The 'Vampire Straw' so-called dual-purpose self-defense tool

Wing Woo Gar

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This seems like we'd get right into having to define what we mean by "weapon". Of course, anything used as a weapon is inherently a weapon in that context, but I don't think you're talking about having just any weapon potential (which would include so nearly everything as to be useless). So that leaves two broad categories we could carve out: things intended as weapons (whether they are good for it or not - like vampire straws and longswords) and things that are obviously effective as weapons (whether intended as such or not - like baseball bats and guns).
I think its kind of silly to spend resources to ban these kinds of weapons. Especially in places where guns and knives are legal to carry. A #2 Ticonderoga pencil serves fine for at least one shot, and potentially leaves a cool tattoo.
 
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Bill Mattocks

Bill Mattocks

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My point was (and remains) that despite any creative threading of the needle, a person carrying a dual-use 'not a weapon, wink wink' isn't going to win the argument with a cop or TSA agent who thinks it is.

Everybody is a jailhouse lawyer. "You can't arrest me, because ... [insert BS here]." And yet, surprise surprise, they end up arrested.

Worse than the people who think their logic will trump the cop's decision, are the people who suggest that other people should try it as well. "All you have to do is tell the cop you're a sovereign citizen and not subject to the laws of the US and they have to let you go." Some booger-eatin' moron is going to try it, and of course, end up in hand irons.

My daughter sent me a link to a TikTok video this morning of some guy telling everyone to march into their bank and tell them that since the USA has convered to 'digital currency', their mortgage is null and void and they should not pay their home loan anymore. I had to explain to her that it's BS and she still has to pay her bills. She's not dumb, but she's of a generation that is flooded with this nonsense, and it gets old.

I don't care what *you* think your vampire straw is for, weapon or drinking implement. What matters is what the cop thinks who catches you with it. That was the point. Gee whiz.
 

Steve

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I'm uncertain of the semantics here. Is something being technically illegal the same as a crime, or is a crime an illegal action (meaning there is no defense that renders the action not-illegal)?

What I mean is (and I'm not sure this will be clear even with this restatement), is it only a crime if the person can be convicted, or can it be a crime but they're not convictable?
Yeah, I don't know, and to be honest, that's the sort of pedantry that I was trying to avoid. (Not suggesting you're being pedantic, but trying to say that I'd prefer to leave this level of grammatical analysis to the lawyers).

Conceptually, as a lay person, the way I understand the rules around killing folks is that it's illegal, but that there are some exceptions that can be argued under the law. "I'm sorry I broke the law, but I had no choice because [legal defense]. Therefore, you should either reduce my punishment, or not punish me at all." In other words, the reason folks are arrested and prosecuted is because the act of killing someone is illegal. The reason they are exonerated for the crime is because they successfully articulated a defense.

And as an alternative, some things are not illegal. People aren't arrested and prosecuted for doing legal things.
 

Steve

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My point was (and remains) that despite any creative threading of the needle, a person carrying a dual-use 'not a weapon, wink wink' isn't going to win the argument with a cop or TSA agent who thinks it is.

Everybody is a jailhouse lawyer. "You can't arrest me, because ... [insert BS here]." And yet, surprise surprise, they end up arrested.

Worse than the people who think their logic will trump the cop's decision, are the people who suggest that other people should try it as well. "All you have to do is tell the cop you're a sovereign citizen and not subject to the laws of the US and they have to let you go." Some booger-eatin' moron is going to try it, and of course, end up in hand irons.

My daughter sent me a link to a TikTok video this morning of some guy telling everyone to march into their bank and tell them that since the USA has convered to 'digital currency', their mortgage is null and void and they should not pay their home loan anymore. I had to explain to her that it's BS and she still has to pay her bills. She's not dumb, but she's of a generation that is flooded with this nonsense, and it gets old.

I don't care what *you* think your vampire straw is for, weapon or drinking implement. What matters is what the cop thinks who catches you with it. That was the point. Gee whiz.
These sovereign citizen folks are a bit loony, but the videos are hilarious.
 

drop bear

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Yeah, some creative marketing there for sure. Not trying to be pedantic. I just think absent evidence to the contrary, this is just someone making a buck and not a real threat. So, the question is, what makes this inherently a weapon? Is it being used as a weapon to harm others? Is it marketing? Because I could market anything as a weapon.

For example, if I open up an Etsy shop and start selling Tactical Death Nails... which are literally olive drab or matte black knitting needles, would that make them more dangerous? I could write some crazy cool marketing language about all the nefarious deeds that can be done with a knitting... I mean Tactical Death Nail. My opinion is... maybe... based on what people actually start doing.

I've never heard of a vampire straw before this thread, but I've been looking for any evidence that it's been used as a weapon by anyone, anywhere. I'm not saying it hasn't... but I can't find any evidence of it at all. So, all that to say, absent evidence to the contrary, I think this is a red herring to be filed away with fear of sharks and reefer madness. I guess to address the OP's assertion, yeah, you can fool the cops. You can take your Tactical Death Nails on board a plane very easily, by putting them in a bag with some yarn. Easy peasy...
Yes.

So if you do decide to come out with your tactical defence weapon. Calling it the happy camper makes it more legal than calling it the throat slitter.
 

Steve

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Yes.

So if you do decide to come out with your tactical defence weapon. Calling it the happy camper makes it more legal than calling it the throat slitter.
That's a good marketing tip. I'll keep that in mind. I submit for your consideration my idea for the Warm and Fuzzy Feel Good Hugs Xtreme Tactical Knitting Needle. Do you think the TSA folks will confiscate them? :)

1682709246169.png
 

drop bear

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That's a good marketing tip. I'll keep that in mind. I submit for your consideration my idea for the Warm and Fuzzy Feel Good Hugs Xtreme Tactical Knitting Needle. Do you think the TSA folks will confiscate them? :)

View attachment 29739
I think the wool would probably get you across more than anything.

It is like the old bat trick. If you carry a bat in the car. Carry a ball
 

Steve

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I think the wool would probably get you across more than anything.

It is like the old bat trick. If you carry a bat in the car. Carry a ball
I picked that picture specifically because it included a camouflage, wool sheath.

But to Bill's point, if the cop wants to arrest you for having a tactical knitting needle, he's going to do it.
 

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Intent plays a big part in the arrest/prosecution of "weapons". There is a lot of gray area in some cases.

In this case, it was specifically prohibited by TSA and the guy tried to bring it through anyways.

I was dealing with one of our Frequent Flyer Felons and arrested him for carrying a small switchblade that also had a small fuel reservoir in it so it also acted as a lighter. He wanted to argue that I couldn't arrest him for carrying a lighter. He was right on that, I was arresting him for carrying a switchblade.

I have also seen someone get arrested for carrying an otherwise "legal" pocket knife because when the officer asked him what he had it/used it for, the guy made some comment about using it to protect himself. Now, it isn't a tool it is a weapon.
 

Steve

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This seems like we'd get right into having to define what we mean by "weapon". Of course, anything used as a weapon is inherently a weapon in that context, but I don't think you're talking about having just any weapon potential (which would include so nearly everything as to be useless).
Agreed. I think what's worth thinking about is where we choose to draw the line and why. I don't claim to have the right opinion on that, or even one that's particularly consistent. But if some dangerous things aren't weapons, and some benign things are weapons, it's interesting to me to try and figure out why some things are and some aren't.

So that leaves two broad categories we could carve out: things intended as weapons (whether they are good for it or not - like vampire straws and longswords) and things that are obviously effective as weapons (whether intended as such or not - like baseball bats and guns).

The relevant third category that I'm trying to highlight here are things that aren't really weapons, even though they could be dangerous and may be marketed as weapons. As you say above, if we fuss about everything that has some potential to be used as we weapon, it would include nearly everything.

With that in mind, in my opinion, the most reasonable and consistent criterion for whether something is a weapon or not is whether there is actual danger, not potential danger. And for the sake of practicality, and possibly sanity, I would encourage folks to avoid falling for the marketing hype. It's a retrospective determination and subject to change.
 

geezer

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...some people dont pick up on sarcasm without the added to the text. I thought the Stabbing boba would give it away. Lol
Yeah, I thought it was just us Yanks that are slow to pick up on sarcasm and irony unless there is an obvious "tell". At least that's what the Brits say. (Where's Tez got off to lately?) ....But I guess Aussies aren't much better. :D
 

O'Malley

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I'm uncertain of the semantics here. Is something being technically illegal the same as a crime, or is a crime an illegal action (meaning there is no defense that renders the action not-illegal)?

What I mean is (and I'm not sure this will be clear even with this restatement), is it only a crime if the person can be convicted, or can it be a crime but they're not convictable?
Not sure whether it's exactly the same in common law countries but in many continental law jurisdictions I understand that it's something like this. Crime has three elements:
1) illegal fact typified in the offence (e.g. killing someone);
2) unlawfulness, i.e. the absence of "justification" that would make a normally illegal fact lawful (these are "exceptions" such as self defense or state of necessity);
3) mental element (intent, negligence, wilful blindness, etc.).

Combined, these make a criminal offence, for which you can be convicted.
 

Gerry Seymour

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Not sure whether it's exactly the same in common law countries but in many continental law jurisdictions I understand that it's something like this. Crime has three elements:
1) illegal fact typified in the offence (e.g. killing someone);
2) unlawfulness, i.e. the absence of "justification" that would make a normally illegal fact lawful (these are "exceptions" such as self defense or state of necessity);
3) mental element (intent, negligence, wilful blindness, etc.).

Combined, these make a criminal offence, for which you can be convicted.
Thanks, that's pretty much what I was pondering.
 

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