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Sell The Prisoners Knives To Curb Prison Violence
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SAN ANTONIO, TX - Housewife turned activist -- Lauri Payne -- is running a grassroots campaign to reduce violence in prisons. Among her more radical ideas is that violence could be reduced by letting the prisoners arm themselves. "The truly violent ones create knives -- I think they call them shivs -- from everything they can find," said Payne, "bed springs, tooth brushes, pencils. Meanwhile, the guy quietly serving his two years is defenseless. It's time to level the playing field."

Not everyone agrees that arming prisoners is a good idea. When we approached the San Antonio Federal Prison warden, Eric Watson, with the idea, he responded, "That's nuts. It's everything we can do to keep them disarmed. To open up a knife shop in here is about as stupid an idea as could be imagined." The Fraternal Order of Police spokesman, Lieutenant Joanna Cornet, expressed similar sentiments: "This woman has obviously never seen the inside of a prison. These guys get into trouble with the tubes that the toilet paper's wrapped around. She thinks a personal machete will calm them down?"

"They have me and this plan all wrong," responded Payne. "It's not about what they'll do when they have a knife. It's about what they won't do when their intended victim has a knife. It's about the balance of power."

Despite the similarity between Payne's reasoning and that of the NRA, the NRA has had no comment on her position.
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