Home Office proposes ban on samurai swordsLast year the U. K. Home Office was fretting about large chef's knives, remember. Next year, they'll be looking at sharp sticks, knitting needles, fingers to the eye (nyuck, nyuck, nyuck!), and harsh language. Gun crime, of course, continues to soar, because, of course, "...only outlaws will have guns..."
Banning Offensive Weapons proposes a ban on the sale, import and hire of replica samurai swords, adding them to the 17 weapons including on the Offensive Weapons Order.
In the past four years there have been 80 serious crimes involving imitation samurais in England and Wales. The Home Office notes that genuine, collectable swords are not used in crime, but rather cheaper, easily available swords.
Home Office minister Vernon Coaker said: "Public safety is our greatest priority. Samurai sword crime is low in volume but high in profile and I recognise it can have a devastating impact.
Thankfully, Britain's large contingent of Jedi Knights (I'm not making this up!) are standing firm:
Jedi denounce UK sabre ban planI'm thinking of forming the first Jedi Temple in the little mountain town I live in. I figured the burned out hippies who live here will flock to the Temple, especially when I put up the big posters of Carrie Fisher as a Jabba the Hut's barge 'ho. Pass that collection plate! I suppose it doesn't matter about Britain in the long run...it has my vote as the most likely European country to first adopt Sharia Law. Do you think the imans will require Wookies to wear burkahs? Probably...this from The London Fog blogsite:
The UK's Jedi community today expressed concerns that government plans to ban Samurai swords could hinder their freedom to wield lightsabres in public.
Breaching the new rules could mean six months in prison, and a £5,000 fine. Anyone carrying such a weapon in public could faces up to four years in prison, the consultation paper suggests.
The paper notes that genuine Samurai swords would not attract the same penalties, and there are also exemptions for other specific martial arts weapons. "We recognise it is the cheap, easily available Samurai swords which are being used in crime and not the genuine, more expensive samurai swords which are of interest to collectors and martial art enthusiasts," Home Office Minister Vernon Coaker. "As such as we are putting forward exemptions for these groups."
The key word here is 'replica'. No one has yet built a working lightsabre, leaving the UK's would-be Obi-Wans inevitably having to wield plastic, flick-of-the-wrist-to-extend weapons in duels with Sith Lords, remotes and, occasionally, each other.
But Jedi fear that the Samurai ban would leave them exposed to future legislation against other forms of imitation weaponry that would, Jedi Temple (Neasden) spokesman Indi-Anna Jones warned today.
Men should wear burkahs tooMeanwhile, rumors about in Gun World that two major players will be stepping in the blazing hot black rifle market this year. I'm estimating that maybe as many as 750,000 black rifles, primarily AR clones and the numerous flavors or AKs, were sold in 2006. I base this on some preliminary AR manufacturing numbers and a "finger in the wind best-guess" on the AKs. Part of this reflects the November elections...I issued a "buy order," and I stand by it. Secondly, AKs are available at extremely attractive prices, and there's definitely a "betcha can't eat just one" air around them.
The United Nations, in collaboration with the World Mental Health Organization and the Women's Universal Suffrage organization, in collaboration with the Homeless Coalition and the Diversity and Anti-Discrimination co-operative, in collaboration with local White Male support groups overlooked by the environmental friendly are advocating mandatory burkahs for all.
What better way to achieve equality and suppress unfair advantages such as those enjoyed by beautiful people than by covering up their mugs? Ugly people deserve a chance too.
There's also a bit of controvery around Matthew Fox's paeon to the H-K 416 gas piston gun in Army Times. Here's his conclusions:
The 416 is now considered in many circles to be the best carbine in the world — a weapon that combines the solid handling, accuracy and familiarity of the M4 with the famed dependability of the rugged AK47.I personally think all this bodes well for the next generation of carbines using some kind of modified piston system, including the presently available SIGARMS 556, the FNH SCAR system (which I have shot in semi, but not full auto due to range restrictions) and the whole host of smaller makers like Robinson, LWRC (which I have shot in full auto) and P.O.F.-USA.
For the foreseeable future, however, the Army is sticking with the M4 and M16 for regular forces.
The key to the 416’s reliability lies in its gas system. It looks like the M4 carbine on the outside, but on the inside, H&K has replaced Colt’s “gas-tube” system with the short-stroke piston system. This eliminates carbon being blown back into the chamber, which leads to fouling problems, and greatly reduces parts wear created by super-heated gases used to cycle the weapon. The result, experts say, is that the 416 is more reliable, easier to maintain and has a longer parts life than the M4.
My bone with H-K is that there are zero plans for a civilian version of the 416, which sucks. FNH is working on a civilian semi version of the SCAR, which I liked the heck out of. I'm going up to FNH later this spring and will have a full report for you guys on DOWN RANGE and SHOOTING GALLERY.
I'll be up at SIGARMS next week, working with the 556 and a couple of varieties of SIG pistols that should be available alter this year. Again, watch this space!