Last week, Tracy Brabin, Mayor of West Yorkshire in the United Kingdom, excitedly unveiled the Knife Angel in the city of Bradford. For those unaware, the Knife Angel is a sculpture first unveiled in 2018, a 27-foot tall statue of an angel made entirely out of 100,000 knives confiscated by the UK police. Brabin was launching the month's "anti-violence" campaign, telling people they could not and should not carry a knife for self-defense.
In the United Kingdom, gun ownership is illegal. Gun bans went into effect in 1997. Lacking firearms for protection, many people started carrying knives for protection. As you might guess, crime didn't take a day off, even without guns. That led to the new 2021 laws, which expanded from gun bans to bans and confiscating knives for personal protection. UK politicians called this a serious crackdown on knife violence in the country.
UK Home Secretary Priti Patel said: "There is no place in our society for violent crime and harm caused by such knives and firearms. Lives have been lost through serious violence, and this ban will help save lives by getting more knives and other weapons off the streets and out of the hands of violent criminals."
That brings me back to the Angel statue in Bradford. At the latest unveiling, Mayor Tracy Brabin released a video to her constituents:
"I'm here at the unveiling of the incredible Knife Angel in Bradford. It's a really poignant reminder of the issues we all face in tackling serious violence and how we must work together in partnership to address it. It's also a physical symbol reflecting on those who've lost their lives to these horrendous crimes. The reality is, young people are using and carrying knives sometimes as a form of self-defense, but it's not okay.
We have to take a collective stand, and that's why we're so pleased that Bradford is hosting this statue, supporting greater debate and action on knife crime. And if you live locally, please do come down and see it. It is quite something. And close up, you can see people's names, victims of knife crime, etched into the blades."
For the Americans reading this, I'd forgive you for wondering if this was a Monty Python sketch. Yes, it is real. The mayor and the event are real, and the UK police are on a multi-year endeavor to drive knife violence down through banning and confiscation.
Less than 25 years after banning most firearms, the UK faces the scourge of knife violence. You're supposed to go to the Knife Angel and remind yourself that carrying knives in self-defense is wrong.
Admittedly, as an American, it's patently ridiculous to hear a government official tell everyone, with a straight face, that self-defense is wrong. It might seem trite to say, but this is the future progressives want. They want to ban guns, knives, and self-defense.
This idea might seem outlandish, but it appears in America too. In Manhattan, the judicial district of Alvin Bragg, the man prosecuting Donald Trump, his office charged a garage worker fighting for his life with attempted murder.
The New York Post reports that the garage worker stopped an assailant from entering the garage. When he did so, the assailant pulled out a gun and shot the garage worker twice in the stomach. Miraculously, the worker wrestled the gun out of the assailant's hands and shot him in the chest.
Alvin Bragg charged the garage worker - the man fighting for his literal life - with attempted murder, assault, and criminal possession of a firearm. After a significant public uproar in New York, Bragg's office said they would drop the charges after further investigation.
But think about this. It took a public uproar to prevent a man who had already been shot from being charged with attempted murder, assault, and illegally possessing a firearm. In what universe does this even make common sense? It does if you want to ban guns and knives.
We often make this a debate around gun violence in America, but in the UK, they're dealing with knife bans less than 25 years after banning guns. And we have mayors and prosecutors discussing how carrying any weapon for self-defense is wrong.
The Knife Angel is an important exhibit. I'm glad the UK has it, and everyone can see it. It's a constant reminder that leftist governments are intent on banning not just guns and knives but the act of self-defense - because the only thing remaining after firearms and knives is physical combat.
Will we ban boxing, wrestling, karate, or other similar things next? Or will people get charged with assault, like in Alvin Bragg's New York? These aren't theoretical or rhetorical questions. We see the law in the UK going that far. It's not a slippery slope fallacy to ask: how far is the left willing to go to control all self-defense?
The early answer: you're never allowed to protect yourself or anyone with anything. That's a dangerous world to live in. It shouldn't take public outcry to convince a prosecutor that self-defense is okay.