Did you really think we want those laws observed? We want them to be broken…We’re after power and we mean it.
Martial artist: are you an inherent threat to decency, morality, and public safety? No?
We, your elected government, say yes.
Make no mistake, martial artist: your avocation violates several contracts, agreements and laws. Never mind the combative trivia of kicks, punches and takedowns; how will you defend yourself against us, the shameless political opportunists who would punish you for your crimes?
Before we allow you to speak in your own defense, let’s review a summary of the charges against you.
You Have Violated Our Terms of Service
We know you have signed at least one agreement with an Internet Service Provider, web host, or video sharing service. Apparently, you didn’t read them carefully; if you had, you would have noticed the explicit prohibition against the use of the service for transmission of violent words and images. For example, look at YouTube’s current community guidelines:
Graphic or gratuitous violence is not allowed. If your video shows someone getting hurt, attacked, or humiliated, don’t post it.
To be honest, this does not mean that your martial arts content is unwelcome on YouTube, or on the website; our real policy is obviously “don’t ask, don’t tell”. But someone did ask, so we were forced to remove your material. Pray we decline to follow up on your account termination with a civil suit for breach of contract.
There’s no way to rule innocent men. The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren’t enough criminals one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws.
You Are Not Licensed to Kill
You eschewed the modern commercial training hall in favor of a traditional, intimate gathering of disciples. Respectable, but no matter. The fact that you do not advertise your teaching services to the public does not exempt you from business licensing laws.
Since tuition money is changing hands, you should have retained professional advice on the licensing requirements in your locality. We couldn’t nail Al Capone with murder, but our tax evasion rap sent him to federal prison. Maybe you’d like to see his cell from the inside?
You May Already Be a Domestic Terrorist
Your small-time tax evasion is insignificant, compared to the severe penalties we may assess you as a suspected terrorist in post 9-11 America. You should know: our suspects are routinely shipped to foreign prisons, detained secretly and indefinitely, sometimes even tortured or otherwise coerced to confess.
You didn’t need to go shopping for a dirty bomb to become the target of our terrorism investigation. Attending a peaceful protest was enough to draw our suspicion—as was your membership in a group now deemed a threat to our homeland. Like the Butokukai after WWII, your organization must be liquidated.
Wipe that smirk off your face, martial artist. The prospect of domestic terrorism sentencing is not as far-fetched as it may sound. The fact that your activities are “dangerous to human life” and “intended to intimidate or coerce” may in itself be enough to secure a conviction, under USC Title 18 Section 2331—if not, it is sufficient to justify covert surveillance for the remainder of your menacing life.
Who wants a nation of law-abiding citizens? What’s there in that for anyone? But just pass the kind of laws that can neither be observed nor enforced or objectively interpreted – and you create a nation of law-breakers – and then you cash in. [–Atlas Shrugged]
Martial artist: we know about your sword, saber and pole; we call it a weapons stockpile. We’ve read about your use of herbal liniments, and passing references to bio-energy; we say you’re practicing quack medicine. And although your spiritual beliefs are technically protected by the Bill of Rights, they nevertheless appear to us a fatalistic religious cult—a fact that, the jury agrees, strengthens our case against you.
How do you respond to these serious allegations, martial artist?