Sharp Knives


I heard someone say recently, “If we outlaw guns because they’re used to commit crime, then we ought to outlaw knives also.” This started me thinking about how my kitchen knives could be used as weapons.

My sister gave me some new steak knives this week and they are extremely sharp. The old ones are still keen too, even though the handles have started to delaminate. I saved them just in case I ever serve steak to an inordinate number of guests.

Most of our knives are kept in a drawer. We’ve learned to recognize the handles and pick out the needed utensil gingerly. Only a knucklehead would stick his hand in there and start rummaging around.

If I had to defend myself from an intruder, using only a blade, I’d probably grab a large carving knife. They are stout, intimidating, and capable of cutting through watermelon rind. I rarely use them, so they aren’t maintained in sharp condition. Right after Thanksgiving would be a good time to choose this one.

I have a carbon steel utility knife with a flexible seven-inch blade that I employ all the time. It dulls easily and whets quickly so it is always either very sharp or not. If we had a break in, would I remember how easily the onions diced at dinner? Probably not.

The long bread knife would be scary looking, especially in the dark. The wavy, serrated blade is designed for sawing back and forth. In a pinch, it does a pretty good job carving meat. Its distinctive pearl and silver handle makes it easy to find in the drawer.

We have this cute little set of knives in a block on the counter top. These might be my weapon of choice simply because they’re easy to grab. They’re never sharp and the blades are short but in the blink of an eye I could have one in each hand—jab-jab!

If a bad guy broke into my house in the middle of the night, if he’d cased the property and knew we were home, or if he’d done this dastardly deed before and been surprised by homeowners, he would probably be armed. I think if I tried to run him off with a knife, I’d get myself dead.

So, all this exercise in preparing my mind to choose a knife to defend myself and my property…is simply exercise.

I have a gun; I keep it loaded; it is in an easy-to-grab location; I practice using it so I’m comfortable with the grip and the way it handles. The only mind exercise required is a pre-meditated decision to point and shoot at a living being who intends me harm.

I shot a wild turkey once, because she was hurting my little bantam hen. I didn’t intend to kill her—she was forty yards away and I chose a B-B gun. I think the principal is the same.

If the current administration outlaws assault weapons, only criminals will have them. I have a backup plan but maybe I should also sharpen my knives.

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About janets123

Children's writer, newspaper columnist, essayist, poet, storyteller
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11 Responses to Sharp Knives

  1. Sounds as if you are more than well armed, Janet. Personally, I don’t know if I have what it takes to use a gun or knife but if harm was to stare
    me in the face I am sure survival instincts would kick in. Crazies will no doubt always get their hands on weapons but we can certainly do better at back-ground checks. Be careful reaching into that drawer.

  2. Mary Savage says:

    If this nation gives up their guns we won’t have knives because we won’t have kitchens…we’ll be in concentration camps.

    • janets123 says:

      Is that like living on an airplane? I once had a cabin steward open a special Kosher meal for me. It was in a flat tin. He came back with a bloody bandage on his finger but they assured me, loudly, “There are no knives on this plane!” 😉

  3. You make some good points in a way I’ve not heard the discussions going lately. Good job! We live in the country and have always had long guns in our home, no hand guns, and all have taken down their share of wild game. I’ve always target-practiced with my husband, was even drafted onto the rifle team in college because my aim was so good.. But the only living thing I’ve ever taken down myself was a skunk headed for my cocker spaniel. I was amazed at the time because I took the skunk out with one shot in the head, but just a second after I pulled the trigger the adrenaline hit my system and I nearly dropped the rifle because I was shaken so badly. That’s always been my concern about relying on a gun to save me in some serious situation–whether I could make the necessary decision to shoot fast enough to save my life before nerves took over and the bad guy could pick up my gun and use it to kill me. I think I’d have better luck with your knife strategy. I agree with the idea of banning assault rifles and armor bullets and magazines holding more than 10 rounds. But even if I fear I’d not necessarily be able to shoot an intruder and would risk having my gun turned on myself, guns are necessary for skunks and snakes–yes, both the two-legged and four-legged varieties. However, I will start making sure all my knives are kept sharp. Good post!

  4. Tabitha Shay says:

    Glad you have both sharp knives and a gun, Janet. I could shoot someone if they enter my home with the intent to do me and my family harm. I think if we lose our rights to bear arms, we’ll lose all our rights and as someone said, end up in concentration camps. I read something the other someone posted on Facebook that read China wants our guns taken away. I bet they do. Since i feel China pretty much owns us, we are probably one step away from mass genocide or those nasty camps. I have no intention of giving up my guns to anyone. I’ll toss them in the river first, wrapped in something waterproof…Great article as always…Connie.

  5. Clint Thompson says:

    Nice article Janet. I totally agree but our 2nd Amendment was written mainly with apposing tyranny in our own government. For apposing tyranny we need the right to bear arms with which to do this. Granddad’s old shotgun or Dad’s five shot deer rifle would not be the proper tool to appose a tyrannical government who has the worlds most powerful Army. As a 40 year veteran law enforcement officer on three continents I can tell you gun control is not the answer. We can not legislate morality…pure and simple.

    We tried to legislate morality with “Prohibition of alcohol” but in 1933 the U.S. Citizens gave up and repealed the 18th Amendment. We have volumes of laws prohibiting many other things such as certain drugs and the misuse of pharmaceutical products. Yet we here in the U.S.A. are the largest consumer of illegal drugs and misuse of pharmaceuticals. We have outlawed people of other countries from illegally entering the U.S.A. yet the very same legislators are considering to forgive those who have violated this Federal Law. We as Americans are demanding our own Congress to pass a balanced budget but they keep on failing to.

    The United States of American has a violent society. Other countries such as Switzerland do not have this problem, yet all legal males from the age of 18 to 45 years of age have a military weapon in their homes for the defense of their country. The reason for our society to be so violent, as in many other problems, is a multifaceted one. One large part of this problem of violence is the Risk Gene Factor wherein certain people have a predisposition to take risks. This dominant gene is passed on from one descendent to the next. Along with this risk gene for taking risks in business and other ventures is the willingness to do violence. I call this the Warrior Gene. Because American is made up of people who were willing to risk it all, have been coming here for the past 300 years, we have an overabundance of people with the risk gene or in the case of violence…the warrior gene. This is a whole other story and can be debated but just one factor in a complex problem. Firearms are not the problem, we are the problem.

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