British Reformers Propose Ban On Pointy Kitchen Knives

300px-Chef's_KnifeWhat will happen to Col. Mustard in the dining room with the kitchen knife? It is not just Clue aficionados that will be effected by a new reform being proposed in England, pointy kitchen knives may soon be a thing of the past. A group associated with West Middlesex University Hospital is proposing a ban in the British Medical Journal on pointy kitchen knives as unnecessary from a culinary standpoint and downright dangerous from a crime standpoint.

The proponents of the ban insist that the ready availability of pointy kitchen knives are fueling injuries, particularly in cases involving alcohol and drugs where they are used as weapons.

220px-Chinese_and_old_North_American_cleaversThe group interviewed 10 top chefs around England and none of the chefs described pointy knives as essential. They said that they could use small pointed knives instead that threaten a far less serious wound in an attack. There does remain of course the question of the cleaver which resembles a medieval weapon.

The group notes that 24% of 16-year-olds have been shown to carry weapons, primarily knives. I doubt though that those are kids carrying kitchen knives, which leads to the question if other knives like camping knives will also be banned.

One fact that I was not aware of was that the French ordered table and street knives ground smooth in the 17th Century and that blunt kitchen knives were decreed in England in the 18th Century. We have seen a steady stream of kitchen knife attacks like this one where the availability of the knives combines with momentary rage.

For many, the proposal is a continuation of England’s reputation as a growing “nanny state.” We have previously discussed (here and here and here and here) some English laws that do appear to micromanage the choices of adults in that country. Previously we saw how scissors were being regulated at English library in fear of people stabbing each other. This proposal does raise the interesting question of why kitchen knives have to be pointed. I can see an educational campaign to encourage people to move away from the use of such knives, but is a prohibition warranted?

Ironically, the move will be cited by NRA advocates who have long argued that once guns were regulated, advocates would move to control kitchen knives. The argument was treated as absurd but this proposal is now picking up steam inside and outside England.

220px-GlennalexPutting aside the personal choice issue, there is also the question of what Hollywood will do without the ever present kitchen knife to use in movies like Fatal Attraction. Somehow the blunt butter knife is not going to cut it, even in the hands of a furious Glenn Close. Of course, Gwyneth Paltrow showed how a meat thermometer can be a perfect substitute in A Perfect Murder.

So what do you think? Is it time to disarm Col. Mustard . . . or if we outlaw kitchen knives, will only outlaws be able to chop and mince effectively?

Source: BBC

34 thoughts on “British Reformers Propose Ban On Pointy Kitchen Knives”

  1. The Kitchen knife story is total nonsense, the British Parliament has never sought to ban kitchen knives and the story came about due to a 2005 BBC Article in which three doctors Emma Hern, Will Glazebrook and Mike Becket at one hospital the West Middlesex University Hospital who expressed a view in relation to Home Office suggestions in respect of reducing violent crime.

    The Home Office responded back in 2005 saying “the law already prohibited the possession of knives in a public place without good reason, with the exception of a folding pocket knife with a blade not exceeding 8cm (3in)”.

    There has been no kitchen knife ban in the UK, there has never been any legislation regarding banning kitchen knives and there are no plans to ban kitchen knives in the UK full stop. So will the American Gun Lobby just drop this tired old story which has little truth to it.

  2. Dear God, they cannot be serious can they? Good luck preparing your evening meal using a knife that can hardly cut through bread without tearing it to pieces!

    This is going further than becoming a “nanny state” – if this ban were to go through, Britain would be losing their complete minds. You think that removing knives will stop people using them as weapons? They’ll only find something else that they can use!

  3. Nanny state.

    Next they will outlaw fish, a major cause of drownings in England.

  4. YF,
    Don’t do that without warning. Now I have to clean the computer screen and keyboard. :mrgreen:

  5. Jude,

    They took away the lead pipe and added an axe, among other handy weapons!

    “The mansion gets remodeled with a spa, home theater and guest house. The new characters each have a “special power” to help them solve the mystery more quickly, and there’s an extra deck of cards that can eliminate players.

    The wrench, lead pipe and revolver are being replaced with different weapons, and more of them: a pistol, poison, an ax, a baseball bat and a dumbbell are among the additions. (The candlestick remains.) Daviau explains the weapon choices: “Would this really be in the Hamptons, or a Hollywood mansion setting? Would someone have a lead pipe lying around?”

    Well, they might. Just last week in Charleston, W.Va., police charged a woman with assault after she swung a metal pipe at two people’s heads and used it to ram a hole in a door. What more proof does Hasbro need of the lead pipe’s staying power?

    “The game isn’t the same without the lead pipe,” Chapman says. “That was always one of my favorite weapons.””

    The things one learns via the Turley blog.

  6. Hey, Jude. Say it isn’t so. Jack Mustard? What’s the world coming to! (:


    “It has been criticized for destroying the quaintness and charm of the original Cluedo” (from the Cluedo: Discover the Secrets link)

    Miss Scarlett becomes Kasandra Scarlet, a famous actress often featured in tabloids.
    Colonel Mustard becomes Jack Mustard, a former football player.
    Mrs. White becomes Diane White, an ex-child star seeking the spotlight.
    Reverend Green becomes Jacob Green, a go-to guy “with all the ins”.
    Mrs. Peacock becomes Eleanor Peacock, a manners freak from a political family.
    Professor Plum becomes Victor Plum, a billionaire video game designer.


    The lead pipe, spanner/wrench, and revolver have all been dropped from the original list of possible weapons used and replaced with the baseball bat, dumbbell, and pistol. Likewise, the knife officially replaces the dagger in UK editions. In addition, an axe, trophy, and poison have been added, bringing the total number of murder weapons up to nine as follows:

    Rope (orig.)
    Candlestick (orig.)
    Knife (orig. US, replaces Dagger in UK ed.) …. weapons continue


    As one might expect, we now have more weapons. Drones will be added, at some point in the future.

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