I was 4 years old the first time I laid my hands on a knife. It was a small ¥100 boxcutter which drew me in with its colorful display in the local candy shop. Upon purchasing my new “toy,” I went to the pre-school where my friends were playing and proceeded to show everyone present how sharp the blade was by cutting my own finger.
Of course, the blood began to flow, the children shrieked in terror, and I cried out in surprise at the surging pain. The teacher on the scene took time to treat the wound and give me an earful. The experience was enough to instill the proper fear of knives in all of us.
Despite the pain and fear tied to that particular memory, I’ve come to make use of that knife nearly every day in the outdoors. My knife has come in handy for slicing smoked bacon, filleting freshly caught fish, harvesting goya grown in my back yard and digging out frozen tent poles.
Unfortunately, the other day I was stopped by the police for carrying the knife. Because I’m deaf, I wasn’t able to effectively communicate with the officer, and that resulted in me being hauled off to headquarters. It was quite a shock.
The interrogation was handled via written notes, lasting four hours and ending abruptly with a curt, “We’ll have to get an interpreter.” We set a date and resumed our “conversation” again.
I tried to explain, “It’s a vital tool for camping,” but in the end my knife, rich in memories from past travels, was sadly confiscated. Although knives are an essential part of the camping experience, it is imperative that anyone enjoying the great outdoors becomes familiar with the relevant laws. The fact is your handy tool could just as easily be used as a lethal weapon in the wrong hands.
According to the Swords and Firearms Control Law, blades measuring six centimeters or longer are illegal. The rules surrounding this law will be expanded to make it illegal to carry concealed blades shorter than six centimeters as well.
While I can understand the need to protect the peace and defend the public good, it would be nice for the boys in blue to understand the fondness outdoor enthusiasts have for their camping knives.