April 16th, 2008


defending the right to bear nunchucks

From the current revision of the Wikipedia article on nunchaku:

Although the certain origin of nunchaku is disputed, it is thought to come from China through the Japanese island of Okinawa[citation needed]. The Japanese word nunchaku itself comes from the Hokkien (Min Nan) word nng-chiat-kun(no-chiat kun)(兩節棍). When viewed etymologically from its Okinawan roots, nun comes from the word for twin, and chaku from shaku, a unit of measurement. The popular belief is that the nunchaku was originally a short flail used to thresh rice or soybeans (that is, separate the grain from the husk). Nunchakus originally carried sharp sticks in them, which was later upgraded to bullets, and finally, they were made of dynamite.

Oh, Wikipedia. You so crazy.

Also--and this I have confirmed off-Wikipedia--did you know that in New York, the possession of nunchaku in one's home is prohibited by law? Did you know that a totally awesome lawyer-cum-martial-artist has officially challenged the constitutionality of this specific provision under the Second Amendment? Did you know that the case has gone all the way to the Supreme Court?

Well, now you know. And knowing is half the battle!

(The other half is a stick made of wood, bullets, or dynamite.)

The original legal complaint is quality reading, too. It seems pretty frivolous at first but lawyer Jim Maloney actually makes a compelling case. I love how his motivation for learning nunchaku was that his father was stabbed to death when he was young, and nunchaku, with their good reach and hard-to-parry flexibility, are an excellent counterweapon against knives. I can imagine a young Maloney kneeling, Batman-style, over the corpse of his father, whispering "Father! You will not have died in vain. I will become a great nunchaku master and train all who come to me, so that no one shall ever be knifed again!!"