Friday, February 11, 2011
I remember as a kid, I never left my house without my pocketknife in my pocket. All the guys had them. You weren't Jack unless you had your pocketknife. Most kids, back in my day, carried around a Boy Scout Knife. Some of the richer kids moved up towards Swiss Army Knives, knives that had all the bells and whistles, spoons, toothpicks, corkscrews (what?), screwdrivers as well as a blade. The blades of the knives were between 2.5 and 3.5 inches long. The blades folded up and it took a good thumbnail to pull the blade out. We were ready for anything though: need twine cut, we could do it. Want to carve or whittle a stick into a shape, you could spend hours trying to sculpt your masterpiece. Cut the kite string out of a tree, your knife did it. Your knife went everywhere with you: out to play, off to school, and all points in between. It was almost an unwritten rule that a knife was both a boys and a mans companion. But now, that is all gone.
The basic pocketknife is illegal to carry to school. Brian Walsh wrote a piece on 17-year-old Ashley's so-called 'crime'? A paring knife in her lunch sack. This little knife with a 2 inch blade was in her purse, wrapped in the lunch bag it came in. Ashley, a 17 year old 3.5 GPA honor student was expelled from her senior year in high school and has been charged with carrying a dangerous weapon on school grounds. A butter knife was found on the floorboard of Lindsay Brown's car, which was in the parking lot. Lindsay is a honor student and a National Merit Scholar. Lindsay was charged with a felony.
The laws as written now say that carrying something sharp to school is a felony. So my pencil lead should be dulled? No more pocket knives for boys. This generation just got a little of their boyhood independence removed from them. Way back when, part of being a man was a pocketknife. Men were the tool-bearers. A boy could do wonders with his knife, but stabbing another kid usually wasn't one of those things. Why didn't we pull our knives and fight when we were kids? Simple, as you were pulling your knife and trying to get your thumbnail into the little groove to open the blade, your opponent was using his fists and knocking the hell out of you. You would be lucky to even have a knife left after a good old fashion hand to hand brawl happened. Besides that, if you couldn't take in with fists, a tiny little knife wasn't going to help you anyway.
Now we see that they can take a butter knife away from a girl and charge her with a felony. What do schools use in home economics? Do they even have home economics any more? I don't know. I guess you don't need knives, even butter knives to open the bag of McDonalds burgers for your family. It is sad. Our girls learn to cook by purchasing fast food. Our boys become a little more marginalized, not really men, not ready to do a mans work all because of some stupid rule. The best intentions don't always make for the best policy.