You know it’s a tough economy when even the proud and warlike Klingons get hard up for cash. Anyone concerned with the proliferation of unregulated weapons could have seen this coming.

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — A surveillance picture released by police Wednesday afternoon shows a man armed with what appears to be a small Klingon sword, holding up a 7-Eleven convenience store…The Web site describes the Klingon weapon as crescent-shaped and about a yard long. However, the weapon that the man was wielding appears to be smaller than that. The bat’leth has points on both ends, two points in between and a handle on the outside. Klingons were warlike enemies of the good-guy United Federation of Planets in the original “Star Trek” series but were allies in “Star Trek: The Next Generation.”

Mark my words: this is just the beginning. Klingon sword violence might be a trickle now but unless we get a quick handle on it and finally pass some sword-control legislation with real teeth we’ll continue seeing the violent effects of Klingon sword attacks. It’s imperative we do three things.

One: an immediate ban on all bat’leths with a total edged surface of over ten inches. Such weapons serve no practical ceremonial or sporting purpose.

Two: a mandatory 15-day waiting period for all Klingon sword purchases regardless of style. We all know how quick-tempered and touchy Klingons are, and a “cooling-off” period will save many lives and limbs.

Three: it’s crucial that we close the Sci-Fi Convention loophole, which allows anyone – Klingons and non-Klingons alike – to purchase Klingon weaponry without any regulatory oversight whatsoever. These virtual open-air exotic arms markets also encourage the dangerous phenomenon of cross-genre weapons trading where Klingons, Storm Troopers, Jedi Knights, Captain Kirks, Cylons, Sleestaks and all manner of intergalactic warriors can freely exchange weaponry and combat techniques.

I know the pro-sword lobby will be against these proposals, claiming some silly right to bear arms and such, but the truth is that failure to implement such common-sense measures will result in widespread carnage and wanton hewing of limbs. An armed society is a dangerous society. Seriously, would you want to argue over a parking spot it with this guy?