Wednesday, February 2, 2011

News of the Bizarre That Almost Makes Sense

Bill seeks to let one-armed people use switchblades

State Rep. Sheryl Briggs, D-Mexico*, said Friday that she's asking Maine to comply with a federal law that allows individuals with one arm to own or carry any switchblade knife with a blade of 3 inches or less.

*Mexico, Maine, is an old mill town. Them old down-east maquiladoras were dangerous places to work. Probly lotsa folks missing limbs. Heh.

But seriously, folks, there are flaws in this proposed law.

First of all, most, not all but most switchblades are flimsy pieces of shit that won't hold an edge and are good only for stabbing. I'm sure that's not the usage the nice Democratic lady had in mind. She's just trying to help lefties, so to speak, and doesn't know much about knives outside the kitchen.

As a mechanic/homeowner/general all 'round guy, I've found myself in the position of a one-armed person many times - you've got aholt of something with one hand that needs to be cut and you need ta out with yer folder, open it, and do the job with the other. With a little practice and some judicious easing of the fit of the blade in the handle ahead of time (valve grinding compound works well), you can open it easily with your thumb. When you are done, operate the release with the same thumb, close it against your leg and put it back in the belt sheath.

Alternatively, put a piece of string inside the handle so the tip of the blade protrudes slightly out of the handle. You can then open the knife by catching the tip on the seam of your pants leg with a lateral swiping motion (be careful if you're wearing shorts). This won't work on knives that have been used as screwdrivers and no longer have a tip. Heh. In experienced hands, this method is lightning fast.

These days, opening a pocket or belt knife with one hand is easier than ever. My Buck Bantam has ambidextrous thumb studs which make my old-school methods obsolete.

There are other one-handed knives available. I do not recommend butterfly knives to the one-armed, as a considerable amount of practice and skill is required to avoid having no hands (see one method). Heh. Also, they're illegal everywhere except, apparently, swap meets and the Phillipines.

Also, there are other one-handed knives such as the Smith & Wesson Out-The-Front Tanto and the German Paratrooper Folder and many others.

(Note to BudK: Keep them catalogs comin', boys! The American Flag Guitar Lighter with the lights that run up and down the neck is killer!)

Given the negative image of switchblades and the fashion faux pas of carrying one without the slicked-back pompadour and Cycle Champ jacket, I would suggest that Mexico, Maine, simply let its arm-challenged citizens carry fixed-blade sheath knives so they won't have to open them, or for the more Scottish amongst them, a wee dirk stuck in the top of the sock next to their wallet and smokes, or for the more Marine-oriented, a Ka-Bar, or...

Ah, fuck it, katanas, scimitars, kukris, cavalry swords, claymores, and bat'leths for everybody! See 'BudK' above. Heh.

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