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The Public Eye 10/05/2012

If you are in Ocean City this week, you may notice a couple of changes as you drive down Coastal Highway. The speed limit, normally 40 mph through North Ocean City, has been reduced to 30 mph, and Downtown, the speed limit has also been reduced. This is due to the expected, unauthorized H2Oi Pop-Up Rally.  It is reasonable to expect heavier than usual traffic, noise and strict enforcement of vehicle laws during the week and weekend.

With so many states involved in gun control debates, and whether this would be a better country if we were all packing heat (No house salad? Go ahead, make my day), what I want to know is why you can get a permit to carry a handgun but can’t get a permit to carry brass knuckles?

It’s true, this state and many others expressly prohibit the possession of brass knuckles, along with throwing stars, switchblades, blackjacks and nunchaku, otherwise known as nunchucks.

Incidentally, no one seems to know the origin of the word nunchucks, although I am positive that it does not refer to any kind of animal that lives on the grounds of a convent. More likely, it’s ancient Chinese for “Puts big knot on head.”

Anyway, you can’t get a permit to carry them or any of the other aforementioned “dangerous weapons,” as the law refers to them, because they are, well, dangerous, although I have always said that brass knuckles don’t punch people, people punch people.

Guns, meanwhile, are classified as “deadly weapons,” which must mean they are less dangerous because you can get a permit to carry one if you’re a good citizen who has a decent reason, such as “I frequently encounter other human beings.” If, on the other hand, you said, “I frequently encounter human beings and they’re all out to get me,” you probably wouldn’t pass muster.

But does anyone else think this is strange? I mean, how much damage could I do with a set of brass knuckles that makes them worse than a .44 magnum?

Is someone going to say, “Oh, but you might do some serious dental damage to another person and we all know that nothing beats a great smile?”

Besides, whoever heard of brass knuckles accidentally discharging?

“Gee, I don’t know, officer. I was just standing there minding my own business when these brass knuckles went off on their own and popped someone. I swear, I didn’t even know the safety was off.”

And then there are those throwing stars. First of all, even if you could get a permit, which, of course, you can’t, it isn’t like they would be all that handy. The last thing you would want is to carry these pointy things around in your pocket, unless you were up for an inadvertent and very unpleasant operation of sorts.

Let’s say you are accosted by someone with evil intent and you say, as you thrust your hand into your pocket, “Wait just a minute, sir, I’m armed with … yowwweeeeee!”

None of these laws makes sense and I honestly don’t understand how this happened. In fact, it turns out you can’t even carry concealed pepper spray with the intent to harm someone, which means it’s perfectly legal to have as long as you don’t intend to use it.

“Gee, officer, I have it just in case I can get the house salad.”

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