Elberry at The Lumber Room has an excellent solution to feral youths and knife crime:
I imagine there are several thousand, or hundreds of thousands, of young men carrying knives ‘in self-defence’ who will, however, pull it as soon as they imagine a confrontation is in the air. They would be far better to carry expandable batons, and far less likely to accidentally kill someone. They would do even better to stay at home reading Sir Philip Sidney.
Personally, I would recommend The Anatomy Of Melancholy, but just staying indoors, reading improving literature, seems to me a splendid idea.
or Urn-Burial, that would do. i was stabbed once while reading Burton so i only read him with caution now.
As a young man I was once apprehended by a burly fellow in a shadow-strewn alley, carrying what I thought to be a baseball bat (it was in fact a baguette, but like I said, there were shadows strewn all over the place). I was at this time an amateur student of physiognomy and had developed a habit of studying the faces of passers-by with some intensity; a tendency which seems to displease certain men. Such was the case here. Thrown into a fury by my staring, the man appeared to lunge at me, whereupon my literary-pacifist instincts came to the fore. He was armed with a baguette (albeit posing as a baseball bat) and I was armed with quotes from Bertha von Suttner. I can’t remember who won the fight, but there was a lot of bread on the ground when it finished.