I don't mean to offend. It's probably going to happen anyway.

Saturday, September 1, 2012


There are times when I have to wonder how equipped I am to defend myself. Considering that by a combination of state, and federal law and University policy, I am unable to even possess a firearm on campus (and by logical extension, anywhere, since I live on campus) much less carry one, I'm at rather a disadvantage out the door to a person determined to do me harm.

As mentioned in a previous post, I carry a knife among my daily pocket clutter. There's another one living in my bag, along with a mini multi-tool. If I found myself in a situation where I had to, I could use it to help protect me. I have major doubts as to whether I could use it to any particularly great effect. While it is hugely better than nothing, it's still a naught but a 3" bit of steel sharp on one side. Similarly, my capability for home defense (considering my home to be my room of my suite, though it could extend to the commons if need be) is limited to a 4" fixed blade knife I keep at my headboard.

It's not something I think on particularly often. Campus is a fairly low violence environment. I don't know the numbers offhand, but it's lower on campus than off. Now that I'm stopping to think though, I am woefully unprepared should anything happen. I like to think I would fight back if it came to it, but the tools at my disposal are so very limited.

There is a certain weird dichotomy I have noticed. People in the blogosphere and elsewhere talk about the combat mentality as being hugely critical in defense, and how the human mind is in the end the only weapon. I have heard it said that if you have the combat mentality, it doesn't matter what else you have. Simultaneously, we argue about how a 70lb grandmother is not going to be able to stand up to a 240lb, 6'3" mugger. This to me seems to be an obvious case of the middle ground being the real one. Combat mentality alone can't guarantee your safety. The new $12000 micro whizbang plasticool wundernine decked to the gills with defensive features won't save you if you aren't willing to use it.

Those of my readers who have met me in the flesh know that I am of a very slight build. I am 6'1" roundabouts and soaking wet I sometimes hit 140lb. I am stronger than I look, but that's really not saying too much. In a conflict involving physical abilities pitted against each other, I am at a fairly serious disadvantage. Now, give my opponent a gun, as would be the case, God forbid, if a shooter turned up on the UTD campus. I wouldn't go out without a fight, but in that case I see it as all to likely that I would, in fact, go out.

I suppose I am a little too conscious right now of my own vulnerability for comfort. It's not a pleasant feeling, especially as I'm not sure what else I could do to add security to my life without breaking rules and laws.

I actually had an experience recently with the campus police. I won't get into details, but they were called out to deal with some illegal activity. They arrived in a fairly timely manner and behaved with remarkable professionalism and composure, but fairly timely isn't acceptable in a life or death circumstance.

I am honestly unlikely to be at particular risk of violence. But that doesn't serve to change my ability to react should I find myself in that position. I suppose it's just one of those uncomfortable truths to this time of my life.


  1. I've often thought of just being a jerk and bringing an old 1895 Mosin Nagant rifle on campus with me in the truck, since according to the ATF, it is not a firearm.
    Either that or a Czech flare gun, or somesuch.

    Aside from improvised weapons, as long as you wish to stay within the confines of the law, you are limited to blunt objects. I don't know what UTD allows in the way of knives, but I'm sure it isn't enough. Same with pepper spray, etc.

    1. Unfortunately, campus policy includes a ban on gun look-alikes. Including the squirt and Nerf varieties. While it doesn't qualify as a firearm, it's still banned under UTD. I checked.

      Blunt objects are certainly better than nothing, but I do hate to rely on them. Too difficult to control and use effectively to really trust. That's something the antis don't get. I can kill someone with a 3" paring knife, firearm, hammer, or ballpoint pen with equivalent effect (read, the goblin ends up room temperature) The only thing that sets firearms apart is the ease of use to that effect. If someone invented a doohickey that I felt I could rely on more than a firearm, I would use that. Firearms are simply the most effective tool all around for personal defense.

    2. Just for that, I will run around campus next semester with my hand and fingers in the shape of a gun, with orange paint on the tip of my index finger, just to make sure they get the reference.
      I do not suffer fools gladly, but I gladly make fools suffer. I would love to see them try and enforce such a rule when a redneck smartass like myself steps into the picture. =)

      If I were involved in an act of violence, I'd prefer to use a firearm over the other methods listed, as the firearm is the least gory over stabbing someone multiple times, or blunt force trauma.

  2. I rather approve of that plan. I also may shamelessly steal that suffering fools line, as it's really quite clever. Attribution would of course be given. (so not totally shameless, but you get the idea)

    A gun is also the more merciful tool. To use the most effective tool makes it less likely that the goblin will suffer. That's something the antis don't get. Of I find myself in a position of having to do violence, it isn't because I want to hurt that person. Im not in the business of making people suffer, even if they deserve it. That's between the them, the law, and god. My place is not to punish, merely to protect myself. I see no reason to act in a way that causes any extra suffering to anyone involved.

  3. That is a line I have used for a long time. I made it up myself, but I'm willing to bet I'm not the first one to do so. If you see it somewhere else, give them credit before you do me, as I'm just not that creative or original.

    There are a handful of people on this ball of dirt I would actually like to see suffer. The rest of them, not so much. Hence the whole gun thing.


Please comment, but please be respectful. I reserve the right to delete any comment at any time for any reason, but I don't anticipate having to do that. Let's try to have real discussions?