History was made recently in London. For the first time in history, London’s murders surpassed that of New York City. Both in February and March there were more killings in London than in the Big Apple. The weapon of choice? Knives.
Last year, 2017, there were 80 fatal stabbings in London and, during a recent 19-day period, 10 people were stabbed to death. So far this year, 59 people have been stabbed to death in London.
The response of the mayor of London? Wait for it … yep. You guessed it. Better “knife control laws.”
Officials and the press are laying the blame at the feet of social media, knife laws that are not enforced aggressively enough, lack of resources, the closing of community centers, the courts, and the absence of enough police. But the primary emphasis is on the knife.
Fox News reported the reaction of London’s mayor: London Mayor Sadiq Khan said in a statement that he is “angered and heartbroken by the recent violent deaths on our streets. Let me be clear — there is no reason to carry a knife. To anyone who does, they will be caught, and they will feel the full force of the law.”
Sound familiar? The United Kingdom already has some of the toughest gun control laws in the world. Undeterred, the criminals have simply picked up the next deadliest implement to continue their life of mayhem. There are laws currently in effect regulating the possession and carrying of knives. It seems that the bad actors ignore those laws. Again, sound familiar?
Interestingly, the same mayor recently ordered the police to back off on stopping and searching suspicious individuals, calling the police tactic “racist” and “Islamophobic.”
If London’s politicians are successful in eliminating knives, then what will be the next weapon? Baseball bats, perhaps. The aluminum kind that can beat heads and break bones repeatedly without having to be replaced. Or, perhaps, cricket bats for the purist who does not desire to be identified with American baseball.
In the 4th Chapter of the Book of Genesis, the first murder is recorded. Cain killed his brother Abel. What did he use for a weapon? The account doesn’t say. It may have been a rock. Or a strong stick. Or perhaps Cain killed his brother with his bare hands. Politicians cannot outlaw every rock or stick in the world. Neither is it practical to cut off every person’s hands. If they did, some people would simply stomp other people to death.
The problem has really never been with weapons. Evil people will find a way to kill their intended victims. Weapons were invented or improvised to kill someone more efficiently and to provide a greater safety margin for the killer. And potential victims — the good people of the earth — have always reluctantly armed themselves with what they could to deter and to counter the aggression of the predators among us.
One school system in Pennsylvania has armed its teachers with a bucket of rocks in case an active shooter situation develops. Another Pennsylvania system has pledged to arm teachers with small baseball bats.
My first response is, “What’s the problem with the mindset of school officials in Pennsylvania?” Do they seriously believe that frightened people with small bats or a bucket of rocks can fend off a crazed killer with a firearm? Or, for that matter, a knife? My second response is to remember the modern proverb, “Never bring a knife to a gunfight.” These deluded school officials are what my late-father would have called, “educated fools.”
The problem is now, and has always been, the condition of the human heart. Gun advocates know that fact and most of them are unwilling to surrender their weapons because of the evil people that prowl. It’s akin to wrapping oneself in bacon and going for a stroll in grizzly country. You don’t take those kinds of chances with your life.
But … there will undoubtedly be stricter knife control laws passed in the Mother Country. And, when it happens, that’s the time to buy stock in baseball bats — because the criminals will buy them by the truckload.
[David Epps is the pastor of the Cathedral of Christ the King, Sharpsburg, GA between Newnan and Peachtree City (www.ctkcec.org). He is the bishop of the Charismatic Episcopal Diocese of the Mid-South which consists of Georgia and Tennessee (www.midsouthdiocese.org) and the Associate Endorser for the Department of the Armed Forces, U. S. Military Chaplains, ICCEC. He may contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.]