Call it the “shot never heard around the world.” Elk Grove, California has earned national ridicule by preventing the Elk Grove Historical Society from holding a Revolutionary War reenactment with vintage flintlocks. City officials ruled that the reenactment would violate a ban on firing a gun in city limits, defined as “Use, maintain, possess, fire, or discharge any firearm.” It does not seem to matter that the guns are black powder muskets used in a performance. Would the city take the same position with a Hollywood production?
Thousands of people were told that they would not be able to watch the reenactment. As a military history nut, I can attest to the educational content of these events. Despite reading military histories for decades, I have never left one of these events without learning something. These volunteers are incredibly knowledgeable and strive for absolute authenticity. Kids are allowed to see encampments, equipment, uniforms and reenacted battles. It is history come to life. Elk Grove should be delighted to have the event.
The organizers complain that the rule would force them to charge with wooden sticks screaming “bang, bang, bang.” It certainly takes something off the event.
Obviously, there are exceptions to this law and the failure to allow an exception in this first is truly moronic.