Sometimes, or so it seems, politicians in our government not only serve the goal to manage our country through the inevitable rough times which are neigh, but also try to magically let a smile appear on all of our faces.
This latter is accomplished by saying something really silly, under the disguise of a "proefballonnetje". Such a weird proposal is, again, stipulated by our minister of Justice, Hirsch Ballin.
This minister saw the issues surrounding the ownership of small arms amongst high-school children, and wanted to solve these. Fact is that many more children are carrying knives such as balisongs (Butterfly knives) and are committing crimes with them. Last year, at least 5 kids have died due to stabbings at school: both the offenders and victims often did not exceed 16 years in age.
The simple solution as proposed by Hirsch Ballin: abolish knives in the entire country.
I will try to explain what went wrong here.
First of all: banishing or prohibiting the ownership of a certain item does not solve issues surrounding the use of the object. For instance: the ownership of firearms is prohibited in our country, and yet there still are crimes committed with guns and pistols. Why? Because these are still pretty easily available, despite the prohibition. It is estimated that only three steps separate any Dutch resident from getting a firearm. A friend of a friend of yours has access to a gun. Is it that easy I can hear you ask? Yes it is.
Secondly, the selling of balisongs and such is already regulated with an age-restriction: only mature buyers can get one. You have to be over 18 to acquire one in a shop. Registration is not yet required, nor is a certificate (like firearms), but these requirements can easily be established. To make matters worse, the second-hand market can not be regulated, due to the decentralised nature of the market. Trying to do so is wasted effort, and plain stupid.
Concluding: yet again a politician claims prohibiting something will solve issues surrounding the item. Yet again it can be proven this hypothesis does not hold water. Yet again, a minister made a fool of himself by expressing such a naive vision.
When will they ever learn?