One aspect of the paper that I am writing is the question of whether restrictions on knives that are, in some states, more severe than on firearms, have a rational basis. I have found studies from the 1940s through the 1980s demonstrating that firearm wounds are 3x to 5.7x more likely to be fatal than knife wounds. (No surprise, obviously, and largely an outgrowth of studies that I suspected were funded by those looking for an excuse to ban firearms.) The FBI's Uniform Crime Reports demonstrate that while "knives and other cutting instruments" (which probably includes screwdrivers, icepicks, straight razors, etc.) are pretty high on the murder weapons list, they are still behind handguns--a bit ahead of rifles and shotguns--in spite of generally only the most narrowly written federal regulations, and being widely available in every kitchen.
One thing that is a bit startling is how little detail seems to be available on criminal misuse of "assault
knives," by which I mean knives that are primarily intended for, and marketed for, use as weapons. I asked one of my co-workers who used to be a cop in Washington State about this, and he told me that Bowie knives and other knives that are primarily weapons are seldom used in crime; it is almost entirely butcher knives and other sharp objects that are intended as ordinary tools.
People in the knife industry have looked very hard for studies breaking down knife crimes by category,
and have had no look finding such. Have any of you seen these?