Blade MagzineEditorial

Joined
Aug 16, 2000
Messages
27
As a member of both the Knifemakers Guild and AKTI and a designer for Benchmade Knife Co.,I question the wisdom of Mr.Shackleford`s editorial in the Feb.Blade Magazine in which he refers to US Customs officials as"Keystone Cops","ignorant","incompetent",and "morons".
This kind of irresponsible behavior is only bound to make things worse for all of us,I believe an apology is called for-however I fear it may be too late as the damage has been done.We should request that Krause Publications should take some immeadiate action re;Mr.Shackleford`s indiscretion.Further I have spoken to Mr.Pardue and have asked the KG to look into this matter as Blade is supposed to be the official voice of the KG and I am quite sure this is not a statement the `Guild would choose to make.
This customs situation is a SERIOUS matter and it cannot be beneficial to taunt or verbally abuse the US Government.This is poor form, and reflects badly on our credibility.

[This message has been edited by WJMcHenry (edited 12-02-2000).]
 
Joined
Aug 5, 2000
Messages
1
I have to agree with Bill on this one, the insults, real or imagined were uncalled for, if you don't believe that go 57mph in a 55mph zone and flip off the first cop you see...I'll guaruntee you get a ticket. The same applies here. Unfortunately the judgement lies with the officer in particular and he/she will be backed by the rest, right or wrong (heard mentality?). I learned this checking on bringing in Mammoth ivory, I was told the inspecting officers call was it, and it was up to me to prove otherwise. There are people that are paranoid about knives, my tax auditor was one of them, and did I ever get screwed, here again she was backed by her superiors...no one admits one of their own was wrong...There are things we can change and things we cannot change, the wisdom is to know the difference. Shackleford should have taken the high ground and left out the insults. He has freedom of the press...the rest of us live in the real world and we will feel the results of this

Originally posted by WJMcHenry:
As a member of both the Knifemakers Guild and AKTI and a designer for Benchmade Knife Co.,I question the wisdom of Mr.Shackleford`s editorial in the Feb.Blade Magazine in which he refers to US Customs officials as"Keystone Cops","ignorant","incompetent",and "morons".
This kind of irresponsible behavior is only bound to make things worse for all of us,I believe an apology is called for-however I fear it may be too late as the damage has been done.We should request that Krause Publications should take some immeadiate action re;Mr.Shackleford`s indiscretion.Further I have spoken to Mr.Pardue and have asked the KG to look into this matter as Blade is supposed to be the official voice of the KG and I am quite sure this is not a statement the `Guild would choose to make.
This customs situation is a SERIOUS matter and it cannot be beneficial to taunt or verbally abuse the US Government.This is poor form, and reflects badly on our credibility.

[This message has been edited by WJMcHenry (edited 12-02-2000).]

 
Joined
Sep 23, 2000
Messages
524
I can't believe that editorial was printed.
Mr. Shackleford's epithets (well, the last three listed by WJMcHenry anyway) are more rightly ascribed to Shackleford himself, not the authorities involved.
Knife laws are so convoluted that I'm amazed more problems don't arise.
It is the lawmakers, not the enforcement agencies, which need a little enlightening, and even then, civility should prevail.
I sincerely hope Shackleford is made forcefully aware of the blunder he has made.
 
Joined
Jan 6, 1999
Messages
603
While I certainly share in Mr Shackleford's outrage concerning CRKT's treatment by U.S. Customs, I have to agree that the way he expressed himself did more harm than good and that an apology is due.

As a community we must stay on the high ground while discussing these issues and avoid any attack on the persons charged with enforcing poorly written laws.

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AKTI Member No. A000370
 

Professor

Gold Member
Joined
Apr 6, 1999
Messages
3,384
I just read the editorial and like SDouglas, I agree with many of Mr. Shackleford's points but not his method of getting them across. It's almost childlike ranting directed at law enforcement in general, not just at Customs. The piece reads like a teenager who's obsessed with "bucking the man," or something. Personally, I view civilians' relationship with LEO's as symbiotic, and this isn't gonna be good for anybody.

Law Enforcement Officers make up a significant portion of our community here and at other forums. They are also one of the largest customer bases for cutlery companies, especially automatics. Hell, half the knives on the market right now (if not more) are aimed at tactical professions. Above all to me, those that I've dealt with in the sales forums have been great fellas to deal with. These are the same guys who occasionally give us the law enforcement perspective on the knives we carry and the legalities therein, and how they feel about the "armed citizen." Nope, I've got no problems with LEO's.

I'm emailing Blade Magazine and asking them to read what they print before it goes to print next time, especially when it has the potential to adversly affect the market that keeps it in business.

Does the AKTI have a position on this?

Thanks for listening.

Professor.

[This message has been edited by Professor (edited 12-05-2000).]
 
Joined
Sep 23, 2000
Messages
524
Thank you for the e-mail address professor (and thoughtful words).
Erik
 
Joined
Feb 26, 2000
Messages
2
I think that we all remember the NRA's reference to some overly ambitious ATF agents as jackbooted thugs, that did the firearm's community a lot of good. Lets hope that this childish outburst doesn't do the same for us.

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Joined
Jan 5, 1999
Messages
37
Sounds to me like the customs agents in question were either ignorant from inadequate training or had a personal agenda. Nevertheless, competent oversight by a supervisor should have prevented the situation from escalating.
 
Joined
Dec 8, 2000
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18
Blade Magazine editorial on Columbia River …

A wise man once said something like … mistakes help us learn, learning adds up to experience, and experience gives us judgment.

As the publisher of Blade Magazine from 1994-1998, I know about Steve Shackleford’s commitment to the knife industry and about his skills as a journalist. And I was impressed by the growth in editorial judgment I saw in those years.

I also know about Steve’s frustration that the knife industry can be as vulnerable as it was shown to be in the recent seizure of CRKT knives by the U.S. Customs Service. While I do not claim to speak for Steve, I would guess that he now realizes he might have chosen slightly different words to describe the Customs specialists who made the decision to go after CRKT. But being a perfect editor is not easy, especially in a potentially controversial industry such as the knife industry. The challenge is to get the readers’ attention and hold it, and then feel you would have written or edited the story the same way when you come back to it in a year or two.

As the new Communications Coordinator for the American Knife and Tool Institute, I was impressed with Steve’s full story on the CRKT seizure in the same February issue. And I can tell you I struggled with finding just the right words to describe the same situation in the re-cap I prepared for the AKTI website.

I believe the knife industry should take the high road in all its dealings with the outside world and with its own members. While Steve used some words that might be apologized for, we also need to recognize that much more harmful actions were taken by the Portland office of U.S. Customs. And you should know that the way U.S. Customs said, “I’m sorry!” was to require CRKT to sign a “hold harmless” agreement preventing CRKT from suing U.S. Customs for any damage resulting from their seizure. And U.S. Customs now has the legal right, also agreed to by CRKT, to bill CRKT for any costs related to the seizure that Customs now realizes was a mistake they shouldn’t have committed.

Having said all that, the real question is, “Where do we go from here?”

The other way of asking the question is, “How do I justify my interest in knives, support the knife industry and also show my own good judgment during the sometimes-frustrating experience of responding to people who have forgotten that humans have used such tools for millions of years?”

In 1997 several visionaries in the knife industry were asking variations of that same question. They were seeing dramatic evidence, particularly in California, that powerful legislative and lobbyist groups would like to take knives away from knife users. They successfully fought for our rights in California. And they put together the framework for the American Knife and Tool Institute. As we near the end of the first year of the new millennium, AKTI is clearly proving that it has arrived as an organization capable of speaking for our entire industry.

AKTI has just seen the 2000 legislative session come to a close in California. We have spent the better part of the last year working with the California District Attorney’s Association (CDAA) to keep them from responding to their frustration with gang-member use of one-hand openers. CDAA wanted to take away the exemption for one-hand openers in the current definition of switchblades. AKTI’s quick and bold response and level-headed negotiations have saved one-handers for this year and we will monitor the situation in 2001. That monitoring and lobbying effort will cost us $50,000.

The Columbia River seizure helped us all realize just how vulnerable knife companies are. But we have come away from that with what I believe is a concrete, systematic plan to work with lawmakers on a state-by-state basis. It is also consistent with our limited budget. It is AKTI’s Legislative Action Plan. You will hear a lot more about it in the coming months. AKTI will work with member companies in target states to tell our story to lawmakers … to show them we are an industry comprised of responsible suppliers of knives and tools … to show them our individual members are responsible, law-abiding users of knives as tools.

This Plan will take some work. It will take some time. We will have to deal with some frustrations along the way. But we would ask all of you to support AKTI in our education and lobbying efforts as the most effective way to deal with any frustrations you may have about the vulnerability of the knife industry.

AKTI is committed to supporting and protecting the knife industry and responsible knife users. We need your help. We need your financial support. And, yes, all of us committed to our industry do need to stay on the high road.

David Kowalski
AKTI Communications Coordinator
 
Joined
Aug 16, 2000
Messages
27
David,nice to hear from you,it`s been awhile and I am very pleased that AKTI takes time to respond.I had no intention of starting a firefight,I just felt compelled to comment on what I percieved as a potentially dangerous vibe,and I certainly do not want to attack Steve or Blade,but I just want to point out that words said in the heat of passion can often be inflammatory.We must not loose our heads ,especially when the stakes are so high.
I thought long and hard before I posted my concerns-put yourself in my place,I am a professional knifemaker-taking a cheap shot at the editor of the major cutlery journal is foolhardy-but I am not taking any `cheap` shot-I am sincerly expressing my opinion,for what I feel is the good of the knife community,that cooler heads must prevail if we are to continue to enjoy what freedom we still have.
As a journalist I am sure you are aware of the dangers of sensationalism,and that the media must bear some responsiblity for it`s actions.If we as Knife enthusiasts allow ,by our inactivity,the wrong message to get out it is not inconcievable for that message to be misconstrued by a larger and less enlightened media.Without mincing words,Geraldo would eat us alive,and we dare not invite a public re-interpretation of our already convuluted knifelaws.
I am taking a lot of heat from those among us who cannot[or will not]grasp the concept that we must stand together to protect our rights.It is very simple and there are only two points...
1.It is bad form to taunt the authorities,name calling provokes negative reaction,this is human nature.
2.Let`s take the highroad and work for more education and legislative action.

It is very unfortunate that this situation occured in the first place,and I doubt we will ever know what brought it about,all we can do now is to try and get it together,all of us, and work towards preventing another seizure ,or any more misunderstandings or misinterpretations.AKTI is on the right track,keep it up,but I feel as an AKTI member we need higher visiblity and ,yeah,more clout.We also need more education from within the ranks and I must reiterate the point that not everybody grasps the concept of diplomacy,it is one of our strongest tools.
I completely understand and share Steve`s frustration,but in these changing times we need to think twice before we act once.We are all bar-room lawyers when it concerns the Federal Switchblade Act,it`s all about interpretation,and let`s not give `them` a reason to discuss intent,OK?
Thanks for your time,and we are proud to be a member of AKTI.
Wild Bill
 
Joined
Jul 14, 2000
Messages
210
I posted a lengthy reply on BM's forum. The short of it was:
Informing people and sharing our interest in knives is far better for all of us then drawing negative attention to our hobby.
Brent...
eek.gif
 
Joined
Aug 16, 2000
Messages
27
Well,it`s been more than a couple of weeks gone by,we have heard from AKTI,I have spoken to Mel,but nothing from Mr.Shackleford or Krause Publications.I think this is highly irresponsible,it certainly does not reflect well on Blade Magazine.Perhaps I will run into Steve at the SHOT Show.
 
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