TK: We’ve seen some pictures out of Afghanistan of Marines celebrating the Corps’ 235th Birthday by cutting a cake with a Ka-Bar knife. You don’t have to be wearing Dress Blues to honor the Corps. These Marines, boots-down in harm’s way, still take time to show their respect.
TK: Recently, the New York Times ran a front-page feature article on movements by knife people to strike down prohibitive laws against buying and carrying knives. Just like firearms users, our knife industry is fighting back. It’s ridiculous that kids can’t carry a pocketknife to school. When I was a kid, I lived on a farm and always had a pocketknife. Stabbing or killing another kid with that knife never crossed my mind.
TK: The knife movement is saying, essentially, that the Second Amendment should apply to knives as well as guns. Of course it should. A knife is a tool. A freaking tool. It’s not a weapon. If I carried a crescent wrench, I don’t think anybody would complain about it. Matter of fact, I have a little crescent wrench on my key chain. It’s just a tool. So is a knife, but carrying one is illegal in many places. And on airplanes, forget it.
TK: Look how many knives are in our homes, in the kitchen. Go in your kitchen right now, and I bet you could count 20 or 30 knives. Does that mean we’re in danger of being attacked by a kitchen knife? Banning kitchen knives would be ridiculous, right? So is banning carrying a simple pocketknife. There are all kinds of ways you can use a little folder pocketknife during the day. I have a little 2-inch one I really love, but, of course, I can’t carry it to the airport anymore.
TK: Arizona, for instance, had a mish-mash of local laws restricting knife carry. Now you can carry everything there from a samurai to a switchblade. Which is as it should be. The government takes a little here, a little there, very sneaky about it. Laws the liberals want. Suddenly, you wake up and find a lot of freedom is gone. They take our rights away so subtlety, so gradually, a little bit at a time. And you don’t even notice it, until one day when they announce, “Oh, by the way, Ladies and Gentlemen, it’s against the law for you to carry a knife of any kind. We’ve been taking that right away gradually, but now we’re completely dropping the hammer. Knives are against the law.” That’s the way they do it to us. And the gun laws are the same way. Last year, remember what some government program wanted to do: Serialize ammunition. And the only thing that would have done would have been to double the price of ammunition.
TK: New Hampshire has followed the Arizona example by lifting restrictions on carrying pocket knives, even switchblades and stilettos. I wish California, where I live, could be the same. Here, you sit looking at magazines and see ads for a pocketknife or something everybody in America can own. There will be small print directing you to a list of things you’re not allowed to have shipped into California, and the knife you’re looking at will be one of them. It’s stupid!
TK: The knife bans create some really bad situations involving police officers. In Seattle, an officer shot a man who had a pocketknife. He evidently had been carving a piece of wood. If he threatened the officer with the knife, then you can’t blame the officer. Perhaps he refused to turn it over, or was just slow in turning it over, then you have a case of poor judgment. Every law enforcement person in the world can’t be perfect, can’t make perfect decisions. What a shame it is that we have a few shit-birds in all fields, including the military. No matter if it’s law enforcement, or firefighters, or the military—if the individual doesn’t have any common sense, he or she is soon found out and cut loose. The problem is, sometimes we don’t find out about them until it’s too late.
TK: Tell us about your samurai sword collection. I have three samurai swords. They’re made by the last surviving samurai sword-maker in Okinawa, Japan. He made me three samurai swords, and they are the last he will ever make. It took him two years for three swords. Amazing!
TK: What about samurai swords really gets your blood pumping? The quality of the knives and steel. They’re all hand-made—not at all like knives that are stamped out, sharpened and sold. The ornaments on my swords are several hundred years old. They were obtained by my sword-maker from old, old swords. You know, a Japanese sword-maker can’t just make a samurai sword now. They have to apply for a license, submit plans, and then the government comes back and says, “OK, we will allow you to make three samurai swords.” We’ve got the large katana, the medium wakizashi, and the small tanto dagger.
TK: Anything new from your visits to knife shows lately?
I’m always on the lookout for something new and special, and I always enjoy talking with the various makers. The last maker I bought a knife from was telling me how he goes around buying bicycle chains and saw blades and files and already-hardened gears and transmissions. That’s what he makes his blades from. So it’s already-good steel. Harden the sucker up to any hardness you want. And these people who I meet at knife shows, who make these fantastic knives, they’re not just knife-makers: They’re very accomplished artists. They can make a knife look so good that you can’t walk past it. You want it.
TK: You once told us you like a kind of showy knife. I like a knife that is impressive. I like something with a little girth to it and something that nobody else has.
TK: Are you still tempted to buy? I have a half-dozen or so folders that makers have made specifically for me. When I go to these knife shows, the temptation is not buying a knife per-se: it’s buying a work of art.
TK: Sometimes people who like knives have a great interest in watches. How about you? Yes indeed. I wear a Rolex, because I’ve been given so many over the years as presents for working in films. But I’m a collector of pocket watches, preferably gold with gold chains. I think the newest one I have is 100 years old. I have about 20 that will be worth a fortune some day because they’re all gold—not silver, not gold-plated.
TK: The PETA group—People for Ethical Treatment for Animals—is all upset because Sarah Palin shot a caribou. These people in all these organizations like PETA are nit-wits, most of them born and raised in cities, spending their lives in cities, and they will never understand wildlife conservation. They ought to know that if wildlife populations aren’t kept in check by sportsmen, animal herds will over time become weaker and eventually die of disease and starvation. They will eat themselves into oblivion. Disease will overwhelm them. These anti-hunting people know nothing about hunting and game management, except that in their minds somebody is killing poor Bambi.
TK: Thanks, Gunny.
For all kinds of Gunny memorabilia and DVDs, including DVDs, including “Full Metal Jacket” and “Mail Call” episodes, check out the Gunny Digital Px at px.rleeermey.com.