In theory. Still, think like today's young father - knives aren't peaceful. And I can't remember the last time I saw a toy gun. (Then again - I live in Massachusetts. I can't speak for the rest of the nation, just what I see around me.)
Personally, I think every boy should be given a pocket knife when he is ready for it. I think I got my first knife when I was 7 or 8.
Strewth. Again - knives equated with violence and ill intent. A well child wouldn't want such a thing, goes the reasoning. I can see, perhaps below age 12, a zero-tolerance policy; immature children will simply do immature things.
I'm not sure I agree there either. I know 7 and 8 year old kids who camp, and use a pocketknife safely and usefully in that situation, as well as others. I disagree with zero tolerance policies in just about every conceivable circumstance.
I think Liam has a big part of it - our kids are taught by school policy that knives are scary. And since they aren't allowed to carry them for most of their day (during the school year) they don't develop the habit.
But I have to admit that many people around me carry them. That may have something to do with the environment - In Alabama, on an Army installation. There are quite a few people here walking around in suit and ties with a small clip hanging out of their pocket. And I see a lot of that at church as well.
In some ways I can see the habit thing when it comes to me carrying a concealed pistol. I have the permit and the gun, and I want to be prepared in that way. But since I can't carry at work, or even have it in the car, it is really hard to carry most days. And even on the days I don't go anywhere near work I forget more often than not because it isn't a habit. (Don't get me started on what I think about the unarmed Army facility policy. :P )
My grandfather and father carried pocket knives. So I developed the habit. I usually carry a Case mini copperhead or a small Buck knife.
That's a handsome piece.