So with all the focus in on-line commentary on the effect of the new blasphemy laws, a provision of the Criminal Justice (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 2009 managed to slip by most of us. That being the portion that deals with samurai swords, though they are not named specifically in the act and I guess this means such orders could include other weapons – ray guns and diamond tipped pencil sharpeners for instances.
Now, while I’ve never been seen, in public at least, naked with my swords nor have I been temped to run down the street with my steely weapons unsheathed I do as it happens possess a pair of samurai swords. And I’ve no intention of giving them up. Actually according to the Act I won’t be required to but if I’m in the humour for mock outrage then I’m not going to let the facts get in the way of things which is kind of how we’ve ended up here. How many people have suffered injuries as a result of being hit with glasses in pubs? Are we going to ban them? (Glasses I mean not pubs, I’m not going to completely lose the ran of myself.) Of course not.
Yet according to the minister for Justice, Dermot Ahern, “It is proposed to increase the maximum prison sentence for possessing a knife in a public place from one year to five years under section 39 and to extend the power of search without warrant in circumstances where a member of the Garda Síochána has reasonable grounds to suspect a person is carrying any article for unlawful purposes under section 41. We also intend to create a new firearms and offensive weapons order to deal with the issue of samurai swords.”
So there we are then, a ban will sort it all out. Just like the ban we currently have on handguns (outside of gun clubs) and the way we sorted out the north by banning machine guns.
Interestingly as we’re on the general subject of bills that pass us by in the night we managed to have a bill on the stockpiling of depleted uranium, it was entitled “an Act to give effect to the prohibition of the use, stockpiling, production and transfer of weapons of depleted uranium” which as you all know was a massive problem there for a while. Parts of Longford were almost overrun with people stock piling depleted uranium while the people of Leitrim were crying out for people to stockpiling their spare depleted uranium there if only it would create some much needed employment.
You could hardly cross a county boundary within seen a sign for “depleted uranium stockpiled here” or “Muckross welcomes your depleted uranium”. Truly it was a massive and imminent problem so we had a bill on it. And I guess a debate too and perhaps some voting. Meanwhile, and i will admit nowhere nearly as important or pressing as the depleted uranium storage problem the wait for voting reform in the Seanad passed another deadline and the 30 yeatr plus wait for someone, anyone to slip a draft bill onto the order books goes on.