How the Nanny State intimidates businesses into doing law enforcement, even when perfectly legal products are being bought.
Now that Christmas shopping is over, this story can be told.
Some time ago, my son (then 15) went to Wal-Mart to buy a Swiss Army knife. A Swiss army knife is a tool that all boys ought to own, and they ought to be able to carry them to school without fear of being suspended. So he goes to the check out line, and the cashier says that he isn’t allowed to buy it. You know, it’s a KNIFE, and KNIVES are WEAPONS, and all WEAPONS are BAD. Especially when a BOY buys it, with his Mom right beside him.
So he gave the money to Jane (aka the Mrs.), and she paid for the Swiss Army Knife. The cashier looked the other way and said that she didn’t want to see the money changing hands.
We didn’t have the heart to tell the cashier that he was buying the knife as a present for his little sister.
I realize that knives account for about 14% of American murders, but pocket knives are really bad as murder weapons. First of all, they are not usually very sharp. Secondly, if you try to hurt someone with them, the blade is likely to close on your finger. If you are going to kill someone with a knife, you could use a military knife, or a hunting knife, or a long kitchen knife.
This year, my 15 year old daughter went to Wal-Mart to buy a kitchen knife as a Christmas present. The knife had a 3 1/2 inch blade, so it wasn’t the most deadly thing she could have bought, but it would have made a much better weapon than any pocket knife. I watched her go through the checkout line, and the cashier did not question the transaction.
Because as you know, a kitchen knife is a TOOL for the kitchen, and it is NOT a weapon, especially if a girl buys it.
Sometime, I’ll see what happens when one of my kids tries to buy spray paint. Or maybe the folks at FreeRangeKids can start having their kids try to buy stuff that is perfectly legal, but can be misused by some morons, and see how the cashiers respond. I bet the responses will display many inconsistencies, and will show a pattern of discrimination against boys.