Right Thinking From The Left Coast
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I’ll Slice You

What?:

Jenny Palmer, 28, was asked for her ID at the checkout after she went to the retailer’s Derby store to buy the £1.50 item.
“I’m only two years off my 30th birthday and hardly look like I’m going to go out and physically harm someone,” she said.

“I told the checkout woman I was buying it because I was moving into a new house, but she said her screen was telling her to ask for ID. I think she could have used some common sense. I can’t believe I had to go through all of that just to buy a pizza-cutter, of all things.”

M&S insisted its employee was right to demand proof of age from Ms Palmer under the ‘Challenge 25’ policy.

Staff are required to ask for identification from any customer who tries to buy alcohol or a bladed item and appears younger than 25.

Thanks God for M&S pushing the UK crusade against knives to such an absurd extreme.  My new job will require periodic trips to the UK and I’m in terror of being set upon by vicious gangs of British thugs wielding pizza cutters.  If they knew what they were doing, they could turn the cutters to one side and beat me with them.

(H/T: Popehat and Overlawyered.)

Posted by Hal_10000 on 07/29/09 at 08:38 AM (Discuss this in the forums)

Comments


Posted by on 07/29/09 at 10:18 AM from United Kingdom

I wrote about this at the VO – not really a news story and not really anything to do with the nanny state…

There are age limits on buying things like cigarettes, alcohol, and knives. The thing is it is the shopkeepers responsibility – if they sell something to someone who is underage, then the shopkeeper gets prosecuted. So all this is, is Marks and Spencer erring on the side of caution to prevent prosecution or any law suits.

Posted by on 07/29/09 at 10:20 AM from United States

There are age limits on buying things like cigarettes, alcohol, and knives.

It’s.

A.

FUCKING.

Pizza slicer.

Posted by on 07/29/09 at 10:29 AM from United Kingdom

Yeah - but the boring truth is that under the procurement systems it falls under the same category as knives. So something flashes up on the screen asking the cashier to ask for proof of age.

or if you like, we in Britain are all running around scared of Mr Mario in case he slices us, so we’ve passed a draconian law in which such horrible weapons are regulated.

Choose whichever one fits in with your perceived worldview....

Posted by on 07/29/09 at 10:55 AM from United States

Yeah - but the boring truth is that under the procurement systems it falls under the same category as knives.

That’s kind of the point, though: why? It has a cutting edge largely on a technicality. Why is it still classified with this other stuff?

Posted by on 07/29/09 at 10:56 AM from United States

I’m sure that Wusthoff and Henckel are well-known as supplying products used primarily by criminals in England, just like Smith & Wesson, Ruger and Colt are really nothing more than suppliers to terrorists and drug gangs....

Posted by on 07/29/09 at 10:59 AM from United States

That’s kind of the point, though: why? It has a cutting edge largely on a technicality. Why is it still classified with this other stuff?

No, the point is that the government is too intrusive into the lives of people.  I’m sure that next up will be demands for ID to purchase cricket bats.

Posted by on 07/29/09 at 11:11 AM from United States

What about glass bottles?  You could break those and make a crude knife from the shards.  Better outlaw them, or at least put the purchasers of such barbaric and outdated vessels on some sort of watchlist.

Posted by Hal_10000 on 07/29/09 at 11:13 AM from United States

This isn’t government, SO, but a private company going nuts.

Posted by on 07/29/09 at 11:15 AM from United States

I’m sure that next up will be demands for ID to purchase cricket bats.

I’d much rather get in a fight with someone armed with a pizza slicer than a cricket bat. 

What about glass bottles?  They can be broken and make nasty little weapons.

What amazes me is all the other things for which our British cousins need ID.  There must be a thriving black market in kitchen knives with lots of people buying and then reselling at a profit.

Posted by on 07/29/09 at 11:35 AM from United States

This isn’t government, SO, but a private company going nuts.

My mistake - I thought it was part of the UK’s call to ban knives.

Posted by on 07/29/09 at 11:36 AM from United States

Has the UK started to ban boxing and martial arts yet?  I remember hearing from my dojo buddies in Oxford that parliament attempted to do so a few years back.

Posted by on 07/29/09 at 11:37 AM from United States

And of course a car is always a large, deadly weapon.

Especially in Britain.

Posted by on 07/29/09 at 01:25 PM from United States

This isn’t government, SO, but a private company going nuts.

Hal, this may be true on the surface, but do you really think government isn’t the source of this ridiculous policy?

Posted by Hal_10000 on 07/29/09 at 03:42 PM from United States

Hal, this may be true on the surface, but do you really think government isn’t the source of this ridiculous policy?

I’ll agree that the drive for this is political.  There are number of interests in the UK that are trying to get just about any kind of knife banned or restricted.

Posted by on 07/29/09 at 04:56 PM from United States

It goes beyond knives - any form of combat training is also under attack. 

Take karate or boxing?  Proof that you are a thug that needs psychiatric help.  They almost managed to ban katana for Iaido students.

Posted by HARLEY on 07/29/09 at 05:24 PM from United States

Its my guess that Parliament, has not figured out what can be done with common household chemicals in the proper proportions.......

Posted by Miguelito on 07/29/09 at 11:32 PM from United States

My new job will require periodic trips to the UK and I’m in terror of being set upon by vicious gangs of British thugs wielding pizza cutters.

I have a novelty Homer Simpson pizza cutter (and bottle opener).  You should take one of those and see if people are afraid of you.

Posted by InsipiD on 07/30/09 at 07:30 AM from United States

What scares me about both Britain and Japan and their weapons bans is that it’s made airsoft wargames into a common hobby.  Not that it’s a bad thing in itself, but the “toys” in that case look real.  US market airsoft guns are deliberately made to look like a toy, the ones in Japan especially are made to look just like the real thing.  I’m sorry, and forgive me if this is my problem, but if I saw someone chasing through the woods with a photo-realistic Glock 17, I’d have a problem with that.  That seriously heightens the level of proof required to tell them apart, but gives someone spotted with one a position to fall back on with righteous indignation ("You called 999 on me?  That was an airsoft!")

A 28-year-old woman has to show ID to buy a pizza cutter, but you’ve got simulated terrorists battling in the woods...but America is where there’s a gun culture problem.

Posted by on 07/30/09 at 07:47 AM from United States

InsipiD:

Some of my sons friends actually got ARRESTED (as juveniles) here in Detroit because they were playing Airsoft in an abandoned building.  I could only imagine the danger, since they did it at night and even though those guns have the red tip on them (indicating a toy), they must have looked real in the dark.  They got in BIG trouble.  They normally play in our neighborhood and leave those little plastic pellets all over the place.  Damned whippersnappers!  lol

Posted by InsipiD on 07/30/09 at 09:23 AM from United States

Holy shit, I’m surprised that the cops would go near that without at least one ED-209.  I’d take it for granted that an abandoned building in Detroit (overclarifying if I’ve ever heard it) would be full of people playing with real guns.

Posted by on 07/30/09 at 09:43 AM from United States

Actually, Plymouth (suburb, very nice), so no real guns.  I was just glad that my kid had the sense to not go.  These kids play a LOT of Halo, os why not try the real thing?  lol

Posted by on 07/30/09 at 01:07 PM from United States

What scares me about both Britain and Japan and their weapons bans is that it’s made airsoft wargames into a common hobby.

But what scares everybody else about America’s lack of a weapons ban is:

Gun homicides per 1,000,000 population

USA (2001) - 39.8
England and Wales (2002) - 1.5
Japan (2002) - 0.2

From the figures above, which country would you guess has the liberal gun laws?

Posted by InsipiD on 07/30/09 at 02:00 PM from United States

Total homicides per million

US: 42.8
UK: 14.1
Japan: 5.0

Banning guns doesn’t stop murders-they happen anyway.  Not sure where your stats came from, but comparing yours from 01 and mine from 00 would suggest that nearly all murders in the US are committed with guns, and that’s not the case.  Further, the two countries adjacent to the US on the list (Bulgaria and Armenia) have dramatically different laws regarding civilian ownership of firearms.

Further, I’m not a big believer in the accuracy of these lists.  As the above link states, some of it depends on reporting as much as whether it happened.  I find it hard to believe that Qatar is lowest on the list and that Chile has a lower average than Macedonia or Mauritius.  For that matter, Mexico’s is several times worse than the US but with fairly strict laws.

My point was that developing a cavalier attitude toward near-perfect gun copies can only be bad.  I love guns, but I believe in total respect for them.

Posted by on 07/30/09 at 04:24 PM from United States

But what scares everybody else about America’s lack of a weapons ban is:

Quite simply, Americans don’t give a shit what the rest of the world thinks on this issue.  Fuck ‘em…

Posted by on 07/31/09 at 04:12 AM from United Kingdom

Wow. I know you guys love to think that the rest of the world is drifting in some sort of collectivist nanny state….but it sounds a lot like you’re either wilfully lying, or tragically misinformed.

That’s kind of the point, though: why? It has a cutting edge largely on a technicality. Why is it still classified with this other stuff?

I don’t know, you’d have to ask the guy who designed the Marks & Spencer procurement systems. My guess is that he couldn’t be bothered to make a ‘pizza cutter’ category, and just lumped it all in with ‘kitchenware’. Maybe the Government made him do it, I don’t know.

No, the point is that the government is too intrusive into the lives of people.  I’m sure that next up will be demands for ID to purchase cricket bats.

I know making ill informed guesses like that make you feel good, but it really does demonstrate how little you know about the issue. I’ll tell you what – I bet they don’t.

There must be a thriving black market in kitchen knives with lots of people buying and then reselling at a profit.

Turns out there isn’t though. Who would have thought it? Anyone over the age of 18 is allowed to buy one no problem, and there isn’t a huge number of 15 year olds whingeing because they can’t chop carrots.

Has the UK started to ban boxing and martial arts yet?  I remember hearing from my dojo buddies in Oxford that parliament attempted to do so a few years back.

Your buddies in Oxford were wrong. After the Paul Ingle fight there were a couple of MP’s who raised questions in the commons about the possibility of introducing compulsory headgear, but it went nowhere. So, no, the UK hasn’t started to ban marshal arts yet.

And of course a car is always a large, deadly weapon.
Especially in Britain.

Weird comment? The UK has one of the best records in Europe, way better than the states (5.4 per 100,000 compared to 14.3 per 100,000) – not sure what you’re getting at there.

Hal, this may be true on the surface, but do you really think government isn’t the source of this ridiculous policy?

Yes, I really think that.

Take karate or boxing?  Proof that you are a thug that needs psychiatric help

Back this statement up? In fact Karate is one of the sports which is well on the way to becoming supported with Government money. Perhaps you are talking bollocks? I dunno.

What scares me about both Britain and Japan and their weapons bans is that it’s made airsoft wargames into a common hobby.  Not that it’s a bad thing in itself, but the “toys” in that case look real.

Yeah, that is a problem to be honest, and one that I haven’t seen a good answer to.

Seriously guys, this is exactly why the US is going to get Universal Heathcare. If you keep on ‘fighting the liberals’ on spurious strawman arguments, they’ll win, and no one will mention the real issues that conservatives should be talking about.

Posted by InsipiD on 07/31/09 at 07:52 AM from United States

Wow. I know you guys love to think that the rest of the world is drifting in some sort of collectivist nanny state….but it sounds a lot like you’re either wilfully lying, or tragically misinformed.

You’re marinating in it!  Living in London puts you in view of a camera practically from the time you leave your own front door.  I don’t think that you live in a nanny state, I know it.  Even the level that the UK has reached now is not acceptable to me.

I know making ill informed guesses like that make you feel good, but it really does demonstrate how little you know about the issue. I’ll tell you what – I bet they don’t.

ID required for kitchen cutters...what’s the logical next step?  Do you think that they’ll magically stop passing further restrictions at some point?

No matter how much you justify or how comfortable you are with your nanny-state restrictions, Americans don’t want that, and it’s up to us.  The rest of the world can be afraid of our guns and freedom if they like-it’s up to them.

Posted by on 07/31/09 at 08:49 AM from Germany

Britishcress - the people I know on the martial arts forums from the UK have a extremely different viewpoints than yours.  Perhaps because parliament has been trying to ban the for the past decade....

Posted by on 07/31/09 at 08:51 AM from United Kingdom

Living in London puts you in view of a camera practically from the time you leave your own front door

Yeah but not what we’re talking about.

ID required for kitchen cutters

ID is not required for kitchen cutters!!! How many more times do i have to say it? If a 16 year old wants to buy a pizza cutter, he can get one. M&S;might have a policy not to sell one to him, but thats a free market decision, made by a capatilist company.

A quick story.

I went to the states a when I was 20, and I wanted to buy a pack of peanuts. I wanted to buy them from a bar, but on the door I was asked for ID, and wasn’t allowed in.

The nanny stae of the USA doesn’t allow the purchase of peanuts without ID. You’re all so scared of people getting hold of peanuts that you have put some ridiculous restrictions on their sale!! I know it was the bars policy not to let underaged people into the bar, but can anyone doubt the Government were really behind this??? open your eyes sheeple!!

Posted by on 07/31/09 at 10:12 AM from United States

But what scares everybody else about America’s lack of a weapons ban is:

Gun homicides per 1,000,000 population

USA (2001) - 39.8
England and Wales (2002) - 1.5
Japan (2002) - 0.2

From the figures above, which country would you guess has the liberal gun laws?

Freedom comes with some responsibility. Of course more people die here from guns, that is to be expected. The vast majority of the time though when someone is murdered its not some random act of violence by a gun wielding maniac but a deliberate effort by someone the victim knew. The amount of guns and availability of guns don’t change that. The only thing guns do, is make the murders more efficient. Yeah I know, being able to choose for yourself and having to deal with the consequences is scary, but it’s the only way to live.

Yeah but not what we’re talking about.

Of course that is what we are talking about. Having to show ID when you buy a pizza cutter does not make you a nanny-state. The fact that you have to show and ID when buying a pizza cutter, that you are recorded everywhere you go, that the countries SUBJECTS have their DNA on government file, that you can be arrested for saying certain things, that the government takes nearly half of what everyone makes, and the government can decide what medical procedures you receive, just to name a few, makes you a nanny state. Every little step they take is more control of your life.

But I guess someone who is still a SUBJECT and not a CITIZEN, might not understand that.

Posted by on 07/31/09 at 11:00 AM from United States

Japan (2002) - 0.2

Murders in Japan are much lower. However extreme societal pressures ensure that the suicide rate is 36.5- per 100,000 amongst males.

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