Thursday, June 11, 2009

Important knife law information

Please read this and act on it.

Breaking News: We have received word that U.S. Customs & Border Protection has DENIED the numerous requests for extension that it had received and is planning to stick with the June 21 deadline for comments.

CBP's denial of an extension seems to be a clear indication that they do not intend to act in a fair and reasonable manner on this issue and have already made their decision to go ahead. That means we have to set the stage for the next act, which will likely be conducted both in court and in Congress. The battle is far from over, your comments will play a role in both efforts.

Knife Rights is developing a new comments letter for concerned knife owners to send to CBP and a strong email to send to Members of Congress. We are not about to roll over for this clearly out-of-control government agency.

NOTE: we have disabled the links to Model Letters as we rewrite them in light of Custom's denial of our request for extension.

Please click here to be added to our email list ( so we can keep you advised.

U.S. Customs & Border Protection (CBP) has proposed revoking earlier rulings that assisted opening knives are not switchblades. The proposed new rule would not only outlaw assisted opening knives, its broad definition of a switchblade would also include one-handed opening knives and could be easily interpreted to cover most other pocket knives, even simple old-fashioned slip-joints.

Note that CBP's interpretation of the Federal Switchblade Act forms the basis for national, state and even local law and judicial rulings in many cases. This ruling by CBP is NOT limited to just imports. This WILL affect virtually everyone who carries a pocket knife, no matter the type!

Download the 63 page CPB document and read it for yourself.

Knife Rights has sent a letter to CBP requesting an extension to the ridiculously short 30-day comment period. We need your help to make an impression on CBP. They figured that they could slip this by everyone with little notice. We need to let CBP know that they are not going to get away with it; that we noticed and we are not happy and that we will not stand by while they take away our pocket knives.

We are in for the fight of our lives. We need you to write CBP NOW!

Click here for a Model Letter you can send to CBP.

However, the reality is that CBP isn't required to listen to our demands, but they do have to answer to Congress. After you send a letter to CBP, giving them notice they are not going to sneak this by us, the next step is to inundate Congress with emails and letters.

If you want to be free to carry your pocket knives in the future, you need to write your Senators and Representative TODAY!

Click here for a Model Letter you can send to Members of Congress.

We have also prepared a Communicating with Congress page that includes tips to maximize the effect of your letters. This page was developed after consultation with experts who understand exactly how to get your message across to Members of Congress. We have also included easy links to find your Representatives, if you don't know who they are or the best way to reach them. How much of an impact your communication has can be significantly impacted by how and what you write. Our aim is to help maximize your impact so your Members of Congress actually listen and do something. PLEASE, take a few minutes to review our Communicating with Congress page BEFORE you act.

Knife Rights was formed three years ago because we knew it was only a matter of time before something like this would happen that would threaten to take away our right to own and carry our knives. Well, that time is now and we're working to help keep our essential tools and essential rights. We cannot do it without your help. Knife Rights is only as powerful as the forces we can bring to bear. You are the only truly effective weapon we have. Policitcans only listen to voters. NOW IS YOUR TIME TO ACT!

Because you are sending a hard copy letter and emails via Members' web forms, we won't know you did it unless you let us know. It is critical that we be able to know how many have responded, so please click here to send us an email ( to let us know you've sent the letter and emails.

WRITE Customs NOW!
WRITE your Members of Congress NOW!
Join Knife Rights and help support the fight to keep your Knife Rights!

Copyright 2009, Knife Rights, Inc.
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Saturday, June 06, 2009

The Gathering '09, my view

OK, I have put this off long enough, and Jay, Chuck, and Buzz have posted their
Gathering posts, so, off we go into my memories of this Gathering of the Tribes, v. 2009. But first, a quick word. If you are going to come on here, and post something
about people who were not present at the Gathering, do it under your name. I will not post anonymous comments. Either be an adult, and take responsibility for your words, or STFU. I don't have time for cowards, or shit-stirrers. So, onwards and upwards.

Raja and I got into Grand Rapids(yeah, I know) at midnight Thurs/Friday, and Chuck
Pippen was cool enough to come get us, and put us up for the entire time we were there. This is the most important thing about the Gathering to understand, it is about tribe, family, taking care of each other, and it is personified in how Chuck & Jeanne open their home to all of us reprobates every year.
Friday was spent admiring the knife Chuck made for me, based on the first class I taught in 2007. Keep an eye out for my review of the Weasel, coming soon. We went to breakfast at IHOP, with Mel Hebert, who is a Rossi Kuntao player, and a damn good one. Also at breakfast, and staying at Casa Gathering was Geoffery Bossman, who is
a long time practitioner of various SE Asian arts. Pretty talented as well.
So far, it was a good group of people. We spent the rest of the day bs'ing, playing, getting to know each other, and greeting the fellow travellers as they came in. It really is like coming home to recharge, especially when you get to see the family you have chosen after a long interval. Buddha came in, and it is always great to see him, and we talked for a long while. Then, the Jayman showed up with his entourage. Now the fun was beginning, in earnest. Jay is just one of those people who I hit it off with the first time we spoke, and it has grown from there.
He also brought Carl Ross, who I had heard so much about, and was finally able to meet him. Hey Carl, I hope you find the other half of that job soon, brother.
More eating, this time at a nice Irish Pub, and really getting to talk with Ian, who drove Raj and I there. Ian is an amazingly talented smith and knifemaker, and funny as hell, to boot. As always, somehow, we always manage to stay up til the most ungodly of hours, and the fun just keeps going.

Saturday comes, and, as is the tradition, Jeanne made a wonderful breakfast, and then the training begins. At a Gathering, you can take whatever classes you want, for as long as you want, kind of like a buffet of mayhem. Well, Saturday morning, the table gets set. This year, all of the returning instructors taught on the first day, noobs, the second. Well, nobody is more of a returning instructor then Chuck and Don, so they were first up. Great class on entries against a commited knife attack. Got the blood pumping, the forearms clashing, and some very good, usable
stuff, when the pointy end is trying to enter you.
Then came one of the classes I was waiting for, Jay Carstensen. He is KSMA. Do not let this guy fool you, he knows his stuff. Although he did not teach a repeat ninjutsu class this year, I was still happy. He taught a variant on medio sumbrada, and translations to knife and empty hand. I personally picked up a lot from this, and everyone was rocking along with it, despite the mosquitos best efforts.
After Jay, came the man who is the king, no the KING of treachery, Guro Buzz Smith, of Maharlika Kuntaw. If there is a tricky way to do something, he will teach it in his Bugtongan class. A man after my own heart, I must say. The best part of the class, aside from the angling, was the foot stuffing session. But I guess you'd a had to be there...
Next, it was my turn. I must say, I did better this time, and Raja was the best assistant I could have hoped for. But Raj, sorry about the eye.
After my class, it was Sterling and Dans turn for PSP. They worked on the Ales from that system, and did a great job.
At the end of their class, Jay and Chuck present formal Declarations of Brotherhood for the KSMA. I am proud to have received one, along with Don Young, and Carl Ross.
It's like coming home, and not being a martial outlaw any longer.
That was the end of formal training for the day. But, as always, training always goes on. One of the most oft heard phrases of a Gathering, "Hey, what about this?"
or "How do you...". Great times, and a great dinner, set up in potluck manner.
Once again, much laughing, talking, sharing, more goofing, and lots of pics.
Sunday, as stated prior, was noob day, and they were all great.
Craig Gray taught some effective handgun disarms from Krav Maga, after starting with some Chi Kung work. These were probably among the most realistic ones I have seen, and provided another glimpse of the reality you might face.
Then we all convened in the dojo, for Nick Gutschow, and Silat Sharef groundwork. I wish I could give a first hand report on the movement, but I and all the other old guys sat and watched. It was some good, old fashioned, hard floor work, and definately a young mans game. But, Nick is impressive as hell, and moves like a
lizard on greased glass. It was spooky.
Then came Mel... sounds like a song, huh. He did boxing meets Kuntao, and did it in a wonderful, high energy, and very applicable manner.
This was truly the end of the formal training, and a huge amount of info was given out, with no ego, no holding back. If only all "martial artists" could be so cool, and generous...
More food, fun, laughing, show and tell, man, I wish it could happen all the time.
Thank you so much to Jeanne and Chuck, for the hospitality. Thank you to the Tribe, for the great time. Thank you to Sterling, for interviewing me for his podcast show, and thanks to everyone, we'll be back next year.
Oh yeah, next year is the big 10th for the Gathering, good times, man, good times.