Category Archives: knife crime statistics

Knives Don’t Kill People, People Do

A few days ago I was asked to speak on Radio Kerry regarding my views on the ban on the sale of samurai swords.
In short, while I’m in favour of getting blades off the streets, I don’t think the ban is the right way to go.

While driving to and from Wild Geese HQ, I have time on my own in the car to spend thinking about various aspects of life. Since the phone call with Radio Kerry, I’ve been thinking about knives a lot. Then I thought, well it’s not the knife’s fault, it’s the person wielding it. Then I started to think back over the most recent incidents.

The phone call from Kerry was due to a clash between two rival feuding families. During this clash various weapons were seized by the Garda (Irish Police), these weapons included a few Samurai swords, several Slash hooks, hammers and various other weapons.
The most recent event leading to the sword ban was a chopping in Dublin, where a samurai sword and hammer were used in an attack which left a man missing a hand.
There was an incident in one of Dublin’s more affluent areas where a lad walked off, only to return with a kitchen knife which he used on several people before ending his own life. If I remember right, he actually walked around to a nearby shop to buy the knife before returning.
While we can successfully ban the outlandish, speciality knives, but slash hooks are a farming & gardening tool, kitchen knives are well, we know what they’re for, fancy living without them?

Then in the news there is talk of harsher penalties for those that are caught carrying a blade. Again fair enough. But still, I think they’re missing the point.

When asked about the ban and the various penalties I often compare knife attacks with shootings. In Ireland guns are illegal, they have never been legal and most likely never will be, yet there are still people getting shot in Dublin with alarming regularity.
If guns are banned, and the penalties for owning one, never mind carrying or using one are serious, what difference will it make for those who favour the blade?
In my mind, none.

So, back to knives. We’ve got two warring families using whatever’s at hand. We’ve got gangland choppings, most likely as a punishment or warning. We’ve got a disturbed young man on a suicidal rampage. All used blades in their attacks. Which of the three do you think was considering the possible penalties from their actions?

Most likely none of them. So what if the blades they used were unavailable, ie banned?
In my mind they’d simply find an alternative weapon. Hammers, screwdrivers, chisels, glass & bottles, baseball bats, hurls the list goes on. These things are merely tools, inanimate objects, without an operator to use them they are absolutely harmless. This was illustrated in Thursdays Independent newspaper there were two reports following the deaths of people beaten to death. Punched and kicked in the head so brutally as to cause death. Now we’re hardly going to ban shoes, or are we?

So if a ban isn’t going to stop people destroying other people, what is?
This is a whole other issue, one that I am far from qualified to talk about. There is however a comments button below this post, please use it and offer your opinions if you have them. Maybe we’ll come up with a few answers.

The final point I’d like to make, is that the majority of these attacks and their victims are targeted. Criminal gangs and families that are fighting and feuding for whatever reason. The reasons are unimportant to you and I, we merely have to make sure we don’t get caught up in the crossfire.
Many people are unlucky enough to get caught in these things, with a little bit of training in awareness and self defence, perhaps they’d be able to get out before things turned nasty.

Obviously there are attacks with purely vicious motives, thefts and even random attacks where the attackers don’t know their victims. These our the main types of attack we need to prepare ourselves for.
Your safety is your responsibility, keep yourself aware of your surroundings and undertake some form of training so that you can get yourself out of trouble.

Remember the bodyguard mantra:
Avoid – Stay away from the threat
Escape – Get away from threat
Confront – If all else fails, go on the attack and dissolve the threat.

If you choose to learn how to defend yourself against a knife, Wild Geese chief instructor Paul Cox is one of the few European Doce Pares blackbelts to be registered in the Philippines. It is commonly accepted by those in the know that the Filipino Martial Arts are at the top of the food chain for when it comes to weapon defence. Paul regularly travels over to Grandmaster Danny Guba, a man with, as he says, a record.
I myself learn from Paul, when I have opportunity, Danny Guba and also have put together self defence training programs that are now being implemented by our associates over at ESTS (

Dave Hedges

Wild Geese
every cause but our own
Kenpo / Eskrima / BJJ / Strength & Conditioning
+353 87 672 6090
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Take knives, not lives

Facebook is a wonderfull tool for certain things, I was just invited to a facebook group named Take Knives, not Lives (, if your on face book, please go to it and have a look.

For those of you not on facebook, here’s what it says:
Take Knives Not Lives has been set up to compile a petition, which will be presented to the prime minister, urging government to implement mandatory sentences to people caught carrying knives.

We strongly believe that many young people currently carrying knives would put them down, if they saw tough sentences handed out to their peers. It’s simple math. Less knives saves lives!!!! This petition is compiled in memory of Ben Kinsella and the countless others who have been taken from us all too soon through knife crime.

Please sign the following petition.


Please do not donate, as donations go to the petition website and NOT any knife campaign.
Your signatures are registered pre donation.

Contact Info

I’ve signed it, i hope you do too.
Oh and while your cruising Facebook, look me up:

Till next time

Dave Hedges

Wild Geese
any cause but our own

Knives, the scumbag weapon of choice

I was having a look over the National Crime Council website. This is the page I stopped at:

What caught my eye was the following:

In 2007 there were 84 total homicides, of these 20 involved firearms and 38 involved sharp implements or knives.

In 2000 there were 56 homicides with 12 using firearms and only 9 knife attacks.

These are only the reported figures, I believe that the actual numbers are probably a touch higher.

But lets have a better look:

28 more people were murdered in 2007 than in 2000, that’s a 50% increase in the murder rate (the report files manslaughter and murder together for the purpose of the lists).

In 2000, the amount of people killed by a firearm was 21.4%, Sharp implements and knives were responsible for 16% of all reported murders.

Come 2007 and the firearm now claims 23.8% of victims while the knife is now responsible for 45.2%.

Guns may be easy to get and yes more people are getting killed by them, but the total percentage of people dying is just less than 3%.

Knife (and sharp implement) related deaths are up by 29%.

That’s a little worrying. I’ve spoken to many people over the years including Police officers and Garda, military and special forces operators, doormen and average Joe’s, and the majority of people seem to agree, knives are the most dangerous weapon available today.

Part of the reason is the availability, any hardware or home store sells kitchen or utility knives.
Knives are extremely concealable, silent, never run out of ammo and have 2 to 3 killing angles (point and 1 or 2 edges), whereas guns can be concealed, but it’s that bit harder, they jam, they run out of ammo and shoot only in a straight line.
Once you get out of that line you are technically out of danger, not so with a blade.

Is knife defence a good idea?
Go back over the figures, make up your own mind.

Wild Geese Martial Arts teach knife defence and blade awareness based on techniques and tactics taught to us by some of the best in the field, not just guys with “black belts” but guys who’ve been there and done it, in many cases with the scars to prove why certain techniques are less effective than others.

Wild Geese
any cause but our own