Combat knives evil, says head's widow
James Cusick is political correspondent of The Independent and The Independent on Sunday. As an experienced member of the lobby, he has previously worked at The Sunday Times and the BBC. His career as a journalist has been split between print and television, including senior positions as producer with Sir David Frost and at BBC Newsnight. He is also an award-winning golf and travel writer, working for over a decade as the UK contributing editor for one of the USA’s leading golf magazines. He broadcasts regularly for the BBC and CNN. He lives in London.
Thursday 24 October 1996
Mrs Lawrence, the widow of murdered headmaster Philip Lawrence, widened her appeal by demanding a ban on military-style knives.
In an interview on BBC Television's Here and Now programme last night, Mrs Lawrence refused to accept that nothing could be done to outlaw the weapons. "Sometimes it seems too difficult to get anything done, but its nonsense to say that nothing can be changed.'
With the Government facing continuing public pressure to ban handguns completely, rather than the partial ban announced last week after the publication of Lord Cullen's Dunblane report, Mrs Lawrence's statement is likely to renew calls for a knife ban to be included in future legislation.
Last December, her husband was stabbed to death outside his school in Maida Vale, London as he went to the assistance of one of his pupils. She said the emotional trauma she and her family suffered still continued.
Calling for a ban on all combat knives, she said : "Knife shops seem to me to symbolise evil - the evil that is on the streets. They are brutal. They are violent in themselves." She insisted that if there was a demand for a ban, and a strong public desire, it could be achieved. "It's nonsense to say it will take 20 years to close down [a knife shop]. That shop can be closed down within weeks." Talking about coming to terms with her husband's death, she said it was the manner of his death, the violence, that was very difficult to come to terms with. "I don't think I'll ever come to terms with that and I think that we have to sort out this growth of violence and it has to be stopped."
Knives, she said, were a physical symbol of evil. And on shops that openly displayed knives for sale, she added "You see violence in a window, you see it on display. It is quite unbelievable that these shops exist and that is one of my primary concerns."
She claimed there was a link between images of violence and actual incidents of violence, although such a relationship has never been academically proved.
"We know whatever the statistics tell us that there is a link between the violence that is bombarded at our children and the violence that some of them go out and inflict."
Last week, Learco Chindamo, 16, was convicted of the murder of Mr Lawrence and ordered to be detained during Her Majesty's Pleasure.
Are beards attractive? Ryan Gosling says yes, but science says no. Take the A-list facial hair challenge and find out who's right
South Korea ferry: Four dead and almost 300 missing as mass rescue gets underway
Oscar Pistorius trial: Reeva Steenkamp told athlete she 'loved him' for first time in Valentine's Day card
Oscar Pistorius trial: Reeva Steenkamp standing with 'hand on the door handle' when she was shot dead
Lunar eclipse 2014: Images of the spectacular 'blood moon'
The food poverty scandal that shames Britain: Nearly 1m people rely on handouts to eat – and benefit reforms may be to blame
US Navy christens huge $3 billion destroyer ship USS Zumwalt that appears as a fishing boat on enemy radar
Nigel Farage fatigue? Half of voters ‘immune’ to Ukip’s appeal
Scottish independence: It is the English who should be on their knees, begging the Scots to vote ‘No’
Nigel Farage on Have I Got News For You: Ukip leader ridiculed over expenses and party 'fruitcakes'
Refugee facing deportation from Sweden saved by fellow passengers refusing to let plane leave
- 1 Poveglia: 'World's most haunted island' up for auction...is anyone brave enough to buy it?
- 2 Refugee facing deportation from Sweden saved by fellow passengers refusing to let plane leave
- 3 Naked yoga: the bare truth - it's already big in the US, and has now landed here
- 4 24 people applied for the 'world's toughest job', here are their interviews
- 5 Scientists warn we've hit 'peak beard': The more people grow facial hair, the less attractive it is
£26K-30k + Bonus, Private Medical Insurance, Company Pension: Charter Selectio...
£25K-28k + Bonus, Private Medical Insurance, Company Pension: Charter Selectio...
£50000 - £65000 Per Annum potentially flexible for the right candidate: Clearw...
£38000 per annum + Benefits: Pro-Recruitment Group: Do you have experience of ...