Hamilton: Weapons control: Ye Olde Historie
January 8, 2013
In Olden Times, law-enforcement officers (LEOs) kept the peace with bows and arrows, swords, and knives. For personal and home defense, the honest, common folke had the same kinds of weapons. That worked well until someone invented the crossbow and the crossbow arrow; technically, the cross-bow bolt.
Unfortunately, some villains obtained crossbows and the LEOs and ordinary folke found themselves out-bolted. The Court Fools’ Union – often shortened to F.U. – demanded the banning of crossbows. The honest, common folke responded with sayings such as: “When crossbows are banned, only the villains will have crossbows.”
Grudgingly admitting the logic of the honest, common folke, the Fools’ Union demanded a ban on high-capacity cross-bolt quivers. They said no quiver should contain more than five cross-bow bolts.
Fortunately, some wise princes saw this circular debate was going nowhere. So, they invented the castle. Once inside the castle, you were safe from the villains outside. In fact, you were protected inside by armed knyghts. The knyghts posted signs that read: “Ye who enter here with intent to harm our children will be shot with crossbow bolts.”
While that kept the children safe inside, it did not protect the honest, common folke on the commons outside the castle from ye olde villains who were insane from dancing inside the tangled forests of their goth-infested minds.
So, the honest, common folke put up signs that read: “Register the insane. Not crossbows.” The Fools’ Union and the ACLU objected.
Sometimes, the younger knyghts cast lustful eyes on the fair maidens. To fix that problem, the wise princes invented the Code of Chivalrie which caused the knyghts to slay would-be rapists with their unregistered lances.
One day, a towne crier maliciously, albeit lawfully, cried out the names and castles of the crossbow owners. Actually, the wiser crossbow owners were delighted because the malicious towne crier had tripped over ye olde Writ of Consequences Unintended. Zounds! Now the villains knew which folke and which castles to avoid. Ergo: the villains would likely commit their raging, insane violence away from the crossbow owners. The crossbow owners put up signs on their castles that read: “No Raging Allowed” – often shortened to NRA.
At the same time, some of the folke who were living without the protection of crossbows were verily upset. Thanks to the towne crier, the villains knew who amongst the common folke were unprotected. Soone, there developed a blacke market in both real and faux NRA signs. In terms of deterrence, the NRA signs were almost as good as possessing a crossbow.
Meanwhile, the villains held a rallye to celebrate their victory over the common folke who had no protection except for the pedestrian Sheriff of Nottingham. (Robin Hood stole his horse.) To maximize their advantage, the villains rode to New York, Chicago, and San Francisco where the Towne Princes – whilst surrounding themselves with armed knyghts – had taken away the crossbows of the honest, common folke.
When the honest, common folke saw the hypocrisy of the Princes of New York City, Chicago, and San Francisco, they forced King John to sign the Magna Carta which read, in part: “… the right of the common folke to keep and bear crossbows shall not be infringed.” Now, Ye knoweth the Reste of the Storie.
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.