible that New York’s strict gun-control laws might have impeded the knife killer from acquiring a gun. But so what? Since there are no knife-control laws in New York, he just figured out another way to kill his victims.
The thing is this: New York’s gun-control law prevented the two victims of the knife attack from using a handgun to defend themselves against a murderous attack.
Of course, it’s possible that the knife killer caught both victims asleep, which is what the news media is asserting. But who knows what actually happened? If one of the victims had awakened after the first stab, it’s conceivable that he could have reached a pistol on his bedside table and attempted to put an immediate end to the attack by shooting the knife killer.
The other thing is this: People have the fundamental, God-given right to own whatever they want, including handguns. If the state can control or prohibit what people own, then we are no longer talking about rights but instead privileges bestowed by government. Rights preexist government and exist independent of government. As the Declaration of Independence, which Americans celebrate every Fourth of July, holds, people have been endowed by God and Nature with unalienable rights and the only reason government is called into existence is to protect the exercise of such rights — not infringe, control, or destroy them.
We don’t know if Kelsey Annese and Matt Hutchinson would be alive today if they had been free to exercise their fundamental, God-given right to own a handgun. What we do know is that New York’s strict gun-control laws prevented them from owning a handgun that they could have used to defend themselves against a murderous attack.