The Disadvantage of Carrying Weapons

Discussion in 'General Weapons Discussion' started by Bill Mattocks, Oct 10, 2017.

  1. Bill Mattocks

    Bill Mattocks Sr. Grandmaster

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    Weapons can be force multipliers. As such, they can be effective in self-defense use. There is no doubt that a knife or a gun is more deadly in more circumstances than empty hands. There is no doubt that both types of weapons, especially firearms, can be used effectively in self-defense by people who otherwise would not be equipped to defend themselves, for example the aged or infirm.

    So weapons, in general, are a good thing. I'm for them. This is not an anti-weapons diatribe.

    However, carrying weapons, any kind of weapons, for self-defense, has some disadvantages as well. I think people don't always consider those before they decide to venture outside armed.

    A weapon, to be effective, must be practiced with. The user must become proficient. This is something that some people take seriously. Others, however, do not. They buy a gun or a knife or a stick or a can of pepper spray or a stunner and they test it once or twice, put it away or drop it in a pocket, purse, glovebox, or throw it under the seat of their car and forget about it. You can certainly get lucky deploying a weapon you haven't trained with, but it's probably more likely that you won't.

    Which brings me to my next point, which is that far too many people (in my opinion) think a weapon is a magic talisman. The idea in their mind is that they'll be attacked or confronted by a bad guy, they will casually unholster their concealed boom stick, wave it around a bit, and everything will magically get better. I'm here to tell you, typically it will not. After brandishing a weapon, if it goes to the next step, you had better be prepared and trained to use it as it was intended; there goes the magic wand effect.

    Weapons, to be effective, not only have to be trained with to the point of proficiency, but they must be with you when you need them. This brings me to my next point, which involves carry. If you're going to carry, carry. In my opinion, despite the fact that a whole bunch of people will respond to this thread and say they carry every day in every way, most people who are licensed to carry seldom do. They carry infrequently, in my opinion. I've never seen a study done, so this is just one man's opinion, but I know quite a few people with concealed carry permits and they have nearly all told me that there are times when they just decide not to carry. They are making a 'quick trip' to the gas station, or church, or it's hot and they're wearing light summer clothing, or they are going to church or the beach or a bar and they don't want to leave their weapon in the car, or (and I hear this one a lot) the gun is too heavy and prints through their clothes, or they just don't think they're going to need it wherever they happen to be going. Whatever. The point is, people licensed to carry often do not carry. That is when you're going to need it - when you don't have it.

    I read comments from people who would have us believe that they carry everywhere, including the shower and bed and when making sweet sweet love, and furthermore, they generally have several guns with them at all times. I call BS. Just saying.

    In addition to actually obtaining a carry permit and becoming proficient and actually carrying, one must also become more than slightly familiar with the laws where they live concerning self-defense and the use of deadly force. Not having a thorough understanding of when you can and cannot employ your weapon is of vital importance if you wish to remain out of prison and not have your life's work taken away by a civil lawsuit. One must become familiar with ancillary laws such as where you can carry, how you can legally transport, duty to notify others and/or law enforcement, and so on.

    Finally, one must remember this. Any weapon you choose to use is also a weapon against you if it is taken away by the bad guy. So you must become proficient in weapon retention as well as learning to use the weapon. If you draw a knife in a confrontation and the bad guy takes it from you, you have a real problem on your hands.

    Moreover, depending on what kind of weapon you're using, you now have to defend the weapon with one hand, because the other hand is busy holding the weapon itself. Congratulations, you just voluntarily made yourself a one-armed person. Even if you haven't drawn your weapon but are carrying it on your person, now you have to defend it from being taken from you; it's like you are now defending yourself and another person, and believe me, that's harder than simply defending yourself.

    Finally, when a weapon is introduced into a violent situation, the chances that the situation will now end up involving deadly force is much higher. Once a knife or a gun is brought into the equation, the chances are much higher that someone is going to be shot, stabbed, or sliced. Consider that the situation may well not call for such an outcome. I'm not suggesting that a person should not defend their own lives with deadly force if need be, but that it's important to remember that a standard fistfight between a couple of drunks usually doesn't result in death (it can of course, but it usually doesn't). Somebody draws a pistol and starts firing, and now it's a massacre instead of a drunken brawl.

    In conclusion, again, I say I am not against weapons. They are effective force-multipliers when used properly. But they are not magic wands, and there is a tuition to be paid and risks to be taken when one chooses to go about armed. Consider that before deciding to carry.
     
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  2. MJS

    MJS Administrator Staff Member

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    Well said Bill and I agree. The interesting thing is, while many schools teach weapons, the retention part, as you mention, is often not taught. This is akin to teaching self defense, but not teaching de-escalation, or the legal side of SD.
     
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  3. PhotonGuy

    PhotonGuy Senior Master

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    Well also depending on what kind of weapon you can or will be carrying that's the weapon you should train with. So, it would make sense to train with guns if you're going to be carrying a gun and if you're in a place that allows it and you've got the proper permits. But lets say you're going somewhere where you aren't allowed to carry guns or knives. Than you would have to be proficient with the weapons that would be available. For that reason I like to train with sticks, you will find them just about everywhere and its just about impossible to ban all types of sticks.
     
  4. JR 137

    JR 137 Senior Master

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    I need to show this post to my mother. Maybe it’ll talk some sense into her.

    Her sister got her onto a gun kick. Or should I say paranoia. She recently convinced my mother she needs to buy a shotgun. The whole ‘you’re a 60 year woman living alone and what happens if someone breaks in’ speech.

    So my aunt and mother each buy a shotgun and some shells (bullets? whatever they’re specifically called) from a local sporting goods chain store. They then to a gun range with a friend (who doesn’t know his a$$ from a hole in the ground) who teaches them how to load and fire it over the course of an hour or so. They both think they’re good to go. Seriously.

    I asked her who and when she’s allowed to shoot. Shoulder shrug. How far away they need to be. Shoulder shrug. What’s going to keep someone from shooting you with your own gun. Shoulder shrug.

    Ever think of taking a gun safety course? Ever think of asking a LEO or attorney the legal ramifications?

    She’ll get to that later. Sure.
     
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  5. jobo

    jobo Senior Master

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    where do you live that sticks are,available EVERY WHERE? I can walk for many miles with out coming across a stick!
     
  6. JR 137

    JR 137 Senior Master

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    Maybe he lives in the woods?
     
  7. pgsmith

    pgsmith Master Black Belt

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    In instances like that, the shotgun is not actually for self-defense. It is to lessen the growing feeling of helplessness from getting old, since you can't even run away any more. My Dad did the same thing. As he got older, he started putting a shotgun where he could easily get to it by the back door. He said it was for self-defense, but he also never did more than basically learn how to use it. I figured that it didn't change the odds of him having a home invasion robbery, so it didn't really make much of a difference if he knew how to use it or not. It sat there for years. When he passed away a couple of years ago, I had to give it a thorough cleaning to remove the accumulated dirt from years of neglect. However, it always made him feel better to think that it was there.
     
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  8. CB Jones

    CB Jones Senior Master

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    Here in the U.S. We have these things we call brooms that consists of "broom sticks" plus mops and shovels, dowel rods, etc... can be converted. :p
     
  9. PhotonGuy

    PhotonGuy Senior Master

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    And just where are you?
     
  10. PhotonGuy

    PhotonGuy Senior Master

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    Exactly
     
  11. wab25

    wab25 Green Belt

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    Excellent post from the OP. I really liked the part about how introducing the weapon, increases the odds of a deadly outcome. I would add to that, that unless you are prepared to use the weapon, you should not produce the weapon. If I am carrying a gun, and I am not prepared to shoot and kill my attacker, I should not produce the weapon. Weapons are force multipliers as well as situation escalators.

    In martial arts, we practice weapon disarm moves. But, do we consider the points made by the OP? I know many people, who won't carry a gun, because they have moral issues with guns... (which is not an argument for here) But they also practice a martial art that involves gun disarming techniques, thinking that will save them. It does not occur to them, that after disarming the other guy, they now have the gun that they morally object to.

    When we attempt a weapon disarm, that is also a situation escalation, not a de-escalation. When the bad guy pulls a gun on you for your wallet, he is reasonably sure that he is safe, and you are in danger. When you disarm him, he suddenly becomes afraid for his life, his fight or flight response kicks in. He may very well, use that response to overwhelm you, take the gun back and now he kills you, where before he would have been happy with the $20 in your wallet.

    When people are taught weapon disarms, they need to know all of the legal implications of using deadly force. They need to be ready to use the weapon they take away, as soon as they get it, their life may now depend on it. (this is all assuming the disarm actually works...) Too many times people train these weapon disarms, thinking that will de-escalate the situation and the other guy will logically agree to walk away now. However, as soon as you start to fight for that weapon, you are both fighting for your lives. Assuming you get the weapon, you may need to deploy it immediately, to stop the bad guy from getting it back and killing you with it. You should also know when you can legally use the weapon you just took... you may become the bad guy in a legal sense.

    Also, consider what other people see and what the police will see. The bad guy pulls a gun on you, a bystander calls the police "some guy pulled a gun on the other", you disarm the bad guy, get distance and cover the bad guy with his own gun, the police show up... who do the police see as the bad guy? Do you know how to communicate with the police without getting yourself in more trouble?

    Again, I really like this discussion. I am not trying to deter anyone from carrying or disarming... But, I agree completely with the need for the carrier to train and understand the legal environment. I also think that when weapon disarms are studied, these same issues need to be discussed as well. Whether carrying or attempting a disarm, you need to understand these same issues.
     
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  12. MA_Student

    MA_Student Black Belt

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    See this is the whole problem with the world..the fact that 2 elderly women who know sweet FA about guns can go Into a shop and buy a shotgun and a bunch of ammo and off they go and legally this is perfectly fine....it's because dumb logic like this that 50 people in Vegas are dead and over 500 are injured
     
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  13. PhotonGuy

    PhotonGuy Senior Master

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    They should go to Frontsight.
     
  14. PhotonGuy

    PhotonGuy Senior Master

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    Dude, you're not supposed to get political on this forum. By doing so you're putting this thread at a risk of being shut down.
     
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  15. Anarax

    Anarax Black Belt

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    I couldn't agree more. Carrying a weapon isn't the only thing a person needs, but training as well. Imagine a non martial artist using the logic, "I have hands, thus I will use them if the situation arises even though I have little to no training." When you apply the same reasoning with weapons the situation become more dangerous. Weapons, regardless of your preference, requires professional training and continuous practice.

    Reading your post reminds me of a friend I once had. He loved guns, grew up with guns and would talk about guns endlessly. One day him, a group of friends and I went to the pistol range to fire off some rounds. When it came down to it he possessed zero to little firearm skills. Out of 50 rounds he only put half into a target 7 yards away. Imagine the target being an actual threat and my friend responded, that's a lot of stray rounds. He didn't know what to do when it jammed, nor did he know how to stand properly. I, being a former armed security officer, was able to put 48/50 rounds(with varying accuracy) into it. That was the first time me firing my pistol in 5 years, but I would have been much more accurate if I practiced more regularly.

    I'm not an anti-weapon advocate either, but I agree the untrained carrying weapons is more dangerous than someone trained. One would think people would naturally want to receive quality training in the weapons they carry, unfortunately many don't.
     
  16. Streetfighter2

    Streetfighter2 Yellow Belt

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    Agreed its pathetic guns are cowards weapons
     
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  17. Anarax

    Anarax Black Belt

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    The ignorance on here is absolutely astounding. People using those who lost their lives to make a political statement is such a disgraceful thing to do. Regardless of your political allegiance try to conduct yourselves with some respect and dignity
     
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  18. Streetfighter2

    Streetfighter2 Yellow Belt

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    .
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2017
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  19. Anarax

    Anarax Black Belt

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    Saying only cowards use guns is an ignorant and inaccurate thing to say. Cowardly acts are committed with guns, knives, bats, bare hands, etc. The tools you use are not indicative of your bravery nor cowardice. Look at it three dimensionally and try not to generalize.
     
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  20. MA_Student

    MA_Student Black Belt

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    I meant no disrespect in the post but it relates to this thread my point. People are carrying weapons because they're scared of people with weapons because they're so easy to get which was shown in this incident when the scumbag had over 50 guns in his hotel room. Apologies if anyone's upset by it if anyone wants to delete it go for it makes no difference to me
     
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