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PostPosted: Mon Feb 26, 2001 7:43 pm 
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Van Canna, sensei and reader's.

Due to a topic posted by Van, I am publishing below, the section of Massachusetts Law dealing with dangerous weapons other than, hand guns or firearms, which is encompassed the latter being published in paragraph (a) of the same statute.

I think that it is important to martial artists to fully know the list of weapons and derivatives, prohibited as felonious dangerous weapons.

This should be copied and kept in your files.

Unfortunately it prohibits the well intentioned MA from bringing weapons to class on his person or motor vehicle, and please note that some weapons are not specifically categorized but may be considered inherently dangerous weapons in the catch all "phrase or other dangerous weapons" appearing in this chapter.

Of course MA's having weapons derived from the Okinawan variety may have a good case of defying authority charing them with having oars or fishing net handles on their vehicle or possession and the same can be said of the cane (so long as it isn't a sword cane).

The escrima sticks are a close call, which I believe believe to be OK for their specific use as MA training devices, and not in a named category.

The kubotan on a key chain seems like a good bet, and a large group of keys is an asset.

Only once have I had the keys taken with a claim check for exit at a court house.

And this was in Boston and the PO was a lady martial arts student, and at that time I asked her what the weapon was called, and she immediately stated "A Kubotan".

Needless to say we chatted a bit on my exit from the courthouse.

We still have chop sticks or other short pressure point sticks.

Well, here is the statute:

Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 269 Section 10 deals with the carrying of dangerous weapons. The first part deals with licensing and carrying of firearms.

The section quoted hereunder deals with other dangerous weapons.

Subsection (b) provides: “whoever, except as provided by law, carries on his person, or carries on his person or under his control in a vehicle, any stiletto, dagger or device or case which enables a knife with a locking blade to be drawn at a locked position, any ballistic knife or any knife with a detachable blade capable of being propelled by any mechanism, dirk knife, any knife having a double-edged blade, or a switch knife, or any knife having an automatic spring release devise by which the blade is released from the handle, having a blade of over one and one-half inches, or a slung shot, blowgun, blackjack, metallic knuckles or knuckles of any substance which could be put to the same use with the same or similar effect as metallic knuckles, nunchaku, zoobow, also known as klackers or kung fu sticks, or any similar weapon consisting of two sticks of wood, plastic or metal connected at one end by a length of robe, chain, wire, leather, a shuriken or any similar pointed starlike object intended to injure a person, when thrown, or any armband, made with leather which as metallic spikes, points or studes or any metal or other substance and worn on the band, a manrikigusari or similar lengh of chain having weighted ends; or whoever, when arrested upon a warrant for an alleged crime, or when arrested while committing a breach or disturbance of the public peace, is armed or has on his person, or on his person or under control in a vehicle, a billy or other dangerous weapon toher than those mentioned and those mentioned in paragraph (a) shall be punished by inprisonment for not less than two and one-half years nor more than five years in the state prison, or for not less than six months nor more than two and one half years in a jail house or house of correction, except that, if the court finds that the defendant has not been previously convicted of a felony, he may be punished by a fine of not more than fifty dollars or by imprisonment for not more than two and one-half years in a jail or house of correction.”

Note: the paragraph (a) mentioned above requiring a mandatory two and one half year sentence. This is the firearm section.

Alan K


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 27, 2001 11:41 am 
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Allan:

Is the phrase "having a blade over one and one-half inches" interpreted as referring to all knives under the control of a person or merely the automatic/spring release blades?

If the former, than Julia Child is armed and dangerous. Image

Of course, she did have O.S.S training.... Image

student


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 27, 2001 1:56 pm 
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<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote
Quote:
“whoever, except as provided by law


Does a "license to carry" give the holder the right to carry any of the weapons named in the law?

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GEM


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 27, 2001 2:36 pm 
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http://www.southsummit.com/smith_wesson_Rescue%20knife.html

I just bought this knife. it is awesome. The spring loaded punch in the handle is designed specifically to break a car window.

The blade is very sharp and it has a blunt end to prevent stabbing/cutting someone by mistake while cutting the seat belt.

The sharp carbide punch can be locked in a protruded manner to puncture air bags or to " hammer" against the window.

Is this knife legal to carry as per the language of the law below?

“any ballistic knife or any knife with a detachable blade capable of being propelled by any mechanism, dirk knife, any knife having a double-edged blade, or a switch knife, or any knife having an automatic spring release devise by which the blade is released from the handle"


> by which the blade is released from the
handle_

Question: does the carbide punch equal "blade" in the eyes of the law?



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Van Canna


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 27, 2001 2:57 pm 
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Van sensei,

The spring loaded punch you mention is a tool, and the version you have evolved from the spring loaded punch used by tool and die makers. I still have one my father in law gave me years ago.

The one that you refer to is an elaborate version of that.

Criminal statutes are to be strictly interpreted, and this was stated in the "concrete sidewalk" as a dangerous weapon case, (the second one) where the defendant was exonorated from A & B with a dangerous weapon, to wit: a concrete sidewalk.

I still think Julia Childs is guilty! (ha,ha)

GEM sensei,

I report this statute because the consequences are grave but do not have the answers at this point as to current rulings on edged weapons cases.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 27, 2001 3:50 pm 
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In my haste to make the last reply, I failed to answer a couple of the questions asked.

To Gem: The license to carry pertains to the firearms section of the statute, which is subparagraph (a) just preceeding the knife section (b).

I guess you could call it an enigma to be able to carry a 44 Magnum pistol, but not a set of nunchuks.

Are we left only with a pen knife with collapsable blade and the combat cane?

As to the blade length, it had always been my supposition that blade length for any knife concealed was limited to three inches.

This statute makes no limit to blade, length, as I read it since the parathentical expression was contained in the sentence relating to automatic/spring release knives, and their is no other mention of blade length.

OK student, do we rat on Julia Child?

The few cases I have skim read seem to indicate that certain implements or tools not specifically designed as knives or weapons, not on the list above, will not fall within that statute, but if employed in an attack would still constitute a "dangerous weapon" , e.g., an ice pick.

That is why I think the spring loaded center punch does not fall within the statute cited.

Alan K


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 27, 2001 6:19 pm 
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<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Alan K:

To Gem: The license to carry pertains to the firearms section of the statute, which is subparagraph (a) just preceeding the knife section (b).<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Correct.

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote
Quote:
I guess you could call it an enigma to be able to carry a 44 Magnum pistol, but not a set of nunchuks.


Not really. The requirements for obtaining an LTC-A ALP (which is the only license which allows carrying that .44 magnum handgun) include taking a state-certified safety and training course, photo, fingerprints, FBI & State background checks (including criminal and mental health records), inclusion of your personal information in the CHSB (Criminal History Systems Board) database (those same folks that keep all the information on the murders, rapists and molestors, who, BTW have been deemed by the SJC as not being required to give change of address notice, while lawful gun-owners must give such notice), and also submit to the "discretion" of the CLEO. IF there was an LTC-N (License to Carry Nunchakus Image ), then for it to be equivalent to obtaining an LTC-A ALP, a person would be required to undergo the same photos, prints, background checks, inclusino of their information, required changes of address, AND a state-certified safety and training course... oh, yeah... and the CLEO "discretion". Hmmmm... I really wonder how many martial artists could pass all those hurdles or would be willing to jump all those hurdles.

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote
Quote:
Are we left only with a pen knife with collapsable blade and the combat cane?


You better not get caught carrying a cane whose specific design usage can be shown to be a deadly weapon! Some LEOs would claim that as a "disguised" weapon.

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote
Quote:
As to the blade length, it had always been my supposition that blade length for any knife concealed was limited to three inches.


I don't see that number anywhere in the statute, so I don't see any reinforcement for that opinion.

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote
Quote:
This statute makes no limit to blade, length, as I read it since the parathentical expression was contained in the sentence relating to automatic/spring release knives, and their is no other mention of blade length.


From this interpretation, one could reasonably believe that a "switch-blade" would be legal as long as the blade was 1-1/2 inches or less in length. The fact is that "switch-blades" are strictly illegal... period Do not get caught with one! Strictly interpreting the statute, we are all left with blades of 1-1/2 inches or less. However, practically speaking most (but not all) LEOs apply that rule to the amount a blade can legally be "double-edged". (Other LEOs will confiscate any double-edged blade, so take note.) Interestingly enough, a katana (wakazashi, tanto) is a single-edged blade... besides, swords are specifically not mentioned in the statute. That fact has been successfully argued before the courts, I apologize for not having a case cite for you. IIRC, it was a gentleman who scared off a robber by grabbing one of his antique swords from his collection.

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote
Quote:
OK student, do we rat on Julia Child?


Kitchen/cooking knives and clevers have also specifically been considered to have "other uses" and while they would constitute AWDW, that would only be the case if used as a weapon. Carrying a butcher knife from the store to your house doesn't qualify, but if you have one tucked in your boot on a Saturday night in certain areas of Boston, you can bet you'd get charged.

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>The few cases I have skim read seem to indicate that certain implements or tools not specifically designed as knives or weapons, not on the list above, will not fall within that statute, but if employed in an attack would still constitute a "dangerous weapon" , e.g., an ice pick.

That is why I think the spring loaded center punch does not fall within the statute cited.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

That rescue tool is fine. That isn't a blade and the S&W rescuer is even an issue item for many EMTs. Another interesting tidbit... Rafting, hiking, outdoors guides and climbers in most States use a series of knives that are double-edged, clip onto the floatation vest or backpack strap, and have a bouyant plastic sheath. Guides in Massachusetts have to purchase a special version of that very same knife that is single-edged! Yet, you can go to the outfitters in other states and purchase them over the counter without even showing an ID... then bring it back home. Just don't get caught with one. Image Image On a trip last year a group of us were stopped by a Ranger who asked to see all of our knives! I immediately asked him for probable cause, but it was just easier to show him we were all "Mass-compliant"! Image He wished us a good-time on our hike and we continued on... little did he realize that 4 out of the 7 of us were legally carrying .38s... Image Image


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 27, 2001 7:15 pm 
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Yes, but at least your .38's weren't double-edged!

Just double-action....

Image
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 27, 2001 8:36 pm 
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The three inch blade length myth was commonly believed by LEO's and the general public, and after being admitted to the bar, I looked for and could not find any law on blade length. I came from Lynn, MA and it was routine for LEO's to search kids for knives, and confiscate jack knives with blades over three inches.

The fact is that this was just one of those myths that were as common as the sealed hood of a Rolls Royce or that prize fighters had to register their hands wherever they travelled.

It would be nice if MA's had a lobby in this state to effect a license which would permit bona fide MA's to carry classical MA weapons to the dojo.

Another case where 99% of the good guys gave up a liberty or freedom for less than 1% of the BG's.

Panther is correct in the the special section of the law permitting the carrying of .44 Cal. hand guns. It is part of the staute that I posted, and I just didn't have time to include the whole thing.

If you all think that you would like this, I could do another post on the firearms sections.

The subject matter of dangerous weaponry is certainly serious.

I am moved to put a bit of levity in this discussion and report on what I call the Mike Tyson case.

The case is Com. v. Hoyt Davis and a companion case, and cited as 406 N.E. 2d 417

The case went up on appeal for a lower court conviction of Mayhem and A & B with a dangerous weapon.

In December of 1978, the defendant and victim qarrreld at the Diamond Mine Lounge in Holyoke. An encounter ensued, in the course of which the defendant bit off a piece of the victim's left ear.
Defendant is indicted for Mayhem (G.L. c. 265 Section 14) and assault and battery by means of a dangerous weapon, to wit: "teeth"
Same statute section 15. The case had several areas of the law to discuss such as were photographs allowed at the trial, inflamatory. The main thrust of the case for the MA is that the court reviewed a wide variety of cases up to the date of this case (1980) and for that reason is good to review.
It stated that dangerous weapons evolved from case law as opposed to statute.
"Sction 15A embraces two classes of objects, "dangerous weapons per se". those specially designed and constructed to produce death or great bodily harm, and objects which are not dangerous per se but can be used in a dangerous fashion to inflict serious harm" The Court goes on to cite various cases of the above latter type such as dogs, Kitchen knives, a knife with a blade 2 inches long, etc.

In this case the Trial Judge should have granted the defendant's motion for a directed verdict of innocence; teeth or parts of the body should be excluded from consideration by the finder of facts as intrumentalities which can be used as dangerous weapons in idictments framed under G.L. C. 265 Section 15A.

MA's remember this case, it is extensive and cites Com. V. Farrell, which held "We know of no authority of law which classes one's hands or teeth as a dangerous weapon....It is true that portions of the uman anatomy may be dangerous and the bare hands of a merciless assailant might quite readily produce death or great bodily harm but the fact remains that there must be proof of the sue on some inanimate instrumentality before a defendant can be held guilty of assault with a dangerous weapon.

This may settle the theory that the hands of an MA may be treated, per se as dangerous weapons!

Statutory changes have been made but to include classes of protected persons such as A & B on a person sixty years or age or older. Impaired persons; children; etc. and of course revisions resulting in the classification of weapons dangerous per se discussed in this forum. The foregoing case is often cited in A & B DW cases because it is well written and quite extensive and I would have liked to abstract the whole case had I the time.

Alan K


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 27, 2001 9:38 pm 
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What defines a "switch blade" ?

Alan and panther, thanks for the information, but I am still a bit confused about my rescue tool. Do I keep it ?

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Van Canna


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 27, 2001 9:42 pm 
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<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Alan K:
The three inch blade length myth... <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I have found over the years that LEOs are some of the worst sources for answering legal questions. Many think (erroneously) that just because they've been to the academy (in most instances), past a cursory test (its not easy to pass, but fercryinoutloud, they just can't possibly cover all the laws), getting a badge, a gun, a uniform and the ability to drive around in the car with the lights which allow them to pull people over at will, that that somehow makes them "experts" on the laws. One of my biggest pet peeves was watching an episode of COPS (where they routinely violate citizens rights and mis-quote laws) which followed some of our very own Massachusetts State Police around.
They pulled into a private parking lot because they saw a car sitting there. Approached the driver of the vehicle and asked him for license and registration.
Bzzzzt! He hasn't committed any moving violation and he hasn't done anything to warrant probable cause, the only thing the officers could do is approach the car and tell them they were on private property to move on.

Then the officer asks the passenger for identification.

Bzzzzt! The SCOTUS has upheld that passengers in vehicles have no duty to "show their papers" to an officer. That pulling over, stopping, or approaching a vehicle for any other violation is no probable cause of any wrong doing on the part of the passengers.
Then the officers ask to search the car and the driver asserts his 4th and 5th Amendment Rights. The officers respond that if they aren't allowed to search the car they'll just obtain a warrant.

Bzzzzt! The SCOTUS has upheld that 1) asserting your Rights against unreasonable search does not constitute "probable cause" for a warrant and that 2) detaining a person after they have so asserted their Rights is equivalent to an arrest... an arrest without Miranda and also considered a "false arrest" which is UNConstitutional.

Then the officers get both the driver and passenger out of the vehicle and start giving them the third degree.

Bzzzzt! (See above... false arrest without Mirandizing them which is UNConstitutional!)

While two officers are questioning the driver and passenger who are now out of the vehicle, backup officers who have arrived begin the (very illegal) search of the vehicle. The driver and passenger state that they were just out and had stopped to talk for a bit and decide where they wanted to go and what they wanted to do. In the questioning, the officers ask if either of them has any drugs or weapons. The driver responds "no". The passenger responds, "no officer, I don't have any drugs, but I am legally carrying a firearm." Officer's partner drops back and draws down on the passenger, who immediately raises his hands. Officer frisks him (think for a second, it was pretty stupid to get them out of the car without assessing the situation to begin with) and finds his legal Glock G19 9mm and spare magazine. The magazines are loaded with "Black talons" (Back when those were still sold over the counter... in fact, they're still sold and many PDs still use them, but the name has changed). Passenger produces a valid LTC for protection (which means he's completely legal). Passenger is 27, driver is 24. Officer looks at the ammo and states, "You can't own these! WE carry these!" He proceeds to unload the pistol and the spare magazine and pocket the ammo! Begrudgingly gives the pistol back to it's rightful owner with the admonition that if he catches the guy again, he'll arrest him, but he's doing the guy a favor and cutting him loose!!! For the next few minutes we get a dialog from this officer saying that this, that and the other are all illegal in Massachusetts!

Bzzzzt! Bzzzzt! and Bzzzzt! 1) There is no law against a civilian carrying hollow-point ammo or even "law enforcement" ammo! 2) Blatant violation of the passenger's 4th Amendment Right against unreasonable search and seizure! 3) The passenger had done nothing illegal! NOTHING... and this officer not only violated his rights, he did it on national TeeVee and proceeded to expound on his own stupidity!

(If you can't tell, I was pretty much yelling at the visual toilet the entire time!)

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote
Quote:
It would be nice if MA's had a lobby in this state to effect a license which would permit bona fide MA's to carry classical MA weapons to the dojo.


It's been tried... I sent some info to another moderator about it. Here's a snippet:

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR> from private e-mail written by myself:
There was a move in the late 70s - early 80s to make them legal for "certified" martial arts practitioners. That was opposed by a number of Massachusetts dojos which found out that they very well may not meet the criteria that was being proposed for "certification". (Read those who have dubious style origins such as a self-proclaimed "grandmaster".) The proposal was to only recognize dojos with a directly traceable lineage back to an "original" oriental style. That wording brought out all manner of contentions from people... to use Uechi-ryu as an example, there were those who tried to argue that since Kanbun Uechi was a modern (era) living person, that the arguement could be made that it wasn't an "original" style... (same for Chojin Miyagi and others) and that therefore to strictly enforce the proposed law would mean that only those who studied ancient Chinese martial arts would qualify. In that regard, some "self-proclaimed grandmasters" made the further claim that their style was the "original" Chinese style and had origins back far before any of the "modern" Japanese or Okinawan styles. Certificates would have to be produced and since some people couldn't produce them, they opposed the measure and therefore these devices remained illegal for everyone.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote
Quote:
If you all think that you would like this, I could do another post on the firearms sections.


Its been discussed at one point, but that was a while back and your insight is always helpful and interesting.

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote
Quote:
Statutory changes have been made but to include classes of protected persons such as A & B on a person sixty years or age or older. Impaired persons; children; etc. and of course revisions resulting in the classification of weapons dangerous per se discussed in this forum.


Fundamentally, these are the "disparity of force" statutes. Which also include a woman being attacked by a larger, stronger man... a single person being attacked by a gang... and a few others as well. If you are in a situation where there is disparity of force and you are on the short side of that, then your latitude in options for self-defense has just increased by orders of magnitude. Image


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 27, 2001 9:46 pm 
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<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Van Canna:
What defines a "switch blade" ?

Alan and panther, thanks for the information, but I am still a bit confused about my rescue tool. Do I keep it ? <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

It really needs to be a knife. The manufacturers of the rescue tool and of knives know what they are and aren't allowed to make. "Switch-blades" and "gravity knives" are basically off limits throughout the U.S., so S&W wouldn't make something that falls into that category.

YES! You keep it. Its not a weapon, its a "rescue tool"! (Buy extras for the family! Image )


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 28, 2001 3:16 pm 
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I have watched "COPS" on TV many times and can tell you that you are not the only one who screams at the TV set!

This does not prevent predatory type LEO's from engaging in stop and search practices which violate the Constitution and state law, and as you state to ask passenger for ID's.

There will always be Gestapo types as LEO's who give a bad name to the good ones out their doing their job and never knowing when they will take a bullet.

Good job Panther portraying what is really out there on the one part, and the law as written on the other.

Van, sensei

I agree that your tool is not a knife per se, and use it well.

If you looked at the Com. v. Davis case posted in this forum the court says:

"Sction 15A embraces two classes of objects, "dangerous weapons per se". those specially designed and constructed to produce death or great bodily harm, and objects which are not dangerous per se but can be used in a dangerous fashion to inflict serious harm"

Now the above statute discussed was for A & B with a dangerous weapon. Your punch tool is clearly in the "not dangerous per se" class cited above. It is not in violation of the statute first posted because it is not a spring loaded knife.

The question was posed as to what is a switch knife.

I believe this to be what we called a "switch blade knife"

These were legal when I was in my teens and I owned several as did a lot of kids before they were outlawed.

They were usually opened by pressing a button or sliding a switch thus engaging a spring load cam or arm which caused the blade to swing open out of its normal jack knifed position.

There was also the plunger type which ejected from one end of the knife, plunger style, when activated.

Channel 7 last evening in a newscast talked about the fact that crimes committed with guns had gone down, and further stated that as a result of tough gun laws, kids were resorting to more use of knives in the City of Boston. The camera panned to a large table covered with all types of knives, most of which were horrendous looking cheap grades of large knives with a good many in the prohibited catergory as per the above stated statute.
They said that the kids could buy them easily from street vendors, and a move was underway to enact legislation banning the street vending of knives.

The next escalation will probably be a move to ban the sale of knives in the state which would deprive sportsmen, collectors or other lawful persons, all because of false information from the media.

I have no problem with this, but then some idiot news person came on in a strong authoritive voice, that there were no laws in Massachusetts making these knives illegal.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 28, 2001 3:39 pm 
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<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Alan K:

The next escalation will probably be a move to ban the sale of knives in the state which would deprive sportsmen, collectors or other lawful persons, all because of false information from the media.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

It's already started. Image And its been going on for years with guns being the vilified objects. The number of times the local media have been corrected when showing fully-automatic weapons juxtaposed against a story about "banning" what are actually semi-automatic weapons continuously shows their blatant agenda. Also, correcting them when they make statements about teddy-bears being more regulated than guns and then they continue to repeat the lies. (They just happen to be regulated by different agencies and guns are much more regulated than teddy-bears and toys!)

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote
Quote:
I have no problem with this, but then some idiot news person came on in a strong authoritive voice, that there were no laws in Massachusetts making these knives illegal.


Well, you can feel that way if you want, but I have big problems with it! I'm tired of lazy, agenda-driven "reporters" knowingly giving false information which is basically an opinion piece all the while disguising it as a "factual news report". It's really quite simple... If they get something wrong and misreport it, they have a duty to correct it. If they've been repeatedly told that something is wrong and they continue to report it or do it, then that's a lie. I made some promises to keep certain things "off-the-record", but I have e-mails with major reporters from WCVB, WBZ, WHDH and WFXT where their erroneous reporting was factually corrected with a request to publicly make corrections. Additionally, each and every one of them was offered the opportunity to take a training course and learn about firearms first-hand on my nickel... but you don't even need any fingers to count the number who took me up on the offer. Image Despicable.


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