I have been thinking about box cutters lately.
We all remember the heroic rescue of French train passengers last August. Three young American tourists stopped a would-be killer whose arsenal included a Kalashnikov assault rifle, a Luger pistol and a box cutter.
In America, also in August, came these reports:
-- A man was jailed in Connecticut for attacking his girlfriend with a machete and a
box cutter. When a second man intervened and took away the machete, the
boyfriend turned and attacked the Good Samaritan with the box cutter.
-- Missouri police arrested a man who attacked two people in separate incidents
with a box cutter. "I'm going to kill you. I'm going to slash your throat," he
threatened in one case.
-- Louisiana police arrested a woman for slashing another woman's face and
hand with a box cutter. Previously, the slashing victim had seen the slasher
walking with the victim's boyfriend.
-- North Carolina police arrested a man who slashed another man on the arm with
a box cutter after an argument, apparently over a game of cards.
-- In Harlem, two couples got into an argument in a restaurant over an umbrella.
Both men had come to the situation armed. One, carrying a box cutter, was
relieved of his weapon and stabbed to death by the other man, who had a large
knife; the dead man's girlfriend was stabbed and hospitalized.
These things occur with steady frequency. About 10 days ago in Pennsylvania, a woman who had been fighting with her boyfriend grabbed a box cutter and went after him with great intensity. He got pretty cut up, lost a lot of blood and suffered a cut near his eye that required emergency surgery. She has been charged with attempted homicide.
I remember reading years ago that the weapons brandished by the 9/11 airplane hijackers were box cutters. I assumed that those box cutters were big, menacing implements that could hack apart the strapping on industrial pallets or casings of industrial products -- things like that.
My ignorance: Only yesterday did I look on the internet for pictures of box cutters. Below is the scariest looking one I saw. If that box cutter had a sharp enough blade and was dragged with force across a person's throat, I'm sure it could kill.
I also learned that that I have a box cutter of my own in my desk drawer. I use it VERY occasionally and never in anger, usually when attempting yet another failed craft project. (A paring knife suffices nicely to open boxes from Amazon.)
Anyway, I now know that if faced with a home invasion, I can pull out my own defensive box cutter. But I am not going to carry the thing, even retracted, in my handbag on trips to the bank or the grocery store.
I am making no comment here about guns or hunting knives or crossbows or any of that.
It just strikes me that there are many dangerous everyday home implements and that people with bad intent are clever enough to put them to bad -- and often stupid -- uses.