Is Carrying a Knife for Self-Defense, Illegal or Legal?

Discussion in 'General Martial Arts Talk' started by thomashoard1909, Nov 7, 2017.

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  1. Paul_D

    Paul_D Master Black Belt

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    No. The situation is irrelevant. It is illegal to carry anything for the purposes of self defence.

    Using something that happened to be close by, or that you weren't carrying for the purposes of SD i.e. mobile phone, is a different matter however. ;)
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2017
  2. lklawson

    lklawson Senior Master

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    You deliberately ignored and trimmed out the most important part of your original statement to which geezer was replying: "Work on that basis and you'll be ok."

    If a person is in a fix where their bare hands and quick wits aren't enough, then NO they will not "be ok." They'll be hurt (or worse) because they didn't have access to a tool for self defense. Because that's illegal.
     
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  3. jobo

    jobo Grandmaster

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    we have quite bizare laws on " weapons, anything that is designed or sold as a weapon is unlawful to have in a public place, any thing you carry to use a weapon in self defence is unlawful in a public place, including in your car, any thing you just happen to have in your hand or pocket, provided it a) isn't a weapon by design and b) you had no intent to use as a weapon before that point is fine to use as a weapon for self defence.
     
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  4. lklawson

    lklawson Senior Master

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    Which encourages people to carry things which aren't quite weapons but can be readily adapted to such and to LIE to the authorities about it. And everyone knows it's a lie. "Why do you have 1/2 Kilo of keys on your keyring and a chain?" "I have lots of stuff to unlock; it's certainly not for whacking people." "Why are you still carrying yesterday's newspaper?" "I'm a slow reader; it's certainly not so that I can roll it up tight an whack people." "Why are you walking with a cane?" "I broke my foot 6 years ago and it aches sometimes; it's certainly not for whacking people."

    You know it's a lie. The cops know it's a lie too. But unless they're bored and want to mess with you or are really convinced you're a trouble-maker, they'll pretend they don't know it's a lie and go on.

    Peace favor your sword,
    Kirk
     
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  5. geezer

    geezer Grandmaster

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    I found that comment (in bold above) hilariously "pythonesque" ...and at the same time, very true. That's why I really detest all the "tactical" crap that's marketed for self defense. Tactical pens, tactical flashlights, tactical key-chains, tactical canes or walking-sticks, and so forth.

    Once something is overtly "weaponized" with heavy, weighted parts, sharp edges, and spiky bits all over, a perfectly legitimate "improvised weapon" that you otherwise could legitimately justify carrying, becomes a criminal "offensive weapon" in many of the more restrictive jurisdictions. The fact that such a weapon's true nature and purpose is somewhat, albeit thinly disguised only makes the motives of the person carrying it more suspect if he were to use it against another person.

    It is beyond foolish to think that the police and prosecutors won't immediately recognize these objects for what they are, and that they are touted and sold as "tactical" can only work against the person possessing them, especially if criminal charges are filed.

    So if someone wants to have objects suitable as "improvised" self-defense weapons at his or her disposal, I recommend learning how to use honest-to-god everyday objects as "force multipliers" and forget the so-called "tactical" crap. I believe you have said as much in previous posts.
     
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  6. jobo

    jobo Grandmaster

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    well yes, but you don't have to lie, you don't have to answer at all, let alone justify, why you are carrying it. Your intent to use any item as a weapon is a point for the police to prove beyond reasonable doubt, which is the devils own job to do, unless the suspect admits to it
     
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  7. Paul_D

    Paul_D Master Black Belt

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    To Clarify:- Work on that basis and you'll be ok means; if you carry nothing (working on the basis that it is illegal to carry anything) you will not fall foul of the law. You will be "ok" "legally".

    I was not referring to whether or not you will get hurt.
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2017
  8. geezer

    geezer Grandmaster

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    Yeah, Paul. I got that. I was just pointing out that if you carry nothing, you may not be so "OK" in the general sense of the word.

    Personally, I do not advocate intentionally carrying weapons, or even ordinary objects with the intent to have them handy to use as weapons under normal circumstances. That said, as an FMA enthusiast and being a bit paranoid, I do make a point of keeping track of objects in my surroundings that could be employed as weapons of self defense should the need arise. In fact, sometimes I make a game out of it, kinda like the "I spy..." game parents and kids play when driving on a a trip.

    So, right now for example, I'm sitting at my desk and "I spy, a large, heavy ceramic mug, a stapler, a heavy three-hole punch, another ceramic cup with pencils and pens in it ...and a couple of foot-long, wooden-handled paint brushes... oh, and that metal stool in the corner.... boy there's a lot right here. Now I don't know of any jurisdiction where it's illegal to imagine the weapon potential of the ordinary objects in our environment. And if there is such a place, I sure don't want to live there!!! :eek:

    BTW, I happen to live in a place where the laws have been taken to the opposite extreme. Anyone over 18 years of age who's not a felon can legally carry a handgun (openly or concealed), knife (including spring-open varieties), or a sword in most public places, with no license or permit required ...and yes, they can carry them with the intent of using them with deadly force for self-defense. We've even had a legislator carry and brandish her loaded pistol in a conference room in the state legislature! :confused:

    ...So sometimes I wonder about living here as well! o_O
     
  9. Paul_D

    Paul_D Master Black Belt

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    Ok, sorry, my mistake.
     
  10. geezer

    geezer Grandmaster

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    No worries. So how do you feel about the weapons laws in your neck of the woods. They seem a bit restrictive to me ...but then you don't have nearly as many people getting shot as we do over here. Not really worried about the politics, ...just observing the way things are, ya know. :)
     
  11. lklawson

    lklawson Senior Master

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    And this is where we diverge. I DO advocate the use of tools for self defense. I advocate their use because of this thing called "disparity of force." "Weapons" (self defense tools) are force multipliers which help "even up the odds" when someone has less strength, less mass, less skill & training, or is for some other reason simply less capable. Let's face it, no matter how well trained you are, someone is better trained. No matter how strong and fit you are, someone else is better, and you are going to get older and weaker and there's nothing you can do to stop that beside just dying.


    Personally, I don't really "like" improvised weapons, per se. Why? Because they often make pretty crappy weapons. All tools are optimized for the task they are intended for and are less capable at "off label" tasks. It's like using the base of a screw driver to hammer a nail. Can you do it? Yes, but a hammer works better. Same for self defense. Can you use a tightly rolled newspaper for a club? Yes. But an actually club makes a better club. Improvised weapons are what you are forced to use when you can't use actual weapons for whatever reasons ranging from cost, to legality, to social pressures. Real weapons make better weapons than improvised weapons.

    I fully support this.

    That's not self defense.

    Peace favor your sword,
    Kirk
     
  12. geezer

    geezer Grandmaster

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    Nope. More like what passes for "political discourse" in today's world. :D
     
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  13. webmaster786

    webmaster786 White Belt

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    It totally depends where you live. In the eyes of the law, a gun and a knife are both considered deadly powerful tools. This means the same rules when you can use them legally, depending on what circumstances its use is justified. I cannot emphasize this idea at all, especially if you are thinking of wearing a self-defense knife.
     
  14. Paul_D

    Paul_D Master Black Belt

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    How do you police that though? If someone is a certain size they get a weapon, if they are bigger they don't? And then do you allow the person with weapon to use it on anyone, or only people 15% larger then them?
     
  15. jobo

    jobo Grandmaster

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    well yes, its hard to dennie that certain weapons, particularly guns, but to a lesser extent knives have no equal in the improvised class, but after that its a bit blurry, a hammer is a very good weapon as it a screwdriver or a big heavy torch or a length of chain or a heavy studded belt, if you can take it off with out your pants falling down or a tin of bean, anything heavy is a useful weapon.

    i defended myself( well my honour) with a chicken pasty last week, the guy thought standing there with a snarling bull terrier made him untouchable, u till i hit him on the nose with a high velocity pasty, which the dog then proceeded to eat.
     
  16. Paul_D

    Paul_D Master Black Belt

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    I guess it depends on what you’re used to. I haven’t known it any other away so I’m fine with it.

    That may seem crazy to someone who lives where Anyone over 18 years of age who's not a felon can legally carry a handgun (openly or concealed), knife (including spring-open varieties), or a sword in most public places, with no license or permit required

    But to me that place sounds utterly utterly terrifying. I’m not just saying that, knowing that place exists literally scares the bejesus out of me. Everyone wandering around armed to the teeth with guns knives and swords some of them concealed. I mean, everyone has a bad day, gets pissed off, or gets depressed now and again right? When it happens to me I reach for a Coors Light, not a semi-automatic AR-15 with bump stock and 200 armour piercing rounds. If my neighbour gets the same, I know what I’d prefer him reaching for too.

    I know that is the most extreme example of course. ;-)

    Having said that, if I’d grown up in this place, and was used to that, I’d be utterly terrified if had to come to England and walk down the street with no weapons, as I’d be paranoid someone was going to shoot me and I’d be unable to respond.

    There's no mid ground that suits everyone, but I’d rather have people with less access to weapons than more access.
     
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  17. MJS

    MJS Administrator Staff Member

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    I do realize that. Did I say something in my post that made you think otherwise?
     
  18. lklawson

    lklawson Senior Master

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    That's not usually how weapons actually work. Take a knife. Knives do most of their damage through cutting/slashing and stabbing. Neither of those operations actually take a lot of physical strength and being much stronger doesn't usually increase the lethality of a knife by that much.

    Additionally, the addition of a Force Multiplier creates a disincentive for the party who would normally be at a dramatic advantage because of size, weight, strength, youth, or numbers. For many people, they do the math and it goes from a near guaranteed "win" to something with consequences being highly likely.

    That's the point of weapons. To help level the playing field.

    Peace favor your sword,
    Kirk
     
  19. lklawson

    lklawson Senior Master

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    The level of violent crime between the U.S. and the U.K. is actually closer than most people realize and, depending on how you parse what "violent crime" is, the U.K., may edge out the U.S. But it's still pretty close. And the actual difference between murder rates is, truthfully, pretty slim once you get past the, "Ohmerggosh, the U.S. has, like, twice the per-capita ersumthn!" Per 100,000. And neither nation breaks even the top 25 barrier. And this is also without considering the recent compelling research which indicates that most of the U.S. "violent crime" is actually driven by an extremely small set of repeat criminals, usually in large cities and usually related to gangs. I suspect it is probably true of the U.K. as well but I haven't looked for those studies. What really changes is what tools the criminals use.

    [​IMG]
    Violent Crime: The US and Abroad - Criminal Justice Degree Hub

    As you imply, a big part of the problem comes from a simple lack of information, partly based on just not being "raised" with that information. Another part of it is misinformation spread either through innocent ignorance or deliberate propaganda. As an example, you mention "armour piercing" rounds in a rifle. The problem is that almost every round fired from a rifle will penetrate the most common form of body armor, particularly including expanding point "hunting ammunition" and jacketed "range and target" ammunition. It's about energy levels. Further, the whole idea of "armor piercing" ammunition in the U.S. revolves around an archaic and outdated legal definition created by bureaucrats, not even legislators, and is intended to only apply to handguns.

    So basically neither the U.S. nor the U.K. is dramatically more "dangerous" than the other, particularly in relation to many other nations in the world. So unless you are planning on vacationing on the South Side of Chicago or the like, you are likely fine most of the time in the U.S. I'm sure you can think of a few places like that in the U.K. :)
     
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  20. Paul_D

    Paul_D Master Black Belt

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    You know what, I'd never thought about it like that before.

    Everyday's a school day, thank you ;)
     
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