Personal Defense

I’m an old man.  Not exactly senior-citizen old, but old nevertheless.  I’ve never been in a fight in my life.  I was punched in the eye by some random kid in middle school, and I was bullied a bit by a cousin during my first year and a half of high school.  However, as an adult, I’ve managed to avoid physical confrontations.

Yeah, I served in the military.  Many years ago, I also completed the training and passed the test required by Florida to be a peace officer, which included some very basic hand-to-hand combat training.  Believe me when I say that none of this really prepares you for a fight.  (Unless your military specialty or service of choice happens to be spec-ops or the Marine Corps, of course.)  I’m a pussy, so I chose the Air Force.  The only bigger wimps are Navy folks, but they can get away with it since they tend to travel in the company of Marines.  (Sorry, Larry, I had to say it.)

I like to utilize tools in nearly every aspect of my life.  Hell, I was taking apart radios while I was still in elementary school.  Always managed to put ’em back together again, too, but that’s another story.  Anyway, personal protection is one instance in which tools can be very effective.

I carry a gun almost all the time.  My normal carry is also my username here at wordpress.  My backup (and only gun when deep concealment is necessary) is a KelTec that I reviewed here.   I refuse to do business with those who require me to disarm prior to entering their establishment.  I avoid federal property like the plague.  I carry to family gatherings.  Yes, I’m anal about it.

Wifey quickly got the idea that we live in a bad neighborhood since I always carry, including to work (where being found out would most certainly result in immediate termination) and around the house.  It embarrassed her greatly when I answered the door with a gun behind my back.

We do not live in a bad neighborhood, but evil could still stop by.  As a concession to her, I don’t always wear it openly holstered when at home, and when I answer the door, I do a better job of concealing it.  I also no longer carry to work.  All this will gradually change, but she’s still firmly entrenched in the European and Soviet-era mindset when it comes to guns.  Plus, with the homesickness, I don’t need to add to her stress level.

In the interim, I’ve been depending on nothing but my knife while at work.  Up until recently, my knife was a no-name made in China folder that I have used and abused for almost everything imaginable.  The tip is bent from duty as a screwdriver.  It’s too dull to reliably cut through hot butter.  In other words, it isn’t much of a knife at all, much less a useful defensive tool.

At the recommendation of a blogger that I frequently read,  I bought a Mora Classic #2.  Like Marko, I was initially impressed.  Until I needed it for heavy work.  It failed.  The non-chipped part of the blade is still amazingly sharp, but if it can’t handle a rabbit, I’m not comfortable depending on it for larger animals, particularly the two-legged variety.

I’m still looking for an appropriate knife that fits my budget.  A folder or small fixed blade would be my preference.  Any suggestions are welcome.  As for budget, please keep in mind that I only make 8.65 FRNs per hour.

A couple weeks ago, I ordered some defense spray.  Now, I’ve been hit with this shit.  Not this exact formula, but I got a face full back when I thought that law enforcement might be a good career choice.

The instructor’s thought process was that we needed to know what it felt like and how incapacitating it was in case someone came at us with it.  Deadly force is an acceptable response, because when this stuff hits you, you will not be able to adequately retain your weapon or otherwise defend yourself.

If I ever find myself in a real fight, I may attempt to deploy the spray first, but only if I’m relatively certain that doing so will in no way negatively impact my chances of survival.  Attempting non-lethal methods before resorting to deadly force are rumored to make a defense attorney’s job a bit easier, in the event that his or her services are needed.

However, I will correct an attacker’s lead deficiency via multiple high velocity injections quick, fast and in a hurry, should they fail to immediately respond appropriately to the spray.

For the record, appropriate responses include, but are not limited to:

  1. Turning around and running away at a speed that would make Usain Bolt envious.
  2. Falling to the ground and crying like a baby.
  3. Losing consciousness.

More than anything, be aware of your surroundings.  Keep your head on a swivel.  Don’t get too complacent, even at home.  If someone wants to get you badly enough, they will.  My goal is to make it as difficult and painful as possible.

Be prepared.  It ain’t just a the Boy Scout motto.

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12 Responses to Personal Defense

  1. Critter says:

    Something one needs to remeber when using gas/spray of any kind is this: when one uses it that shit goes Everywhere. One will get it in one’s eyes and nose and one will breathe it with much the same results as on the goblin. I speak from vast personal knowledge. Get used to it.

    • alaskan454 says:

      Thanks for the reminder. I just hate to be one of those folks whose only tool is a hammer, and therefore everything looks like a nail. I pray that I will never need to defend myself, but if I do, I expect to go all out and throw a few 300-grain chunks of lead at them. Pepper spray be damned. Thanks for sticking around, and taking the time to comment. I do appreciate it.

  2. agirlandhergun says:

    This is true. I don’t know much about knives, but a very kind reader sent me a great email full of references, but no matter what I read, I just feel better with my gun. I know it isn’t always practical, but it us always my choice. My mindset and my Glcok, that is when I feel the most prepared.

    • alaskan454 says:

      I think of a knife as a backup, or last resort, as well as the utility tool that knives have been since they were invented. I seldom am without the best possible tool that I own within arm’s reach. Hell, that’s why my primary carry is a 454 Casull. I don’t want to ever need to pull the trigger. If I do, I certainly don’t want to need to pull it a second time.

  3. I’ve had a Benchmade 550HG for 8 years and have been very happy with it. I’ve never had to use it for any sort of self-defense purpose, but it has cut up a few animals over the years (not to mention castrating a few steers) with no problems. It opens and closes easily with one hand, and the plastic handle means that it is easy to keep clean. It was a bit pricey at the time (I paid about $60, I think), but my husband has been through at least three cheaper knives since I bought mine, for a greater total cost.

    I too found your blog through A Girl and Her Gun, and I think it is great. Keep up the profanity-laden vitriol!

    • alaskan454 says:

      Welcome, and thanks for the recommendation. The only other suggestion so far has been a Spyderco Endura that can be had for under 60 FRNs. The best price I can find for the Benchmade is about eighty bucks at the moment, but knowing that it will hold up to the duties that I need it for, I’ll certainly be considering it. That’s a little over a full day’s pay for me at the moment, but what is my life worth? Better to buy something good that will last, than cheaper options that will have to be replaced frequently – as your husband has experienced.

      Thank you for the kind words. I’ll keep the posts coming.

  4. Al Cooper says:

    Like you I do not do business with “no weapons allowed” stores. I also do not travel on commercial transportation. I won’t even park on the same block with a government building.

    I have a post on FlopingAces.net about self defense written in March of 2011.
    http://floppingaces.net/2011/03/29/what-is-important-reader-post/
    It might be worth a read.

  5. Larry says:

    Sailors don’t have to fight. We have people (Marines) for that.

  6. Alex says:

    If you’re looking for a a straight up backup knife, the KA-BAR Last Ditch Knife is hard to beat. The best part? It’s only $13 on amazon.
    A nice everyday use knife is the CRKT Delegate Edc. It has a straight edge, black-oxide coated blade with assisted opening. It’s also on amazon for $36.35.
    Love the blog by the way. Keep up the profanity ridden vitriol.

    • alaskan454 says:

      Thanks for your visit, and for your recommendations.

      I appreciate your positive comment, and as long as life continues to piss me off, I’ll continue to rant about it here.

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