Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Ban Evil Knives – The Knife of 1950s Teens

switchblade knife ban new york history dylan benson random firearm

This blog is indeed called The Random FIREARM, but knives are also an important subject in the firearm community, and even day to day life for most people.  They are a tool that can be used for SO many things: opening letters, opening a box, unscrewing something, or maybe even slicing a seatbelt to save someone’s life.  Of course, they can be used by bad people for bad things, and just like people are trying to ban “evil” firearms now, back in the 1950s, people were trying to ban “evil” knives.

Webster defines a switchblade as “a large jackknife that snaps open when a release button is pressed”.  Seems harmless right?  I mean today we have assisted opening knives that are quite popular.  Well, back in the 1950s, this was labeled as “the toy that kills”.  I originally stumbled up this article by the Brooklyn Public Library that covers in detail the story about how the knives were originally banned in New York, USA.

A three-year campaign for the ban of these knives was waged on, lead by Special Sessions Justice John E. Cone, who had previously been the Chief of Justice of the Homicide Bureau in the District Attorney’s Office in New York.  In this position, he had seen what switchblades apparently were in the eyes of the youth.  He claimed " was a badge of distinction among teen-age gang members to possess a switchblade or zip-gun."

Like today with people trying to ban “evil black guns”, there were people who fought against it.  After some time, the only law that changed prohibited the sale of switchblades to those under 16.

switchblade knife ban new york history dylan benson random firearm
Images Courtesy of the Brooklyn Public Library


After supporters FOR the ban like the newspaper The Brooklyn Daily Eagle continued to pester the state government for a full on ban, eventually and unfortunately, a bad was passed.  On March 28th, 1954, New York became the first state in the nation to ban the manufacture, sale, and possession of switchblades.  After that, more states followed.  After the ban was passed, citizens of New York were allowed to turn in their evil knives without questions, and many did.

It’s funny to be reading this now and seeing that we are in a similar situation with organizations and agencies trying to ban certain types of ammunition, firearms, and whatnot.  Legislation has passed in history, and we can see that can take things away from us, and it can always happen again.  Just keep your eyes open, and support what you believe in.


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