Every boy wants a knife. He understands on some instinctive level that a knife defines part of his maleness, at times a necessary tool with which to survive in the unforgiving jungle of life, at times a weapon to ward off the hungry predators in that unforgiving jungle.
Or maybe it's just boys who grew up like me or when and where I did. Maybe middle class boys in cities want something entirely different. For all I know, boys today know only virtual knives in the latest combat video game.
Anyway, I've almost always had a knife. Carrying it around feels as natural as carrying around a comb and folding money, and not having it makes me feel somewhat unprepared for the day. Not "I've got to turn this car around right now and get it" unprepared, lke when I leave my cell phone on the dining room table, but unprepared.
For years and years, my favorite knife has been the Swiss Army knife, for the obvious reason. It's hefty enough to be a serious knife, but it has all these practical uses so that its owner can pretend that he's carrying the knife around for its utility, not because of the little boy in him that wants a knife just because it's a knife. Except that I never pretended all that much. Not that having a pair of tweezers, a leather punch and fold-in scisssors in your pocket isn't handy (not to mention the corkscrew), but come on. It's a knife! It's cool.
Then, a couple of trips to Texas ago, my brother gave me a knife as a present that is a thing of beauty. Black handle, stainless steel blade gravity assisted so it opens quickly and with ease, serious heft and great balance. Here is a knife (pictured above) with which to do battle. It feels every bit as fierce as a fixed-blade knife you'd pull out like Crocodile Dundee but without the inconvenience of having a sheath on your belt all day.
It turns out to be the perfect knife even if the battle you're in is with grimy, worn, decades-old wall-to-wall carpeting. Recently a friend came for the weekend to help me declutter the old homestead, and somewhere early on we discovered the carpet was tacked down only around the edges and that underneath it was a salvageable hardwood floor. So we decide the cut up the carpet and roll it up in pieces and throw it in the dumpster we'd rented.
To cut to the chase, my friend cut up the last piece of carpet and casually laid the knife down . . . somewhere. I've looked through the downstairs half a dozen times (it never went upstairs), and I just cannot find that sucker, even though it must be in plain sight or very close to it. And she cannot, for the life of her, remember where she put it.
I thought I could just go back to carrying my Swiss Army knife until the thing showed up, but it hasn't been working. When you find the perfect knife, nothing less will do. I couldn't remember the brand name, so I just went on Amazon and ordered one that looked like it. Turned out to be too small. Then I ordered another one that looked like it. Too big (and ugly looking to boot). I finally got around to doing what I should have done in the first place and asked my brother if he could remember the name.
Nope. But he asked if I still had the box it came in. Well, duh (see above about decluttering) I seldom throw anything away). Sure enough, I found it, and my next Black Combat Ranger 5 Closed Tactical Folder from Frost Cutlery will be here in a few days, and all will be right with the world again. Hope I don't runinto any predatory carpet in the meantime. Don't think the Swiss Army is up to the task.
When I wrote about the "inconvenience of having a sheath on your belt all day," by the way, I was referring merely to physical discomfort rather than any potential problem with the legal authorities. In Indiana, you can carry a knife sheathed on your belt all day long. Hell, you could walk around with a Samurai sword in a scabbard.
Few people realize how gun-friendly Indiana is, even more so than places like Texas and Wyoming where the cowboy mentality supposedly controls everything. Even fewer might know just how knife-friendly Indiana is:
Indiana grants extensive possession and carry rights to knife owners, allowing most folding and fixed blade types. Disguised blades such as dipstick knives or knife-pens, folding knives, single-edged hunting knives, daggers, stilettos, poniards, Bowie knives, pocket knives, utility knives, and most other types can be owned and carried openly or concealed. These blades cannot be brought onto school property, however, unless used as tools in a school project; a knife can be left “secured” in a car on school premises, however, though the precise manner of securing it is not legally defined.
There is no length requirement for blades -- they can be as long as you like (or as long as you can get them). Even switchblades and brass knuckles are legal. The only two things that are illegal are Chinese throwing stars and knives with detachable blades.
Be aware, though, that local conditions may vary.:
Some municipalities within the state maintain their own ordinances, which are generally more restrictive than the state law. South Bend and Westfield both impose a general ban on knife carrying within the confines of public parks, for example, while Merrillville outlaws concealed carry of all knives except folding ordinary pocket knives with blades 2” long or shorter. Most localities, however, see no need to supplement state law with their own ordinances on the subject.
Exit question: Indiana in recent years has prohibitied cities and counties from making their own gun rules that are more restrictive than state law. If knives can be considered "arms" in Second Amdendment terms, is it possible a court could conclude that no local government can supersede state law on them either?