This weekend I went to a place where EVERYONE was armed. Not just armed; although everyone was carrying deadly weapons, some people were literally festooned with them. And we’re talking DEADLY weapons; not meant for hunting, but meant for KILLING. Killing people.
I myself was armed, of course; although I didn’t go there for the weapon side of it, I wouldn’t dream of showing up at this event unarmed. I wouldn’t feel completely dressed, you know?
Strangely enough, not a single person was hurt by these deadly weapons. Not a scratch. And I doubt that anyone was hurt going to or coming from this event. Nor do I believe that many people will be hurt by these deadly weapons.
And besides, I LIKE weapons. There, I’ve said it. You ain’t going to get my fifteenth-century Muramasa longsword without a stiff argument.
Follow me after the fold, as I attempt to explain why I felt safe in the middle of an armed society.
I went to a renaissance fair. If you haven’t been to one, you have missed a chance to see a lot of people re-enacting life a few centuries ago. Ancient styles of clothing, food, entertainment, in a modern setting. It’s a lot of fun. I go to hang out with a bunch of friends who play music, mostly Middle-Eastern and Indian, and dance what we in the USA call ‘belly dance”.
Of course it wasn’t ‘correct’, as some have pointed out. Everyone was well-fed; women over thirty weren’t missing half their teeth; and so many other things weren’t exactly like Elizabethan times, notably the well-being of the people, and the lack of the level of violence that Elizabethan England was known for, that would rival the amount of people that we kill on the highway AND the people that die as a result of un-necessary surgery, coupled with the gun deaths, of course. We have managed to have a slightly less violent society, at least in OUR country. The violence that we export… well, that’s something else.
Naturally I wore a dagger; This is an antique Keris from Java that I found ‘sleeping’ in a pawn shop, and I carry it because it’s associated with performing arts, being that it bears decoration that relates to the wayang, the puppet theatre of Java. Not that it’s exclusively decorative; the fourteen-inch blade, though not in the same league as an armor-piercing Afghani pesh-kabz, will ‘do the trick’ just fine. A Pesh-kabz, by the way, is one of the reasons that you don’t go to war in Afghanistan, since many Afghanis carry this dagger, that unlike the keris of Java is meant for one purpose only; to stab a person as deeply as possible, and kill them efficiently.
Yes, I like weapons, and I felt perfectly safe in the middle of a gang of freaks carrying not only swords, but firearms as well. There were plenty of flintlock pistols, and the report of the pirate’s cannon at odd times during the day reminded us that gunpowder also existed during Elizabethan times.
Now you must know that during Elizabethan times in England the level of violence made our modern society look tame. The amount of murder was incredible, basically like a modern war zone. People were killed for the most petty reassons, and the weapon of choice? Wait for it… the cudgel.
Sometimes known as “The Piece Of Wood”, the cudgel was the deadliest weapon in those times, and still very effective today. A lot of the deaths during the recent massacre in Rwanda were from cudgels. The cudgel is a good weapon because it never mis-fires, it’s cheap, and easily available. as for the directions for use, they’re simplicity incarnate; take the cudgel, hit the enemy on the head hard, repeat as needed.
So why did I feel safe; the reason is simple; the people that I was hanging out with were CONSCIOUS.
See, it’s CONSCIOUSNESS that is lacking in the people who kill other people with guns. And it’s CONSCIOUSNESS that keeps responsible gun owners from killing other people. Not that that always helps; thousands of people die each year from gun accidents, or from a person shooting another person in their family BY MISTAKE!
So taking guns away isn’t going to do a lot of good, although it might lower the severity of some of these ridiculous attacks, like the one recently in Binghamton NY where the gunman killed over ten people in about as many seconds.
Some gun owners repeat the illusion that they have guns to protect them from the government; for these people I only have one word; Waco. There, the Koreshians were very well armed, and they even had machine guns. Little good it did them; the government just brought in tanks. Oh, yeah, you’re going to resist people who can bring an F-22 fighter to the party with your collection of assault weapons? are you totally insane? the most lightly armed humvee, equipped with the smallest light machine gun and the smallest grenade launcher will level your house. Forget about even a light tank, much less a monstrous M-1 Abrams, which will level your pathetic redoubt without firing a shot, just by rolling over it.
So I stick to my dagger, which by the way I DON’T carry in daily life, and of course I associate with people who are at least slightly conscious, so that even in an armed society I am safe. Hopefully. Unless I happen to go to McDonalds at the wrong time. And I pray for, and work for, and hope for, a more conscious society, one that can be as peaceful as the Renaissance Fair, where everybody is armed and nobody gets hurt, unless of course I trip and fall on my musical instrument and hurt myself.
CONSCIOUSNESS! that’s the key to living with weapons and lowering the chances you’ll get shot. And it makes for a better society.
And have a nice day.