I believe that there are probably hundreds of folks in a given day at WDW with a pocket knife and really don't have any reservations about them. The deputies in the MK incident described the knife as a Locking Knife which is very different from a pocket knife. Being from the Upper Mid-West and being around many fisherman and hunters most carry Locking Knifes for necessity of turning the Nemo's and Bambi's into...well food. Not my thing but to each their own sport.
Anyhow here is a picture for you folks that are not exposed to such knives. I pulled it from a link from a hunting site in the picture. I do have great reservations about this type of knife coming into the MK, while out in the woods hunting or fishing, I understand. Not what my grandpa carried by any means. The example picture is a cheap, small one, less than $l0. Depending on where you reside many localities ban carrying locking knifes on your person as they do not collapse as a pocket knife does. Thus Lockinghttp://www.knivesplus.com/media/BK-GL402.jpg
Doesn't exactly scream Pixie Dust.
Besides this there are now cell phone guns and cell phone knives on the market as well. Sounds kinda 007-ish but they are out there. You ahve belt buckles that have knives built into them or that come apart to make a dagger.
Like Ohio, I'm another individual who carries a blade as a matter of routine, for the sake of its use as an emergency tool --seat belts for one, as already sagely pointed out, but something handy and sharp can also be a life saver when it comes to last ditch surgery. No kidding. Case in point, I personally feel it's very irresponsible for the average citizen to study contact martial arts for the sake of self defense without having the know-how (not to mention the stomach) to perform an emergency tracheotomy. If you lose your head and crush the bad guy's windpipe in the heat of the moment, you can pretty much count on going to court regardless of the circumstances, and it will look a lot better on you as a defendant if you saved this clown's life. Manslaughter or 2nd degree murder charges can and do come about in obvious cases of self defense.
While it's correct that a blade is a blade is a blade, the style of the instrument goes a very long way in limiting it's value as a weapon. A well-made knife intended for the sole purpose of cutting up our fellow man would have a guard on the hilt (usually double edged non-folder, and with the legal definition of a "dagger," which is a major no-no to carry in most places) to protect the hand. Human hide is tougher than most folks realize, to say nothing of what tends to happen when the metal hits bone (and no, I've never stabbed anyone, and here's hoping the trend continues). Even in a tight, committed grip, the majority of folders without this piece are going to slip back into the hand upon contact, which would be a serious ouchie for the attacker. In Los Angeles, for one example, carrying a gun without a permit is a misdemeanor, whereas a concealed non-locking knife is a felony (3" and must be able to fold is the legal limit, and thankfully, the cops do tend to be more lenient with military dudes). While this is one that doesn't make too much sense to most when they hear it, there is somewhat of a method to the madness. The general consensus is that while guns are one thing, nice people don't carry knives at all, and it also goes to show how seriously the authorities in LA county take to knife fighting cultures--outlaw motorcycle clubs, ethnic gangs and all else.
It goes without saying that if you've taken it upon yourself to carry the tool, we do so discreetly. Flaunting any kind of knife, or pulling one out when not entirely appropriate tends to get you lumped into the danger category in a hurry. As evident here, a bare blade tends to make a lot of folks very uneasy, and some more so than others--Aichmophobia is the term Google returned on this one. Heh, can't help but think of someone pale and woozy at the thought of sharp stuff, yet drives at 90 miles an hour weaving in and out of traffic to stay on someone else's bumper....... go figure.
Not to dredge up any old debates here, but I found a follow up on this incident today:
The New Age Examiner - Charges dropped in Disney gun case
The charges against the woman were dropped in April because the police felt there wasn't sufficient evidence to prosecute. It hit the news now because her court date was supposed to have been June 2 and it was erroneously not deleted from the court's calendar.
Thanks for the update.