Do we really need switchblade knives legalized in state?

File this next one under hard to believe but true nevertheless.

There is a group of Michigan senators — principally Republicans but a handful of Democrats too — that believe switchblade knives should be legal. And they believe it strongly enough that they approved a bill repealing the ban.

Remarkably, that measure was OK’d by the senior chamber this week, 35-1. To become law, the bill must still pass the state House of Representatives and be signed by the governor.

Introduced by state Sen. Rick Jones, R-Grand Ledge, it passed out of the Senate Judiciary Committee, which he chairs.

Jones explained to MLive that the current law harkens to a time when people saw switchblades in movies and television programs, causing worry. In addition, he cited difficulty in enforcing the current law.

“For years we’ve had on the books it’s a violation to have a knife with a mechanical way of opening it. And this has led to a lot of people being charged with a one-year, high misdemeanor and it really isn’t necessary,” Jones said in the MLive story.

The lone nay vote was cast by state Rep. Morris Hood III, D-Detroit, who questioned the wisdom of providing more weapons to a society that is already violent as it is.

Good point.

In a state where roads and bridges are in disrepair, where education needs fixing, where health care is approaching a crossroads and where huge numbers of families and children remain mired in poverty, we find it nothing less than incredible that our elected officials have time to write and vote on bills legalizing switchblade knives.

Maybe it’s time all of us seriously consider a part-time legislature. The full-time body in Lansing clearly doesn’t have enough to do.

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