Klingon knife scares the crap out of dumb British scandal-sheet

Piss-poor scandal-sheet The Daily Mail has a hilariously breathless account of a giant stainless steel Klingon fighting-knife received by police during a knife-amnesty; to hear them tell of it hooded thugs are roaming the streets with Klingon duelling swords looking for little old ladies to terrorise.
A spokesman for police in Gloucester, where it was surrendered, said: "It is a particularly nasty weapon that can, literally, take someone's head off. We are very glad it is off the streets and we want more weapons handed in."

The blade is believed to be a stainless-steel copy of a Klingon weapon used in the science fiction series Star Trek. "It's an extremely dangerous weapon," said a martial arts expert last night.

Lethal Star Trek blade seized in knives amnesty (via JWZ)


  1. Knife Amnesty? WTF? Hun could you ring the Dept. of Safety, I need someone to cut up me steak.

  2. Knife (or gun) amnesties are fairly common. Secure receptacles are left in the lobbies of police stations and then people can dispose of their weapons no questions asked.

    The police normally exhibit the piles of knives/guns to the press. There’s always a few legitimate oddities in there – stuff left over from WWII and sporting activities for example

  3. I’m confused. Either:

    1. Someone sent a prop as a joke


    2. Someone acquired a custom-made Klingon weapon and decided it should be turned over to the authorities.

    If it was just a prop, why publish the story?

    If this were real and sharp and someone turned it in, why’s that a problem? While I personally think a knife amnesty is a stupid bit of theatre, if someone were taking it seriously, this seems like a reasonable item to deliver

  4. First they came for our guns, then they came for our knives, then they came for our forks, …

  5. Sensationalist or not, I support amnesties of weapons in the UK.

    Few firearms in the UK (unless you’re in Manchester), but plenty of knife attacks, and often it’s school kids killing other school kids.

    They carry a knife to look “cool” and because they think it commands them some respect, then someone ends up being stabbed and bleeding out over a petty argument.

    There was a case round here of a driver being stabbed to death for telling off a school kid who threw a sweet wrapper in through his open car window.

    Now the attacker is in jail rather than school and there’s a widow and a two-year old child without a father.

    I can’t believe anyone would kill over something that trivial if they thought about it for even ten seconds.

    There was another school kid killed a few miles down the road last week, by being stabbed. I don’t know the details of that but it seems that responsible parenting and ways to dispose of knives are both important.

    It’s because kids think that knives are almost toys that this kind of thing happens.

  6. Even worse, who knows how many kids are on the streets carrying phasers.

    This menace must be stopped!

  7. The point being that youth knife crime has no connection to GIGANTIC theatrical Klingon knives. Little asbos aren’t sneaking around with 6-foot-long Trekkie LARP props under their hoodies.

  8. Glad to see Cory’s got a better handle on the Daily Mail’s place in the grand panorama of trash journalism. It’s a vile rag, still known as the “Daily Fascist” in some circles due to it’s support for Hitler in the 30s and their political instincts haven’t changed much since then. (“Daily Wail” works too — at a rough guess two thirds of their front page leads for the last decade have been about house prices, immigration, crime, or a new miracle pill/vegetable/herbal miracle cure for cancer / weight loss / baldness.)

  9. Then they came for our blunt objects, …

    Seriously no one thinks kids using knives as weapons is good, but come on now. Knife Amnesties? Really? And how many kids have been attacked with a batliff?

  10. An entire article and no actual mention of the weapon’s name?

    More likely some well meaning girlfriend/wife/mum has handed it in because ‘she doesn’t like it in the house’, whilst the significant other is out at work.

    Can only imagine the guys face when he gets home to find his prized possession missing from his collection.

    I love the part where they had to ask a martial arts ‘expert’ to confirm that this was an ‘extremely dangerous weapon’.. Oh really ?
    I’m surprised they didn’t add the cliched ‘lethal in the wrong hands’ line.

    Must be a slow day at the Mail, normally it’s stories of terrorists mugging grannies for their Giro cheques..

  11. The point being that youth knife crime has no connection to GIGANTIC theatrical Klingon knives. Little asbos aren’t sneaking around with 6-foot-long Trekkie LARP props under their hoodies.

    Haha! Forgive my States-side ignorance of this amnesty; if that’s the purpose, then this is hilariously irrelevant. I assumed it was just to get rid of sharp weaponry, period.

  12. To be fair, Bat’leth /are/ extremely dangerous.

    They’re extremely dangerous to the person holding them.

    They’re unbalanced, unwieldy, and slow as single-handed weapons – overly-long unless you’re 6’5″ and when used two-handed provide several excellent ways for a grappling martial artist to take the holder down, as well as ensuring that every movement of the defending arm is inextricably tied to the movements of the attacking arm, negating any advantage of reach or leverage or speed.

    Seriously – they’re no more dangerous to a trained opponent than a bull’s horns, backed by a tired, weak bull are to an experienced bullfighter.

    And Lord help you if you are wielding one of these and your opponent is wearing butcher-mail gloves (or biking gloves, or anything that would stop a knife slice), because then you may as well just BOAKYAGB.

  13. From the article.

    Safety campaigners and police say it does not go far enough. They are demanding far tougher sentences than the current maximum of two years for carrying a knife.

    Mrs Lawrence said: “There is an anomaly between the legislation for knife crime and gun crime, where gun crime carries much stiffer penalties. “We all know a knife can kill just as easily as a gun so there is a great anomaly there. A knife amnesty on its own won’t be a solution.”

    My sincere condolences to Mrs. Lawrence, but come on.

  14. I worked at a gift store for several years and we sold those. They were blunted, as in not sharp at all, and made from very crap steel. Unless whoever owned this one spent the time to sharpen it, which was also tough to do with the quality of the steel they made them from, then this statement: “that can, literally, take someone’s head off.” is hilarious. You’d break bone with one of those replicas long before you cut skin. You should stab someone with the ends of it, sure, but you can do that with anything that comes to a bit of a point.

  15. I just went back to the article and read it was from 2006. No wonder this amnesty wasn’t ringing a bell!

  16. #10 imipak

    The more clued up farkers (all 6 of them) refer to it as the “Daily Fail”.

    #19 bardfinn

    Well obviously they are dangerous for humans to use they were designed for use by the generally much larger and stronger Klingons. ;)

  17. Note that the photo is captioned “Force for evil”, implying that they can’t even get their basic SF reference straight…

  18. This is very funny on many levels! Bloody Kingons! Silly knives! Amnesty! Really? When does the police take away newspapers so that people don’t make millwall bricks out of them? Nearly anything with in arms reach can be used as a weapon from credit cards to drinking straws. Might as well wrap everything in bubble wrap and take away our thumbs.

  19. #18, #22: You’re both right, the posting should have said “The Daily Mail had a hilariously breathless account” two years ago.

  20. They should rename the Daily Mail to “It’s An Outrage!” with the tagline, “WE do the thinking so you don’t have to”.

  21. @#19: Your post is the #1 hit on Google for “BOAKYAGB”. Of 16 hits. That makes it obscure, even for Internet slang.

  22. I like to carry a knife and all these safety regs are a big pain in the ass. I do not carry the knife for defense, I carry it to cut stuff. Not people! I use it to cut through bark and plant material when I am looking for insects. I use it to open annoying plastic packaging.

    I got my first Spyderco as a gift from a friend before embarking on first 6-week solo camping trip.

    “This is very pretty,” I told her, “But you shouldn’t have. A cheaper knife would have been fine.”

    “Think so?” She grinned at me and took an action figure her son was holding out to her that he had just purchased. The toy was wrapped in one of those hideous impenetrable bubbles of clear plastic that are impossible to open.

    With a tidy one-handed gesture, she snapped open the little delica and cut through that package like it was butter!

    “Fuck the woods,” She laughed. “You need this for the mall!”

    What can I say? I love my knives.

    And yeah, I think the knife amnesty thing is bullshit. Do they have screwdriver amnesties next? Brick amnesties? Do they start pulling our teeth?

    Only rarely is a knife a weapon. It is a tool.

    And most anything can be used as a weapon.

    Don’t allow people pointy things, they might hurt somebody. Don’t allow people to do risky things, take trips, exert themselves physically, explore, risk, THEY MIGHT SUE US. Heaven forfend the kids go outside, they could get hurt.

    Fear, fear, fear, fear.

    Best to have them just sit on their sorry asses in front of TV and a computer and, oh yeah, consume.

    But not knives.

  23. I am continually amazed that a once-proud nation like Great Britain now openly declares its common citizens are too depraved to be trusted with sharp pointy objects.

  24. yeah, as far as weapons go, I’d rather some street punk attack me with that thing than a baseball bat. I’d just run away and they’d probably trip and fall on it, cutting them self in half!

    As for the weapon amnesty, it is probably a good thing, but not overall very effective. at least it gets weapons out of the hands of people who aren’t sure if they should have them, since those people are more likely to cause accidental harm to themselves or others.

  25. I have owned a variety of swords, spears, daggers and axes. Sometimes real ones that have probably killed people at some point. If you host or attend a lot of costume parties, you tend to end up with that sort of thing. Are cosplayers the new terrorists?

    Moderator’s note: Incessant comments about the Daily Mail are tedious. The rest of the world already knows that the UK will ultimately fall into civil war between Mail readers and those who hate them. For Boing Boing’s purposes, it’s off topic.

  26. #19: I remember being at a gaming convention and listening to a weapon salesman give a very similar discussion of how ridiculously hobbled it was as a weapon. He didn’t care, he knew someone would buy it anyway. ;)

  27. Despite how cool they looked on screen, I always came to the conclusion that if these things were of any real military use, surely one of the many many civilizations since the bronze or iron age would have come up with a similar design. Since they hadn’t (that I’ve seen), I assumed they must be horrible to use in real life and thus not any real threat.

  28. Knives are not illegal, however:

    “It is an offence for any person, without lawful authority or good reason, to have with him in a public place, any article which has a blade or is sharply pointed except for a folding pocket-knife which has a cutting edge to its blade not exceeding 3 inches.”

    Yes, the ‘without … good reason’ bit is very ambiguous.

    Also, I found out recently that a precedent has been set in the courts that if a penknife has a locking blade then it does not count as a ‘folding pocket-knife’, which is pretty limiting. It would mean, for example, that my leatherman may be illegal to carry in public.

  29. …To those of you who think that getting rid of all the weapons will lead to peace, I have this to say in the most applicable language to this particular situation:

    ” SoH ‘oH Daq vetlh vo’ Hoch DichDaq Dev Daq roj ‘oH DichDaq Dev Daq Quvek’hestat k’hesterex zha”

    …Or, to translate for those not versed in Klingonaase:

    “You are a fool to think that getting rid of all weapons will lead to peace. It will lead to enslavement and a dying empire!”

    …The answer isn’t disarming everyone, it’s eradicating those who commit the violent act so they don’t have a chance to do it again. This will show the survivors that life and death *aren’t* games, and if they want to kill someone they either comprehend there *will* be a price to pay, or they’ll have to suffice will killing someone in Quake III Arena or Unreal Tournament and leave it at that.

  30. One of the dorks at the Daily Mail or The Sun probably put the thing in the receptacle to begin with.

    It’s one thing for rags like the Daily Mail or the Sun to exist at all, but it speaks worse of the public, who allows these idiotic institutions to exist at all.

  31. Weapon “amnesty” programs don’t work. Criminals don’t turn over their weapons. Only law abiding citizens turn in weapons. The effect is to disarm peaceful people, and the criminals reap the benefits.

  32. I suppose the question to ask is whether there have been any deaths or injuries related to being attacked by a bat’leth. This could include attacks as well as self-sustained injuries, to be fair about it. (I’m actually wondering how far I can twist the statistics…)

    To stretch the usefulness even more, would it be accurate to say that the US DHS (with all its immigrant incarcerations, airport detentions, company raids, fake bio-terror scares and things we are not even aware of) has managed to kill (or had people die after exposure to the system) than any bat’leth has done, world-wide?

    Then again, by the same measure, this is likely classified as a success, since there have been no bat’leth attacks since this confiscation and amnesty. Maybe there should be an amnesty for DHS/TSA management if they would just turn themselves in…

  33. “”It’s an extremely dangerous weapon,” said a martial arts expert last night.”

    Who did they ask, Joe “I KICK YOU” Schmoe from the local strip mall?

  34. When bat’leths are outlawed, only…

    Well … now that I think about it, the Klingons will still have them.

  35. Arkizzle, please see my comment #11. This is not about children with knives, it is about children without respect for life. Pretending you are taking away their knives is not going to help them appreciate the amazing mysterious opportunity that is this life. Does anyone really believe they won’t get or make another?


  36. And lets not forget that they’ve just made samurai swords illegal in the UK. Luckily flame throwers are still legal, they’re my weapon of choice.

  37. “Piss-poor scandal-sheet The Daily Mail”

    I love you a bit, that’s a perfect description of the rag. We do often call it “The Daily Fail”.

  38. Why would anyone want to turn in a perfectly good weapon? Seriously, I don’t understand this. If it was one of those deals where you receive some money, you could use it to fence your stolen knives (“no questions asked”), or to get some compensation for a crummy knife, but why o’ why would you turn in a good weapon?

    Britain is becoming a very strange place . . .

  39. #5 It’s because kids think that knives are almost toys that this kind of thing happens.

    Then the problem is that kids think that knives are almost toys. This “amnesty” won’t fix or change that.

  40. This just in from the QuantuMAge Journal:

    A man was holed up in his New Jersey home wielding what police officials referred to as “one of those giant knife thingy’s from Star Trek.” All non-lethal attempts to subdue the man with tear gas, rubber bullets, tasers, fire hoses, nets, a giant roll of fly paper, and sustained blasting of Celine Dion music failed.

    “That knife thing is truly a formidable weapon,” one officer was quoted as saying.

    As the man appeared to have brown skin and a beard, the U.S. military anti-terrorism unit was called in.

    Military negotiators were unable to communicate with the man as he was speaking some guttural language, presumed to be “one of them Arab languages” the negotiators claimed.

    Unfortunately, due to the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy of the U.S. military, most linguists likely qualified to provide translations had been discharged, and those that remained were too busy sorting through the thousands of hours of civilian wiretap recordings to assist.

    Luckily, Chuck Davis, a local comic store owner, happened to see footage of the event on the news and rushed to the scene armed with a fluent knowledge of the language (which was, apparently, Klingon), and a deluxe replica lightsaber. Davis boldly entered the house, and emerged minutes later with the disarmed perpetrator, and only a small cut on his arm.

    Davis was overheard telling the military officials that, “The guy was just upset to hear that Worf’s ancestors were not being worked into the new J.J. Abrams Star Trek movie. Does he really need to go to Guantanamo?”

    When asked about the cut on his arm, Davis replied, “What, this? ‘Tis merely a flesh wound.”

  41. All in favour of weapons amnesties over here, but there will aways be the mad items that get dropped off.

    In the late 90s a bren gun was dropped off at one in Liverpool. it didn’t work and was mostly rust but it got dropped off none the less.

    This Kilngon sword looks home made so unless the daily mail wants sheet metal and angle grinders banned too I don’t see what they are getting their whinge up about.

    Also I applaud you Cory for calling out the DM for being the dumb scandal sheet it is.

    It’s the broad sheet for those with short arms and narrow minds.

    As the joke goes, How do you confilict a Daily Mail reader? Tell them that asylum seekers are the natural predators of paedophiles.

  42. This reminds me of a time (pre-9/11) when a friend of mine and I were returning to Toronto from Ohio by bus after attending a small science-fiction convention. When we reached the U.S./Canada border, everyone disembarked, Canada customs asked us a number of questions and went through everyone’s bags – the process as a whole was very efficient and lacked any menacing posturing.

    My friend’s bags made things a bit interesting. He had bought a theatrical stage knife with a faux-crystal grip (it got through). He had a small set of playing cards set into metal frames with sharpened corners. Those didn’t get through – the inspector took them into a side-room, there was an audible “thunk!” and they were confiscated as throwing stars.

    Then he came across my friend’s bat’leth. I forget what it was made out of – plastic or paper-mache – it certainly *looked* realistic but lacked the weight of real metal. The inspector asked, “What is this?” and my friend replied, “That is an imitation bat’leth that I won in a raffle.” The inspector turned to his colleague, who said, “Oh yeah, a bat’leth, that can go through.”

  43. I know *exactly* what William Wallace would say about your ‘knife amnesty’.

    I’m sure the Visigoths were happy that Rome had a ‘knife amnesty’.

    Peace out

  44. If that’s a “dangerous weapon” why has nothing like it ever been used as a weapon, in all of recorded history?

  45. FoetusNail, I’m still not sure what your point is. You have commented 4 times about the issue in this thread (before our dialogue), each time offering no better ideas but ridiculing the very notion of amnesties.

    1. Knife amnesties are not the be-all and end-all of fighting knife crime, they are a single tactic. No one is pretending this is the ultimate solution, nor is anyone gaining a vote by promising more amnesties to end knife crime. I believe your cynicism is misplaced.

    2. Amnesty is not about “taking away their knives”, it’s about giving people an opportunity to turn in weapons of their own accord. Like it or not, against cynical expectations it happens, people turn in weapons.

    3. This is not just about saying “but there’s a knife in my kitchen, if I wanted to murder someone I could just grab one and go”. It’s not just about murdering someone, it’s about owning a knife that you carry around with the express function of concealing or protecting yourself with. People do buy knives for that, I did, and at some point, the knife in your pocket becomes an “option”, everytime you feel intimidated or unsure of unknown groups. When you are walking around the street, a knife at home in the kitchen drawer isn’t an “option”. Murderers will always be able to get a knife, but innocents who get in trouble with knives generally aren’t intending it.

    4. Following on from point 3, “Kids with no respect for life” is a huge problem today. But it isn’t the only problem. “Kids who fear for their life” is another. The knife carrying quotient of kids in some London/Manchester boroughs is scary, and they are certainly not all planning to shank someone, for a laugh. When you get intimidated or set upon, and you have a knife.. It may get used, whether or not it is appropriate to the threat.

    Amnesties don’t deal with this part of life (4), but they don’t perpetuate it either. They have their place in knife-control and can send a message to people otherwise lost in fear.

    For your cynicism FoetusNail, what are your solutions? Have you a proposal? Have you tried to be heard, shouting your ideas in the street or on parliament steps? I can just hear ridicule.

  46. I can see the point of a gun amnesty, especially in the UK. First, there seems to be (from what I read) a fairly small number of guns accessible in the UK, and it seems fairly hard to get hold of one. Second, you can do damage pretty easily with a gun – pull the trigger with a small amount of force and something potentially deadly is going to happen, possibly at some distance from where you are.

    With a knife, you’ve got to get right close up to hurt someone, and get blood all over your nice ivy league suit. If you don’t know what you’re doing, I imagine you’d often have to stab or slice away for a bit before you manage to do anything lethal.

    So someone planning an attack with a knife is going to likely be pretty serious about it. And if his favorite slasher was turned in to the police knife amnesty by a soon-to-be-ex girlfriend, your young hoodlum can get another one at any local cooking supply, hardware, or sporting goods store.

    So I don’t see it reducing knife attacks in the slightest. Pure theater, and I doubt it’s even effective as theater. Unless you’ve got a big-ass prop sword to get the cameras in. Then at least you can get people talking about it, maybe years afterward.

  47. Swampdog,

    What makes you think ivy-leaguers are so blood thirsty? Or such snappy dressers, for that matter?

  48. Sorry. adapted partial movie quote.

    Sonny to Michael Corleone:[laughing] What are you gonna do? Nice college boy, didn’t want to get mixed up in the family business. Now you want to gun down a police captain. Why? Because he slapped you in the face a little? What do you think this like the Army where you can shoot ’em from a mile away? No you gotta get up like this and, badda-bing, you blow their brains all over your nice Ivy League suit. C’mere.
    [Kisses Michael on the head]

  49. n mn cmmts n ct f vlnc gnst nthr mn, sng gn.
    Mdrn lbrl nswr: Th gn s th clprt, bn thm t mk sfr scty.
    n mn cmmts n ct f vlnc gnst nthr mn, sng knf.
    Mdrn lbrl nswr: Th knf s th clprt, rstrct ccss t thm t mk sfr scty.
    n mn cmmts n ct f vlnc gnst nthr mn, sng sprk.
    Mdrn lbrl nswr: ….

    Y gt th d. wndr whn th lbrls wll.

    1. vonmises,

      That sounded remarkably like a cut-and-paste gun control argument inserted into a thread about a Klingon bat’leth.

  50. “It’s an extremely dangerous weapon,” said a martial arts expert last night.

    wow. “a martial arts expert”.

  51. I can see that thing mounted on the front bumper of a mini cooper or possibly modified into an electric guitar. A very sweet, and very metal guitar.

  52. @68

    With all due respect, it is a bit simplistic and misguided to say that asking communities to voluntarily turn in unwanted weapons is a liberal knee-jerk reaction.

    There are extremists on both ends of the political spectrum. Liberals who want to have guns banned altogether, ignoring the practical obstacles to implementing such a policy, let alone the issues of personal freedom. And there are conservatives who balk even at sensible restrictions that help (not guarantee, but help) to keep firearms out of the hands of unstable and unsafe individuals, particularly fully automatic firearms with armor piercing bullets, etcetera.

    Conservatives also tend to be the ones who cut or resist funding to mental health programs, drug treatment programs, job training programs, welfare programs, and other similar programs that attempt to address the major underlying causes of violence such as poverty, addiction, and mental illness.

    Instead, the U.S. leads the worlds in the number of its citizens in prison – prisons that tend to turn non-violent offenders into hard criminals. We have the death penalty. Our drug laws separate families, strip away voting rights and vastly harm people’s ability to find decent employment over something as ultimately innocuous as a bit of marijuana. The mentally ill often end up homeless, or rotating in and out of hospitals without really getting the care they need. These are the result of conservative approaches to crime reduction and social engineering that obviously are not working.

    If you asked a conservative-leaning police officer in the U.S. if gun amnesties were a good thing, they would say yes. Again, this is a voluntary turning in of unwanted or unneeded weapons that might otherwise fall into the wrong hands. The police are not breaking into homes, taking the knives out of people’s silverware drawer and confiscating grandpa’s hunting rifle here.

    Just sayin.

  53. “Luckily, Chuck Davis, a local comic store owner, happened to see footage of the event on the news…”

    “…and recognized the nutjob as one of his best customers!”

  54. Like many other people commenting here, I was wondering why someone who would go through the trouble to own such a thing in the first place would end up turning it in.

    Then it occurred to me that it’s probably the case of a die-hard trek fan getting a life.


  55. If Herr VONMISES calls me a liberal one more time, I’ll admit to being a communist and give him a stroke.

  56. “The rest of the world already knows that the UK will ultimately fall into civil war between Mail readers and those who hate them.”

    That’s all very well, but when?

  57. “”It’s an extremely dangerous weapon,” said a martial arts expert last night.”

    Gee, they needed an expert consult to determine that a 4-foot bladed weapon was extremely dangerous?

    Begin this Bat’leth war has!


  58. Don’t underestimate the danger of real weapons made by overzealous fans.

    FWIW, there have been tons of incidents in the U.S. of dorks with samurai swords they bought on QVC attacking other people in, what is often, drunken rages.

  59. wow. they say “it can literally cut someone’s head off” like a butcher’s knife cant. and guess what? there’s probably 1 or more objects in every household that could “literally cut someones head off”but none of them look scary enough to be worried about i guess.

  60. VonMises is a frickin’ genius. He didn’t notice that most of the knowledgeable knife enthusiasts in this thread are liberals or leftists.

    People who said exactly what I would have said: Cory @8; Bardfinn @19; SeppTB @21 (except for the part about working in a gift shop); Pipenta @31; Moonracer23, @33; Nylund @37; Flashman @61.

    People might hurt themselves with a bat’leth, but they’re not going to be carrying it on the street.

  61. I don’t know where these guys get off thinking all liberals and lefties are a bunch of sweetness and light airheads. I certainly don’t want to give up my Schrade ”old timer” or Swiss Army any more than I do my 12 gauge Browning.

    And, yeah, I love my morning non-fat latte.

  62. Buddy66, are you mad? Don’t you understand how much the world view of people like VonMises hinges on very simple black/white false dichotomy? If all us lefty-identifiable folks suddenly start talking about our Benchmade folders and our DPMS carbines and suchlike, do you have any idea what that’ll do to the precariously balanced house of cards that is their take on reality?

    It’ll wreak glorious and hysterical havoc on it and I wholeheartedly endorse such action.

  63. Sweet jesus, imagine if the terrorists figured out how to use Klingon swords. If we do not act quickly, they might very well initiate an Ali Baba/Picard crossover fan fic holocaust with their cardboard weapon systems. The furtive dampness would be unbearable.

  64. It might be worth noting that Gloucestershire police may be particularly sensitive about large edged weapons – it’s only a few years since a local MP was seriously wounded and his aide killed by a deranged assailant with a katana.

  65. Yeah, this is the perfect weapon for street crime – they can see you coming with it five blocks away. By the time you get close enough to mug them, they’ll be long gone.

    Is EVERYBODY an idiot these days? Sure seems like it sometimes.

  66. I, for one, am thankful that our diligent authorities are protecting us from Godless Klingon terrorists.

  67. I love this: “If it was just a prop, why publish the story?”

    Does the commentor think that the original Klingon blade was real?

    Also loved the overly disapproving look on the cops face. Like “Kids, don’t play with prop versions of props from Star Trek”

  68. With all due respect to our esteemed host Theresa, I am neither liberal nor leftist, nor conservative nor rightist.

    I do espouse a great many views that are labelled by some partisans as ‘liberal’ or ‘leftist’, but simple human respect and dignity, /real/ values and liberty for all, intelligence and rationality, outrage at government abuses – these are not partisan values.

    I am actually quite moderate, and have made enemies of – and received frothing hate mail from – actual leftists (though not in this forum) for pointing out their particular blind spots with respect to human dignity, intelligence, rationality, government abuses, and activism to deny liberty to people.

    To wit: Disemvowelling – while I recognise its’ utility in moderating a forum – makes me uneasy on principle* and personally frustrates me with regards to puzzling out what someone has said. I see it as a minor tradeoff of a minor amount of liberty in trade for some larger increase in civilised discourse. I don’t have an opinion on whether it is used “fairly”, though – as that would require a thorough survey and some statistical methods, and I’m not up for the workload increase.

    *The principle being that censorship is never a good answer to a bad argument, but that a better argument is the best answer to a bad argument.

  69. There actually have been a few weapons in real use that were (nearly) as absurd as the bat’leth. The more elaborate forms of the hungamunga for example, or the Bich’hwa bag’hnak.

    Periodically, someone shows up in one of the combat societies I frequent with some sort of home-made wooden bat’leth or Chinese monk’s spade, usually with the idea that this truly awesome weapon will allow them to dominate the world. The results are predictable, and I’ve never seen anyone show up with one twice.


  70. Apologies for pedantry, but that’s a “Bat’leth” – not a “D’k tahg” – more “sword” than “knife” – ahem. [/pedantry]

  71. SocialMarketing, the article suggests this is a real (made of metal/sharpened) Bat’leth..

    The blade is believed to be a stainless-steel copy of a Klingon weapon used in the science fiction series Star Trek.

  72. Look at the broke-dick-dog serious expression on that cop’s face. You know, we should remove anything that can hurt anybody from the hands and homes of everybody.

    By the way, they’re thinking of making cars illegal here in the UK, because you can pretty much just drive up and kill somebody with one of those things.

  73. I was just admiring one of these beasts at the Star Trek Museum in the Las Vegas Hilton (Closes in a couple of weeks, fanboys! Get out there now!) I don’t blame the police for bein’ scared.

  74. Antinous – There’s no point in bashing the Daily Mail now that Cory realizes it’s worthless.

    The problem was for a while there he assumed stories from the Mail reflected real issues. It was causing a lot of BS to appear on BB.

    As for the bat’leth, the “martial-arts expert” is 100% right. That thing IS extremely dangerous to anyone who actually tries to wield it. Or conceal it :)

    1. Cube,

      Everyone knows that it’s crap. BB gets lots of posts from crap sources. Sometimes they have the stories. The problem is with commenters telling Cory that by posting a story from the Mail that he is personally destroying civilization and that he has to stop it right this second. Some of them are really quite amazing.

  75. Speaking of weapon silliness, does anyone else remember the Bohemian earspoon? It’s a kind of partisan, which really should be worth some puns in this election season.

    In New York City, people under 18 are forbidden to possess boxcutters. This is because kids with boxcutters in their pockets were killing each other in the local high schools with some regularity. You don’t think a boxcutter is a lethal weapon? Neither did they, until an (un)lucky shot put the blade across their friend’s carotid artery.

    Adolescents are not neurologically capable of making adult judgements. Seriously. And adolescent boys are in the grip of crazy hormone surges. If a 15-year-old loses his temper (for indogenous reasons) and attacks his best friend holding nothing back, maybe someone gets hurt. If he has a knife, maybe someone dies.

    Yeah, the bat’leth is pretty stupid. Dumbass cops, to have confiscated it. That doesn’t mean knife amnesties are stupid. A kid whose mother/girlfriend/best friend/brother/sister turns in his knife during an amnesty at least has to buy/steal another one, and is less likely to die or kill during the intervening period!

  76. Xopher – If a boxcutter with a 1″ blade can open an artery, a pocketknife with a 3″ blade can.

    Adolescent boys used to carry pocket knives every where they went because it was such a useful thing to have. Be Prepared. That was something you learned in boy scouts. Or from parents. Or maybe even friends.

    They also taught you that a knife is a dangerous thing if used improperly. Or how about this: you can handle people without trying to kill them!

    So why are you reasoning that “Adolescents are not neurologically capable of making adult judgements” when said adolescents have responsibly carried knives for decades? If kids are attacking each other with knives, banning knives is not going to stop the kids from attacking each other. Think motive, not method.

    If there are loose screws in kids heads, it’s because they were never tightened down.

  77. Ant:

    Personally destroying civilization, no.

    Personally destroying Boing Boing? Maybe!

    If Cory’s sources can’t be taken seriously, neither will his intentions.

  78. #110
    I was in the Boy Scouts and one was never encouraged to take one’s knife (or uniform) out on the streets of South London.

  79. Anthony – I think the point I was trying to make (and I could have dispensed with all the examples and just said it) is this:

    What Happened?

    The old whatever you want to call it: “good old days”, “conservatism”, “the fear of god”, “patriarchy”, “when I was your age…” just didn’t have these kind of problems. It had just as many other problems, but when I was in high school, kids had pocketknives, and their families probably had guns at home, and they didn’t kill each other. No, I didn’t go to a city school, but Columbine wasn’t exactly one either.

    Something is screwed up, and you can’t blame it on ANYONE. It’s EVERYONE. Everyone is paranoid because everyone else might be dangerous.

    I seriously think mental health decays as population increases or something.

  80. WCC,
    I regret going for the cheap shot.
    There are so many worms in the can you just opened! Violence is nothing new but maybe the scale, means, and motivation increases. We probably can agree it is a systemic problem even if we don’t agree on root causes or solutions.

  81. Violence is a result but not a direct contributing factor.

    People who get caught in the middle of wars, even soldiers who fight in them, don’t usually end up being violent in normal society. They see the consequences first hand and most often develop a dislike for violence. I don’t personally believe violent media desensitizes either: I can watch violence on screen without being affected, but I want to stay far away from it in real life.

    I think desensitizing, to where you see harm towards others as no big deal, is a symptom of disconnect.

    Any individual human’s personality will put their comfort zone somewhere on the scale of lone wolf to social animal.

    This applies to all type of contact, be it physical, intellectual, emotional, spiritual… for any given dimension, some people like to be literally and/or figuratively touched and some don’t.

    Modern society shoves everything you want and everything you don’t want at you simultaneously. People overload, disconnect, and get kind of psychotic. They stop seeing living things as… well… living things.

  82. But if kids are crazier now, that’s why we need a boxcutter ban, even if we didn’t before.

    And the parts of the brain that predict the consequences of actions, and control judgement, develop last. The parts that deal with physical dexterity develop first. That’s why teenage boys can have the skill to skateboard down the rail of a long staircase, but not the judgement not to!

    I think population pressure (not so much in the world at large as in the school, i.e. crowding) contributes to violence. I suspect that Ultimate Fighting and so-called Mixed Martial Arts competitions on TV contribute too: you’re not supposed to mind getting bloody any more, not if you’re a “real man.”

    May the gods shield those I love from the belief that they should be “real men.”

    Meanwhile, let’s make sure they have nothing more efficient than their own bodies to kill each other with!

  83. “Piss-poor scandal sheet” sums it up. One thing I don’t miss about the UK. Every other headline starts with “NOW” as in “NOW THERE’S A TAX ON GOLF” or “NOW WE’RE NOT ALLOWED TO KILL BURGLARS”.

  84. Xopher – The macho stereotype has always been there. “Real Men{tm} Kick Ass” has always been the case, however, it was also “Real Men{tm} can win fights, but they don’t go looking for them”

    The newer thing that disturbs me is the idea that it’s cool to be a violent thug. What used to be the pathological mindset of a tiny subculture grew because a LOT of people identified with it.

    Now that says something. Why are people feeding on such bad vibes?

    Teenage stupidity has always been there too, and usually takes the form of reckless sex and/or driving. That’s no different today.

    The violence though… yeah, I guess we can blame guns and ban knives if we have to… kids will grab a brick or just beat each other to death with their bare hands if nothing else.

    But why the violence?

    Before we blamed video games, we blamed comic books and pulp novels. We’ve always blamed TV and movies, but even teenagers can separate entertainment from reality.

    Before we blamed rap, we blamed rock (eh.. maybe there IS something to that one… the most popular rock isn’t violent, the most popular rap IS.)

    We’ve always blamed drugs and alcohol. They may impair judgment, but they don’t totally alter personality. If those things make someone violent, they were headng there to start with.

    We’ve never wanted to blame the family (or lack of one) and that is usually the real reason. Abuse and neglect. Bad parents usually have bad kids. But then, why so many more bad parents?

    I can’t speak for the UK, but one big change is that the US has more diversity than ever… that can’t possibly be it, can it? As much as we all try to push for diversity, does living in a more heterogeneous society cause some kind of instinctual unrest? Does it make people gravitate towards aggression? I guess if people don’t TRY to have something in common, they’ll feel alienated.

  85. Too many people having kids too young. The idea that abortion is a bad thing, and that a 15-year-old girl can raise a child alone.

    I don’t know. The rap thing is worth study, perhaps. But I think it’s too many kids with immature parents.

    I wish humans couldn’t reproduce until they were completely done with adolescence. That would reduce the population, too, but being raised by adults would help a lot, I think.

  86. “I can’t speak for the UK, but one big change is that the US has more diversity than ever… that can’t possibly be it, can it? As much as we all try to push for diversity, does living in a more heterogeneous society cause some kind of instinctual unrest? Does it make people gravitate towards aggression? I guess if people don’t TRY to have something in common, they’ll feel alienated.”

    No, it’s not diversity. I’d say it’s generational poverty and lack of social justice that keeps people down and out and angry and ignorant.

    Remember what Dickens had to say about the evils of ignorance and want.

  87. Mr. Doctorow,

    You may want to rethink your position on this article. Just in this morning, a report of a guy in Colorado robbing convenience stores with a Klingon bat’leth – http://www.thedenverchannel.com/news/18637190/detail.html#-

    The good news is that both convenience store clerks recognized it as a Klingon weapon. The bad news is that a bat’leth fails to intimidate 50% of convenience store clerks.

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