I grew up shooting an assortment of rifles and revolvers at large appliances in the Everglades. Yeah, it was probably illegal and not environmentally progressive, but that meat freezer had it coming.
So I'm obviously not some kind of reverse-gun nut or anything. But you gotta admit the undeniability of one fact -- more guns in a society mean more gun murder. Well, more murder, really. Sure, the NRA suckers live in a fantasy dimension where a few teachers with concealed heat could have kept the Columbine or Virginia Tech massacres in check. But you just don't hear about those kind of mass slays, or even your run-of-the-mill revenge drive-bys, in meek low-gun countries like Canada or Ireland. More guns eventually result in more gun violence. Duh.
But recently America has been facing a new scourge of deadly weaponry: swords.
You can hardly flip past a home shopping network these days without some redneck trying to sell you giant ninja blades. The katana has become the new leather couch, your prized macho accoutrement that one day a special lady will make you sell on Craiglist.
There's no background check, no mandatory cooling-off period to get a sword. And it's only a matter of time until more poker-games-gone-bad end with steel to the spleen.
But worry not, good people. Sometimes such a weapon in the home can be used for good, especially when wielded by a teenaged martial artist.
A teenager with a brown belt in karate used a samurai sword to scare off a burglar who was after his PlayStation 3 video game console.
Last Friday afternoon, Damian Fernandez and his 15-year-old sister, Deanne Fernandez, were home alone at their northwest Miami-Dade County home while their parents were at work when they heard knocking on the front door. Moments later, two men were prying the front door unlocked, prompting Deanne to hide in her closet.
"I was so scared," she said.
As her brother slept in the next room, the burglars ransacked their parents' room, taking some jewelry before moving on to what they were really after -- a PlayStation 3...
The burglar found the empty PlayStation 3 box and ran out of the room, but Damian was waiting for him.
"Once I saw him take off running back, I jumped off my (bunk) bed and I grabbed my sword … and I just waited for him," he said.
Daaaamn! Any lonely superheroes need a boy sidekick?
Damian said he lunged at him with his samurai sword, striking him in the chest.
"He freaked out," Damian said.
The burglar ran out of the house with Damian chasing him down the road. When police arrived, a K-9 officer located the burglar hiding behind a neighbor's palm tree.
And, the sword is +7 against meth-addled recidivists who believe palm trees render them invisible.
Hey, remember Lou Pearlman? The perverted Hutt who created harmless Orlando boy bands like 'N Sync and the Backstreet Boys? Well, when the boy band thing had run its course, Lou kept his lifestyle going the Florida way -- by conning.
It was his charm, investigators say, which helped him to bilk more than 1,400 people out of hundreds of millions of dollars in a classic pyramid investing scheme...
According to Florida state officials, Pearlman swindled people out of $317 million and, more surprisingly, bilked banks out of an additional $150 million.
That money allowed him to lead a lavish lifestyle. Pearlman owned a Rolls Royce Phantom, a Gulfstream private jet and a 15,000-square-foot Florida mansion. State and federal investigators, as well as lawyers for the alleged victims, say Pearlman and his associates sold investors, many of them senior citizens, phony securities which he called an "employee investment savings account" through his company Trans Continental Airlines Inc.
He also claimed his shit was FDIC insured. Really, FDIC insured. And people believed that.
A judge put his company's assets in receivership while Pearlman was in Germany, so he did what anyone would do. He fled.
Good news: The father of the Backstreet Boys was found in Indonesia. Now he can return to Florida and start his new boy band: The Cellblock Junkiez.
Why, just look at fun-loving Elijah Dukes! He jet-skis! He plays the slots! He goes over to his step-grandma's house and knocks up her 17-year-old foster daughter.
The girl, expected to give birth Nov. 5, told investigators she and Dukes had consensual sex on the living room sofa. She said Dukes got angry when she and another person confronted him about the pregnancy.
"Yeah, we sat down and told him and he got mad and threw a Gatorade at me," she told investigators.
What? Did you think that impregnating a teenager might be a criminal act for an adult? Nope. Sayeth Deadspin:
Dukes will not be charged with a crime. That's because, while the age of consent in Florida is 18, if the other person is 24 or younger, age of consent is only 16. The Devil Rays outfielder was born on June 26, 1984, so ... and Dukes gets in under the tag!
So keep this straight: If you're 22, you can bang your 17-year-old foster-relative. But if you and your girlfriend are 17 and you take pictures of yourselves engaging in young lust, you're both child pornographers.
...and "Florida: The Rules are Different Here" endures as the most uncommonly accurate tourism slogan ever.