Surprisingly, nunchucks have been a banned weapon in the pizza-eating capital of the world for nearly half a century. But after a recent constitutional ruling, New York has finally come to its senses and once again allowed party dudes to wield their weapon of choice -- a freedom that unfortunately was born from a worrisome change in state laws.
In 1974, at the height of the kung fu movie craze, New York decided to ban ownership of the lethal "nunchaku stick," or nunchucks. Like the ban on knuckle dusters, this was to lessen the lethality of the many youth gangs of New York who had decided to come out and play. But even when New York cleaned up its act up after the '70s, the state decided to keep the ban in effect, as it continuously failed the state's basic test of not being a weapon dangerous to idiot owners and the people standing next to idiot owners.
But in 2003, ponytailed men across the state found a champion in James Maloney, lawyer by day, martial enthusiast by night (and also day). In 2000, Maloney was arrested for possession of nunchucks. This led him on a legal crusade across several courts to be allowed to keep nunchucks in the safety and privacy of his own home, so that he could teach his kids the nunchaku martial art of his own invention. Finally, in 2018, District Judge Pamela K. Chen handed Maloney his long-awaited victory. Then she went one step further, declaring the entire law unconstitutional, as it infringes on American nunchaku wielders' right to bear arms. And feet. And whatever other parts of their body they tell Tinder dates are registered as dangerous weapons.
This should be cause of celebration. While nunchucks as a means of self-defense are considered unpredictably dangerous by many, a blanket ban of them in an entire state seems pointless, if not downright hypocritical. Maniacs can't massacre an entire school with nunchucks, unless the entire school agrees to only fight back one person at a time. So with the almost simultaneous relaxing of laws regarding nunchaku and the federal ban on bump stocks, America seems to be heading to the more rational side of weapon control. Unfortunately, the only reason Malory was victorious now is that things have actually gotten worse.
Until recently, states had a lot more say when it came to standing their ground on weapon bans and telling federal laws to stay off their property. But in the 2010 landmark case, McDonald v. Chicago, gun nuts managed to clinch a vital victory when the Supreme Court narrowly decided that the 2nd Amendment is to be extended to state and local laws without exception. This has led to an onslaught of NRA-backed lawsuits targeting local gun control. But hey, some people got their nunchucks back. Yay?
Fortunately, if you want to escape the capricious violence of America's most dangerous tool of carnage, there's now still one place that will protect you from it: Massachusetts. Oh, and it's also the last state that's still banning nunchucks.
For more weird tangents and his personal recipes for toilet wine, do follow Cedric on Twitter.
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