Before you can get guns we need to back up and make note of one very important fact. The Zombie war hasn't begun yet. It more than likely won't be tomorrow or the day after that. We might even make it to the end of the year with barely a zombie in sight. We have to think about the mundane drudgery of reality.
Oooh, yes! That miserable pile of rancid oatmeal that is our pathetic, boring lives. How many of us can say they've watched the sun rise over the Sahara? Peered across the 48th parallel watching T-72 tanks on maneuver? Got into a bar fight in Paris? Stuck gum under the seat of the Orient Express? Had to duck out of a party because a princess of Morocco was flirting shamelessly with you?
I can. Yeah, I did all that and then some.
Yeah, don't mean to brag but I am a bit of a man of action.
But even I can't do that everyday. For the average, ho-hum day I'm just like everyone else.
And that means obeying the law.
Sure in the zombie world law is dispensed from the muzzle of my Remington, but save for the couple they study on Plum Island there are currently no zombies around. That means we have to live within the crushing confines of the law.
Some of you might be thinking of getting ready for the zombies and keeping a secret store of weapons near by and handy but I urge you not to do this. Your boss more than likely will not take a shine to your cache of weapons at work and if they already don't have a policy specifically against it, will make one and use it to fire you. It's not worth getting fired over!
Yes, my boss encourages a weapons dump in the work space but that's me. Your coworkers will rat you out if they catch you duct taping a machete to the bottom of your desk and you'll lose your job!
Now, SCAdians! I personally know two SCAdians who have had this happen to them. I've heard of a dozen stories, but I personally know two guys, guys who I could actually touch and not say they where 'Friends of Friends', but real guys I could name, but won't right now, but could if I wanted to, which I don't, who have gotten arrested for WEAPONS IN A MOTOR VEHICLE! This means but is not limited to, swords, clubs, guns, brass knuckles, switchblades, stilettos, gravity knives (for stabbing gravity), martial arts weapons, daggers, TAZERS, STUN GUNS and Pepper Spray (mace included, chemical, spiked and flanging)
Here's the scenario. You're driving down the road. You blow a red light. You get pulled over. Cops asks for your License and Registration. You open your glove compartment and your can of Pepper Spray falls out.
You can't say, well officer, I'm keeping weapons in my car in case of Zombie attack. No, no, no! There's a law against that. And I know you're saying, Dragoncaller, as SCAdians, we carry weapons all the time. It's what we're about. It's not a sword but feast cutlery, really! Here's the book showing people from the 10th century using it!
With that defense you should just get out of your car and get into the back seat of the officer's car.
So, Dragoncaller, what do we do? I'm a SCAdian and I need to carry weapons.
Now first, know your local laws. I can tell you about Connecticut, but for the surrounding states, you might want to do some home work.
In Connecticut, you are allowed to transport weapons from your home to a published show, performance, rehearsal, practice, a place of sale, or repair. If you buy it you may take it home. It must be in the trunk or from the immediate access of the driver. this means the front passenger seat is a bad place. The back seat of your station wagon buried under stuff is better. A locked case is best.
Keep with you a Canton Newsletter and maybe a Pikestaff. Print out a current one and keep it in the glove compartment so you can show that you're going from or too an event/fight practice/armor workshop. This way you can show the officer that you are on your way or coming from a show,practice or place of repair or purchase.
One of the SCAdian's I spoke to who was arrested for weapons in a motor vehicle told me, and I paraphrase, "I was kinda a dick to the officer." He used the word, Dick, not me. Never, ever, in the history of law enforcement has anyone, ever, been able to honestly utter the sentence, "I was a Dick to the police and that made everything better for me!"
And kinda being a Dick is like Yoda teaching the force. You're a Dick or not a Dick, there is no kinda a Dick.
And don't be a Dick to a cop while you're driving around with weapons in your car! He got nailed because he left a fight practice then spent the night at his girl's house and the next morning was on his way home when the cops pulled him over for speeding. He was a Dick and they observed his wooden martial arts weapon, a boken, and next thing you know he was in their car. He was not coming from a practice, he was coming from his girlfriend's house.
Precedence, a legal term, has established that if you leave an event, show, practice, place of repair, yadda, yadda, yadda, with weapons in your trunk, and you stop at a gas station/eatery/hotel while on your way home, you're good.
And no, your Grace, you can't get a permit to carry a sword in Connecticut. I asked.
So what does all this legal stuff mean in the face of an out and out zombie invasion?
We get clever.
Improvise. You're a SCAdian, like a Marine, anything in your hands can be a weapon. Give me a lacquered, bamboo flute and I'll whomp anybody. Carry a multi-tool. Two, if you're Sir Ow!. You can use that to fashion something pointy, cut your way in and out of where-ever or build/teardown anything. That paper slicer at work? Break off that handle and now you have a saber. In the janitor's closet can that mop handle, once the mop is removed, make a bo-staff? Sports equipment. A hockey mask and puck won't take much room along with your carbon fiber hockey stick and a cop would more believe you just did some practice at the rink than he would believe you're getting ready for the zombie jamboree. If you have a baseball bat, DO NOT put a 16 penny nail in the end of it. That's a weapon. Keep it as you bought it and in the trunk. I recommend a softball bat, not a base ball bat. Also toss in a catcher's mit, mask and some balls. If you have a soft ball bat, have soft balls. What's more wholesome than a game of softball?
Don't be a Dick to the cops. It doesn't help you.
Does it mean you won't get arrested? Oh, a good cop can find a way to arrest you if he wants. There are 3,130 laws in Connecticut he can choose from. 4,728 in Massachusetts and they are sticklers. Staying un-a-fowl of the law is like surviving a zombie attack, you want to make yourself a very small target and cruise under the radar, so to speak.
Next time we will talk about weapons, weapons and more weapons!