New York

I know among my readers that I’m preaching to the choir with this one, but I just couldn’t let it go. The Columbus Dispatch brings us this delightful story of a Bible college student who gets harassed by New York’s finest over their unclear knife laws.* As facepalm inducing as the story itself is, the comment section is even better. Are all New Yorkers assholes, or just the ones who commented in this thread? Comments like this one deeply concern me:

Agreed that the police were overzealous. Let’s remember though, that this kid was carrying not one, but two knives. Obviously he didn’t carry them on the plane. But he felt the need to pack them both and carry them both on the streets of NYC. There is something going on in this kid’s head that he isn’t being completely honest about.

Emphasis mine. Wait. What? You see, different knives have different characteristics and therefore different useful applications. The fixed blade knife in the kid’s backpack was for carving. The folder in his pocket was for general utility. At any given time, I’ve got at least two knives on me, and often more like four or five. Guess how many knife fights I’ve been in? If you guessed zero, you win. And, that’s not the only concerning comment.

The gravity knife rule has its very specific reasons for existing here and that’s not for you as visitors to our community to judge.

Quit shaking that finger at me! There’s this thing called a ‘First Amendment’ that guarantees that I can say whatever I want regardless of whether you like it or not. Besides that, the very specific reasons for the gravity knife rule is so the police can control the populace, you sheep!

“NYC is an idiotic city, not deserving of my tourism dollars. Anyone who supports this lunacy deserves to live there. Stupid is stupid. I’ll keep my clip knife and my .40.” Oh you sound very intelligent, JD Packin. Dinner must be fun in your household. But what do you do with your grenade launcher and samurai sword?

Wow. Just wow. So, this guy has made an assumption that he’s interacting with a dumb country bumpkin or possibly a mall ninja because the other party chooses to stay out of a place that disallows certain otherwise legal inanimate objects? Perhaps JD simply doesn’t wish to be presumed as a common criminal?

Please, hayseeds, if this story is leading you to boycott New York, by all means do so. They don’t want your large, doughy selves clogging up the sidewalk in front of the Times Square Olive Garden.

Hayseed? Is that what you call us out here in flyover country? That’s probably the funniest pejorative I’ve heard. It’s also pretty funny that you think that we all eat poorly. You’re making yourself look bad there. The best comment in the thread though, I have saved for last. I have posted it in its entirety below, chopped up to add my own commentary. A user who calls himself Laughing At You Not With You (tklawson) writes:

It’s very simple, George. Carrying knives is illegal in NYC, and if you are carrying one, then YOU ARE a thug and a criminal, as this thug, Clayton Baltzer, found out.

You know, there is codified law and common law. When the two don’t align properly, you make criminals out of good people. Using this fact to justify calling this kid a ‘thug’ is just disingenuous. The fact that I am a law-abiding citizen wearing a fully loaded .45 caliber pistol with no external safety on my hip in addition to two “gravity” knives, and yet crossing a single one of numerous specific borders within the United States would make me a felon – that fact is sick and wrong. The young man who was arrested in the story may have been a criminal by code, but the law makers are the moral criminals.

Please keep your Hayseed chewing self out of New York, as we do not want you here.

I’m not sure I would piss on NYC if it was on fire.

We have better things to do than complain about the laws in Columbus…

Again, freedom of speech.

…but evidently, you seem to have plenty of time on your hands to complain about our laws and make broad generalizations, like that we are all a bunch of freedom hating liberals.

Which sadly seems to be true with rare exception. Thanks for enforcing the stereotypes.

Have you ever been to NYC?

I know he’s not addressing me personally, but I’ve never been to New York State even.

There is absolutely NO REASON for anyone to carry one, let alone two knives around on the subway system.

Wait. It’s necessary to have a reason to carry an inanimate object? This deeply troubles me that in Free America there are individuals that feel like I should have to justify my non-threatening actions and decisions. I’ve heard rumors of people in my community paying up to $1,500.00 for seats at basketball games. Although I personally find that to be ridiculous and wasteful, I also don’t believe those people should have to justify that waste to me. Can you hurt someone with a knife? Of course! Please don’t presume that I am going to hurt someone with a knife unless you outlaw all blunt objects too. And dogs over a certain size. Or perhaps, we could be treated like adults instead?

It’s ridiculous to try and rationalize this young man’s behavior.

Don’t need to. He didn’t do anything wrong.

NYC is not a boy scout camp.

??? There are many utility applications for a knife in everyday life if you never go camping. This statement is just confusing.

People do not pitch their tents in Times Square and build a campfire roasting marshmallows and singing kumbaya.

Um… well… actually… I guess you live under a rock in NYC?

This is a city where people live and work…

More or less.

…and laws like this are created to keep kids from vandalizing our subway cars using, get this: pocket knives to carve grafitti into the walls.

Again, you presume the presence of a knife to be prima facie evidence of intent to vandalize. What’s even sillier about your assertion is that you’re saying a screwdriver, can opener, or even Grandpa’s Buck knife aren’t as suitable tools for said vandalism as a “gravity” knife. *Scratches head* Why not simply outlaw vandalism and call it a day? Oh wait…

So please, respect our town, and if you can’t do that, stay on the farm.

I do not live on a farm FYI, but I have absolutely no respect for NYC whatsoever and will not darken it with my presence unless and until it respects the individual’s right to individuality. I mourn the fact that such places do even exist in my beloved United States of America. Indeed, there are many places in the world, inside and outside our national borders that I would otherwise love to visit but for the powers that be placing little or no value in the individual. I will not be shamed for my stand on such issues. This proud nation was not founded on principles of limiting what people may or may not own or transport. That is not freedom or liberty. Those who would trade their liberty for safety deserve neither. Congratulations, people of New York. You get what you deserve.

*The term “gravity knife” is such a straw man. It is no more useful or specific than the term “assault rifle”.

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2 thoughts on “New York

  1. The knife laws used to be interpreted as any knife under 4 inchs wasn’t considered a weapon. Then Manhattan DA Vance decided that going after honest people who carry knives is an easy way to bolster his Win/loss record. Add in the fact that he was taking a very skewed intepretation of the switchblade laws(prosecuting on the theory that the little opener stud on most lockbacks these days falls under the button actuation description in the switchblade law) and you can see what it is – a way of racking up wins on “citizens” who don’t want to go to jail, and usually plead out to a lesser offense with no jail time, usually some kind of fine, with sometimes community service.

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