Rule Five Switchblades Friday

I found this mildly interesting, as kind of an ancillary to the Second Amendment discussion; Virginia just removed the state ban on switchblade knives.  They’re legal here in the Great Land, by the way, as long as you’re over 21; don’t ask me what the reason is for that distinction.  Anyway; excerpt:

Knife Rights’ Virginia Switchblade Ban Repeal Bill, SB 758, that passed with broad bipartisan support, has been signed into law by Governor Glenn Youngkin. We sincerely appreciate Gov. Youngkin signing this bill after nearly 5 years of effort to repeal the ban.

NOTE: Repeal does not become effective until July 1st. Until that date, possession of automatic knives remains illegal in Virginia.

NOTE: The concealed carry knife bans in Virginia, including of switchblade (automatic) knives, will still remain in effect: “If any person carries about his person, hidden from common observation, (i) any dirk, bowie knife, switchblade knife, ballistic knife, machete, razor, … or (v) any weapon of like kind as those enumerated in this subsection…”

Here, from Bearing Arms, is the part I don’t quite get:

The full text of the bill is as follows:

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of Virginia:
1. That § 18.2-311 of the Code of Virginia is amended and reenacted as follows:

§ 18.2-311. Prohibiting the selling or having in possession blackjacks, etc. If any person sells or barters, or exhibits for sale or for barter, or gives or furnishes, or causes to be  sold, bartered, given, or furnished, or has in his possession, or under his control, with the intent of  selling, bartering, giving, or furnishing, any blackjack, brass or metal knucks, any disc of whatever configuration having at least two points or pointed blades which that is designed to be thrown or propelled and which that may be known as a throwing star or oriental dart, switchblade knife, ballistic knife as defined in § 18.2-307.1, or like weapons, such person is guilty of a Class 4 misdemeanor. The having in one’s possession of any such weapon shall be prima facie evidence, except in the case of a conservator of the peace, of his intent to sell, barter, give, or furnish the same.

Aside from the two clarifying edits changing “which” to “that,” the only change is striking “switchblade knife” from the statute.  Blackjacks, brass knuckles, throwing stars and ballistic knives remain illegal.  And I’m not sure why the VA Legislature didn’t just toss out the whole stupid mess, except, as seems likely, this was the best deal that could be worked out.

Our once and former home state of Colorado has become increasingly loony over the last decade or so, but there are at least no stupid laws against brass knucks, which are mostly sold as novelties.  A few years ago I was touring around Denver’s huge Tanner Gun Show with my son-in-law and came across a guy selling not only brass knucks but also anodized aluminum knucks in a rainbow of colors – “diversity,” I guess.  I tried a couple sets just out of curiosity, but found they wouldn’t go on my big gorriloid hands past the second knuckle.  When I pointed this out to the vendor, he looked at my big mitts and said, “you don’t need ’em!”

Be that as it may, this entire section of Virginia state law seems pretty stupid.  Like gun control, knife, blackjack and knuck control seems just another stupid attempt to control behavior by outlawing inanimate objects, which works, well, never.  In my own business I charge some pretty major corporations serious money to teach their people how to solve problems through effective root cause analysis, and one of the basic principles I teach them is that a tool is never and can never be a cause.  A root cause is always at the point where some person or group of people made a decision.  In the case of what the VA law is trying to address, the root cause is when some asshole decides to commit a crime.  Any action after that is on them, and whatever tool they choose is immaterial once the choice has been made.

Most politicians, of course, are too stupid, too corrupt, or both, to understand this.

Make no mistake, though, this amendment to Virginia law is a step in the right direction.  But it’s only a step.