November 30th, 2008

Brit Politicians Ban Ceremonial Xmas Musket Firing

In Wimborne, Dorset, England, a 400-year-old holiday tradition has been banned by anti-gun “do-gooders” who claim loud noises will frighten children. For the past four centuries, at Christmastime, volunteers of the “Wimborne Militia” have donned 17th-century uniforms (floppy hats and red coats) and fired off a black powder volley (without bullets) to celebrate the lighting of the town Christmas tree. The musket ceremony was originally performed to “scare off evil spirits” according to Town Crier and militia volunteer Chris Brown. In modern times, Chris explained, “It adds a bit of pomp. Most people enjoy it.”

According to the Dorset Daily Echo newspaper, “Members of the town’s Militia, which re-enacts traditions dating back to the 17th century, have been told by the town council not to carry out the custom of ‘scouring’ the tree at a ceremony to switch on the lights.”

Local politicians, lead by Deputy Mayor John Burden, have banned the black powder ceremony, telling the Wimborne Militia to leave their muskets and floppy hats at home. The ban was enforced ostensibly to “protect the children”. Dep. Mayor Burden and other gun foes say that the musket fire “scares the children… last year there were kids who were very upset and crying.”

Many Wimborne residents are dismayed by the gun ban, saying that a cherished tradition has been lost, and that Wimborne officials are “mollycoddling the kiddies” for no good reason.

It remains to be seen whether Wimborne’s city fathers will proceed to ban the popping of balloons or the honking of car horns — noises which, presumably, could be equally traumatizing to England’s sensitive youngsters.

Story Link: BBC Report (with Video) | Dorset Daily Echo Report

Photo Capture from BBC Video

Similar Posts: