Sword Ban Petition - UK

Discussion in 'Historical European Swords and Sword Arts' started by louie, Feb 25, 2007.

  1. louie

    louie Yellow Belt

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    Anyone who wishes to petition against a ban on the sale & possession of swords should sign up before the closing date in March!

    http://petitions.pm.gov.uk/swords/?...=a46cc57.ce2f31

    I need mine for dancin' [​IMG]

    Louie
     
  2. Empty Hands

    Empty Hands Senior Master

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    WTF? Has there been a recent gathering of the Immortals or something? Something tells me sword related violence is rather low in the UK...
     
  3. Paul-M

    Paul-M Yellow Belt

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    You'd be surprised.....
     
  4. grydth

    grydth Senior Master

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    With respect to the laws that you pass for yourselves in the UK, it is your decision alone. But I am curious as to whether there is a large amount of violence involving swords. If yes, has this increased since the firearms bans? What does the public think of the proposals?

    On this topic, I am solely asking for information and not looking for a debate.
     
  5. tellner

    tellner Senior Master

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    Lotsa luck. The Thatcher, Blair and now Brown governments have been taking civil liberties and achieving that peculiarly British sort of police state for a long time now. They haven't to the best of my knowledge given back any liberties that they've taken. And they aren't ever likely to. Do you really think that a single MP will lose his or her seat by supporting this petition? Do you think one might by standing out and saying "Swords don't kill people. Yobs and football supporters kill people. Give the martial artists back their swords!"

    A number of political consultants have said that the conventional wisdom goes this way. A scientific poll carries some weight. A visit by a delegation gets some attention. So does the old fashioned kind of letter that comes in an envelope. A fax is less notable. A personal email even less. An list of names that someone added himself to by clicking on a link on some website is almost worth the square root of bugger-all.
     
  6. kouryuu

    kouryuu Yellow Belt

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    ANY sword according to the tabloid press is a "samurai" sword, even if it was a cutlass or an epee, it sells their papers, politicians jump on the bandwagon to further their careers and the legitimate user gets it in the neck, same as they did with the guns.
     
  7. Empty Hands

    Empty Hands Senior Master

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    As far as I can tell, the legitimate user always gets it in the neck.
     
  8. grydth

    grydth Senior Master

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    I know almost nothing of the debate there, so if I might ask some further things....

    The tabloid press is pushing this? How about the olde respected media - have they taken a position?

    What's the advantage to/ intent of classifying everything as a katana? Have samurai swords become the evil boogeyman in the UK that semi-automatic rifles have over here? If yes, was that based on spectacular - or sensationalized - crimes?

    Again, I have no desire to debate UK folks over your national course - it's your country, not mine.
     
  9. Sukerkin

    Sukerkin Have the courage to speak softly

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    Aye, since the delights of Kill Bill and the Last Samurai, the proliferation of SLO's on peoples mantle-pieces has continued apace.

    Certain unsavoury sorts have taken to using the katana for it's 'intimidation' value and there have been a couple of incidents involving people of unsound mind waving 'display' swords around in public arena's.

    One poor mentally-ill chap got himself ventilated into the next stage of existence in my neck of the woods last year - what the media fail to mention is that why he got shot by the police was that he was also wielding a shotgun.

    The actual number of incidents is vanishingly small but the media has done it's normal thing, as you expressed it so well, of turning the katana into an 'evil boogeyman' that no upstanding citizen would wish to own.

    If you read the government consultation White Paper on the issue, even the stats they quote in it do not support the actions being taken. It's just that the sword is something distinctive and easily identifiable in the public consciousness, so banning it shows that the government is being "tough on crime".

    If it wasn't likely to be such a potential hinderance to my art it would be farcical.
     
  10. grydth

    grydth Senior Master

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    Are any major figures in martial arts or arms collecting standing up and speaking out, either individually or collectively? If yes, is it having any effect?

    Are the enforcers' use of katanas that widespread? I'd think it's be a bit hard to conceal, even the shorter ones..... and, if the cheap knock offs are the ones used by criminals, I'd be surprised that any professional thug would entrust his life and work to them.

    How'd the loonies even get swords into the events? I had heard security and surveillance in the UK had reached to amazing measures.
     
  11. Sukerkin

    Sukerkin Have the courage to speak softly

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    We've had a sham of a 'public consultation' and many of the formost members of the various sword-arts represented in the country have put their views forward. We have the 'promise' that those using the katana for legitimate purposes of martial-arts study will not be affected by the law changes ... but we all know the value of a politicians promise do we not?

    The 'gangland' petty criminals using the 'wallhanger' katana-like decorative swords are also going to otherwise armed - the blade is just used for 'dramatic effect'. After all, tho' you can kill someone with a cheap 440 Stainless Steel representation of a nihonto, it's not going to be in very good nick afterwards i.e. they're a bit 'one use'.

    I may have mislead you with my phrasing above when I spoke of 'public arena's'. I should have said "in the public arena" (or, more simply "In public").
     
  12. grydth

    grydth Senior Master

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    For just a moment, yes, I was imagining soccer rowdies waving them at a match....

    Again, I have no idea about the quality of UK politicians or what their ultimate aims are.
     
  13. jks9199

    jks9199 Administrator Staff Member

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    We've had much the same effect with machetes in parts of the US. Because they're the most signifying weapon used by certain criminal street gangs, especially Mara Salvatrucha, machetes have become the image of terror. They've only been used in a relative handful of attacks -- but we've actually specified both brandishing and carrying them concealed as criminal offenses. (The brandishing code also covers waving a sword...)
     
  14. Paul-M

    Paul-M Yellow Belt

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    There was an interesting piece on the radio the other day, a mother who's son had been killed with a katana by a gang was calling for them to be banned, and then a martial artist (can't remember his name or whether he was important) come on after her and started arguing his case. The radio guy listened to both of them and then admitted that there would be no point banning them, because if someone wants to kill someone they'll do it, if samurai swords are illegal they'll just use something else. It was encouraging to hear a radio presenter having a sensible view on this instead of just taking the 'tabloid view' and banning every random thing that comes within 100metres of a crime scene.123
     

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