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  • All Scimitars, Sabers, Kopesh and Katana Are Now Illegal!

    Posted by James R. Rummel on May 2nd, 2008 (All posts by )

    Back in January of 2007, a couple of detectives in England were in over their heads.

    They came across a gang of five guys who were breaking in to a house. The detectives identified themselves as police officers, and attempted to take the criminals into custody. But the perps figured out that the cops were unarmed, and the fight was on!

    Two unarmed detectives against five guys who had chains and hammers. Things looked grim, particularly when one of the gang became curious as to what the cops had eaten for breakfast and produced a knife to help him find out.

    But then help arrived in the form of a nondescript private citizen wielding a cheap samurai sword. “Leave him alone, he’s a police officer!” he yelled, and charged the gang single-handedly. He fought bravely, if not particularly well, and managed to inflict a minor wound on one of the burglars. Criminals being a cowardly and superstitious lot, the gang broke and ran. The detectives managed to tackle and bag one criminal each, but by the time they had subdued their respective catches the good Samaritan had slipped away.

    That guy had balls as big as churchbells, and I don’t just mean that because he went toe-to-toe with a swarm of ne’er-do-wells. While self defense is not illegal in England, or at least it isn’t technically illegal, it is against the law to use anything designed as a weapon to defend yourself. Local Detective Inspector Peter Bent stated “It needs to be said we cannot condone vigilantism or people running around with swords or weapons. It will be up to the Crown Prosecution Service whether they see his actions as justified or going beyond reasonable force.”

    He could charge straight at a gang of armed desperados without a moment’s hesitation, but the guy with the sword could see no other option than running and hiding after the dust settled and the cops were back on their feet. I don’t blame him one bit.

    The police launched a manhunt to see if they could smoke him out, and I have no idea if they ever managed to find out who had drawn steel to defend their lives on that day. Something tells me that the cops on the street, when told that they had to find an average Joe who had saved two of their own just so he could face the courts, merely went through the motions and really didn’t put too much effort into the search.

    I’m telling you this because I was over at Milo’s, who is a British fencing instructor, and he says that unregistered samurai swords are now illegal in England. You have to jump through a bunch of hoops to prove to the state that you have a “legitimate reason” to own one.

    Many American gunbloggers have noted that the media and other pro-gun control types become hysterical when discussing firearms. They like to imply that owning a gun is similar to petting a coiled cobra, as both will leap up and kill without warning when you least expect it.

    I leave you with this English news article which proves that the British are going through the same thing with knives. Notice how the focus of a newspaper is “preventing youngsters from getting involved in knife culture” by sponsoring a weapon amnesty program. People could turn in their infernal devices to the police without fear of arrest, and someone actually gave them a cheap samurai sword that was sharp!

    Judging by the extreme fear they show when confronted by a wall hanger with an edge, the police over there are having trouble recruiting anyone who doesn’t faint away when confronted with the very idea of a sharp piece of steel.

    Inspector Peter Knights, of Hartlepool Police, said: “I am delighted to see a weapon of this nature has been surrendered. All too often we see items such as this used and abused by people which leads invariably to serious injury or death.”

    Guys, I couldn’t make this stuff up if I tried.

    (Cross posted at Hell in a Handbasket.)

     

    4 Responses to “All Scimitars, Sabers, Kopesh and Katana Are Now Illegal!”

    1. Daniel Says:

      I imagine that there are a few errors in this post, because you couldn’t possibly be discussing the England that fought so bravely, against overwhelming odds, in the first years of World War II.

    2. Shannon Love Says:

      Strangely, even though they have taken the obvious step of removing everything from the law abiding that might be used as weapon, violent crime keeps going up. I guess it’s straight jackets for everyone next.

    3. Helen Says:

      I don’t think the point about fighting in WWII is at all relevant. What on earth has opposing an organized enemy through organized firepower to do with owning weapons at home? I do wish people would stop using that highly unilluminating parallel.

      Much more to the point is George Orwell’s point in one of his essays that every home in the country, even the poorest, would have a shotgun on the wall, that being a sign of freedom from the state. Britain has lost that concept. The state has become all powerful with the help of the people, many of whome have not quite worked out that saying the government must do this, that or the other means the government controlling your life.

      Our police is a particular problem. They really do say things like that without once realizing how idiotic it is. They really do get more excited about people owning anything that can be construed as a weapon than about homes being broken into or people being attacked on the street. Actually, knives are not completely illegal and the rules are quite hard to work out. But violent crime is going up and gang crime in the cities is reaching horrific proportions, while the fuzz sit in their offices filling in forms, emerging occasionally to administer a drubbing to some speeding driver.

    4. milo Says:

      Helen – the rules are indeed hard to work out. In the case of the anti-sword rules I know various people (one a civil servant) who have been demanding clarification from the department responsible for these laws and having very little luck. Even the bureaucrats who write the new laws haven’t thought through any of the consequences.
      The end result is that a large amount of time and money is wasted on useless legislation when the state had the power to deal with katana-wielding nutters in the first place, had they been willing to make the effort to use it.