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  1. #1

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    Guns and DL: Protect the Womenfolk

    'Guns' have become the new 'four-letter word' at DL over the last decade or so. Apparently distancing weapons from the idea of 'family entertainment' is looked at as a safe marketing strategy, and they are probably right; but it is much less entertaining, IMO. The attempts at authenticity (and the trappings associated with its presentation) are watered-down shadows of their former selves, IMO.

    Just a few cases to explore:

    First, Fort Wilderness. Before the subsequent closing, the rifles in the fort turrets were taken out. Guest's complaints and incidents involving serious to mild injuries were used in order to justify the removal of the rifles. IMO it was a poor decision, and just one more step in the creative castration of DL as a whole.

    Second, the POTC 'flintlock' souvenirs. The predominate 'flintlock' sold at the Parks nowadays is an obnoxious green or orange day-glo work-of-the-Devil that makes electronic sounds, accompanied by an LED 'light show' upon 'firing'. These toy guns, IMO by specific design, bear NO resemblance to authentic flintlocks, or the past souvenir flintlocks for sale in the Park which did (again by specific design) resemble the pirate pistols, even being made of wood and metal with working locks and triggers. By the 'cartoonification' of these 'flintlocks', do we possibly see a more concerted effort to 'sugar-coat' elements that have no need of it?

    Finally, and in my mind most interesting, is one of the few remaining hold-outs of this anti-gun campaign: The World Famous Jungle Cruise. The nickel-plated Smith and Wesson .38 specials carried by each boat have an integral part of the 'show', but, IMO, are losing their importance in the attraction, save for the use as a signalling device to the dock in case of trouble.

    Saving us all from attacking hippos, The skippers have fought off the beasts for 40 years, but no longer. No, the only thing getting shot in the WFJC are the branches above the hippo pool. Apparently, even the artificial animatronic hippos are endangered, and require 'preservation'. I suppose the old vicious hippos have been replaced, too--their gentler, kinder cousins now merely require 'discouragement'. Like most things at DL, even the hippos have been tamed into sheepish submission.

    The weapons themselves, IMO on the JC boats are treated with disrespect. I have been on many cruises where the revolver is just laying there, out of its holster--an unsafe practice (unstowed firearms) aboard ship. The sidearms, IMO, should be on the skips, not the boats. It would add to the authenticity, and possibly a little drama, as the brave skip slaps leather and outdraws death itself, turning back the rampaging hippos threat (or nowadays, the threat of overhanging foilage) with hot lead (or blanks).

    Guns can take lives or save them in the real world. But in DL, where they do no harm, is it necessary to eliminate their presence? If not, why not? If so, why?

  2. #2

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    Re: Guns and DL: Protect the Womenfolk

    Swab, love ya, love my new avatar, but you're gonna hate my response if I get dragged into this one.

    To the first incident cited (Fort Wilderness) I believe there was a case where a kid lost a finger due to one of the rifles. Someone could probably provide proper documentation but that was the rumor/excuse given by management.

    To the second incident cited (Pirate pistols not looking like Pirate pistols) blame California State Law and the inability to have a toy resemble an authentic piece. Knott's and other parks have the same issue. Believe me I hate it... I have my 2 barrel at home!

    To the third and final issue (J.C. pistols). Those pistols are actual firearms, not toys. If you see a Skip that is careless with one, and does not take the proper precautions, please inform the Lead when you get back to the dock. They use powder blanks and have a 7-10ft powder burn radius, which is why it is strapped to the boat and not to the Skip. If someone grabs it, it could cause serious burns. The reason it is pointed at the sky is due to sound. I am not sure if you have experienced the sound of a 1/3 close up... I have... and my ears rang for some time. The decibel range of the shot is loud enough to cause temporary deafness, and in the case of children, damage. Firing it above the canopy allows the majority of the sound to travel over the boat, firing at the Hippos allows the sound to travel through it. Trust me on that last part! Skips have permission to wear earplugs if they feel it is necessary, per OSHA/DOSH standards.
    Last edited by techskip; 03-11-2008 at 11:39 AM.
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  3. #3

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    Re: Guns and DL: Protect the Womenfolk

    Let me start by saying that I'm a generally strong advocate for gun control. I'm not a big fan of guns and feel like they generally cause more problems than they solve.
    That said, I think removing guns from the park is pretty silly in most cases. Guns were part of the reality of the wild west and the jungle, and ignoring that is just silly. People may say that putting guns in would encourage kids to shoot each other, but I don't buy it. I played with toy guns ALL THE TIME as a child (and still play video games that center around guns) and I have never fired a weapon in real life, nor have I had the desire to. Let the fake guns stay, it enhances the experience.
    As for the toy flintlocks, I can understand the regulations put into place that require toy guns to be plastic and brightly colored so that they can be differentiated from their deadly counterparts, but a flintlock? That's probably taking it a bit too far. I don't think anyone sees a kid playing with a toy flintlock and assumes that he/she is intending to shoot someone with an antique weapon. Sheesh.
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    Re: Guns and DL: Protect the Womenfolk


    For visual reference of what I am talking about with sound waves. Betting everyone in the front of the boat has their ears ringing right about now!
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  5. #5

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    Re: Guns and DL: Protect the Womenfolk

    How did someone manage to lose a finger on the 'guns' of Fort Wilderness? The only thing I can think of is that the dumb kid got it caught in the trigger guard and some even dumber parent just pulled on it without taking geometry into account. If the trigger guard is the culprit why didn't they just remove the trigger guards and allow us to keep shooting random guests?

    BTW Swab you left off the most egregious loss of firearms in the park, the loss of the shooting gallery BB guns.
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  6. #6

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    Re: Guns and DL: Protect the Womenfolk

    Quote Originally Posted by techskip View Post

    To the first incident cited (Fort Wilderness) I believe there was a case where a kid lost a finger due to one of the rifles. Someone could probably provide proper documentation but that was the rumor/excuse given by management.
    That's the popular story, anyway--I heard it as well. But keep in mind, regardless of its vercity, we see many attractions and attractions elements that have KILLED people, without those dangerous elements being removed from the Park.
    To the second incident cited (Pirate pistols not looking like Pirate pistols) blame California State Law and the inability to have a toy resemble an authentic piece. Knott's and other parks have the same issue. Believe me I hate it... I have my 2 barrel at home!
    Again, a popular story, but has little impact here. There are already, currently more authentic replicas being sold in the parks today. These are boxed, however, more expensive, and less available. This argument is wholly without merit, IMO.
    To the third and final issue (J.C. pistols). Those pistols are actual firearms, not toys.
    True, but not 'real' guns anymore, as they have been adapted so they are unable to fire real unaltered ammunition.
    If you see a Skip that is careless with one, and does not take the proper precautions, please inform the Lead when you get back to the dock.
    Not my style.
    They use powder blanks and have a 7-10ft powder burn radius, which is why it is strapped to the boat and not to the Skip. If someone grabs it, it could cause serious burns.
    So change to a smaller charge if 'burning' is a relevant issue (which I don't believe it is). In any case the boat holster does not seem any more secure than a skip's belt if someone wishes to 'grab' it--how many cases of passenger hijacking do you guys get out there?
    The reason it is pointed at the sky is due to sound.
    Right. Even if this argument had merit (and wasn't contradicted by several skip reports already), I would think a lighter charge would be the solution, not shooting at limbs.
    The decibel range of the shot is loud enough to cause temporary deafness, and in the case of children, damage. Firing it above the canopy allows the majority of the sound to travel over the boat, firing at the Hippos allows the sound to travel through it.
    If it is such a looming danger (like the insidious Fort Wilderness rifles) then why have them at all? Why not remove this element like they do all 'dangers'? My suspicion is that these are all convenient excuses that Disney has clearly used in the past to justify decisions: 'safety issues'.
    Trust me on that last part! Skips have permission to wear earplugs if they feel it is necessary, per OSHA/DOSH standards.
    I hear the same shot a skip does, and had for YEARS as a child and young adult waited in anticipation for the hippo pool to see the skip use his gun to fend it off. Guess what? Not deaf. Nor impaired. Just annoyed that it isn't there anymore.

  7. #7

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    Re: Guns and DL: Protect the Womenfolk

    Quote Originally Posted by mousechild View Post
    How did someone manage to lose a finger on the 'guns' of Fort Wilderness? The only thing I can think of is that the dumb kid got it caught in the trigger guard and some even dumber parent just pulled on it without taking geometry into account. If the trigger guard is the culprit why didn't they just remove the trigger guards and allow us to keep shooting random guests?
    I believe this was tried (forgive me if I am mistaken in my recollection), but the rifles were removed subsequently anyway, which seemed Disney's overall agenda.
    BTW Swab you left off the most egregious loss of firearms in the park, the loss of the shooting gallery BB guns
    Agreed. But the potential to actually cause harm precluded me from making a strong argument against their removal (I would like 'em back, however--we just need smarter people).

  8. #8

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    Re: Guns and DL: Protect the Womenfolk

    When the Haunted Mansion duelists turn and start trading insults, then I'll know they've gone too far.

    Weren't the guns gone altogether from the JC for many years?

  9. #9

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    Re: Guns and DL: Protect the Womenfolk

    Quote Originally Posted by HBG2 View Post
    When the Haunted Mansion duelists turn and start trading insults, then I'll know they've gone too far.
    They really should point those things UP--guest safety first.

  10. #10

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    Re: Guns and DL: Protect the Womenfolk

    Quote Originally Posted by fo'c's'le swab View Post
    Again, a popular story, but has little impact here. There are already, currently more authentic replicas being sold in the parks today. These are boxed, however, more expensive, and less available. This argument is wholly without merit, IMO.
    How much, are they movable, and do they require ID to purchase (which is usually a requirement of gun replicas)? I hadn't heard of these before.

    So change to a smaller charge if 'burning' is a relevant issue (which I don't believe it is). In any case the boat holster does not seem any more secure than a skip's belt if someone wishes to 'grab' it--how many cases of passenger hijacking do you guys get out there?
    Burning is one of the issues since a Skip's face was badly burnt when 2 Skips were playing around. If I am not mistaken that was when the gun holsters were moved from the boat railing to in front of the control box (technically was on the lamp post for a while). If someone wishes to "grab" from a Skips belt it is within easy reach. If someone wishes to "grab" while it is in front of the control box then they have to lean up, over, and stretch, allowing the Skip to see and react to it. It has happened before, usually with kids wondering if it is real or not. TRUST ME I HAVE BEEN THERE.

    Right. Even if this argument had merit (and wasn't contradicted by several skip reports already), I would think a lighter charge would be the solution, not shooting at limbs.
    I would love to read those reports specifically because they did sound testing IN SMALL WORLD to get accurate decibel readings before they were cleared for use on Jungle. They also did sound tests on Main Street, Esplanade, Timon Drop Off, and DCA! I love the guns... they make a lot of noise.

    I hear the same shot a skip does, and had for YEARS as a child and young adult waited in anticipation for the hippo pool to see the skip use his gun to fend it off. Guess what? Not deaf. Nor impaired. Just annoyed that it isn't there anymore.
    I know an individual who is now partially deaf specifically because as a child a Skipper fired a gun right next to her head. Her family received a settlement from Disney because of this incident. That was a specific case where the Skipper did not reach out far enough. He did not "lean" as in the picture... he stood, fired, and she lost hearing in one ear. I know a lot of Skips that have hearing loss in part because of repeat exposures over the years... that's life. I've also had one fired real close to me (boat rescue and the rookie fired because SOMEHOW he didn't notice I was on the bow).

    Like I said I really do not want to be dragged into this because I am very protective of the guns, and I do not want to give Disney any excuse to remove them from Jungle... keep in mind we are the ONLY ONES who have blanks, everyone else is electric sound recorded prop guns. DO YOU REALLY WANT THAT?
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  11. #11

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    Re: Guns and DL: Protect the Womenfolk

    Regarding the finger incident, check out MiceChat's sister site

    http://www.yesterland.com/fortwilderness.html

    about halfway down, "In January 2001, a 6-year-old girl lost most of an index finger when she slipped while playing with one of the toy rifles in the rifle roost."

    I remember those old flint-lock guns, I bought one the first time I got to go to Disneyland without an adult or teenager when I visited with a neighbor friend of mine... we were both tweens & my parents had given me a ton of money which I spent on one of those rifles - cost like $50 & I ended up returning it before I went home. But wow, was it swell to point that at critters on Big Thunder Railroad & pretend to shoot.

    I miss 'em.

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    Re: Guns and DL: Protect the Womenfolk

    Skip, Jungle Cruise is not the only place that has blanks, the columbia uses them, pirates lair uses them, Fantasmic! uses them. The cannon on the columbia uses 12g shotgun blanks 1/4 load black powder during the day. Pirates Lair uses 12g shotgun 1/2 load black powder, and the 2nd and 3rd cannon shots during Fantasmic! are double black pwder 12g shotgun blanks. The gun shots during Fantasmic! are .38 caliber full black powder loads. the entire cast and crew on the boat during the show wheres ear plugs, hearing a single shot is not so bad, but night after night, show after show, 9 pistols, 2 shotguns, and a pyro cannon later, you are deaf if you don't wear ear plugs.

    Also, blanks can be leathal within 20ft, the fact that the guns can only fire blanks does not make them safe. Shell casings can and do break when fired and can make their way into the barrel. When fired they can be expelled at near the same velocity as a bullet and cause considerable damage and injury.

  13. #13

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    Re: Guns and DL: Protect the Womenfolk

    Quote Originally Posted by techskip View Post
    How much, are they movable, and do they require ID to purchase (which is usually a requirement of gun replicas)? I hadn't heard of these before.
    Visit Pieces of Eight, or WOD and you'll see 'em--with the compliant bright orange tip, as all children's toys must have nowadays.
    Burning is one of the issues since a Skip's face was badly burnt when 2 Skips were playing around.
    If one is wilfully using any product improperly, dangerously, or contrary to safety guidelines is it really a product defect--is the product itself, then, unsafe? Burning seems an issue in the event of misuse, not normal operations.
    If I am not mistaken that was when the gun holsters were moved from the boat railing to in front of the control box (technically was on the lamp post for a while). If someone wishes to "grab" from a Skips belt it is within easy reach. If someone wishes to "grab" while it is in front of the control box then they have to lean up, over, and stretch, allowing the Skip to see and react to it.
    Hammer straps or flap holsters would solve this easily. Unless it is your contention that it is easier for a skip to pay attention to a boat holster on the 'control box' than to one one his/her own person.
    It has happened before, usually with kids wondering if it is real or not. TRUST ME I HAVE BEEN THERE.
    Again--the gun is the skip's responsibility--if he/she cannot safeguard it, he/she shouldn't be doing that particular job, IMO. As you stated earlier--these are not toys.
    I would love to read those reports specifically because they did sound testing IN SMALL WORLD to get accurate decibel readings before they were cleared for use on Jungle.
    One published report I found online just now was this:
    http://www.hiddenmickeys.org/Disneyl...re/Jungle.html
    Personal interactions with one friend and one acquaintance have confirmed this. Whether accurate or no, though, the reports of this SOP change was in 1998. The guns were removed from 2002-2004. If they are as 'unsafe' as you seem to think, Disney could have used this two year hiatus to make adjustments so little children don't go deaf, wouldn't you think?

    Like I said I really do not want to be dragged into this because I am very protective of the guns, and I do not want to give Disney any excuse to remove them from Jungle... keep in mind we are the ONLY ONES who have blanks, everyone else is electric sound recorded prop guns. DO YOU REALLY WANT THAT?
    No one dragged you, your participation was your own personal responsibility. IMO, if more people acknowledged and recognized their own persoanl responsibility in the decisions they make, we would have a better, less legislated world (and DL).

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    Re: Guns and DL: Protect the Womenfolk

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    Re: Guns and DL: Protect the Womenfolk

    Quote Originally Posted by techskip View Post
    The reason it is pointed at the sky is due to sound. I am not sure if you have experienced the sound of a 1/3 close up... I have... and my ears rang for some time.
    When you mention a "1/3" are you talking about the blank's load?

    As I work in the film industry and am responsible for set safety, I am familiar with blanks and loads. A blank's "load" refers to the quantity of powder loaded into the cartridge. In film we use either a no-load (primer only with no powder), a one-quarter load, a one-half load or a full load. Certainly a armorer-prop person with the proper pyro card can load powder and crimp blanks with 1/3 powder loads or 3/4 powder loads, but it would be a special request and not an "off the shelf" order. I would not be surprised if Disneyland had a powder FX person who loads the JC's blanks, what with all the pyro cards running around responsible for all the fireworks and such, but it seems like a "1/3" load is too much powder for the desired effect. A one-quarter load would suffice and provide plenty of ear-ringing, hippo-frightening power...
    Permanecer sentado por favor...

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