Jim O'Callaghan: 'The possession of knives has become normalised - this needs to be reversed'

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The Fianna Fáil TD says it is not enough for society to just express condolences when people die because of knife crime.

Ireland News, Ireland Headlines

IN RECENT DAYS we have again seen terrible violence inflicted by knives in this country. It is unwelcome to have several incidents hit the headlines in such a short period of time, confirming knives’ violent presence in Irish society. Such acts of violence illustrate that the possession and use of knives for violent purposes has become far too common.

In Ireland, it is now apparent that many people, particularly young men, believe it is acceptable and necessary to carry knives for defensive purposes or with intent to cause serious injury. Similarly, society has an obligation to inform and educate boys and young men about the dangers of carrying knives. Many young men carry knives for defensive purposes and without any intent to use them. However, if a row breaks out and one of the participants has a knife it frequently is the case that the knife is used with devastating consequences for the victim and indeed the perpetrator.

We need to ensure that when we seek to tackle, outlaw and target the scourge of domestic violence, we emphasise that it comes in many forms and the threat of violence is as significant as violence itself. We also need to look at whether we should create other offences relating to the age at which people are entitled to purchase knives from shops. We will never be able to remove knives from Irish society as in every kitchen in Ireland there will be knives.

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