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Trombone Legislation

Each year thousands of people are maimed, killed, or annoyed by trombones. The statistics of head, neck, and shoulder injuries sustained by reed players, french horn, and string sections seated within reach of the deadly seventh position are truly shocking, not to mention forced early retirement due to ever-increasing hearing problems reported by musicians of all types who are forced to play the music of Wagner, Mahler, and Brahms as well as the hundreds of alumni of the Herman, Ferguson, and Kenton bands and devotees of Kid Ory, Jack Teagarden, and Lee Gifford.

There is current legislation pending in Congress to restrict the sale of trombones and equip them with child safety devices. The influential trombone lobby is, of course, opposed to this. There have even been several proposals for requiring a "trigger lock" on all bass trombones. Every year there are reports of hundreds of innocent children attracted by the shiny brass and smooth, seductive curves of an unattended instrument on a stand in the corner of a room or in an unlocked case who are traumatised for life by the attempts of a playmate to get a sound out of it, or who may suffer a collapsed lung or the effects of hyperventilation by trying the same effort themselves. The owner's feeble "I didn't know the slide was unlocked" is no excuse! Trombones should be stored out of reach of children.

Efforts to enact a mandatory 10-day waiting period to purchase a trombone, which would simply allow a reasonable period of time for law enforcement officials to cross-check the purchaser's name against an international list of registered trombone offenders and against Slide-O-Mix addicts have been repeatedly thwarted by the powerful Conn-Selmer-Yamaha (CSY) lobby. Law enforcement officials are particularly alarmed over the increase in crimes involving use of the "sawn-off" trombone or "sackbuts." Legislation is also pending in several progressive states including New York and California to make carrying a concealed trombone a felony.

Some Governors feel that there are sufficient laws already on the books that simply need stricter enforcement, such as the 1932 nation-wide ban of screw-on bells, the indiscriminate use of Pond's Cold Cream or KY Jelly and unsupervised emptying of spit valves on public property, a filthy, unsanitary habit that will help spread the flu this year. One popular response to the spread of delinquent behaviour is the imposition of mandatory longer sentences for those using a trombone while committing a crime (Use A Trombone -- Go To Jail). Surveillance video tapes have proven especially effective in identifying violators of this statute because career criminals have often tried to avoid convictions by having their lawyers insist what eye-witnesses reported as a trombone was really only an AK-47 or other legal assault weapon. Strict enforcement has been especially effective when used in conjunction with the new "Three Sharps, You're Out" statutes that have already been approved by many state legislatures.

Of course, the automatic and semi-automatic valved models (both piston and the European rotary) are much more dangerous than the traditional trombone. Interpol has also reported the sudden appearance of the rear-blasting Cavalry models that were thought to have been completely eliminated during the Great Confiscation mandated by the 1918 Treaty of Versailles signed by representatives of every civilized country of the period and the American Federation of Musicians. You may recall that those instruments were melted down and became an integral part of the Trans-Atlantic Telephone Cable that helped to unite America and Europe. It is believed that the new source of these WMDs are isolated factories in rural areas of China. The awesome destructive power of the double trigger bass trombone could never have been imagined by the founding fathers when they granted us the right to keep and bear arms.

Remember: when trombones are outlawed, only outlaws will play "I'm Getting Sentimental Over You."