Tuesday, October 16, 2012

- The Virtue Of A Boot Knife

You're traveling in a state that doesn't allow concealed carry (at least not for you). You're bigger than average, fitter than average and therefore make a poor target for criminals or a solitary act of random violence. You don't have to seriously worry about rioting because you can see (and hear) that coming and decide to be somewhere else. So there is only one scenario you need to be seriously concerned with - the 5 on 1 act of violence where a group of (normally) young men demonstrate their courage by bravely pummeling a solitary stranger.

Acts like that aren't typically well planned. Back in the age of David Dinkins when these events were common in greater NYC, it was called 'wilding'. A group of 5 or 10 won't start out looking for violence but it might go that way when the opportunity presents itself. The small crowd provides courage to it's otherwise cowardly members, so you can't usually intimidate your way out of it. And unlike a full scale riot, it's certainly possible to come upon a smaller group like that suddenly, just by turning the wrong corner.

In a circumstance like that, I think the virtue of a boot knife is great. A small knife like the one above with a stainless blade so it can be easily seen, might be enough to discourage an attacker or 3 long enough for you to be somewhere else. Shelter and safety will be your first concern. You won't be able to fight off a determined mob with it. But in the heat of the moment the sight of it might give them enough pause for you to flee.

A knife like the one above is legal to carry virtually everywhere except NJ, NYC, and the more militant anti-gun locations where they insist on the populace being disarmed. By all means check the local laws. But a knife like the one above can be had at a price low enough to throw it in the trash on your way to the airport and will still provide a small sense of security for some specific circumstances.

You can't take it on a plane - particularly if you're like me and don't check baggage. But you could leave at your destination in a desk drawer without causing a panic. And if you're coping with a small opportunistic group who is angry because of - say on a purely theoretical basis - an election not going the way they wanted, well then it's certainly better than nothing.


ikaika said...

If you are going to a place that restricts CnC, then a boot knife may as well be a handgun. Pepper spray is probably your best alternative.

While the thought of brandishing a knife to repel a gang of attackers seems plausible, when you get jumped by three or more, you will be too busy covering your face too reach for a boot knife.

I got pummeled by three guys back in college- all for trying to break-up a fight. If I had a weapon available I would have been able to pull it as I regained consciousness in the ER.

Chances are, you will not see it coming. I suggest a bit of krav maga or jiu jitzu would be far more handy than a boot knife. If you are able to take out the biggest attacker in one or two shots, then you may be able to draw your weapon.

I would suggest avoiding the locations and situations - but that may not be possible.

I remember the "wilding years", walking too Penn station and seeing a mass of people scattering along 7th ave as a band teenagers roughed-up anyone and anything in their path. I ran to the other side of the street.

I used to carry a pocket knife in those days. Probably would have been ineffective against a dozen 16 year olds.

Tom said...

The goal isn't to fight. Any pack of mangy dogs will kill a lion no matter how long it's claws. The goal is to create a moment of doubt BEFORE you get hit. If you're going to get totally blindsided, nothing will help you.

BTW, I don't mean to carry it in your boot. Back when I was still young I used to hook one inside my belt in the center of my back. a little handier that way.

ikaika said...

The goal isn't to fight.
Correct. The goal is to avoid a fight or a confrontation at all costs. as experienced- sometimes you get caught-up in the moment. The bad thing about a knife, it doesn't go "bang".
As with CnC requirements, even carrying a blade requires some training. There are few martial artists out there that will train you for concealed blades. Most martial arts teach you to disable the guy with the weapon - unless its the Phillippine stick fighting or the stuff that my uncle in the marines taught me.

A gun going off is enough to shock the assailants and give enough pause and distance to get away.
A knife being pulled or "flashed" will probably encourage the group to kick the crap out of you even more if not encourage them to kill you.

I did witness a person try to fend-off an assailant with a golf club. He swung and missed and the assailant disarmed the victim and proceeded to turn his face into hamburger with a 5 iron.

I can only reflect on the handful of situations where I was the unfortunate recipient of violent encounter, and I was a wrestler so a limited bit of grappling really didn't help.

Ultimately - you brain, your fists and feet will be readily deployed before the knife comes out.

I do agree that at a minimum you have a right to defend yourself or avail yourself to arms to ward off harm or meet force, but I would seriously train with weapon of choice rather than go cowboy.

I do carry a knife, but not as an intended self-defense weapon. More out of utility. It's part of my EDC.

Carrying a knife alone - I consider that a potential assailant will readily trump me in arms with a firearm of sorts, or that time in Newark where the industrious teenagers brandished lumber and chunks of asphault threatening every passer-by they saw. - they get creative on McCarter Highway...

Tom said...

You know me... I'm a risk manager. All I'd be interested in is getting out of the trade. In the end I'd be counting on my feet more than anything else. And by far the best bet is to be somewhere else when problems show up.

I have nothing to prove.

chess said...

Im a lover not a fighter.

.Though as Ive said before I do have a dark Edgar Allen Poe side.. Father had it also. Its not pretty so I avoid civilization.
If someone wants to bring the fight to me then all bets are off.

Keith said...

Living in a state where it is easy to carry, I forget about the oppressive gun laws in NY and NJ. Just doesn't seem right. I would get sliced up salami style with my own knife. Not so with small, easily concealed but effective gun.
Even with difficult TSA, I've found it easy to fly with weapons, but it depends where you are headed.
Pretty interesting discussion from a group of highly intelligent people. (I exclude myself...)

Hell_Is_Like_Newark said...

closest thing I have to a knife is my Leatherman I bought from Cabelas. Its a tool for me, not a defense weapon. Though I carry it all the time, as being a landlord, there is always something that needs a quick fix.

Anonymous said...

From someone in the industry and for self defense purposes only:
A neck knife should get you around legal requirements in Jersey and NY. I carry a Kbar TDI knife around my neck in addition to my pocket folders or assisted-opening, sidearm and an occasional ankle gun.
The TDI is tiny. Wrap your finger around it and it can be jammed into someone's jugular if the need arises.
Ceramic knives are undetectable to metal detectors. Use your imagination there. Check your penal code for their legality.
If you're in a knife fight you're going to get cut, that is a given but you can survive it and fight through it.
If you're in a fight, regardless, you're going to go to the ground. My non-compliant arrests wind up on the ground. In my agency we train a lot on ground fighting now. This has been a huge evolution. You have got to learn escape maneuvers so you don't get locked up between someone's knees and pummeled to death.
Self-defense with firearms, knives or fists requires training and frequent refreshment as all of these skills are perishable. The life you are saving may be someone else's.
Krav Maga is outstanding. If you can take some classes, do so. You'll get some good skills, get in shape and feel better about yourself, more confident. If you can take it from actual Israelis you'll likely hear some insane stories.
I don't think I can ever go back east but that's just me.
Thanks guys.