Deadly Assault Pens
Report From the Firing Squad:
Comes the Revolution

by Ken L. Holder

January 4, 1996

LOS ANGELES — I found out yesterday that I'm a felon. I was just sitting at my desk at work when some e-mail came in from a mailing list I subscribe to. The e-mail informed me that I was committing a felony, just by sitting there at my desk, minding my own business, harming nobody.

Actually, it turns out I was committing multiple felonies. Now, I'm a peaceful, easy-going, harmless fellow. I pay my bills, I pay my taxes, I'm polite to my elders, I'm trustworthy, reverent, and all those other boy-scout virtues. I've never harmed anybody, and never wanted to. Yet, just by minding my own business I became a felon yesterday.

What was different about yesterday? Well, here in California eight or nine hundred new laws went into effect. One of them made it a felony to have a knife with a blade that locks open while at a school or university anywhere in California. In my felonious pants pocket was a "concealed" pocket knife with a blade that locks open. The knife was in my pocket because that's where you carry a pocket knife, but since it was out of sight that made it concealed, which is an additional felony. That's two counts.

Now, I've carried a pocket knife ever since my grandfather gave me my first one back when I was nine or 10 years old. Maybe 11, maybe eight, it was so long ago I can't remember anymore. He thought a pocket knife was a handy and useful tool, he'd carried one for 60 or 70 years, and thought I should too.

I suppose he made me a felon right then since the knife he gave me was a "switch-blade"—it had a handy little button that sprang-open the blade when pushed. This button allowed me to open the knife with one hand, which is something you have to do sometimes. I eventually lost that knife, and in the years since I have owned a half- dozen or so of various sizes and shapes. I got this lock-open model last year because sometimes the blade can slip when you're cutting something and fold up on your fingers. You don't want this to happen.

However, as I read more about this new California law, I found that I was even more felonious than I thought. The law bans "a knife or other instrument with or without a handguard that is capable of ready use as a stabbing weapon that may inflict great bodily injury or death."

I looked around my desk for "other instruments." There they were, six BiC round stick ball-point pens. When I was a college student in Texas many years ago, a highway patrol officer once told my government class that a BiC pen made a dandy self-defense weapon—just stab frequently about the face and neck with it. And here I am, 30 years later, committing a six-count felony with them. It gets worse, folks. I've also got one of the 0.5-mm mechanical pencils on my desk. I've actually once accidentally stabbed myself with one, so I have no doubt that they can inflict great bodily injury, or even death.

The felony counts are now over 10, counting the mechanical pencil, the six BiC pens (three of which are the dreaded fine-point assault pens), my pocket knife with the vile locking blade, concealed in my pocket, as I set here in my office at a university, committing felonies left and right, thereby giving up my civil rights forever... if I get caught.

Then there's that letter opener. Oops, a couple of new highly sharpened No. 2 pencils. I started to open the pencil drawer of my desk, but just couldn't—there's a couple of screwdrivers and a pair of scissors in there at least, and who knows how many "other instruments" that are "capable of ready use as a stabbing weapon that may inflict great bodily injury or death." Jeez, folks, I used to have a hammer here on my desk! They're going to lock me up and throw away the key.

If they catch me.

Or if they decide they don't like me and need an excuse to lock me up and throw away the key. I've been known to make fun of well-meaning government officials, and we all know how much they hate that.

It's a good thing the cops aren't required to enforce the laws, since they'd have to send the SWAT team down here to the university and arrest just about everybody, staff, faculty, and students, because most of us have BiC assault pens, and letter openers, and many of us have concealed knives in our pockets, and lots of those concealed knives even have blades that lock into place. It would get real crowded in the slammer if the cops were required to enforce the law!

I've often wondered what kind of person wants to go into government "service". I now know: busybodies—people who are physiologically unable to mind their own business, who will die if they don't meddle in somebody else's affairs.

There's going to be a revolution in this country. It's going to be caused by busy-bodies. Eight-hundred new laws, maybe more, each and every one of them nonsense like this. There's a new law that makes killing someone while stealing their car illegal. Now, I thought stealing cars was already illegal, and killing people was already illegal too. So, why an additional law making doing both at the same time also illegal? More illegal? What is going on here?

What's going on is busybodies. They must "do something" even if it makes no sense at all. They have got to meddle and tinker and fiddle. They want to micro-manage every aspect of everything. And they are going to cause a violent, reign-of-terror revolution in this country. Any day now.

There's going to be a revolution in this country. There are going to be firing squads and lynch mobs, and the people being shot and lynched are going to be the idiotic little creeps who pass laws like these. It's going to be a terrible time for our country, a terrible time. But you know, when I think of standing there in a firing squad getting ready to shoot the idiots who passed this law, I'm not going to feel quite so bad about it after all.


First published in The American Reporter Vol. 2, No. 194— January 4, 1996
The title "Report From the Firing Squad: Comes the Revolution" was supplied
by the editor, my original title was "Deadly Assault Pens".

Get your own personal "Dirk or Dagger" Pocket Protector—Cheap! Go to, warn people you have dangerous & illegal BiC fine-point weapons in your pocket! Looks real snazzy, I got mine! [They seem to be out of business, now. Alas.]