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Mon Dec 10, 2012, 06:42 AM

Move Over, NRA. Meet the Knife Lobby. [View all]

http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2012/12/knife-rights-second-amendment



Knife rights activists say the Second Amendment protects your right to wield anything from a bowie knife to a cutlass.


Move Over, NRA. Meet the Knife Lobby.
óBy Richard Grant
November/December 2012 Issue

Doug Ritter was carrying two pocketknives and a Leatherman on his belt as he entered a suburban barbecue restaurant near his home in Gilbert, Arizona. "If we were in New York City right now, I could be arrested and sentenced to a year in prison for carrying these knives," he told me as we stood in line at the counter.

Sitting down to carve into a big platter of pork and brisket, Ritter, the founder and chairman of Knife Rights Inc., laid out his arguments for restoring our right to carry switchblades, double-edged daggers, combat knives, bowie knives, stilettos, and cutlasses on any street in America. "Knives are essential tools used by millions of Americans every day, at work, at home, at play," he said. "And on rare occasions, they're also used as an arm in self-defense, or to defend one's family. When the Second Amendment talks about the right to bear arms, it doesn't specify firearms in particular."

Ritter, a 59-year-old survival equipment expert, has carried a pocketknife since he was seven, and he feels naked without one. "It's part of getting dressed, like pulling on your pants in the morning," he said. He started Knife Rights in late 2006 after reading a Wall Street Journal article that portrayed military-style tactical knives as a deadly menace but offered no statistics linking them to any crimes.

His group now has more than 2,200 members. Its legal arm receives most of its funding from the knife industry. Its chief lobbyist sits on the National Rifle Association's board of directors, and its website is strewn with overheated endorsements from the likes of Ted Nugent ("God Bless Knife Rights!") and NRA executive vice president Wayne LaPierre.

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