Saturday, March 26, 2005

Self Defense Stories

Reader Dave Dembiski posted in his blog about buying a Ken Onion blackout on my recommendation in "The Gift of a Knife".

This quote struck me:

"You can compress the handle against the meat of your hand with four fingers and flick the torsion bar out and up with a thumb fairly easily, and this opens the knife faster than my eye can follow. Throw in a little wrist action and it's near-instantaneous, and very sure. "Authoritative" was a word I've read describing the action, and that just about does it justice."
I think maybe I'm the one who described it as authoritative; or rather I know I have before, I'm just not sure if he's referring to me specifically in his quote.

Anyway it reminded me of some stories I'd posted up on the Nation Of Riflemen forums about self defense, and I thought I'd share them here:

I've never been in a firefight in civvy life, but I have been shot (it's no fun, believe me), and I've had a few times where I had to excercise my rights to defend myself (a side effect of my appearance, winning personality, and choice of work).

In Ireland (where I lived for three years) it's basically illegal to carry any kind of self defense device; but that never stopped me from carrying a simple little Ken Onion Blackout (or on occaison other things, but I ALWAYS had the blackout).

I was walking through a not so great neighborhood in Dublin when these two skangers started following me. Finally, they sidled up and the dirtier one said "So there, y'american are ya". I just looked at him "not exactly, but it'll do for now", "Ahh yeah, well... we'll be havin your wallet then" ... (knife I've palmed in my hand since I noticde them flicks out with a nasty little snick) ... "No I don't think you will".

If it were just a regular knife I'm guessing they would have kept pressing til someone (them) got hurt, but that authoritative little flick (and it is little, only a 3.5" blade) was just intimidating enough that they ran like schoolgirls.

Story number two also happened while I was in Ireland:

I played semi-pro American Football for three seasons with the Dublin Rebels. I used to spend my non-football weekends "mentoring" kids in temple bar (a neighborhood in Dublin). Basically I was just trying to give them some interaction with an adult who gave a damn, had some of the same interests as they did (heavy metal, role playing games, the goth thing etc...); and to try to keep them out of petty crime and off drugs. I was cool, American, military, had tatoos and knew metal; and I'd always spring for some food, or protect them from getting hassled or beaten up.

This fine day I was talking with some of the kids on a corner when this junkie, and what looked like his little brother, start to try and steal a bike a few feet away. I sent one of the kids to get the gardai (the Irish cops) and kept an eye on him. Well, as this progressed, one of the kids said "look at this fucking skanger stealing this bike here" loud enough for the scumbag to hear it.

The scumbag started getting hostile at that point and starts yelling "what did he fucking say". I just looked through him, gave him the dead face and said "I don't know, and I don't care; AND NEITHER DO YOU".

Well that shook him a bit, and he started to walk off; but then I saw the box cutter come into his hand. I pushed the kids back behind me just as he spun around and came at us screaming "Im gonna cut you fuckers".

I had a little bit of an Arnie moment and said "Now that isn't nice, you shouldn't threaten people with knives; and don't fucking swear".

While I was playing action hereo, I stepped inside his arc, got wrist control (to avoid the blade) and crossed him up; but he managed to give me a nice little slash across my cheek (shallow and ragged, healed without a scar thankfully).

I couldn't get a good angle on his hand and maintain control of him so I let the open wrist loose, came up under for a cross arm head lock, and pulled him in to try and establish head control so I could disarm him easier.

Well when I pulled his head in, the fucker managed to bite a quarter sized chunk out of my right pec (that one left a heck of a scar; looks worse than the bullet scars). That kind of pissed me off, so I stepped round him, came up into an arm bar choke, and then took his head off the corner of a brick building a couple of times.

The fucker kept trying to free his hand though; he just wouldn't stop fighting me.

At that point I had him completely under control so I just said "drop the knife or I'm going to keep hurting you".

Well, he didn't, so I reached up and started twisting his ear. "I'mna say it one more time, then I'm gonna kill you. Drop the knife".

Again, he didn't drop the knife, so I twisted a little harder and said "ok, thats it, in about three seconds I'm breaking your neck".

That got him to drop the knife.

A few seconds later the Gardai showed up and took him into custody; at which point he started trying to claim that I attacked, beat, and brutalized him, and that they should arrest me. Of course there were 50 or so witneses to what happened, and the whole thing was on CCTV from 4 different cameras.

It turned out the guy was a heroin junky, HIV positive, syphilitic, and had hepatitis. I had to get an HIV test, hepatitis etc... (actually three sets of them, once immediately, once after six weeks, and once after six months which I do anyway, every six months); thank god, all were clear. I also had to be chemically deloused (every hair on my body below the neck gone. Very itchy).

They charged the fucker with grevious bodily harm, and assault with an offensive weapon. They told him they were going to charge him with attempted murder (because of the HIV); and when they showed him the video tape and witness statements he plead out to 3 years. I was pissed the sentence was only three years, but I was glad the case didn't drag out into a long trial.

Oh and the kid was in fact his little brother; the junky was only 20, his brother was 11, and both had tracks covering both arms. Renews your faith in humanity eh.

So a few months later, I'm sitting up in bed reading at around 3am; and I hear a big clang.

I lived at the end of a dead end cul-de sac that has some footpaths running past it, with pubs at both ends of the paths. It wasn't too unusual to hear late night noises, but this one caught my attention.

Now I'm not the most trusting individual, so I go to the window and take a look, and I see some fucker messing around the side of my house; looks like he's trying to attach somethign to the house.

I slipped into my shoes; grabbed my tachi (no guns allowed in Ireland), and my mag-lite; slipped out my back door around the side of the house; and I popped the light.

Picture this: 3AM, you're doing something nefarious, and a 6'2", 24 stone (335lb), bare ass naked man holding a 3-1/2 foot sword and a big ass flashlight confronts you. What do you do?

Well he takes off running, and here I am chasing this fucker down the street, sword over one shoulder, flashlight over the other; screaming verious obscenities punctuated with the occaisonal "Im gonna enjoy killing you" and the like.

The guy managed to jump over a pretty good sized wall, so I let him go, and went back to the house to check out what he was doing.

I get in there, and I see the guy was messing with the gas meter. There was a timer, some bare wires, and some model rocket igniters on the ground. I called the Gardai, and they came out and took the report etc... but they didn't do anything with it (I can't begin to tell you how corrupt and incompetent the Gardai can be).

I was less than amused. I asked around and the word I got was that the guy I put away was a runner for a gang and they wanted revenge. I also heard it was the fuckers cousin, but we couldnt get any proof so the investigation never went anywhere.

The last story is from my college days:

In my last year of college a good friend of mine was raped and beaten by her "boyfriend". Now I'm not by nature a violent man; or perhaps I should say I am one who is very good at violence, but does not generally choose to use it. It takes a lot to get me angry, but one thing that will do it every time is rape or abuse of any kind.

My friend refused to go to police with what happened, and ended up getting hooked on prescription drugs. I was extremely unhappy about this; and in some places where I knew the scumbag hung out, I made very clear that I took exception to his continued breathing.

A couple nights later I get a knock on my apartment door at about 2am, and silly me, I open it without looking out first; experiencing the true joy of having a gun shoved into my chest for my stupidity.

Well, I was somewhat annoyed by this fact. Here's this guy, shaking like a chihuahua on speed (actually shaking like a piece of subhuman trash on speed, which he was) with a gun shoved very hard into my chest.


Even better, the genius was pushing so hard that the weapon was out of battery; and the safety was on.

I quickly slapped an offhand wrist lock, twisting the gun out of his hand and breaking his wrist and two fingers in the process; then popped his elbow and dislocated his shoulder with a palm strike. A quick followup with an elbow to the head and a knife hand strike to the throat, and he was down.

So I called up a couple of friends (including his victim); and we took him out into the desert, stripped him naked, and left him there.

Honestly I have no idea what happened to him; he was alive, breathing, mostly conscious and not seriously bleeding when we left. We even left him his shoes and a gallon jug of water. I never read anything in the newspaper, and no-one ever came after us over it; but I never saw the guy again, and as far as I could find out neither did anyone else in the area.

Yes, what I did was legally wrong, and was probably a sin in that it was only self defense because I goaded him into it; but I don't care. My conscience is clear and the statute of limitations has expired.