I believe in knives. I use them for bushcraft and survival all the time. A good knife in the right hands can save lives. Any true bushcraft practitioner and survival expert will know this. Without a knife, life in the bush is going to be very difficult. We, in this country, have knife crime as a fundamental problem that has permeated into our youth culture. This was brought home to me in a very personal way when an ex-student of mine was murdered on the streets of Sheffield during broad daylight, with a knife. He was 21 years old and had just turned a professional boxer. I conducted his funeral with over 500 people attending. It hurt. A knife in the wrong hand can lose a life, but a knife in the right hands can save a life.
I have examined in great detail knife crime throughout this country. What staggers me, is the ease in which young men can access lethal knives and machetes. I have seen boys stabbing one another and slicing one another with these knives. It is not for the faint hearted, but my question is, how on earth do they get their hands on these knives? I know there was a move to stop the purchase of knives from retail outlets, but what about us true practitioners of Bushcraft? I have purchased on bushcraft websites, legitimately, three to four knives and all I have had to do is tick a box stating that I'm over 18. Personally, I don't think that's good enough. What about, with all the technology that we have available to us, being able to take a passport photograph and number as well as submitting a household bill in the purchaser's name? Thus safeguarding the legitimate use of knives.
We want to try and make it as hard as possible for knives to get into the wrong hands. I feel that we should boycott shops that are selling these hunting style knives on our high streets. What on earth are these shops selling such knives for, when in this country the wildlife poses no threat to our livelihood?! It is crazy and irresponsible. By law, carrying a knife in public without a good reason is illegal, unless it has a folding blade with a cutting edge 3 inches long or less. (See here)
I always carry my Leatherman as I tend to use it on various tasks two to three times a day. It is legal, and it is in the hands of a responsible adult.
The youth of today need responsible role models, who can show them the fundamentals of bushcraft and how to use a knife safely and responsibly. Hence, as an ex-teacher over a number of years, it is my passion to get into schools and raise awareness of the knife crime that is in our cities and to do something about it through the medium of bushcraft, sport or just being in the outdoors. Nature has so much to teach us and it is good for the mind, body and soul.
My son and I are now embarking on a journey to the roof of Africa. Over the next year we hope to climb the height of Everest and prepare to walk and climb up Mount Kilimanjaro, to bring awareness and raise money to combat knife crime. My son writes his own blog about his journey, have a read here.
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