The Fiscal Times: Weapons Are Legal? What Has The World Come To?

Katana and Wakizashi, Courtesy Wikipedia

When you look at the people who run the Financial Times and who their friends are, it’s hardly a surprise to see them run a flashy, breathless slideshow with the title “Ten Weapons You Won’t Believe Are Legal.” After all, the FT is affiliated with CNBC and the pathologically anti-weapon Washington Post.

I hate to give them the free traffic, but the whole slideshow is here. It’s not ROTFLMAO, but it’s good for at least a decent chuckle.

I doubt that the slideshow will help them move the ball forward on ‘Common Sense Chain Whip Control’ legislation, but it’s still hard to stomach their “OMG!” hyperbole and their stunned disbelief that weapons are actually legal. One would almost suspect that they’d never heard of the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution. Or maybe they’re just plugging their ears, humming nanananana and pretending it doesn’t exist.

The Obscure Objects Of Their Ire include several edged or pointy weapons: Katanas, umbrella swords, crossbows, spearguns, and chain whips. (Along with flamethrowers, miniguns, cannon, nunchuks and RPGs.)

FT’s advisory committee includes the president of the Urban Institute, a former commissioner of the New Jersey Department Of Human Services, and two former members of the WaPo editorial staff. Given their leftist/statist resumes, I’d love to see them try to use any of their ‘Ten Weapons’ without slashing, stabbing, incinerating, shooting, or blowing themselves to bits.



  1. Bob says:

    When I was younger I used to carry my grandfathers Japanese NCO sword around the mall. It got me a lot more pictures with ladies and frightened less children than the hunting knife that I forget I was wearing last year.

  2. jwm says:

    I guess the skull and crossbones painted on that pack howitzer is what the anti’s are so upset about. And why buy a 500 dollar katana when you can go into any hardware store and buy axes and machetes for a lot cheaper. Ask the folks from Rwanda how those unregistered garden implements work in a genocide.

    1. ChuckN says:

      Why buy a katana at all? Not against people having them
      but I’m not exactly impressed with their design or abilities.

      1. Azimuth says:

        Why have an opinion at all? Not against people having them but I’m not exactly impressed with their knowledge or abilities.

        Let me put it this way. Any edged weapon that was NOT created, crafted, and perfected by the Japanese, is best described as metallurgical masturbation. What is known by default as a Samurai sword, is, without question, the finest edged weapon ever forged by man. Both its design and abilities remain unparalleled to this day. By what criteria are you judging it? It’s ability to spread peanut butter and jelly?
        Maybe this will help reform your jaundiced opinion.

        I’m sure we’d all be surprised by what surprises the news mavens of the liberal Left. Which would be a refreshing change of pace, since most of us are usually dumbfounded.

        1. Chris Dumm says:

          Thanks for sharing the link; that’s one of the most fascinating NOVA episodes I’ve ever seen. I saw it years ago, and I watched the whole thing again just now. After midnight.

        2. jwm says:

          Azimuth, you’ll get no argument from me about the quality and effectiveness of the Japanese swords in the hands of the trained and dedicated student of the art.

          For the masses that lack that dedication an training I stick with my statement that axes and machete’s are the way to go.

        3. ChuckN says:

          Just ginning up a discussion. Someone always bites when Japanese swords come up.

          For starters I direct you to this NOVA special about Viking swords:

          Historians now know that the Vikings used a form of welding to created exceptionally strong and sharp swords. Through often confused with Damascus steel, the Viking welded blade was metallurgically far different. The fuller used in period blades
          also created several significant advantages. The first is weight. The second, and more important is structural stability. The wide fullers alter the point of compression to the center. The shape focuses the energy of impact regardless of impact direction. i.e.
          sides or off center. If you watched the NOVA video about samurai swords, you should have noticed the katana cannot do this. Essentially there is a core of soft steel/iron surrounded by a hardened exterior. It is specifically shaped for impact in only one direction. Striking a katana from the side or back causes a significant risk of shearing between the core and shell. The katana can be also be used for stabbing, however the curve causes the user the further extend their grip. This increases the recovery time to a defensive stance.

          A wide fuller also changes the pitch of the edge. The wider angle allows for direct impact against hard materials without damage to the edge. Think axe vs a razor blade. A sword in combat will not hold an edge for long, better to stick with a design that keeps its shape and won’t chip

          The katana is purpose built as a two handed weapon. This limits the reach of the sword. It also negates the ability to use a shield. The katana, and by extension a samurai, relies on speed. Without it the user places himself at a severe disadvantage.
          Because the katana needs both hands for attack and defense exhaustion can set in more rapidly. After a few minutes of battle, it would become entirely possible for a samurai to lose to a serf with a gim style blade and a shield.

          The cutting ability is also not quit so unique either. One sword that definitely rivals it is the kilig. This sword was tested on the show Deadliest Warrior. After the test, the on-show medical examiner
          states that cutting power exceeds that of the katana.

          Another sword that rivals the katana is the gladius. By the late Roman period the gladius was being made with steel roughly equivalent to 1095. This short sword could easily cleave through
          a man’s thigh. The triangular point can pierce effortlessly while leaving a wound that is a medical nightmare. Though there were minute changes, the gladius remained the standard arm until the fall of the Roman empire. It lived on as the basic
          arm for another 400 years under the Byzantines.
          That’s puts the gladius at almost a millenia as the
          standard weapon. No weapon last that long without
          reason. The Viking sword is actually a descendant of the gladius as are others of the period. It was not until the large scale use of armored cavalry that ended the reign of gladii. This leads us to another
          disadvantage of the katana. It cannot be used effectively from horse back or against cavalry.

          All in all, the katana is not a bad weapon but much of its abilities have been exaggerated. Much of this is due to the continued cultural reverence by the Japanese and its Hollywoodization. Read some more on European arms and you may change your mind. Ewart Oakeshott has some fantastic research papers about ancient and medieval arms.

        4. Azimuth says:

          I’ve had this suspicion for some time, that anyone researching swords is doing so with the express intent of knocking the Samurai sword from its perch as the finest sword ever made. OK, it seems the sword world has finally managed, after all these years, to find, what, 2 of them? I’ll bite. The Viking sword? It’s just a different version of the broadsword well known throughout Europe of the day. Not exactly cutting edge as far as swords go.
          They had their limitations too.

          The next is the Kilij from the Turks. How long did Samurai haters have to search for that one? So if the Turks went into battle against dead pigs hanging passively by a rope, then the Kilij was definitely the blade of choice. As far as I can tell, the only sword known for one cut, one kill is still the Katana. The Gladius, the Kilij, and the Viking swords may indeed have their place in the annuls sword-making, but none can ever claim the one cut, one kill efficiency of the Katana. You did add the curiously placed qualifier of best one-handed sword. Though designed as a two-handed sword, the Katana was very capable of being used one-handed, as I am sure you are aware. My only intent was to suggest that there is much to be impressed with when talking about the Samurai sword, regardless of what pop culture or Hollywood has done with it. My interest started when I was 10 when my uncle, a Marine Corps historian of metal- edged weapons, chose the Samurai as the best example of the most deadly and efficient swords ever made. I wasn’t trying to start a fight over who had the best sword under a particularly defined set of circumstances, but how singularly unique the design and function of the Samurai sword had on sword making in general. History shows that it’s reputation is well deserved, not because of any uneducated hype.

  3. David says:

    Crossbows are legal . . . what? The horror.

    1. sagebrushracer says:

      Next thing you know, muskets will be in the next slide show of weapons!

  4. Ducky says:

    Thanks! I just had no idea that my completely weapons friendly AZ has made nunchaku illegal. I can’t even begin to comprehend why.

    1. C says:

      anti swap meet junk fascists!

  5. Pascal says:

    I find it rather hilarious that many of the examples of the weapons they have shown, are screen shots of movies.

  6. Sam L. says:

    Are bayonets “assault knives”?

  7. 2hotel9 says:

    Wow. Their definition of “weapons” is so very limited. I mean really, thats all they could come up with!?!?

    As for the sword debate, I own several Japanese swords, one a 401 year old katana taken from an Imperial Marine officer in the Philippines in ’44. The sword I train with is a new Musashi Katana priced at a very reasonable $80. And yes. Sword in one hand, pistol in the other, people will obey with a minimum of argument.

  8. TP says:

    I’m more amused that they call a katana a sword “around 2 feet in length”… Most full katana’s that I have owned/seen are more along 30″-40″ in blade length. I always thought that the wakazashi is the shorter sword, that is usually between 18”-24″…

    1. 2hotel9 says:

      Well, these are the poorly educated morons who are, daily, pushing for expansion of subprime mortgages, yet again. So their absolute ignorance about, well, everything on the planet should be no surprise.

  9. Undergraduate says:

    Wow. This sword is better than that sword. Sure, and if you are magically transported back to a time when swords are all you have, that might be important. Today I’ll take any handgun of 9mm caliber or higher against any sword you care to employ. Now, if you want to come after me with a crossbow, I’ll revert to my Mini 30 and kill you from a distance. Arguments are for idiots.

    1. 2hotel9 says:

      A mini? Best hope they are not beyond 95 meters or you will be the one arguing.

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The Fiscal Times: Weapons Are Legal? What Has The World Come To?

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