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Topic - Should children have penknives?

Only a hill - on 06 May 2014
Bear Grylls has gone on record saying that, in his opinion, children should have access to knives and learn to use them responsibly:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/tvandradio/10808822/Bear-Grylls-let-children-play-with-knives.htm...

Of course, his words have been taken out of context - I don't think he genuinely believes kids should have knives as playthings, merely that owning a penknife as a child (even if it results in a cut finger of two) can be an important learning process.

He seems to have been torn apart for these comments but in my opinion he speaks sense. For example, the Scouts in our troop don't own their own penknives, and when it comes to using knives at a troop meeting it's quite obvious they both fear them and see them as forbidden and dangerous objects. This lack of experience and knowledge leads to a reduced safety margin. Quite frankly I think the ability to use a knife as a tool safely is an important life skill.

At the risk of sounding like an old fart (before I'm thirty, no less ;-) ), when I was young a knife was just a tool that I used to perform certain tasks: building dens, sharpening sticks, the kind of things that kids did in the outdoors. Nowadays it seems that young people are increasingly separated from this kind of thing and I think it's a great shame.

What are your views? Do you think a child should have a penknife, to be used responsibly and under supervision where appropriate?
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