Reversing the ban on switchblades in Indiana

Bloomington Herald-Times, August 12, 2013

The Herald-Times’ headline was correct that switchblade legislation fixed a nonexistent problem, but the nonexistent problem was “fixed” in 1957 when switchblades were banned in the first place.

It never made any sense to me that Hoosiers can carry concealed handguns but switchblades were illegal. Furthermore, spring-assisted knives were already legal before switchblades were decriminalized, and many people can open those just as quickly as a switchblade.

The H-T asks if any Hoosiers were harmed or inconvenienced by the switchblade ban. I respectfully submit that is the wrong question. The right question is whether there is a compelling state interest in banning switchblades.

If government is going to restrict our liberty by banning something, then government needs to show a good reason why the ban is necessary. Simply saying “it does not harm you” is not a good enough reason to restrict our liberty by banning a product.

There was never a good reason to ban switchblades specifically, as long as other knives are legal. It is just as easy to commit a crime with another kind of weapon. Unfortunately, sometimes paranoia gets the better of our elected leaders and rash decisions are made. Thankfully, this one was reversed.

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