Ivan Henry aka Moose

Not the best idea ever thought up...

45 posts in this topic

Call me a stick-in-the-mud, but what is sharpened steel doing around spectators (historically-minded or Disney-minded) anyway? Maybe it is the old Boy Scout in me, but if I have a functioning tool unsheathed - knife or axe or sword - it is to perform a specific task. Anyone not directly involved in the completion of that task has no business within range of the tool, period.

I couldn't agree with Mr. Bottles more!

I fact in some cases, we're making the same point. SO I'll ad my two shillings since I'm up and can't sleep anyway!!

Just two wekends ago.. belay that! Three weekends ago I was doing an UNCivil War demo and I decided to peace tie my saber... Sure as Hell, while I was talking to the spectators infront of me a juvelile hand reach out from behind the crowd and grab the saber on my display. As I raced to retrieve said weapon (Remember even blunt objects can become a weapon, of which you are liable) I saw the little vermin face off with the rest of his ilk and attempt to draw the weapon.

Now in the past for my demos, I never really considered that anyone would have the nerve to attempt such a thing, especially with they're parents standing right there. But something in the back of my head told me that I should have that weapon peace tied and do so for eternity... And such was an juvenile, (yet serious)accident avoided. Never again will I allow such a incident to unfold regardless of the outcome.

Now being a stickler or not.... remember! All it takes is ONE civilian to be injured during an event and you may not only find yourself in court, but the event might fold due to bad PR and City repercussions... Or they just might not invite you back...

With that being said... we're all not perfect! Simple as that! We also try to make the public happy and include them, rather than exclude them. We also have our own personal level of safety that we live by.

In "some" cases..... you may see something that is insanely unacceptable and I would hope that someone would step in... NO! Run in and stop the situaltion before tragedy strikes.

Have fun everyone.. just be safe.

Here's to you!

Edited by Rats

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what do you all think about using a non firing replica for picture posing, i have an english sea service pistol that is non firing e.g. no flint, top jaw is missing, and i have epoxied the lock so it cant be cocked, unless i load this thing up and stick a fuse in the touch hole and light it it will not fire.

as far as drawing my cutlass i would only do so if someone wanted a picture of me with noone else around but even then i am reluctant to draw.

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I don't see how such a weapon would be a problem - in fact it seems perfect for such a use. The original complaint here wasn't that people were pointing guns at tourist, it's that they were pointing firing guns at tourists. One mistake and...

Although I think a sharpened blade would be even more dangerous than a blackpowder gun. It's much more susceptible to an accident. Neither is a good idea, but all someone has to do is shove you accidentally from behind while holding a blade to someone and you have a tragedy. I am very guarded about my sharpened surgical items, especially because so many little kids seem to have to *touch*.

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Hey, that's a neat idea to put your hat on people.

Eeeergh.....Ye may wanna re-think that.......... wot waz th' period soolution fer gettin' rid O' Head Lice ? :huh:

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Patrick, your hat has been on more heads than you would probably believe. It all started because people wanted to see what they looked like with it on.

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Just saw this and though not exactly the example I was talking about, it's still a functional weapon.419237_3618906633271_854849838_n.jpg

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Burp Deleted

Edited by oderlesseye

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Not tourists, no flint in the weapon.

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Nope, but the news reporter guy didn't survive.

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Ah... the tables are turned on our pirate...

166206_189441641070007_2501782_n.jpg

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I think blades are worse than flintlocks. I mean, a loaded flintlock - even with just powder to burn - is idiotic beyond description, but an unloaded one is merely an ornate club.

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How many times has someone been shot accidentally and the shooter says, "I thought it was unloaded." To me, and this is my opinion, a real gun is a real gun and a functioning flinter is no different than a glock in that respect. I was taught never to point a gun at anyone unless you intend to shoot them. Now, different cultures have different practices.... I just returned from an event in Holland. One of my fellow musketeers from Spain was standing behind me, matchlock primed and loaded with powder, pan cover closed with the burning match cord in the serpentine.... Oh, and the muzzle was right behind my grape. Yep. That is there "ready" for the second line. I changed positions and asked that they not put the match in the serpentine until right before firing. Sheesh!

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I don't point anything at civilians anyway. I've been cut by my flint just casually handling the gun, so I don't want them touching my firearms at all, but this is a good point about safe firearm handling, a skill we should all cultivate with civilians and fellow reenactors alike. I don't mean to minimize that. And it's everyone's responsiblity. I once lined up in a skirmish very early on the line started to stagger, so that if I pointed my weapon straight ahead it was a little behind line with the ears of the man five over. If I pointed it safely away so that the blast wasn't going to hit anyone's ears, it would go over the crowd, which I wasn't thrilled about either. But if I got in line with them, the man next to me, and the man next to him, would be behind me and my ears would get the blast. If we had lined up correctly, we'd be fine.

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I just had an opportunity for education in this area. We were doing a Civil War battle reenactment at Cmadenton, MO last month. I was doing artillery working the 6-pounder that weekend but back in camp I went with my "bushwhacker" impression for the public tours to add more "flavor" to the event. While giving a short talk to some interested tourists on the MO-KS Border War and how that played into the overall picture of the Civil War, one of the ladies says: "I really love your outfit. I want to take your picture. Do something really cool like point your pistols at me."

I very calmly explained to her and the rest of those gathered that these were fully functional Colt and Remington reproduction pistols, and that not only was it against everything I believe in, it would get me in serious trouble with event organizers. We have a very strict code of conduct that forbids us to actually point our weapons directly at another reenactor or public in attendance. We are trained to make it "look good" but not actually aim at anyone directly.

Pre-arranged/staged shots set up by the reenactors and photographers are another story, as long as everyone is aware of and observes all safety precautions.

Bo

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I believe it was the late Col. Jeff Cooper who stated that people were only accidentally shot with unloaded guns. To paraphrase slightly, proper gun/weapons handling is a parallel safety to provide redundancy in case the other system fails. I am about ill when handling a gun in a shop when the clerk will pass in front of the muzzle while a customer is test aiming a gun. It doesn't matter to me whether the gun is modern, replica or antique... again to quote Col Cooper "Don't tell me gun is unloaded. I do not believe you. Nor should you believe me!" What is practiced every day is how you will behave when the chips are down. We might not know until later what the stakes are/were.

I understand posing for pictures. Weapons can displayed in a belt or held in a hand without committing safety violations. We are smarter than that! We can figure out how to make a nice picture without violating safety protocols.

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While agreeing with the above statements on the stupidity of pointing firearms at people, unloaded or not, I feel a need to mention that a sword is never unloaded. That was the first thing my fencing master drilled into my head. He would have us slice plastic water jugs in half with supposedly dull swords on occasion to demonstrate that a dull sword can still be deadly. For the past 4 years I have lived by the rule "if there is the slightest possibility of a bump, the pointy stays away," and no one has gotten hurt.

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Best practices

On this Friday the 13th aye like to commend Ivan on his attention to firearms safety. There is probably no more sensitive issue in the United State. Those who don’t see his concern may not know of the fundamental four rules established by Jeff Cooper that gives rise to his concern. Rule one all guns are always loaded. “Anyone taking light of that rule has established they are a fool .” Jeff Cooper

Rule two never cover the mule with anything you are not willing to destroy. Rule three keep your finger off the trigger till you’re ready to fire.Rule four always be sure of your taget and whats beond it.

I am one of the guilty parties, as I go heavily armed in public in my kit and do frequently pose with said weapons in pointing and or presetting, and or draw a blade and hold in treating position.

The problem is that one does not know from a photo weather of not as Ivan put it if it is a fully functional weapon nor the sharpness of said edged weapons. This doesn’t matter if you adhere to the safety rules as unless you have the weapon in hand and have personally inspected it, it’s real and loaded. I would submit to you if you pulled and pointed an unloaded toy gun at a cop on the street that you may pay with your life as the take these rules very seriously. As anyone involved with arms of any kind should be.

It never fails to amuse me when attending some venues that they will tie a ribbon on my blades but not allow my black powder weapon as it’s real even when I have not shot or powder. Those who throw axe’s know that an edge weapon need not have a sharpen edged to be deadly as even the single shot unloaded pistol of the day were also intended to be used to crack skulls.

Different venues and events and participants will each have view and opinions as what is proper for their setting. I have some teachers that will not allow even photos of my kit with weapons in their class’s and other schools that will ask us to bring and do demonstrations. Their views and opinions are night and day different and will never meet a happy middle ground. But on this Friday the 13th let’s all take that moment in time to examine what we do to insure that we are exercising the best possible safety standards that are applicable to our venue events or circumstances as many accidents can be prevented.

Thank you Moose for your focus on these issues, which must be reexamined with other view and prospective that may differ from our own

.

Edited by Bright

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If I may put in my $0.02 (and do some necro-posting while I'm at it) as a trained stage combatant:

There are, in fact, safe ways to simulate combat, violence, or threats for a photo, none of which involve functioning firearms nor live steel. It is my personal opinion that if you are amongst the public in your persona, then your firearms should be locked away safely/replaced with inert replicas and live steel should either be left at camp or securely peace-tied into it's scabbard. Inert pistol replicas are cheap. For swords, there are a few options:

Blunted "Stage Combat" Steel: To be clear, blunted does not mean "unsharpened." Blunted means that you have a thick, somewhat rounded edge that would be prohibitive to sharpen and a rounded tip. This is how most good "stage combat" weapons and sparring swords are made. To the layman, they look plenty like the real thing and are significantly safer. Ordering a "battle ready" sword and declining the sharpening service does not make it a blunted sword.

Stage Combat Epees: The fact of the matter is, a blunted cutlass is still a pretty effective bludgeoning weapon. Even safer is to go with a smallsword or rapier fitted with a stage combat epee blade. the trade-off is that you MUST be aware of your point as even a blunt epee is unpleasant to get poked with, let alone in the eyes or other vulnerable bits.

Plastic: Yes, I know we all love the weight of steel on our baldric, but plastic might be the safest way to go. The Jack Sparrow plastic sword (not the one that makes sounds) looks pretty decent once you've painted it up and might even fit in your real scabbard. If it doesn't fit, the existing scabbard can also be made to look pretty ok with some paint and sandpaper.

At the end of the day, however, "safe" weapons are not enough. You must be a safe performer (and, yes, if you're going to the pub in pirate persona, you are performing.) To that end, here are some rules/tips/guidelines, some of which were touched on above.

1. Always keep track of your weapon.This means many things, but two in particular. The first is to always know where your point/muzzle is in relation to other people. If you're in a crowd, posing with a blunted sword, and somebody trips and falls onto your blunted point.....well, no one will be happy. Keep this in mind. The second is to say that, sure, maybe you're responsible with your weapons. But drunken Joe Lunchbox sitting next to you probably isn't, and Joe Lunchbox is thinking how funny it would be if he were to draw your sword and hold you at it's point! If someone reaches for your weapon, you better damn well notice.

2. Never point directly at your victim. With both guns and, to a lesser extent, swords, it is advisable to never point your weapon directly at your "victim". Instead, aim over one of their shoulders or slightly off to one side. The camera will hide this deception from almost any angle and it will be safer, not to mention it will put the other person slightly more at ease.

3. Clear an area. Crowds and drawn weapons are bad news. If you wish to take a picture with your weapon drawn, make a safe perimeter to do so. Whether this means clearing an area of people or finding a more secluded area, it is absolutely necessary for safety.

4. Know your distance. There are three kinds of "distance" in stage combat. These are "In Distance", "Out of Distance", and "Fight Distance." Fight Distance is about 8 inches from the furthest reach of your weapon (so, if you're holding somebody on point, they should be at least 8 inches from the tip of your weapon). In distance is close enough to touch, and out of distance is too far to be believable. In most cases, you want to be in Fight Distance. If you must close distance, however...

5. Cheat with the flat. NEVER touch your edge (blunted or not) to another person. If you must put a blade to someone's throat or somesuch, lay the flat of the blade against them. It's all about creating an illusion.

6. Don't drink. Posing with your weapons is a performance, and you don't go on stage after drinking. If you intend on drinking, leave the weapons behind.

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