...well not a riot obviously that would be 'bad' and more importantly a group of more than three in our enlightened and liberal society, can now be 'moved on' by PC Plod just in case they are:
a) a potential exploding fatwa pixie planning a terror plot
b) a hoodie
c) Might have a perfectly reasonable grievance that they want to air in public against the bunch of pointless mindless w@nker$ that run the country.
Working in the field of Better Regulation, has given me a good understanding of the processes that go to make good legislation, and how the government can introduce effective policies that deliver against expectations and targets and ensure the the maximum benefits can be derived while at the same time placing as little burden on the public and private sectors as possible.
..well that's the theory...roughly.
Pity it soooooooooooo often doesn't work.
The Government is working on two bit's of legislation that will effectively criminalise me for pursuing two of my interests.
The first is a consultation which will lead to legislation that will ban the Sale Manufacture and Import of imitation samurai swords. At present I don't own either a genuine Katana (either antique or modern manufactured example of the traditional Samurai sword), nor do I own an iaito - the ‘imitation’ Katana used for the practice of battōjutsu or iaijutsu, Iaido to us westerners - which I used to practice some years ago when I was studying fencing , Kendo and Iaido. But I would like to own some examples of these swords. The are fine examples of sword-smithing and superb examples of swords designed for a very particular form of combat.
The problem - The government wants to stop thugs buying 'cheap' 'imitation' samurai swords and committing violent crimes with them. But their proposals are vague and ill thought out and will have a far greater affect on law abiding collectors and enthusiasts than it ever will on the thugs and violent criminals who would seek to use such swords.
The Government states that it is minded to provide exemptions for martial arts practitioners by providing exemptions for the specific weapons used in martial arts (on the basis that the way in which they are manufactured - genuine swords would therefore cost more and 18 year old happy slappy hoodies would be unlikely to afford the £400-£700 required to purchase such a weapon)or by providing a general exemption for “samurai swords” used in sport. But the consultation does not seem able to define the types of sword clearly enough to avoid banning all curved swords.
For instance it's proposed definition “a curved, single edged sword (sometimes known as a “samurai sword”)” could also apply to a cavalry sabre.
Further more if they ban Samurai sword, the demand will shift to weapons such as sabres which specifically wouldn't be covered by the legislation and would remain legal to buy and own.
Scenario - 18 Yr old Happy Slappy Hoodie wants 'Kill Bill' style Samurai sword to do over a local off license - Sword Shop Owner explains that they are illegal - shop owner suggests a nice 1796 Pattern Heavy Cavalry Sword which isn't covered by the Act.
At which point the whole fucking point of banning samurai swords is rendered fucking useless.
So once this little gem has been introduced prepare for the bill illegalising baseball bats, lengths of scaffolding poles and sharp scissors.
Banning swords won't stop thugs using other types of weapons to commit violent crimes. And as any well educated fencer will tell you Miyamoto Musashi one of the most skilled swordsmen and Samurai in history, used a wooden bokken instead of a metal katana to kill countless challengers. The moral of the tale is it’s not wot you got it's how you use it.
On this premise, I deduce that Home Office Officials have very little brains which are mostly located somewhere in their bottoms….and are used very infrequently.
I know several sword collectors , and sword retailers who will be prevented from continuing to collect, sell and own certain swords and I myself would like to buy swords before such legislation is introduced but will not be able to afford to do so.
Officials seem unable to understand that the sword itself is not dangerous, it’s the intent with which it is wielded…. ‘Ah’ I hear you say ‘but you could use that argument for allowing gun’ ….
Odd you should say that because that segues nicely on to the next bit of legislation that has been intricately and carefully designed to fuck me off….
The overall objective of the proposed Violent Crime Reduction Bill is to provide the police and local communities with the powers they need to tackle guns, knives and alcohol-related violence. However it will also affect and criminalise those who collect, own or make replica or prop guns , and those who collect and play/use airsoft guns….oh and re-enactors…..
The Problem – The Government says there is real public concern about the growing trend for some young men to carry imitation firearms and their use in crime has continued to rise. It wants to stop this happening and broadly speaking will achieve it by banning ALL imitation weapons toys replicas models, airsoft guns the works !
In its regulatory impact assessment accompanying the legislation the government states that many imitation firearms are extremely difficult to tell apart from the real thing and, because they are not subject to certificate control, are easily obtained by all ages. The Government suggests that a large part of the overall problem is caused by young people misusing imitations and believes that measures are needed to tighten up on purchase and sale of these guns, which can be as frightening to confront as real firearms and cause particular problems for the police when armed response units are called out in response to reports of people seen with guns. A ban on the manufacture of realistic imitations is also proposed.
So once again the perfectly normal law abiding collectors and owners who would never want to own the real thing are banned and criminalised for their hobby. And the Governments legislation will do little to prevent hardened criminals procuring and using real guns.
For example here is an extract from the Bill currently before the Lords:
“30 Manufacture, import and sale of realistic imitation firearms
(1) A person is guilty of an offence if—
(a) he manufactures a realistic imitation firearm;
(b) he modifies a firearm or an imitation firearm so that it becomes a
realistic imitation firearm;
(c) he sells a realistic imitation firearm; or
(d) he brings a realistic imitation firearm into Great Britain or causes one to
be brought into Great Britain.”
This will not only make it illegal to by a replica or airsoft gun as collector it will also make it illegal to make a model of a gun that might be confused as a real gun. So that means it will be illegal to make replicas of the guns used in Star Wars (which were all based on real guns) and makes it ambiguous at best to make replicas of guns from Blade Runner , Battle Star Galactica , Stargate, and countless other films.
I have given away several of Niks replica guns to friends, but I posses the following airsoft toys and replicas:
Robocop (Modified Barretta 9mm Airsoft )
Baretta 92F (Airsoft)
P38 Special (cap firing Metal Replica)
I do not know whether I will be able to retain these legally but suspect that once this laws comes into affect I ill not be able to purchase any more.
And by the way does the legislation as drafted (above) mean that a woman or someone of female gender (ie 'she') could not be convicted of an offence under the act?....just asking…
You can read the appropriate section of the Violent Crime Reduction Bill regarding Imitation firearms and in particular the spectacularly vague and poorly defined legislation which will Specify what constitutes an imitation firearms at the following link :http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200506/cmbills/010/2006010.pdf
Similarly you can view the Home Office wise in insightful proposals to ban Samurai Swords at http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/documents/cons-ban-offensive-weapons-0307
Lord Salisbury (1830-1903) said, "By a free country, I mean a country where people are allowed, so long as they do not hurt their neighbours, to do as they like. I do not mean a country where six men may make five men do exactly as they like."
I don't know about 6, but 646 Men and women (and many more in individual Departments) seem intend on making 60 million do exactly what they want.
I am not a knife or sword or gun - nut. I would never seek to use any of these items as a weapon but would like to reserve the right to collect them if I so wish. Sadly however as is often the case these days.... It's the law abiding citizen who is forced, with little chance of redress, to surrender his rights to the state.
What a bunch of ****s !
I will probably not be voting Labour at the next election.