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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Tue 07 Mar, 2006 9:32 am    Post subject: Falling Sword Kills Boy         Reply with quote

Folks, please secure your weapons properly and make sure everybody in the house, visitors included, understands that they are in fact lethal weapons. Especially keep small children and pets in mind as you design and build your displays.

---------------
Fla. Teen Dies After Sword Falls on Him

March 07,2006 | BRANDON, Fla. -- A teenager who kept a 29-inch sword displayed on his bedroom wall has died after the weapon fell and slashed his shoulder and neck, authorities said.

Joshua Hershberger, 15, was in his bedroom with two younger siblings Monday night when a ball they were bouncing knocked the sword off the wall, the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office said.

The high school sophomore was pronounced dead at a hospital in Brandon, a suburb of Tampa. Police said no charges were expected.

-Sean

"Everywhere I have searched for peace and nowhere found it, except in a corner with a book"- Thomas a Kempis (d. 1471)
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Greyson Brown




Location: Windsor, Colorado
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PostPosted: Tue 07 Mar, 2006 9:44 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

It's really sad to see these kinds of things in the news. Whether it is firearms, swords, uncovered wells, or anything else, I hate having to read of someone life ending prematurely. This is a great hobby, I hate to see it result in harm to anyone.

As Sean said, we all need to keep safety in mind, not just when using our swords, but when storing them as well. I personally would not hang any sword high enough for it to fall on something other than someone's foot. That of course means that they are low enough for children to reach, so I lock my room anytime there are guests around. Depending on your situation, that may not be possible or may not be enough protection. Consider what you need in regards to sword safety, but don't forget that the most effective course of action (at least in my opinion) always has been and always will be common sense and personal responsibility. People who understand and respect swords, firearms, or the like should be able to handle them safely. That said, people do still injure themselves on their own items quite often (as I presume was the case inthis story), so do not let complacency creep in either. Just 'cause they are your swords doesn't meant they won't cut you.

It may sound flippant, it's not meant to be: don't throw balls in the house. Usually the consequences are not this severe, but throwing things indoors is rarely a good idea.

-Grey

"So long as I can keep the path of honor I am well content."
-Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, The White Company
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Edward Hitchens




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PostPosted: Tue 07 Mar, 2006 9:53 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

This is a very sad story that should be taken very seriously. It's rather common that we tell 'war stories' about how we get cut now and then while using, cleaning, or practicing with our own swords. By doing so, we understand that the risk of injury (or worse) increases if we're holding the sword in hand. While accidents seldom occur, they're most likely to happen when small children, pets, or a large gathering are present.

I always lock my swords in my room whenever my sister's three children come over to visit.

"The whole art of government consists in the art of being honest." Thomas Jefferson
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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Tue 07 Mar, 2006 10:15 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'll second the "low display" advice. My sharps are displayed horizontally on low shelves, with cup hooks securing the hilts. The weapons can't easily be pulled off the shelf. In fact, they have to be lifted slightly and turned just so to come free of the hooks. When I move I'm going to build a custom display case with special safety features.
-Sean

"Everywhere I have searched for peace and nowhere found it, except in a corner with a book"- Thomas a Kempis (d. 1471)
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Bryce Felperin




Location: San Jose, CA
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PostPosted: Tue 07 Mar, 2006 11:22 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I keep all my good swords in my Gun safe. The notches in there for resting rifles also hold swords rather nicely and the safe provides that nice bit of security for when I'm out of my apartment. If I need to show them off I can take them out of the safe. Also dehumidifiers for safes work just as well for swords too. :-)

The funny thing is that the safe, at $1400, actually costs less than all the swords, guns and knives I have in it. Best buy I ever made.

I never store sharps on walls out of scabbards/sheaths for either swords or knives. You never know what can happen due to negligence or accident. The stuff on my walls is cheap and easily replaceable too and not something I'd miss if I had a break-in.

It's also nice to have your wall hangers up, and then when someone says "nice sword" you can say "naw, but I'll show you a nice sword".
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Shawn Shaw




Location: Boston, MA USA
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PostPosted: Tue 07 Mar, 2006 2:06 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

This really is a tragedy. I've got an 18 month old little girl who would be very excited to poke at one of Daddy's long, shiny swords. So, for now, my swords are hung in my workshop in the basement. Yes, the rust is a pain and I have to clean/oil them more often-but that beats the heck out of even one trip to the emergency room....or worse.

I'll echo the call for safety-it's not just important when you're holding but at all times. I know I'm preaching to the choir-and I'm glad of it.
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Joe Fults




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PostPosted: Tue 07 Mar, 2006 2:12 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

This is a real shame.

I must admit to storing sharps fairly high on walls to keep them away from pets and such. However, I use metal hangers that can be completely closed over the blades and secure thme to the point that taking them down is a pain. I also only put them above things like bookshelves and desks, in my office, where people should not be without supervision.

"Our life is what our thoughts make it"
-Marcus Aurelius

"Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable."
-John F. Kennedy


Last edited by Joe Fults on Tue 07 Mar, 2006 2:30 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Addison C. de Lisle




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PostPosted: Tue 07 Mar, 2006 2:25 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

This is very sad. At 29", I bet it was a katana.

In regards to storage, I keep my sword in it's original box under my bed, as I have nowhere else to keep it, and not enough to justify owning a gun safe with a dehumidifier.
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Steve Grisetti




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PostPosted: Tue 07 Mar, 2006 3:04 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

What a terrible tragedy.

It is not possible to over-emphasize safety. I keep my sharps locked up in an old gun cabinet. I have the only key to the lock. The door has a glass window, so I can still view the swords without having to open up the cabinet. While my children are mostly grown, we still have little visitors from time-to-time, so I prefer to still limit the access to the swords.

"...dismount thy tuck, be yare in thy preparation, for thy assailant is quick, skilful, and deadly."
- Sir Toby Belch
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Helen Miller




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PostPosted: Tue 07 Mar, 2006 3:19 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

It's very sad to hear that something went horribly wrong like that BUT Greyson made a good
point about throwing things around.

You guys bring up some really good points too. Unfortunately for me, I have no room for displays,
safes, etc. I end up keeping my sharps locked in my room OR in my carrier which stays in my
car or room.
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Douglas G.





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PostPosted: Tue 07 Mar, 2006 6:32 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

When they see a shiny sword, what kid isn't going to make a bee-line for it?
None of my swords stay out on display, rather, I'll pull whichever moves me at
the time and enjoy looking at and handling it for an evening then back it goes
into the sword closet. The door is locked at all times, not so much to prevent
theft in case of burglery (it wouldn't) but to keep careless or little hands from
getting hurt. Other things profit from similar careful storage, saws, axes, 5lb.
mauls, clippers etc.
What sad loss for that poor boys family.

Doug Gentner
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Jared Smith




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PostPosted: Tue 07 Mar, 2006 7:06 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Just minutes before logging on and noticing this post, my son completed his cub scout "Knife safety" activity in our garage.

I consider it very important that youth be taught to handle and respect weapons/ dangeous items once they have shown appropriate maturity.

Both of my children have handled my swords under close supervision. They have also witnessed and performed test cutting.. so that they will know how serious and easily these swords can cut. I have some small wasters that I have also had them practice drill a little with so that they understand what they can and can not do.

Neither of my children weigh enough to handle a large gun, but they have also done some simple target practice with a youth model 22 caliber rifle. I also have made it a point to take them to the shotgun skeet/ trap range and at least see how the adults conduct very careful rules about who can have the gun loaded and at what times. Even if they choose not to have any type of weapon when they grow up, I think the lessons are important since they should be able to recognize and avoid those behaving irresponsibly.

Absence of evidence is not necessarily evidence of absence!
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Greyson Brown




Location: Windsor, Colorado
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PostPosted: Wed 08 Mar, 2006 1:46 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I think Jared is right about teaching people safety with knives/swords, firearms, cars, etc. My father taught me firearm safety starting at age 7. He also taught me how to sharpen and care for knives around the same age. Along with that came safety. I have chosen to pursue those interests, but even if I hadn't, I would have the knowledge. I am appalled by the lack of firearm safety displayed by some of the people I have had to work with. Many of them never touched a firearm before joining the Army, and as a result safety is not something they consider.

Even if your children express no interest in swords, firearms, etc., I strongly recomend that you teach them how to handle such things properly. I doubt many people on this site disapprove of their children taking interest in weapons, but I would recomend that those who do still teach their kids safety (I have actually known a few people who actively opposed firearm ownership, but still sent their children to hunter's ed or NRA safety courses; I applaud that choice). Despite a parents desires, a child might become interested in weapons, edged or otherwise, and they would be well served to know how to handle such things in the appropriate manner.

At the very least, demonstrating proper safety is good manners.

-Grey

"So long as I can keep the path of honor I am well content."
-Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, The White Company
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Pamela Muir




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PostPosted: Wed 08 Mar, 2006 3:25 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

As a mom, I can't help but hurt for the boy's parents. However, I confess to feeling anger towards them as well. The article states that the sword was in the boy's bedroom. It was the parents that allowed him to purchase and display that sword. I was under the impression it was illegal for anyone under 18 to buy a sword. (I could be wrong, but even if I am, don't tell my 16 year old son. He thinks it's illegal also.) There have been so many studies done that demonstrate that teenagers just aren't finished being hardwired in the decision making section of the brain. Even good kids make horrible judgement calls simply because they don't really understand the danger or consequences. My boys are both honor roll students and heavily involved in scouting and have a good moral background, would I trust either one to keep a sword in his bedroom? No way.

I'm feeling the same type of anger that I feel when I read an article about a teen that has died in a car accident in the brand new car, usually an SUV or a sports car, that the teen's parents bought for his/her 16th birthday.

--Pamela
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Mike H





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PostPosted: Wed 08 Mar, 2006 12:08 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The thing is I think I knew him. I live in central Florida and the name is very familiar, I'm a junior in high school and I think he went to my middle school years ago before he moved to brandon. this is really shocking to me. People I know have been dying all over the place, I had afriend who was hit by a car a couple of months ago and she died. It's been a tough year.
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Alex Oster




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PostPosted: Wed 08 Mar, 2006 1:05 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

This perks my interest enough to post.

So this in mind, why dosent someone design a safer sword hanger? I have numorusly thought about how poor all the wall hangers on the market are. You would think that with companies like CASI or MRL, that a decent sword hanger would have been designed. I have seen/owned about all the styles out there, and I ended up going the custom route.



Had I small children, I would have installed a glass screen infront of the blades, but I am not concerned about it now. At a cost of less than $20, and an evening in the garage, I am happy with the results. That which is displayed on the wall, is never overhead unless secured with wire or hooks. I personally feel it was the parental responsibility to have either had it secured better, or dull untill older.

The pen is mightier than the sword, especially since it can get past security and be stabbed it into a jugular.
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Samuel Mazur





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PostPosted: Wed 08 Mar, 2006 3:38 pm    Post subject: Re: Falling Sword Kills Boy         Reply with quote

Joshua Hershberger, 15


^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

That's what really stands out in there for me anywho. If he's fifteen, he shouldn't have a sword hanging on his wall period. If he was in a house with two YOUNGER siblings there shouldn't have been any swords displayed anywhere in the home. If the adults in the house are sword enthusiasts, and have young children they should keep all their swords locked away safely. It's just part of being a responsible parent.
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Ben Sweet




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PostPosted: Wed 08 Mar, 2006 6:56 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Condolences to the family of Hershberger
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Jean Thibodeau




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PostPosted: Wed 08 Mar, 2006 7:12 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The main safety worry would seem to me to be how securely a sword is hanging on a wall and how high and where: Like Not over one's bed ! ( Not a comment specific to this case. )

The problem I see is the perception of what is negligent today and what was considered normal life and common sense in years past: With a firearm or sword it is fairly easy to assume, and maybe wrong, that any casualness in storage is automatically negligence ! And even more when a tragic accident happens. But, lets say one secures one's swords because they are sharp and scary and as attractive as magnets to iron filings when it comes to small kids: But one has a set of razor sharp chef's knives in a block on the kitchen counter ! Or even just steak knives in a drawer: Somehow generations of kids managed to survive sharp objects all around them.

Now how about safety and power tools or an axe in the garage for chopping fire wood, large screw drivers, hammers, matches, butane torch and anything else that a kid could misuse or have an accident ! Shouldn't all these be also be behind lock and key ??? If you can't teach a child that these things are dangerous the only option would be to lock up your kids in a padded room and never let them out of their playpen because they will immediately run with scissors as soon as you are not watching ?

This doesn't mean that one shouldn't take precautions and err on the side of caution. ( Common sense )

Kid used to be trusted with a pocket knife at very young ages and most made it to adulthood with all their fingers !

Finally, my condolences to the familly. Sad

You can easily give up your freedom. You have to fight hard to get it back!
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Douglas G.





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PostPosted: Wed 08 Mar, 2006 8:53 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jean,
You make an interesting point about kitchen knives in blocks on counters, one that
hits me square. My knives are in a block handy to the space where pantry, boning etc.
get done in the kitchen. My thought at first was, "yes Jean, but chefs' knives aren't as
sexy as swords". Then I remembered my own Zorro and Peter Pan (Should I sue
Disney for my prediliction?) fed fantasy role playing with older brother using a 10"
carving knife amongst others with sauce pan lids for shields. I don't think I was much
older then 4. When I think how easily one of us could have been hurt...........
I have frequent visits from my four year old niece and two year old nephew, looks
like I'm adding another item to the pre-visit secure list. Thanks for the reminder.

Doug Gentner
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