Knife-Purchasers Must Register, Says Chinese Government

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China’s Ministry of Public Security, in full public-securing mode as the Olympic Games approach, has told citizens that anyone buying "potentially deadly knives" must now register with the state.  According to the government, "potentially deadly knives" include switchblades, knives with "blood grooves," and any knife with a blade measuring over 22 centimeters (8.66 inches) in length.

As you know, it is impossible to be killed by any blade measuring 8.65 inches or less.

As I mentioned in 2005, when we were discussing a proposal by some British medical experts that would have made pointy knives illegal, knife-control regulation goes back at least to the 17th century, when Louis XIV ordered that all knives in France be blunted in order to reduce violence.  As his grandson learned, a sharp point is not the only part of a blade that can be dangerous, but this idea still continues to come up now and then.

The Chinese government stated that regulations concerning any "knife tools" used by ethnic minority groups would be left up to "local autonomous governments," which might be a sign of a renewed commitment to civil rights if there actually were any local autonomous governments inside China.

Link:  Xinhua News Agency via Reuters