Friday, January 30, 2015

At Home Defense

The mighty Brigid, of Home on the Range and Barkley fame, has a solid post on self defense in the home.

I encourage you to go over and read the whole thing, not that she'll register a couple of clicks from us.  It's easier than paraphrasing all she wrote. 

To summarize, you are the weapon.  Use whatever tool you can find to stop an attacker.  There's no such thing as a fair fight. 

I want to point out, too, that Brigid approaches the defensive use of the knife in a way that is somewhat similar to my view.  I love knives, but I don't care much for all the fancy moves as if you were in a duel.  It's not a boxing match.  It's not a game.  There is one reason to use a knife on another human, and that's if your life or an innocent life which you are responsible to defend is in imminent danger. Everything else is bull.  If it comes to that, there is, in my opinion, basically one way to use a blade.  Brigid states it quite well:

A knife is a stealth/deception weapon. Show it just to threaten, and you've already lost. Have it ready, but hidden, even in your palm, behind your shopping bag, in your pocket, on a shelf above their eye view but within easy ready. Big blades look impressive, but are only marginally more deadly than a small palmed razor knife used with confidence. [bold added by me]

Should I ever have the misfortune to be in such an unlikely life-and-death struggle, my intention would be for an attacker to realize I had a knife only after he had been cut.  Remember her words:  stealth weapon. 

I would take any knife over nothing, but there is a reasonable lower limit on blade length.  Of the knives I commonly carry, my barely-legal CRKT Crawford Kasper would be my first choice as it has a bowie-style blade just under four inches in length, plus a good deal of width with a very solid pommel for striking.  The other extreme would probably be my Folts Minimalist with its two-inch Wharncliffe blade.  I'd figure on being there a while with the little one.     

Honestly, around the house, I'm more likely to be carrying the Minimalist, in addition to a friction folder like a stockman, trapper, or one of my SAKs.  Of course, a non-locking, traditional folder can be an effective weapon.  It has two drawbacks.  First, most are not one-hand openers so it's a little more difficult to deploy.  The second disadvantage is that a non-locking blade may decide to fold up in the middle of a melee.  I would more or less pretend it was a razor and slash.  A knife with a larger choil, like a full-size folding trapper, is probably a little safer for stabbing than, say, a SAK.  I might get by with the edge up and a thumb on the choil.  After all, I'd only consider using it in a desperate situation.  I might not worry too much about a cut finger.   


  1. That's some excellent advice she gives. There's lots of household items that can be used as a self-defense weapon.

    I also agree with her that hollywood movies teach virtually nothing useful irt stopping an attacker.
    There are many youtube videos and blogs that are good sources of info, however in the art of self-defense, for those inclined to plan ahead.
    Note: when one is attacked it's too late to plan ahead or train.
    Doesn't mean one shouldn't fight in a situation like that, but the odds of stopping an attacker go way up, the more prepared and knowledgeable one becomes.

    Learning situational awareness can be a literal life saver. Knowing your environment and training are also key, with or without weapons.
    If one is led to believe, as many movies suggest that kicking a guy in the nads (assuming one is even successful) will stop him, then one is operating on a false assumption.

    Grabbing nads and ripping them off, however will at least slow an attacker down, but that wouldn't be my first choice because most guys would expect that and they sure ain't gonna give you a free shot to try it in most cases.
    But yeah, if you get an opportunity by all means.

    As Brigid mentions, our mind is the best weapon we have, and one that is trained and informed is very effective.
    Also, stashing weapons around the house is a great idea, although you do hafta take young children into account if you have any, or plan on having any visit. Even then, you can have normally benign household items within reach in every room, or better items out of reach of young children but within your reach.

  2. BTW, it's always good to think of any weapon as a stealth weapon.
    That is, you don't want a bad guy to know about any weapon you use until it's too late.
    Even if they had open carry laws around here I wouldn't use that option because then you can become a target.

    Obviously, you can't use a shotgun very stealthily but then again you wouldn't hafta if you get the bead on the bad guy. :)

  3. I usually lock everything in the safe when the soon-to-be 5-year-old is here. The other three, including the 10-year-old, are well-trained. In fact, the 10-year-old could give lessons in shooting. I've also turned him into a knife collector.

    Regarding stealth, I did put a laser on a firearm for my wife, but I don't have one on my own "house gun" because it tends to give away one's position, plus it doesn't enhance target ID in the dark. I prefer a good flashlight. Turning on one of these new high lumen LED lights at the right time not only allows positive identification but can be very disorienting to an intruder.

  4. Speaking of lasers n' lights, I recently discovered this:

    I ain't got one yet, but that's my next purchase.
    I concur about the high luminosity flashlight. That'll blind someone real quick.

  5. Very cool. Thanks for the link, Ben.

  6. Your welcome, Dwaine. You know, it's funny because I often wondered why no one was inventing a combination light/laser in one unit. Turns out someone has. :)