Will Scotland Ban Amazon.com For This?

In the northeast region of Scotland, one 16 year-old boy killed another 16 year-old boy, in an act of rage– over a biscuit— using a knife. He purchased his murder weapon of choice on the giant online retailer, Amazon.com.

The Guardian reports, “One witness, also 16, described how “name-calling” over Bailey’s refusal to give a biscuit to another boy in a group of year five pupils who had congregated in a school corridor at the end of the lunch hour had quickly developed into a physical altercation.”

During the trial in Aberdeen, the 16-year-old said that he chose the knife he used to stab and kill fellow student Bailey Gwynne, because it was only £40, was the legal size, and there was no age restriction when buying online. A recorded interview between the killer and the police was played in court, in which he told the police, “I ordered it over the internet because they don’t check your age. … It said on Amazon ‘legal in the UK’ because the blade was under three inches.”

Yet, the knife the killer used was not under the legal limit of three inches or 7.6cm. It had a 3.25in (8.25cm) blade, making it illegal to carry in public. It was also illegal to sell to anyone under 18 years of age.

At issue in the trial was the size of the blade. Not the fact that one teenager fatally stabbed another boy. Over a biscuit.

After the murder trial, Scotland’s most senior police officer condemned Amazon for how it advertised the knife.

Karen McCluskey, the Director of Police of Scotland’s Violence Reduction Unit, said, “The advertising on Amazon is cavalier. No knife is automatically ‘UK legal’.”

It is unclear whether the website or the killer made the mistake in understanding the correct length of the knife– and whether or not it was actually “legal in the UK.”

Either way, the size of the knife, and where the assailant bought it is irrelevant. He chose to stab and kill another student– he could have chosen to kill him with another knife, with a cricket bat, with a rock, or something else. The tool he used to kill was not the cause of the boy’s murder.

And– despite eye-witness testimony, the killer wasn’t found guilty of murder, even though he stabbed and killed a fellow student in front of a group of students. What is wrong with the justice system?

The teenager was cleared of murder, but found guilty for a lesser charge of “culpable homicide.”

Scotland has the highest homicide rate in the U.K. The leading cause of homicide is “by a sharp object.” (In Glasgow, there is a “blade and gang” culture.) The next highest cause of homicide is, “by fist.” Quite literally the least expensive way to kill someone is to beat them to death.

What’s next blaming someone’s fist?

McCluskley’s response is moronic. She says, “There are so many places out there where you can buy a knife, there are so many in our own kitchens. You have to ban the ignorance that causes someone to pick up a knife in the first place.”

Killing is due to ignorance?

McCluskley also said bystanders need “the confidence” to alert the police of people who are carrying knives– “especially when an offender like this would not immediately have been obvious to them.”

So, alert police of potentially non-dangerous people carrying a knife. That makes sense.

Interestingly, one of the witnesses who testified had warned the killer not to bring a knife to school. Warning him didn’t prevent him from killing.

What’s next, ban all knives? Ban Amazon.com? Ban biscuits?

Blaming the knife, the website, and bystanders, is not what killed Bailey Gwynne. It was the rage of a teenage boy who had not learned self-control, who had not developed right moral thinking or behavior, which is primarily due to how he was raised.

The killer’s parents obviously had not disciplined or instilled in him the responsibility of behaving as a young adult should. If anyone/anything is to blame, the killer and his parents are. No one else. Not even biscuits.

March 11, 2016

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