Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Guns or Knives, Butch?

A recent series of exchanges on a newsgroup I frequent started when one of the posters told a scary story. He lives in the U.K. -- the supposed-heart of civilization -- and a group of thugs-in-training (teenage rowdies) broke into his flat landing. When he tried to shoo them away, he was cursed, spat at, and eventually had to retreat upstairs to his flat, where his wife and small son were. The rowdies decided to follow him. They booted the locks off, and he managed to lean on the door enough to keep them at bay, while his wife called the local police. Apparently the police station was but a couple blocks away.

Eventually, the high-spirited lads tired of their sport and left. And fifty minutes after the call, the police eventually came round.

This being England, no handguns are permitted. (I love it that the British Olympic pistol team has to take the Chunnel to France to practice.) Rifles and shotguns are allowed, but require some effort to obtain, and must be locked up in approved cabinets or safes when not taken out for actual shooting.

This begain a discussion in which, as a martial artist, I offered some advice about what weapons might be better than the crowbar the poster had in the back of a closet somewhere. Various ones were bandied about: Swords, crossbows, and I allowed that a pair of large butcher knives might give the thuglets pause.

Warriors and pacifists came out and began to debate the merits of violence, and those comments ranged from let-a-smile-be-your-umbrella, don't-worry-be-happy, to split-'em-like-

And eventually, as these threads often seem to do, it went down the road to gun control.

Generally, in my experience, there are few fence-sitters on this one. Like abortion, most people come down firmly on one side or the other, and minds seldom get changed. It's an emotional issue, and me being a non-conservative with a gun confuses people no end. How can that be?

Because things aren't always black or white, and convenient political labels seldom cover everybody?

Anyhow, at some point, I was doing research to bolster my side of the debate and I came across a couple of gun-sayings I enjoy, so I thought I'd share them with you.

The first concerns what often happens when people learn that you might go around strapped.
"You carry a handgun? Why? Are you expecting trouble?"

To which the proper answer is, "No. If I were expecting trouble, I'd be carrying a rifle."

Non-shooters don't get it, and I have to explain that a revolver or pistol is a compromise. One can carry such with relative ease compared to hauling a rifle around unnoticed, but handguns are not nearly as effective as long guns.

I also pointed out that knife in hand inside seven meters is better than a big-bore handgun in a concealment holster for getting there firstest with the mostest, even though it's not generally a good idea to bring a knife to a gunfight. At fifty feet, the shooter wins. And if he draws before the knifer, or is the reincarnation of John Wesley Hardin, the knife guy has a problem. Take both, that gives you more options

You carry a gun and a knife?

I didn't say that. But knives don't run out of ammo ...

The other saying: You know what the two loudest sounds in the world are? One, when you are expecting click! and instead you hear bang! The other is when you are expecting bang! and you hear click ... !


steve-vh said...

"You do martial arts? Are you looking for a fight?"
Reply: "You have house insurance, are you expecting a fire?"

Steve Perry said...

Yeah, that came up. I pointed out that having insurance to fix your car bumper when some dweeb on a cell phone plows into you might be as important as having a way to keep yourself alive when some mugger decides to bash your head in.

Makes sense to me, but for the anti-violence crowd, running away is the thing. Which is fine, when you can, but if Granny or the two-year-old grandson are with you, that makes it a little harder to hoof it.

There a great quote from Gandhi I love:

"Non-violence does not admit of running away from danger. Between violence and cowardly flight, I can only prefer violence to cowardice."

In fact, it's good enough that I'm gonna post it as an entry ...

steve-vh said...

And yet, due to severe shin splints, running really isn't much of an option. However, my wife runs marathons. Me? " I can't run, therefore I have to know how to fight."
I even worked hard last fall to really try jogging. Ended up with 5 mos of therapy.