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  1. #11
    Super Moderator Mosaic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Amira_116 View Post
    [snip]

    I personally would like to find a pill to dissolve "POLITICAL CORRECTNESS" so we can all relax and go back to having a life.

    Amira
    The mainly 'western' notion of political correctness is stifling some nations, to the extent, that everyone has become afraid of their own shadow.

    But when it comes to weaponry, I do understand why some governments bring in blankets laws. They just need to look deeper into such laws so that they don't stifle such things as 'the arts & drama' - if that happens then 'people power' to force change needs to be seen and heard loudly

    Postal and Border Customs here in Aussie is SO strict, I pack myself everytime I enter the country after travelling, I rack my brains to try to remember if I have some small item that may be on the 'no-no' list. Those cute little dogs run around sniffing everyone and everything, and I am sure I look guilty even when I'm not I pray the dogs don't sit down by me - I picture a scenario of being dragged away in chains. It is always such a huge relief to get through customs. I am sure I hold my breath until I exit customs.

  2. #12
    V.I.P. Sita's Avatar
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    When I first heard of this I sent a e-mail my responce was this:
    Dear Ms .....
    Thank you for your recent email regarding the ban on swords with a curved blade of over 50 centimetres and the effect of this on belly dancing.
    The Government has now banned the sale, hire, manufacture and import of samurai swords, through a ban on all swords with a curved blade of 50cm or over in length, due to their use in violent crime. The ban came into force on 6 April 2008 having received Parliamentary approval following debates in the Commons and the Lords which unanimously supported the ban. It is important to note that legislation already exists that bans the possession of these weapons in a public place, and that it will be permissible for those who already own swords which fit the definition to retain ownership.
    As you may be aware the ban follows on from a Government consultation paper published on 5 March 2007 which detailed proposals to ban samurai swords and gave a 12-week window for people to let us have their views. The closing date for the consultation was 28 May 2007.
    In terms of the ban going too wide in picking up all curved swords, the Government thinks this is proportionate in order to ensure that we have a definition that is enforceable and which has a real impact in terms of reducing the availability of items that have and can be used in violent crime. The proposed ban is about protecting people and communities and it is important to have a definition that minimises the need for subjective interpretation.
    In banning such swords, the Government has sought to safeguard legitimate use by including defences in the Offensive Weapons Order for collectors of genuine Japanese swords, for those who partake in historical re-enactments and for swords used by martial arts enthusiasts. Regarding adding extra defences for groups such as belly dancers who consider their legitimate use of curved swords has been unfairly targeted by the definition, there is a risk that by creating too many defences it makes any ban unenforceable by police, customs and the courts. However, we will, of course, listen to and consider representations from such groups.
    Please find the link below to the summary of responses paper and subsequent Order laid before Parliament.
    Banning offensive weapons | Home Office
    http://www.opsi.gov.uk/si/si2008/pdf...0080973_en.pdf
    We do not propose, at present, to add any other articles to the Offensive Weapons Order, although policy on offensive weapons is constantly kept under review.
    Regards
    Jonathan Batt
    Public Order and Offensives Weapons section
    (What's worse is that my father has one metal samurai sword one wooden one both similar in size to those that were used to murder people in the events that triggered this gov action however as a martial arts practioner/enthusiast he is okay and has no problem buying them or keeping them - where is the logic)

    I have failed to notice any major changes however in the UK belly dance scene - as already mentioned the ban is on buying new swords ones pre-owned or with insurance are okay - however their will be problems finding new blades and getting re-insured.

    Sita

  3. #13
    V.I.P. khanjar's Avatar
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    It's madness, the government has once again tried to sort out a problem with hitting it with a demolition ball. This bill I believe came about after an a MP in Cheltenham was attacked by a mentally unstable person who had in his possession a legally acquired replica Samurai sword. This sword was not deemed offensive, although it had a sharp edge, and they are still on sale in the UK despite this bill, as are a number of other bladed weapons meant for display purposes, but maybe they are not covered by the act, they are weapons non the less, and the unhinged can use them as such.

    When I got wind of this proposed bill against swords, I signed the petition against the bill, as I was involved in battle re enactment, where thousands of us in the UK have swords and know how to use them. They might have a dull edge, but they are still weapons. There are strict rules affixed to these re-enactor weapons and though there has been an instance or two of an unhinged person getting too involved in their part, these people are jumped on fast, the societies police their own people to a large extent, as does any other user group that has these scary scary lumps of steel that seem able to put the evil in people.

    As to the government act, I suppose they would have to define the word 'use' as pertaining to swords, does 'use' mean used in a threatening way, or balancing the thing on your noggin, I hardly think balancing the thing on the nut is a sword used in a threatening way.

    There is of course another way around this law, that of the re-enactor. Do what they do, use a sword with a dull edge, a dull edge means it is two millimetres thick, not sharp. Also for the purposes of including belly dancers to be within the law, adopt the description of re-enactor, we are re-enacting dances from the middle east as a cultural or historical thing.

    But all said and done, despite this new law which again seems to hurt the law abiding citizen, a person who is a criminal or with criminal intent is not going to take any notice of the law as they are a criminal. Pathetic and stupid, a knee jerk reaction by a government that really has not a clue what is going on and treats us all as potential criminals. We are potential criminals until proved criminals.

    As to weapons, any criminal mind can see the weapon in anything, a sword is just a lump of harmless metal until the wrong mind gets behind it.

  4. #14
    V.I.P. lizaj's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by khanjar View Post
    It's madness, the government has once again tried to sort out a problem with hitting it with a demolition ball. This bill I believe came about after an a MP in Cheltenham was attacked by a mentally unstable person who had in his possession a legally acquired replica Samurai sword. This sword was not deemed offensive, although it had a sharp edge, and they are still on sale in the UK despite this bill, as are a number of other bladed weapons meant for display purposes, but maybe they are not covered by the act, they are weapons non the less, and the unhinged can use them as such.

    When I got wind of this proposed bill against swords, I signed the petition against the bill, as I was involved in battle re enactment, where thousands of us in the UK have swords and know how to use them. They might have a dull edge, but they are still weapons. There are strict rules affixed to these re-enactor weapons and though there has been an instance or two of an unhinged person getting too involved in their part, these people are jumped on fast, the societies police their own people to a large extent, as does any other user group that has these scary scary lumps of steel that seem able to put the evil in people.

    As to the government act, I suppose they would have to define the word 'use' as pertaining to swords, does 'use' mean used in a threatening way, or balancing the thing on your noggin, I hardly think balancing the thing on the nut is a sword used in a threatening way.

    There is of course another way around this law, that of the re-enactor. Do what they do, use a sword with a dull edge, a dull edge means it is two millimetres thick, not sharp. Also for the purposes of including belly dancers to be within the law, adopt the description of re-enactor, we are re-enacting dances from the middle east as a cultural or historical thing.

    But all said and done, despite this new law which again seems to hurt the law abiding citizen, a person who is a criminal or with criminal intent is not going to take any notice of the law as they are a criminal. Pathetic and stupid, a knee jerk reaction by a government that really has not a clue what is going on and treats us all as potential criminals. We are potential criminals until proved criminals.

    As to weapons, any criminal mind can see the weapon in anything, a sword is just a lump of harmless metal until the wrong mind gets behind it.
    ..until that harmless lump of metal falls towards one's bare toes

    But to be serious English sword-dancers can claim to be following tradition and culture and that is how belly dancers will "circumnavigate" the law. We are actors and re-enactors as sword dancers.
    The important things is to transport them discreetly and dance safely. Which reminds me of the time a female spectator at a summer fair seemed intent on becoming childless as despite my entreeties, she kept pushing her toddler in a pram to within a feet of this hapless woman about to spin topped off with a sword..SIGH..I may not be able to decapitate anyone but I could batter them senseless.
    Last edited by lizaj; 08-26-2008 at 04:16 PM.

  5. #15
    V.I.P. khanjar's Avatar
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    Hahaha, re-enactment is not without injuries, in fact they are part of the game. I myself have had broken fingers from getting whacked across the hand by a big lump of blunt steel. The rule was, when presented with a weapon or shield, you could really give it welly and hack. When presented with a body, then it was to pull one's blows, the same way as actors do in films. It looks effective, but in reality it is a light touch. I broke my fingers by deflecting a blow with the shield and the blade slid off the shield onto my fingers. A big case of ' OWWWW '.

    After that, I wore chain mailled gloves. Injuries though, I have only had finger injuries, but I know people who have been put in hospital by playing with ancient weapons, in fact, one gig we did seven people ended up in casualty, with injuries ranging from fingers, arms, collar bone and someone with a broken rib, which happened because he stumbled and fell on his weapon, eejit.

    Ah well, the law is new, there will be ways to get around things, the British if anything are inventive. Even possibly it will be revised, as the people it was aimed at stopping won't be stopped, because they are criminals, i.e. outside the law.

    Oh yes, I know about lumps of steel falling on feet, as I used to fight barefoot.
    Last edited by khanjar; 08-26-2008 at 05:12 PM.

  6. #16
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    Hello all

    I am a member of Equity and they have now looked into this on behalf of their members. Their response advises that the law makes provision for swords purchased and used for theatrical use, and that they believe dance is a theatrical use. As such they believe that belly dancers should not be targeted under this law. They have advised that an Equity card should be sufficient proof that you are a performer who requires the sword for theatrical use.

    So those of you who are in Equity should be able to buy and perform with new swords and will continue to be insured via Equity.

    This doesn't help non-professional performers/troupes. But if Equity believes that belly dance comes under theatrical use then I am sure it would be pretty straight forward to convince the police/a court of the same. And maybe there are other proofs as well as the Equity card that you could use to show that the sword is for theatrical use.

    As someone mentioned earlier, it is unlikely that the police would take things this far with a dancer anyway, the main problem is vendors getting panicked and refusing to sell to anyone.

  7. #17
    V.I.P. khanjar's Avatar
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    Oh, I don't know about that, the police unlikely to be interested, it seems to me they love an easy bust, often it is they seem blind to what offences are happening within the hardcore users of items that can be deemed weapons and take delight on busting an otherwise law abiding citizen, I have seen it happen.

    What was it, the Arch Druidess of Cornwall was arrested for carrying an offensive weapon at a ceremonial ritual, which was then confiscated. The 'offensive' weapon, a ceremonial dull edged athame used only in ritual work. The ritual use, it is forbidden for these things to draw blood, so if a person who had one of these things in their hand and was attacked, it is likely they would search for something else to defend themself with, it is not a weapon, but pc plod in his search to please his masters sees the same whether they be law abiding or criminal.

  8. #18
    V.I.P. jenc's Avatar
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    Am I right that you can own as many straight edge swords as you like............ Also you obviously will never run amok if you collect swords........ because of course you wouldn't be at all obsessive

  9. #19
    V.I.P. lizaj's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by khanjar View Post
    Oh, I don't know about that, the police unlikely to be interested, it seems to me they love an easy bust, often it is they seem blind to what offences are happening within the hardcore users of items that can be deemed weapons and take delight on busting an otherwise law abiding citizen, I have seen it happen.

    What was it, the Arch Druidess of Cornwall was arrested for carrying an offensive weapon at a ceremonial ritual, which was then confiscated. The 'offensive' weapon, a ceremonial dull edged athame used only in ritual work. The ritual use, it is forbidden for these things to draw blood, so if a person who had one of these things in their hand and was attacked, it is likely they would search for something else to defend themself with, it is not a weapon, but pc plod in his search to please his masters sees the same whether they be law abiding or criminal.

    I really should read posts properly...I had this picture of Camilla Power Bowles ( as was) being handcuffed and carted off mid ritual!

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