BLADE: public enemy #1: Mr Shackleford

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Mar 9, 1999
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Ok..the first shot has been fired and judging by Mr Shackleford's editorial he has become PUBLIC ENEMY #1 to all knife people.
Mr Shacleford's position on knives is that they occupy only one spot in life and ANY OTHER position is not only wrong but should be censored and disallowed. This hide-one's head- in-the-sand- position is just what we, the knife community don't need.
We do not need Mr Shackleford to point the way to tell us ONLY his version and vision of knives is correct.
He and BLADE magazine want any reference to self defense, combat and fighting to go away and to have no connection to knives. Next he will want "locks" to go away because they make knives like fixed blades...
BLADE and Mr Shackleford want CENSORSHIP about knife usage and states that they will start banning ads they deem "unacceptable"
AKTI needs to step up and BLOW AWAY Mr Shackleford and his backwards thinking!
The only way to educate the public about the use of a knife or edged tool in ANY situation is to write about it, teach it, and LEAD from the front as to what is ethical, moral and acceptable NOT by hiding in the sand or censoring the knives and knowledge away!
His anal retentive ideas of what a magazine forum is used for further demonastrate that he is truly an ENEMY of all who design, make, or truly use knives!
gentleman..now is the time to step up and comment..they are preparing in the name of "decency and moral censorship" the way to take the "JEWS" away..step up now and squelch this man or the Gypsies and others are next!
 
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When the owners and editors of Blade set editorial policy, it isn't censorship. If Blade gets removed from public libraries, or BladeForums gets blocked by their computers' filtering software, for discussing nasty sharp objects, it's time to call the ACLU. Matter of fact, methinks I need to tell them, for their amusement, that one of the filtering services has the Lamsonsharp kitchen knives classified as a "Weapons" site along with "pipebombs.com" and what-not.

Mr. Schackleford is trying one approach to forestall anti-knife hysteria. There is ongoing recrimination in the gun community about whether gun manufacturers and gun magazines shot themselves in the foot the way they touted "assault weapons" before legislators discovered them as a target for feelgood legislation. I will observe that Sturm-Ruger has always marketed the Mini 14 in a relentlessly civilian and bucolic manner, and the Mini 14 is not on most of the lists of Evil Assault Weapons, though it strikes exactly the same blow as an AR-15.

Mr. Shackleford, like many people around here, may be mis-diagnosing the problem by seeing "anti-knife" in the same places where we see "anit-gun." The wide aversion to knives-as-weapons is far older than guns, and is as likely to be found in "conservatives" as in "liberals." This may be because knives are so universal, being necessary for making food and clothing and shelter and all, that they are deemed all the more Evil when used as weapons.

So, do we confront prejudice head-on, or sideways?

So sometimes discretion is called for. The term, "martial bladecraft," in Spyderco circles, in an euphemism, and Spyderco is trying to be very careful how it markets MBC knives, to avoid generating public hysteria.

Most of us around here (though absolute pacifists need knives for daily use too) understand that self-defense with deadly force in the gravest extreme is no sin, but maybe we should speak of it softly. Likewise, even very puritanical religious conservatives understand that sex between people who are married to each other is no sin, but respectable couples still close the curtains.

If Blade, Tactical Knives, and Knives Illustrated all had the same editorial policies and emphasis, I wouldn't need to subscribe to all three.
smile.gif



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- JKM
www.chaicutlery.com
AKTI Member # SA00001
 
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I agree with Bram. Shackleford,Voyles,Blade, and the good ol boys network have never done justice to the full range of knives out there. But now, this new policy is too much. This is America!!!I am not now and have never been a knife fighter, but if I want to carry a certain kind of knife why shouldnt I be able to???Or if I want to read about knife combat,combat blades, concealed fighters,etc. why shouldnt I be able to? I am not a criminal, screw their PC nonsense.
We cant lay down and play dead.


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Dave
Wharton,NJ

Many who plan to seek God at 11:00, die at 10:30.
Phil. 4:13
 

Jim March

Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider
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What Shackleford is completely missing is that it is *necessary* to discuss the self-defense aspects of blades in order to keep them legal!

That's how I see it, and here's why:

We know it's possible to abuse knives in a criminal fashion. That won't change. We also know it's possible to legally defend yourself with one. If that's not recognized, if self-defense is never discussed in conjunction with cutlery, then the only "plus" to knife ownership is utility/tool use.

Guess what? Your right to slice a bagel isn't as critical as a sheeple's "right" to "feel safe". Utility use isn't a good "counter-balance" to the negative effects both sides agree exists.

In England, long before rifles and handguns were banned they were "mandated locked up", either in a safe in the home (rifles) or at a gun club locker room (all handguns and some rifles). Self defense was totally banned. So once gun killings continued, it became a balancing act between "the right of sheeple to feel safe" and "the right of a few gun nuts to punch paper at the range and/or hunt" because in letting the locked requirements stand, the gun crowd had abandoned self-defense as an argument.

WE MUST NOT ABANDON SELF DEFENSE AS AN ARGUMENT.

I have personally defended myself on the street with a knife. Twice. The second was necessary because I'd pushed the crooks off of a downed, injured victim. I will not apologize for this, and if they want to ban my knife carry, I will loudly ask if they would rather that other party have died.

The "appeasement crowd" will get us all killed.

Jim
 
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Over the course of the last several centuries, the carrying and owning of weapons has become less and less socially acceptable in all civilized societies. Whether that's good or bad is up to you, but this fact cannot be debated.

The more knives are promoted as weapons, the less socially acceptable they will become. This leads to the creation of laws against knives and the reluctance of people to buy knives. Just look at the last 50 years, since switch blades taught people that folding knives are weapons. How many adult males carried a pocket knife in 1950? Maybe 60 percent? How many adult males carry pocket knives now, in 2000? I'd say 10 percent tops, although it's probably far less than 5 percent.

The knife industry is destroying itself when it promotes their products as weapons. Why shouldn't the government make laws against knives, when knives are actually advertised as weapons? If a company freely admits that their product is an extremely dangerous weapon thats sole purpose is to kill other people, then isn't the government doing the right thing by making strict laws governing their use?

Kudos to companies like Buck and Spyderco for promoting their knives as tools, kudos to AKTI for recognizing that this is the winning strategy, and kudos to Blade for taking big critical and financial hits to try and save this industry from itself.
 

CJ Buck

Moderator
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Apr 15, 1999
Messages
898
This is an excellent debate. It is not an easy issue. It does bring to mind the differences in opinion we contended with trying to get AKTI off the ground.

I can only say that our goal is to keep knives legal. If that means that I share only half of what I feel than that is what I will do.

I testified two years ago infront of two separate committees, one california assembly committee on public safety and the other was the senate committee on crime. I had a buck 110, a buck one hander and a spyderco (to show hole in blade vs. thumbstud).

The spyderco was serrated and you should have seen the women on the committee rear back as if it would reach out and bite them. These are not always rational people with their fears of knives. How we approach this is important. If we, as an industry, do not tone down the sheer violence of some of the knife portrayals we are doing ourselves harm.

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CJ Buck
Buck Knives, Inc.
AKTI Member #PR00003


 
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I'm sorry but BLADE and its attitude is not in any way trying nor doing the right thing in setting an image for the public. Knives have many incarnations...they exist in many places and times and all are viable. We need to educate the public as to the reality of knives not hide behind some "head in the sand attitude." I too have talked to, testified and been witness about many things including knives...how we approach it in a rational sense is the important part, We PRINT the articles within the bounds of ethics and reason and ADMIT up front its not pretty,,,not try to censor it,,I DO NOT APPAULD THE ASSHOLIAN attitude of BLADE nor its editorial policy nor will I EVER conceed to its way.
BLADE magazine is lettig the fear of defense set its paces..we are AMERICANS and the FIRST ADMENDMENT is our friend.. I have faced jail for protecting my sources and my right to print what I see fit....
I will not agree, allow or go along with Blades WAY OF THE KNIFE....
They are a disgrace to the constitution and the people of America and they lack the backbone of the AKTI....
I have only the highest regard for AKTI...
till I see them bend to BLADE....
 
Joined
Oct 3, 1998
Messages
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Speaking of the committee members cringing at the sight of a "ptoothy pterodactyl" Spyderco, I have lost count of the times I have said, "This knife opens dull-side first, in a four-inch radius, and you are three feet away, and I am not your enemy, so why are you cringing?!?!"

We're facing an ancient fear of edged tools that is as deeply rooted as the fear of snakes, poisonous or not.

What to do?????


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- JKM
www.chaicutlery.com
AKTI Member # SA00001
 
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Messages
370
While I do feel that the non-weapon aspects of knives need to be emphasized (as that's what they end up mainly being used for), I do feel that Blade magazine's position is going too far.

Some people do study martial arts or other combatives related to knives and should have access to relavent information. While I don't enjoy knives that are given such lovely names like "Street Chainsaw of Indiscriminate Justice and Ninja Death (tm)," people desiring to know about how to defend themselves using a knife should be able to.

Another thing is that people often fear what they do not understand. Take a look at the Balisong forum where there's been a discussion about the evil perceptions of such a foreign looking knife. Likewise, many people probably see knives as messy compared to a gun but also have no idea what a hollow point (and to a lesser extent a full metal jacket) bullet does once it's inside a person. This kind of ignorance is something that needs to be fought considering how a jury's perceptions of knives could determine whether or not someone acted appropriately to defend themselves or get convicted of assault or murder.

The destructive potential of a knife is something that shouldn't be emphasized over utility, but isn't something that should be completely ignored.

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Simon Yu

"I look at it this way. If things get much worse I'll be too dead to care."
 
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As a journalist and writer..as a believer in the costitution and as one who has had family rounded up in the past...I get going when I feel that one's rights are being tampered with. I resent the idea that ignorance and hiding from reality, that pretending that someting is not there is BETTER than open knowledge. If there are factions that feel we are a threat to them..(hmmm this sounds VERY much like genocide!, racism, bigotry...)then we need to educate them by doing the EXACT opposite of what BLADE and Mr Shackleford have suggested. We need to be proud of our heritage on knives and to stand up and show WHY these edged tools are mankinds friends and set the guidelines of whats exceptable in self defense, combat and in the never to ever happen again situation of "knife-fighting"..
I personally call what we do Knifecraft..so as not to disturtb the powers that be BUT also because I believe that I teach Knife craft NOT combat or knife fighting..( I think knifefighting went out hundreds of years ago!)
When BLADE took over FIGHTING KNIVES we were all promised to be treated with an equal time..That has NEVER happened! BLADE has done nothing to feed us real info as we see it and TACTICAL KNIVES has tried to do as best they can..To The POINT and MODERN KNIVES both speak out for us and the reality of OPEN KNOWLEDGE........
Gary Randall once said he was very worried about public reaction to RANDALL knives if we made a video,,till we went over the descriptions in the catalog which he grew up with and were NORMA:L to him.."worlds best fighting knives, used in EVERY THEATER OF COMBAT"...to him it was everyday info to the public I explained it was an opening that a video and books on usage could explain anbd soften the impact rather than NOTHING and letting theold descriptions capture the flavor..Gary Randall and Sal Glesser are BOLD people willing to use knowledge to move ahead...to setthe recoed straight as they see it in PRINT!(or video)I salute these guys!
I have a PALADIN VIDEO using RANDALLS and I will have a video on my new SPYDERCO knife..Knowledge is power and stating it leaves no room for people like BLADE , Shackleford or others to make their own interpretation of what we mean! Hidding in the sand with censorship opens it all up to anyones asumptions and imagination!
 

Jim March

Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider
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Messages
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Nothing AKTI does will ever cause me to call them "the enemy", even if they co-exist with Shackleford and his policies.

Fully supporting those policies would be a mistake in my opinion, but wouldn't cause me to bad-mouth AKTI.

California has some of the best knife laws in the nation and it's due to the people now involved with AKTI. I'll never forget that.

Jim
 

Mr. Dave

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I agree with Chai.

I'm a dyed-in-the-wool conservative (which means that in Maryland my vote barely counts for anything). I pulled the lever for a liberal one time in my 14 voting years. I studied martial arts and carry a knife every day for utility, not self defense. And if I needed on for self defense I'd rather have my plain old Wusthof 7" chef's knife than your "Steel Talon Bloody Avenger Tanto Special Forces Fast Action One Hander" any day.

Now here you are saying we should "BLOW AWAY" Shackleford and emphasize the weapons aspect of knives.

What do you expect the sheeple out there to think when they come on the blade forums and read posts along these lines:

"Yesterday someone looked at me from across the street, then crossed over and started walking towards me. Now, I may just be some 16 year old scrawny ass peach fuzz punk boy but I know trouble when I see it. I put my left hand on the pommel of the Eviscerator I keep tucked into my boxers. That's why my pants are around my knees. In case I need quick access to my steel. My right hand was on the TactiKill in my pocket. That fella took one look and decided he didn't really want a piece of me! Walked right past me, trying to pretend like he didn't notice me, but I wasn't fooled. Take this as a lesson. Always carry your steel."

David
 
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I personally believe that it is totally unreasonable to attack Mr Shackleford and Blade Magazine for pointing out that in today's environment Knife Companies are Stupid for pandering to violent fantasies with names like "Ninja Death Dagger" while the Knife Community is trying to convince the General Public that Knives are not inherently dangerous weapons.

I certainly agree that it is appropriate to address the Self Defense with knives especially emphasizing the Non-Lethal aspects of that Self Defense the way Mr Frank does in his To the Point article.

However, that has never been a focus for Blade Magazine and other magazines like Tactical Knives will continue to provide a forum for that information.

Blade Magazine and Mr Shackleford have not attacked the Knife Community or even inadvertantly injured this Community by setting their Editorial Policy. They may have gone too far but if they have they have only harmed themselves by reducing subscriptions and sales.

I believe that the AKTI should applaud Mr Shackleford and Blade Magazine for calling the Industry on NEEDLESSLY hyping the violent aspects of knives while encouraging responsible discussion of Self Defense with Knives.

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AKTI Member No. A000370
 
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In a perfectly non-violent world, or in a world where I could carry a compact future-tech weapon that would instantly stop any assailant at all ranges from "grappling" to "sniper," but probobably wouldn't kill him, I would still want to carry a good sharp knife, readily deployable. That is because most jobs that call for a knife and maybe even most emergencies call for a knife do not involve a live enemy.

In an imperfect world with imperfect weapons, using a knife in self-defense in the gravest extreme is a life-sustaining, life-affirming purpose, though many people would say Ewwwwww-Yuck! at the very thought. Bram's videotapes on self-defense with a folding knife are good in that they are a long way from "bloodthirsty" and spend a lot of time on non-lethal uses of the tool when it is either undesirable or inconvenient to deploy the blade.

But people who watch Bram's videotapes have probably already gotten past the "Ewwww-yuck!" factor. One lady I deal with told me she couldn't bear the thought of cutting a bad guy up close. I asked her if cutting a bad guy was a more or less disgusting thought than the thought of being raped by the bad guy. She admitted that I had a point, but she is still so put-off by the "Ewwww-yuck!" factor that she won't carry a knife even for non-violent cutting chores.

The proposition that good people would have self-defense as even one of many reasons for carrying a knife is a hard sell. Carrying a knife that is primarily marketed as an "edged weapon" could well violate the maxim, "Never tell a cop you're carrying that knife 'for protection'!" We're trying to lift the weight of centuries of cultural prejudice here.

I believe, and it's "editorial policy" for my web page, that any discussion of knives in front of the general public should heavily (though not exclusively) emphasize non-violent utility, and that discussion of knives as defensive weapons should be low-key and sober, making it clear that it is a "desperate measure," and, as I saw on I-forget-what-page of my prayerbook, "The Lord desires not the death of the wicked, but that they turn from their evil ways and live."


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- JKM
www.chaicutlery.com
AKTI Member # SA00001


[This message has been edited by James Mattis (edited 03-29-2000).]
 

Jim March

Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider
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Messages
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Bram, sorry, but I've got a problem here.

In a Spyderco thread discussing expanding one of your designs out past 3" (WAY out, 5.5" or so) you said:

"REALLY! no problemo on a bigger blade...The big blade would be in my opinion RESTRICTED to certain groups like active military due to my anal retentive view of blade length...under 3 inches for the common guy..."

Thread: http://www.bladeforums.com/ubb/Forum52/HTML/000066.html

So let me get this straight: you're ready to declare Shackleford "PUBLIC ENEMY #1" but you're also willing to tell your business partner (Spyderco) not to sell a large version of your design to a civilian such as myself?

Is it me, or is there something wrong with this picture?

Jim
 

TOMBSTONE

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Oct 31, 1998
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2,906
While its bulls*** that we should have to appease the anti-knife crowd,it is probably best we don't advertise knives as weapons of death.Unfortunatly there are too many ignorant,stupid,schmucks that know nothing about knives that are making our laws,and as you can see with the gun situation will try to enact any stupid,useless,unconstituational legislation they see fit to appease some of the ignorant people of america.This makes things worse when our own school districts perceive such things as "nailclippers" as weapons.People are in such a tizzy over the latest school violence and schools are so concerned about lawsuits,I'm suprised your still allowed to take a sharpened pencil to school.Its in all are best interests to be careful with how we advertise a knife,especially if we are trying to argue they are tools.Although;I find it unfortuanate that today in America its tabu to want to be able to defend yourself.I guess its fashionable nowadays to let people be victims of crime.What a shame that self-defense is looked down upon.My two cents,Ralph
 
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The Blade editorial said it would be making its editorial content relentlessly peaceful, but wouldn't be doing much about "action-adventure" advertising. Trying to control the latter would annoy their sources of revenue, but it is there more than the editorial content that the danger of "sheeple-reaction" lies. In the politics of knives, reason is on our side and emotion is against us. I would much rather see a sober article by a martial artist on the uses of a knife in the gravest extreme, God forbid, than a "blood and guts" sort of knife ad, with graphics done up professionally to convey a violent image.


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- JKM
www.chaicutlery.com
AKTI Member # SA00001
 
Joined
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I agree with you, James.

A couple of weeks ago, a good friend of mine went to an advertising awards ceremony. Ads for a major knife company were nominated for some awards. The ads for this company are "in your face" weapons promotions. These ads clearly state that knives are weapons and present violent images of what the knife can do.

At the awards ceremony, nominated ads were displayed on a large screen for the audience to view. Of course, this audience was not made up of knife people, they mainly worked in advertising or print media.

Knife people are used to these ads and don't bat an eye when they see them. However, non-knife people are grossed out by these ads. This is what James Mattis called the "Ewwww-yuck! Factor" in an earlier post. Actually, the term "grossed out" doesn't really do justice to what these people feel when they see these ads.

According to my friend, the audience was absolutely horrified by the knife ads they saw. The audience didn't just think that the ads were in bad taste. They thought that the ads were hideous, repugnant, abhorrent.

I was very familiar with this company's ads (they run in all major knife magazines) and personally never thought they were a big deal. There are actually a lot of companies that run far worse ads.

But for the non-knife people that saw these ads at the awards show, their opinion of knives has undoubtably dropped into the cellar and will probably stay there forever. These ads may appeal to a small percentage of knife buyers, but they completely alienate the vast majority of the general public and actually provide them with an impetus to create stricter anti-knife laws.

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Cerulean

"Just because some folks think you make great kydex sheaths doesn't make you into some sort of mind reading psychologist." -Paracelsus
 

Sal Glesser

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Dec 27, 1998
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I was thinking that perhaps "self" defense is the wrong image. Maybe, "protection of defenseless loved ones" sends a different message.

sal
 

Sal Glesser

Moderator
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Dec 27, 1998
Messages
11,322
I was thinking that perhaps "self" defense is the wrong image. Maybe, "protection of defenseless loved ones" sends a different message.

Kind of like "MBC" (Martial Blade Craft) might bring us into the realm of "fencing". MBC doesn't even mention "Knife"

Whos knows, maybe Martial Blade Craft will eventually have an Olympic class like Judo & fencing?

sal

[This message has been edited by Sal Glesser (edited 04-08-2000).]
 
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