I know it is probably too much to ask of the state legal system. After all, it is facing a huge budget crunch, layoffs, a cut in hours, and general chaos as of late, but it would be so nice to get just a modicum of consistency from courthouse to courthouse about weapons.
Weapons, you say? Well, yes, indeed. Weapons. You know, things that slice and things that go bang-bang.
I preface this with observing that some of the older district courts are no longer in areas where one necessarily feels safe. The neighborhoods have sunk into serious disrepair and this attorney took to carrying a kubaton on a keyring for safety’s sake. Not because I’m a martial arts maven, but because it could potentially give me a fighting chance to get away if mugged.
A kubaton – mine looks a bit like a 5 inch unicorn’s horn – is street legal in Massachusetts. I used to be able to walk into any court – state or federal – with it on my keyring. No problem.
First it was the Cambridge Probate and Family Court. Someone threatened a judge. God knows, when I was a kid and my Dad was a judge he never got threatened (cough, cough) and none of the neighbors ever terrorized me when my folks were on vacation. (rolls eyes) Threats against judges have been going on since there have been judges. Now when you go to court at Probate and Family in Cambridge the lawyers have to go through screening like anyone else AND no kubaton – apparently I might take out a judge with it. How, I do not know, since I don’t believe they are throwing weapons. I do note we can take in pens, pencils and high-heeled shoes – all lethal in the right hands (not mine) at close quarters.
Yesterday I went to the Fenton courthouse in Lawrence and the guards politely inquired if I was carrying any weapons. Indeedy, do you have any weapons to declare, Counselor? Since I no longer carry a kubaton I stared at them, then asked, “My keys?”
Turns out that at the Fenton Courthouse lawyers can pack firearms and there are locked cubbies behind the guards where knives and guns are tucked away. In fact, they showed me one honking big, serrated folding knife that I’m not sure IS street legal, but whatever.
So if I go to court in Lawrence, I apparently can carry my concealed weapon (assuming I had an FID) and get it locked up while I’m there, but if I go to Cambridge, I can’t have anything resembling even a self-defense keyring without being castigated by the guards and having it thrown away.
Can I be confused now?