Weapons at School and Work

CANADA - In a recent incident a Brampton lawyer was stabbed outside a Sikh temple with a Kirpan ceremonial dagger. Sikh men wear Kirpan daggers to protect themselves from evil, it is a sacred weapon according to their religion and not meant to actually be used.

The Kirpan dagger has been getting more controversy in recent years, ever since a 12-year old boy in a Montreal school accidentally dropped his Kirpan and the school tried to take it away from him.

I bring this up because since the age of 11 or so I've been carrying a Swiss Army Knife with me at all times, attached to my keys. I've had several over the years and I need a replacement because my current one is getting dull and there is a ding on the blade. I carried it through high school, university, to various work places including government jobs... the only time I ever removed it from my pocket is when it and my keys went into my luggage for traveling on airplanes.

Now during that time period I've been in no less than 5 fights, 2 during primary school, 2 in high school, and 1 when a guy attacked me on the Toronto subway.

Not once in all five incidents did I take out my Swiss Army Knife. Honestly, I don't think it would be that good as a weapon. Given the option I prefer to use my fists. I have two of them and it just seems more practical.

For me the Swiss Army Knife is a tool. I've never needed to resort to using it as a weapon.

Teenagers are prone to fighting. They have to deal with bullies and there is a lot of anxiety about protecting themselves. Statistically however they rarely use weapons when fights are usually resolved with fists. (Only once in those five incidents was I ever attacked with a weapon, a broomstick from carpentry class.)

Chalk it up partly to Canada's obsession with hockey fighting, but Canadians just seem to prefer fisticuffs. Even when they have a hockey stick in hand, they throw it down, take off the gloves and go for the more basic weapon people have been using since before cavemen.

There are incidents of fights with weapons... everything from a hair pin to a bowling ball, and frankly I am curious as to whether such improvised weapons outnumber attacks with knives. It would stand to reason that when pressed people are more likely to pick up a rock, a stick or even a guitar case to fight with then they would to reach into their pocket and pull out a puny 2 - 8 inch knife (the same length as a Kirpan).

So while there may be incidents where people have tried using a Kirpan as a weapon, the recent attack on the Sikh lawyer (who easily survived) shows that its not a very effective weapon. The man who attacked him was charged with attempted murder and aggravated assault, showing he didn't even manage to run away or keep his identity hidden. (Its ever amazing how stupid criminals are.)

The Sikh lawyer attacked in the incident also wears a kirpan. He says this abuse of the dagger should not be used against the religion. “These people have used religious emotions and symbols to attack others. It does not mean all Sikhs are violent.”

He's right. People are more or less violent in general and they don't need a dagger to do it.

History has shown knife attacks are usually very brutal because a single stab wound doesn't kill someone. You have to be stabbed quite often or in vital locations for the wounds to become fatal. Michael Hill of Florida was stabbed in the brain with an 8 inch survival knife by an unknown assailant and still survived. (He currently holds the Guinness Record for the largest object removed from someone's brain and surviving.) In other incidents people have been stabbed over a hundred times and still lived.

Julius Caesar for example was stabbed 23 times, but only one of them actually hit a vital area in his chest according to a physician who later examined the body. An estimated 60 people mobbed him and were involved in the stabbing, including the infamous Brutus.

So whether its a ceremonial dagger or a tool people need to be aware knives don't hurt people, people hurt people. The knife isn't even an effective weapon. Its obsolete compared to the gun, which makes it super easy to kill someone.

A police night stick however... those things are just plain nasty!

If someone shows up at your door wielding a night stick, prepare to get your ass whupped.

See Also
Gun Control in Canada
Handguns in Canada

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