Sharp Edge

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In a recent article for the UK Sun, Simon Cowell (best known to Americans as the grumpy, sarcas- tic judge on “American Idol”) lamented the problems facing Britain. He singled out a problem that is not often mentioned in American media (and probably wouldn’t be mentioned, were it not for his position on the most popular American tele- vision series): “[Britain] has too many social problems — in particular knife crime and a collapse in family values.”

Knife crime? I thought people in Europe were more civi- lized than Americans and weren’t as prone to violence? As I’ve mentioned in these pages before, it’s probably just anoth- er remnant of the Knights of the Round Table mentality that is pervasive in British culture. But a knife is a weapon that isn’t used very often in America, now that 48 states allow people to carry the great equalizer. Every American knows that guns beat rocks, paper, scissors, or knives.

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