In Olden Thymes, Good King John was overthrown by Baron Hussein the Omnipotent - often shortened to BHO - who trashed the Magna Carta and the provision that "the right of the common Folke to keep and bear crossbows shall not be infringed." In fact, the Baron appointed his Court Jester to lead the Court Fools' Union - often shortened to F.U. - in an attempt to get the honest, common Folke to turn in their crossbows. The attempt was countered by the Crossbow Owners who met with the Court Jester. But the Jester's only response was the same as the Court Fools' Union. In other words, F.U.
The Baron, the Jester and the F.U. ignored a study by the Kingdom's Bureau of Investigation (KBI) that the leading killers of the honest, common Folke were: medical malpractice (bleeding), blunt-force instruments such as hammers, edged-instrument such as knives, ale abuse, and drug abuse (herb smoking). Crossbow homicides were at the very bottom of the KBI list.
Meanwhile, the Towne Crier, who hath cried out all the Names and Castles of the Crossbow Owners, hath so displeaseth both crossbow owners and non-crossbow owners to the pointe that the Towne Crier had to hire a bunch of armed Knyghts to protect his Premises. The Amalgamated Association of Retired Perpetrators (AARP) warneth that the Towne Crier hath also made targets of the Crossbow Owners because stolen crossbows were now in high demand and fetching high prices on the blacke market.
Meanwhile, with the exception of the armed Castles where the children were now safe from the ragingly insane, nothing meaningful had been done Kingdom-wide to protect the children from the ragingly insane. Yea, the armed Castles had their No Raging Allowed (NRA) signs posted everywhere. But that only protected the NRA Castles. The ragingly insane were still free to roam about looking for Crossbow Free Zones where they could kill innocent children without feare of interference from the honest, common Folke with crossbows.
Ironically, the actions of BHO and his Jester increased the demand for crossbows, crossbow bolts, and high-capacity crossbow-bolt quivers. Sales of the NRA signs went through the roof.
So, the Sheriff of Nottingham and the other Sheriffs were ordered by the Baron and his Court Jester to collect all the crossbows in the Kingdom. But the Sheriffs saw the Crossbow Owners as helpful in their war against the Villains who would harm the innocent children and the Common Folke as well. So, the Sheriffs, as the most powerful officials in their Shires, refused to do so. Some of the Shires even passed laws forbidding the Baron's men-at-arms from entering their Shires for the purpose of crossbow and high-capacity, crossbow-bolt Quiver collection.
For his part, the Baron had his men in Parliament introduce legislation that would make the Baron ruler-for-life. As expected, this legislation was endorsed by the F.U., the AARP, and the ACLU.
To resolve the crossbow impasse, the warring parties asked a neutral group of academics in Texas at the Sam Houston Institute of Technology - which is never abbreviated - to mediate. So, in the end, the entire controversy turned to, well ... you know.
Nationally syndicated columnist, William Hamilton, was educated at the University of Oklahoma, the George Washington University, the U.S Naval War College, the University of Nebraska, and Harvard University.