Throwing stars

Ever take time to read the City Code for Bend? It’s definitely interesting. Like Chapter 5, Offenses, section 5.070:

Possession of a Throwing Star.

(1) Definition: "Throwing Star" means any instrument, without handles, consisting of a metal plate having three or more radiation points with one or more sharp edges, and designed in the shape of a polygon, trefoil, cross, star, diamond, or other geometric shape for use as a weapon for throwing.

(2) A person commits the offense of possession of a throwing star if the person knowingly manufactures, causes to be manufactured, brings into the city, keeps for sale, offers for sale, exposes for sale, gives, lends or possesses a throwing star as defined in section l herein.

(3) Possession of a throwing star is a Class A misdemeanor.

[Section 5.070 added by Ord. NS-l398, passed 6-20-84]

I am simultaneously greatly amused and a bit puzzled by this one. Did we have an epidemic of ninja gangs in Bend in the early 80s to cause such a specific ordinance to get on the books? So far my digging around hasn’t revealed any history behind it.

But what’s more puzzling is why there’s only the restriction on throwing stars. Why not nunchucks? Or swords?

6 thoughts on “Throwing stars

  1. Any novice ninja can toss a throwing star. Every one played Frisbee at some point in their youth, so moving up to a pointed star of death, really isn’t that big of a deal. Now, with nunchucks and swords, they require real ninja skills and an unskilled ninja is more likely to wack themselves in the face and require a visit to the hospital, which only benefits the local economy & job market.

    And yes, back in the 80’s, during the Karate Kid rage, there were unwieldy amounts of throwing stars being flung with reckless abandon.

  2. That’s hilarious. 1984? What was the population back then? This had to have been a pretty quiet town back then. I’d love to know the story behind it!

  3. It was aimed at Rising Sun Records & Tapes, sort of a proto-headshop that was located on Franklin b/w Bond & Wall across from where JC’s is now. They used to sell throwing stars, brass knuckles and the ilk, along with rolling papers and pipe screens. Oregon is particularly susceptible to throwing star epidemics because there are lots of trees for kids to practice throwing them into. But you have to make a separate ordinance for throwing stars or else you end up outlawing knives, which you couldn’t do in timber country. I was in 4th grade in 1984 and I remember the "bad" big kids having throwing stars – it was considered really cool.

    Another fad in Bend that got nipped in the bud in the ’80s was cinnamon oil. They used to sell pure cinnamon oil in little vials at pharmacies. Kids would take it to school and put it on their tongue – it was really hot and considered "tough" to put a lot on your tongue at once. Naturally some kids took it too far and made themselves sick by taking too much, some burned their own eyes with it, etc., until you had to be an adult to buy cinnamon oil in Bend. Wonder if that’s in the ordinances.

  4. I’m working on a regressive analysis to show propensity for "throwing star epidemics" as a function of available timber density in board-feet per square mile. Correcting for a minimum tree diameter, of course. I’ll post my results..

Comments are closed.