Meditations on the Combat Mindset

Long-time readers of this blog know that I am firmly of the opinion that any man or woman has only one weapon.

That weapon is the human mind.

And that weapon is the only weapon that you had in the past, it is that only weapon that you have now, and it is the only weapon that you will have at any time in the future.

A gun is not a weapon. A gun is a tool, and nothing more.

It is a tool designed to initiate and contain a rapid gas expansion for the purposes of driving a malleable alloy pellet along a repeatable trajectory.

And that, Gentle Readers, is the only thing a gun is designed to do.

Now — who, what or where that trajectory intersects is completely up to the human mind holding that gun.

The gun is a tool, a tool that the human mind may choose to use to threaten, injure or kill, but simply a tool.

This is a simple concept, but it is one that I see rapidly disappearing.

We have the regrettable and distasteful habit of putting all of our faith into one thing — and for some fundamentally inconceivable reason that thing that people put their faith in is never the human mind.

I truly don’t understand that.

I see that I have already lost some of my readers. Allow me to give an example.

There are people who style themselves as warriors. And they have practiced with firearms until they are capable of doing things with their firearms that leave me in awe, so who am I to disagree with that styling?

Yet, these same people will come to me weeping, wailing and gnashing their teeth, “LawDog, I have to take a plane flight, and TSA is going to disarm me at the terminal.”

Goodness, I didn’t realize that TSA was installing brain-suckers at every airport.

“No! I can’t take a gun or knife on a plane! I’m going to be helpless!”


Put a Masterlock and a thin leather dress belt in your carry-on. If a critter presents himself, thread the Masterlock onto the dress belt and break his skull with it.

If TSA takes away your Masterlock, then beat the critter to death with your walking stick.

If they confiscate your walking stick, then you take a pencil, a fountain pen or a biro, and you puncture his vital organs in alphabetical order.

If your writing utensils are banned, you garrote the bastard with your bootlaces.

If TSA forbids foot-wear, then you break a CD disk and you cut his sodding throat with the jagged edges, BUT DON’T BLOODY WELL GIVE ME THIS “HELPLESS” BULL[DELETED]!

LawDog, they won’t let me carry a gun — I’m helpless. LawDog, they won’t let them have pocket-knives, they are helpless.


Helpless, my furry arse. You are helpless because you’re fixated on tools. You’re helpless because you — your mind — is letting you think that you’re helpless just because some daftie took away your pretty tools.

Stop it.

Firearms don’t have a single godsdamned thing to do with the Combat Mindset.

Knives don’t have a single flaming thing to do with the Combat Mindset.

Combat Mindset has not a bloody thing to do with tools, and everything to do with your mind — that’s why it’s called “The Combat Mindset” and not “The Combat Toolset”.

Period. Full stop. End of statement.


You think you're tough?
And it's a source of considerable irritation, too.

47 thoughts on “Meditations on the Combat Mindset”

  1. Great post. I just got back from a weeklong vacation (it did involve air travel). On the plane, I didn’t have my Springfield Armory 1911 in .45ACP or my S&W 642. I didn’t have a fighting knife, kitchen knife, or pocket knife. I didn’t even have a bottle of water.

    I did have pure cussed determination that I would NOT go along quietly with any evildoers, and the willingness to use anything at hand in order to prevent such evil. Nothing was required, and I’m fine with that. Air travel is annoying enough without combat on the airliner.

    It is the mind which turns any object into a weapon, and which determined whether you will accept whatever fate the bad man has for you or whether you will rise up and say “I may not survive this, but I’ll do my damndest to make sure you don’t either.”

  2. I’ve been saying this for years. Some people believe the only armaments are guns and knives. These people refuse to travel to scenic countries because they can’t take their toys* with the excuse that they won’t be disarmed. I say carry a heavy SLR on a neckstrap (but not around your neck) as it makes a handy flail type weapon when neccessary. You came up with many other great examples. Until we’re nekkid and in a bare container of a transport, we’re not unarmed, merely inconvenienced.

    *In the end, that’s what it boils down to, toys. They’re like kids with their favorite doll, matchbox car, etc.


  3. I saw comedian Jay Mohr do a routine on dealing with a plane-jacker; he was clicking his pen on and off while holding it in a menacing manner and gritting his teeth. Element of truth in what makes comedy funny ’cause I did not doubt he had the combat mindset.

    Oh, and sharpen the edge of an old credit card on a grinder.


  4. I now carry a 6 foot piece of nylon strapping (3/4 inch wide, ~2000 load) in my offside hip pocket. It goes thru the TSA checks un-molested and doesn’t even raise any questions if they do notice it.

    But now I have a Flail, whip, garrotte, handcuffs, restraining device, repair strap, etc. I may have to cultivate a slight limp while travelling via air so I can carry a cane with me….

    The problem is that there are those out there with a warrior’s skills, but damn few it seems with a Warrior’s Heart.

  5. Can I get an A-men?

    I don’t care if I have to rip Mr Terrorist’s arm off and use that as a club, I’m not giving up while I’m still conscious.

  6. I don’t fly, so that’s one less worry for me.

    I don’t carry a gun, nor do I carry a knife. I do, however, carry pepper spray/mace, and that’s only because someone bought it for me.

    As far as mindset goes, my brother is a Marine who served in Iraq. He doesn’t talk about a lot of things and I never press. He did tell me that part of his training involved being able to defend yourself and be able to kill someone with your bare hands.

    I once asked him if he ever had to use that training while in Iraq. His answer was yes, but he didn’t elaborate and I didn’t ask him to.

    Survival of the fittest, and his mind was very fit…

  7. Oh, my favorite improvised impliment of destruction? 1/2″ lug nut and a shoelace. It might not be Tactical, but if I can hit Mr Terrorist in the melon with it, he’s gonna have to repeat kindergarten.

  8. Bingo.

    I’m the weapon. The gun is just the tool.

    The guy with the right mindset is lethal with a pair of shoelaces and a box of macaroni. The guy with the wrong mindset is a victim even with a belt-fed machine gun and a tactical nuke in his suitcase.

    Don’t be a victim.

    We didn’t claw our way to the top of the foodchain by curling up in a ball and waiting for guys with badges to show up and kill the sabertooths. We sharpened sticks and stabbed the piss out of anything that looked lie a threat or a meal.

  9. In martial arts class we did some training with rolled up magazines.

    Amen to “It’s the mind not the tool.”


  10. A-MEN, Dog.

    Speaking as someone who was once approached by the neighborhood critter-in-training while leash training her new mutt. I had nothing except the clothes on my back, the nylon leash, and the dog, but a whack from the looped end of that leash and a lot of growling from me and a mutt who weighs all of thirty pounds saw off the critter.

    Later in a rough high school, with even personal pencil sharpeners banned if they were too sharp (hey, I said the place was rough), I kept at least fifty cents of pocket change tied in a bandanna corner. Never got stopped once, but that bandanna got me out of some tight spots.

    I don’t care who you are, what you have, or what I have, I’m not going to give up and stop fighting until you’ve replaced most of my gray matter with lead.

  11. Oh, Marko, would you be so kind as to tell me how the macaroni would be used? Unless you throw it in someone’s face (the whole box, or the pasta accompanied by the boiling water and cheese you were cooking it in), I’m kind of lost. The shoelaces I understand, but macaroni’s a new one…

  12. “The shoelaces I understand, but macaroni’s a new one…”

    I guess you can choke ’em with either one… from inside their throat with the dry macaroni or from outside with the shoelaces used as a garote (sp?). I’m kinda lost on this one too.

    I do agree… actually I’ve been preaching it to my mother and sister for a long time… that we all must have our situational awareness, for which a gun/knife/whatever is no substitute, and that we must all have presence of mind when we do see things start to go downhill. Considering a gun to be the end-all be-all sounds like “Dangerous Man Syndrome” (according to Mike Venturino’s writings in Guns&Ammo) and that makes the person under those illusions more dangerous to himself/herself and/or bystanders than to any perp. However, if you know hand-to-hand combat and have a gun and your assailant comes at you doing kung fu, the gun is said to be the wiser choice in a good many opinions I’ve heard. And if you’re disabled, you sure don’t want to let a perp get that close. But a bullet is still not the answer to *every* problem. If people use their mind (the main weapon) they save themselves a lot more trouble than they cause. Fail to use the mind and it can backfire and cause the situation to blow up in your face.

    I’m recalling what my Grandpa said… that if you stay out of certain places, you won’t have near as much trouble.

    FWIW, I avoid air travel too. I don’t like flying well enough to put up with being treated like a terrorist just because they think it’s supposed to make *me* feel safe.

    -mustanger98 on

  13. As a somewhat larger than avarage person I have had occasion to ask for a “seatbelt extender”. This is a two and a half foot long seatbelt strap with a heavy metal buckle on the end. I don’t really need it but usually ask for one anyway. Makes a great weapon and the airlines will give you one cheerfully if you are of a certain size.

  14. I’m going to go buy a cheap Master lock for my bag at school and work. Fantastic idea. I think I’d rather have that than the much-praised fighting folder. 🙂

  15. Absolutely spot on.

    Or, as “anonymous” said it, and said it very well:

    “Until we’re nekkid and in a bare container of a transport, we’re not unarmed, merely inconvenienced.”

    And yes, being deprived of a very efficient tool such as a gun or a knife IS an inconvenience, and a damn inconvenience at that, one that serves nobody but the assailant. Which, by the way, is why I’m firmly against “gun free” zones anywhere. Why make it HARDER to defend yourself unless you’re actively on the side of those who would visit violence upon innocents?

    But that being said, as much of a damned and stupid inconvenience it is, it’s a far cry from leaving the inconvenienced, law-abiding citizens “helpless.” It leaves them less protected that they could be, but if they feel that they’re literally helpless it’s because they CHOOSE to be.

    Unless they take away your arms literally, you’re not “disarmed.” And they should probably take your legs away as well, just to be on the safe side.

    The reason why I swear by firearms as the best thing since sliced cheese is because of their equalizing nature. You can teach almost ANYONE how to use one and use it very well indeed in a very short time. Hand-to-hand combat takes a lot more devotion and time for you to become truly efficient, and whereas you may never be able to get an 88-year-old to black belt status, you can damn well teach them how to use a .38 and they won’t have to spend three nights a week practicing to maintain it.

    But back to the main point: That’s all convenience. That’s all about which tool is the easiest to use well and which tool is most likely to give you the critical edge.

    It has nothing to do with what is really important, and that’s what between your ears.

    No amount of pretty shiny toys are going to help you if your mind isn’t focused on the task at hand and the willingness to use your toys without hesitation. On the other hand, if you’re focused in your mind, you can kill with anything. Some things are easier to use and bring about the desired result with more certainty, but no matter how you choose to fight, it starts between your ears.

    “Disadvantaged?” Sure.

    “Helpless?” Kiss my ass.

  16. A-MEN! Hallelujah!

    Three cheers for LawDog.

    This is such an important point to make.

    I just got my black belt in Judo yesterday (applause please). The dojo where I study teaches for-real, old fashioned, classical Judo, not the modern tournament stuff, which concentrate on winning to the point where they stretch the tournament rules to the limit. Practicing holding off your opponent while you crouch and wait for an opportunity for a legal technique may be a good way to win trophies but it will get you killed in a real combat situation.

    Anyway. “Ko” and “O” are, respecively, “small” and “big” in Japanese. Techniques in Judo are sometimes labeled that way; “O-Goshi” is the big hip throw.

    But great masters have also added that the specific stuff you do in the dojo, the physical techniques, are “ko-Judo”; the small part of Judo. How you apply Judo in life is “O-Judo”; the important part. In addition to character development, it most certainly includes the warrior mindset.

    Many if not most students of Asian martial arts in America today really don’t get this last part. Even really skilled ones are “dojo ballerinas,” not real fighters.

    An asian martial arts master once said that the reason smaller people can learn to overcome much larger people reliably is that while human physical strength has an upper limit, the strength of your mind does not.

    I believe that while my specific skills as a black belt are potentially invaluable, they are just tools in a toolbox. Good training gives you tools, yes, but the important part is what it turns you into.

    In Robert Heillein’s book “Starship Troopers”, which is many times deeper than the movie (which I rather liked anyway), there is a scene in basic training during a session where the recruits are learning to improvise weapons from wires and sticks and string and rocks. One recruit complained that this seemed stupid. “Aren’t we going to be armed with really dangerous weapons? Why are we wasting our time with these?” [My quotes are from memory and are not exact.] The sergeant looked at him pityingly. “You don’t understand, Private,” he said. “There are no dangerous weapons. There are only dangerous men.”

    I may have mentioned this before, but I’ll repeat it. The situation may have changed now, but in the 1970’s in Africa, Masailand included territory of several “countries”, none of whom were stupid enough to try to stop the Masai from moving their cattle wherever they chose. Poaching had severly depleted wildlife throughout most of Africa, but not in Masailand. The Masai do not hunt for food; they rely strictly on their cattle. But they do not tolerate armed men sneaking around in their country; they consider it a threat to their cattle. The poachers are armed with assault rifles and are often in large groups. The Massai tend their cattle in smaller groups and are armed with spears and big machete-like knives, and the poachers stay away in abject terror. The Masai warriors, the Moran, are not just legendary but are nearly mythical. And it’s because of mindset.

    One more thing: Even when someone prevails because they had a tool-a Master lock on a long strap, a sharpened credit card, a black belt in Judo, or whatever, I consider fundamentally that the fact that they were ready when the fumits hit the windmill is another sign of mindset.

    Shoot; FOUR cheers for LD.


  17. Oh, and while I’m at it, allow me to throw up something that is certainly relevant to the topic at hand, but might not be strictly ON topic:

    Does this mean that it’s always stupid to say “I won’t go to such-and-such because they won’t let me carry?”

    No, I don’t think so.

    It’s a matter of risk assessment.

    You have to consider the importance of you going there and the environment that you’ll be in.

    Would I go on a plane even though my CHL means nothing there? Sure. Provided that I need to go where I’m going, but why else would I get on the bloody plane to begin with? I have a need to go, and the environment I’ll find myself in will be relatively secure, since all of the inconveniences that I have to submit to to be there apply to everybody else as well. They’re at as much of a disadvantage as I am. Hence, no problem. I don’t like it because it’s un-Constitutional (the Founders said nothing about “shall not be infringed unless you’re on public transportation”) and because it degrades my combat readiness, but the pros outweight the cons, so I’ll just adapt.

    Would I walk in the slums of a city that doesn’t honor my CHL, on the other hand?

    No effing way, unless we’re talking about a life-and-death necessity for me to be there. Am I “helpless?” No. But I’m at a distinct disadvantage because, in that particular environment, I’m likely to be the only one unarmed in the traditional sense, being the law-abiding citizen that I am. More importantly, it’s almost a certainty that any potential threats won’t be unarmed.

    So in that situation, unless I had the most imperative reason known to man to be there, I wouldn’t. Risk assessment. It’s not lack of “combat mindset”, it’s presence of “common sense.”

    All of this to say and to throw up for discussion that I DO understand if some people, myself included, in very particular and specific situations, say “I’m not going there under the current rules.” Again, it’s called risk assessment or “is it worth it?”

    But again, that’s not the same as saying that “I’m not going there because I’m ‘helpless’.” Because that’s nonsense.

  18. Eloquently stated, Mr. LawDog.

    You are the weapon; guns, knives, pens, broken CDs, rolled up magazines, improvised saps, bludgeons, garrotes, etc. are just tools. In almost any environment you find yourself, if you look around you’ll find an effective tool to use for defensive (or offensive) purposes. In fact, the empty human hand is perhaps the most versatile and adaptable tool there is, and (assuming yours are still attached to your body) your hands are always with you.

    How you use the available tools depends on the glorious, vicious, brutal violence your trained and determined mind conjures up, as needed for the particular situation. Obviously, such violence can serve good or evil ends, wholly dependent on the honor and moral character of the tool wielder.

    Anyway, great post. Stay sharp, and stay safe.

  19. “These people refuse to travel to scenic countries because they can’t take their toys* with the excuse that they won’t be disarmed.”

    I refuse to travel to scenic countries because I refuse to pay thousands of dollars for the privilege of being insulted, disarmed, and treated like cattle.

    It’s not a matter of fear, it’s a matter of principle.

  20. Great post as usual LawDog!

    My wife and I had to fly a few months after 9/11/01, and I remember mentally preparing myself should something get ugly on that flight. Being middle-aged, fat and asthmatic I wouldn’t be much use in a fight, but I figured if I did nothing but launch my seriously-over-200-pound self at someone it would provide some inconvenience. I also recall looking at the in-flight magazine as a fighting tool if needed.

    You know, I have to wonder if the folks who insist that everyone go to public schools understand this and they are trying to disarm the next generation?

  21. Excellent post.
    The mind is the weapon, the body is the primary tool, and everything else is a secondary tool. When the mind, body and tools are all in a high state of readiness, then you are at your least vulnerable.
    When I studied in Europe, I was less than two years out of the Marine Corps. I studied western martial arts which emphasized the idea of not fighting fair, and using every dirty trick and improvised weapon in the book in order to get home in one piece.
    As one can imagine, while I was in Europe, the idea of an american carrying any sort of weapon was frowned upon.
    So, I kept my mindset sharp and ready for trouble. I avoided or minimized where possible those situations where I was at risk (Aside: When people ask if I carry my .45 because I expect trouble, I tell them I carry a .45 because I don’t expect trouble; if I expected trouble, I would be leading off with wall-to-wall napalm, and following with a ma deuce).
    As such, my mind was sharp, my body was ready and tained. On top of that, I took a 3 foot length of chain, and closed an S-hook on one end of it. I hooked the one end on my belt and let the length of it run down my leg inside the trousers. I could quickly draw it out by hooking a finger in the S-hook, and drawing it verticcally (which I choreographed into a strike, creating that nifty draw/strike motion). It was cheap, could be used for other things, and if I needed to ditch it, I could afford to just unhook it, let it slither out the bottom of my trouser leg, and just walk away from it.

    Of course, the one time I used it to secure luggage was the one time I needed it, and I had to beat down some nutjob in Milan with my bare fists, but at the time, the odds of me getting into fisticuffs were thought to be exceedingly remote.

    Then again, there were a few times when I was ready to whip out that chain and lay waste to every motherf%cker in the street.

    “It is a hard heart that kills.”
    -R. Lee Ermey, Full Metal Jacket.

  22. Fantastic post, LawDog.

    Along with being a shooter, I am a martial arts instructor. The style I train in doesn’t focus on winning medals at tournaments, but is a traditional style that has its origins on the battlefield. I always stress that there are three main things one must develop in order to be a good fighter:


    I can teach almost serious student good technique and tactics. But while I do certainly teach about mindset, it is sometimes the most difficult aspect for practitioners to grasp and then fully develop. Without the combat mindset, awesome technique and sound tactics will not prevail in a real life or death situation, because even if an attacker has inferior skills he will be 100% comitted to taking you out any way he/she can. Having the proper mindset is what allows the years of training (technique and tactics) to become a decisive advantage. Mindset is also crucial to following one of the cardinal rules of self defense: never, ever give up.


  23. I think everyone needs to watch some Jackie Chan movies. There is a guy who can use ANYTHING at arms reach as a weapon. I know it is a movie and all, but still it shows how a touch of creativity and ingenuity and you have all sorts of handy weapons.

  24. I’m still to this day trying to figure out how a plane can be highjacked with a box cutter when there’s that many “floatation” devices under everyone’s asses. Strap one on the arm and go to town…

  25. Amen, Dog.

    The 9/11 hijackers were also “disarmed”. Box cutters make no better weapons than pens, belts, and hardcover books do. So many of the passengers were equally armed – and the pilots had fire axes, if they’d thought to use them.

  26. The Jackie Chan comment reminded me of the Trevanian novel Shibumi. The protagonist of the novel was trained in an obscure martial art called Naked/Kill, and supposedly for him the average Western room contained something like 200 lethal weapons–including magazines, pencils, and credit cards.

  27. I can’t agree more with the combat mindset.

    But. Ain’t there always one.

    But. Dog, you left out half of the mindset. And if that weren’t bad enough, you’ve ridiculed it.

    The missing half is preparedness of tools, as well as preparedness of action. Pick your adage… Be prepared. Never bring a knife to a gun fight. The more you sweat, the less you bleed. Train as if it’s real. Practice makes perfect…

    If one doesn’t know how to use a piece of paper as a weapon, one only has luck and determination to win. That may be enough if you’re caught unprepared, but why get caught unprepared? Why be disarmed? Why not have a source of fire-starting ability, source of minor and field expediante first-aid, and a weapon one has trained with? If you don’t carry it, you won’t have it when the excrement hits the rotary air-mover.

    Granted, you can’t be effective, no matter the tools with you, if you don’t have the mind set to use them. But you can’t use the tools if you don’t know how, and you don’t have them with you.

    I know several people who think they’re ready to defend themselves. Very few of them would actually be effective.

  28. Expanding upon what Motley said.

    I have NEVER felt unarmed on an airplane. Ever since I was 14 I’ve realized that every passenger on board is provided with a weapon. Next time your on a plane look at the seatbelt. There is a large ~1-2lb. buckle (made of ten or twelve guage sheet steel) on a nylon strap. Follow this strap to where it attaches to the seat. You’ll find that the belt merely clips onto an anchor post attached to the seat frame. ALL OF THE BELTS ON THE PLANE ARE READILY REMOVABLE.

    Why fuss over box cutters when the airline itself provides you with a 2lb battle flail and a foam shield (flotation device) to parry strikes with?

    And thats just the starter set, nevermind what you could bring with you. Its the mindset that counts. 😀

  29. Not to spoil the party, but I hope that no TERRORIST is reading this list of weapons ideas. I do see how I’ll put my floatation device to good use, though.

    I have also discovered a way to waste some of the cheap whiskey they serve you in flight, but I ain’t gonna tell how.

  30. I travel by air on average 26 times a year. After 911 it became a serious chore.

    My first trip after the attack I limped on the plane with a sturdy cane, a knife in my diabetic testing kit, a CD with razor edges, a pen you could hammer thru a car door, and a lanyard with a irregular chunk of steel in my carryon.

    They only thing they have ever questioned is the knife but they have always let me take it on as I have “diabetic II” (custom) imprinted on my drivers license.

    Living in Joisey a CCW is problematical so I never considered being unarmed without a gun. It just seemed natural to be prepared.

    My wife thinks I’m a nutjob sometimes…so it’s good to know that in reality I have the proper mindset, and I’m not alone.

  31. Bingo, everybody. Until they start performing medical procedures at the checkpoint, you are still armed… provided you know how to use what you got.

    What are they gonna do, yank everyone’s teeth and make Grandma check her dentures? If you haven’t pulled my fangs (quite literally) I still have that as a fallback option…

    The will and the skill first. Once you have that, when you need them, the tools available will suggest themselves if you’re in the crap deep enough.

  32. I need to make a comment regarding the folks talking about 9/11 and why the terrorists were successful when all they had was boxcutters. The prevailing wisdom pre-9/11 was that hijackers would fly the plane somewhere, land it, then negotiations would ensue and eventally everyone would go home safe and sound. Why risk crashing the plane when eventually you’ll be safely on the ground? If I were going to fight for control of a plane I’d rather do it on the ground than in the air.

    All that changed on 9/11, we realized that being hijacked meant dying. Even flight 93 fought back only after they learned what happened to the other planes, then they realized they had nothing to lose.

  33. Frankly, there are two mindsets that I can never understand.

    The first involves the person who feels that they are not armed unless they have their (gun, knife, pitbull)…just fill in the blank. I was raised by a father who felt that thinking through a crisis was an equal opportunity event. So, he taught his daughters how to deal with just about any situation. Even in those days, he seemed to be aware that we wouldn’t always have some big, strong male around to defend our lives and honor, so he taught us to use what was at hand, starting with our grey matter. Through his tutelage we came to understand that our brain was the most important weapon/tool that we had. Everything else is icing.

    That second type of personality that I have not been able to wrap my mind around is the “peacenik”. I have a friend who is a Buddhist and feels that I will go to the deepest Vashra hell for even thinking about defending myself or my family.
    Though I practice an eastern form of philosophical thought, I am not a Buddhist and have gently and repeatedly informed her about the path of the Peaceful Warrior. This is the warrior that regrets having to take violent action but will do it when necessary as a recognition of their personal responsibility to themselves and the world around them. The Peaceful Warrior survives to spread his philosophy of peace, while the “peacenik” usually does not.

    My friend lives in fear of the violence of the world around her instead of adjusting, adapting and ultimately – surviving.

  34. Amen to all of the above, when I was around 11 or 12 years old, growing up in a housing project on Staten Island, I one day ran across an adult drunk waving a knife. The inch and a half garrison belt came off my jeans, wrapped around my fist, buckle hanging free, and I went for his face and eyes. When the cops got there he tried to play victim but the witnesses backed me up so he got cuffed and stuffed for assault and drunk and disorderly and I walked. that was most of 60 years ago now, I still wear a garrison belt, and if I’m somewhere where I can’t carry my pistol I’ll make hamburger out of a goblin’s face with the buckle.

  35. Oh, Marko, would you be so kind as to tell me how the macaroni would be used?

    How about this: With critter facing you, get in close enough to grab the back of his neck with your free hand, and take that box of macaroni (holding the base cupped in your U-shaped hand) and with GREAT force drive that box (like a champion shotputter) into your other hand – ignoring anything (throat, voicebox, trachea, etc.) that’s in the way. Don’t go for the mouth, it’s too easy to miss – aim for your own hand, pulling them into each other.

    Effective box of macaroni.

  36. Y’know, there are two sides to that.

    On the one hand, heck yeah!! If I am not carrying a gun, I will fight back using everything else I’ve got — my brains, my body, weapons of opportunity in the environment, and all the stubborn wrath I can conjure up. If I die, I’ll die trying.

    On the other hand: the ‘Dawg writes as a large, sturdy male who is really a rather physical person. He’s not crippled from the effects of a heart condition. He’s not an asthmatic middle-aged housewife escorting her crippled, aging mother on a road trip through California. He’s not a skinny young mom with a baby in one arm and a toddler in the other, with a preschooler wrapped around her knees for good measure. He isn’t a tiny, petite female being attacked by a hulking brute of a rapist. He doesn’t have arthritis, a missing arm, a wheelchair …

    They don’t call it an “equalizer” for nothing! The fact is that guts, anger, and sheer cussed determination not to be beaten can only get you so far. You need effective tools, too.

    The ‘Dawg is lucky because his body is an effective tool all on its own. Not everyone is so fortunate.


    People who are rather more than six feet tall and nearly as broad across the shoulders often have uneventful journeys. People jump out at them from behind rocks then say things like, “Oh. Sorry. I thought you were someone else.” — Terry Pratchett

  37. The last time some perp with a weapon threatened me overseas ( in India, as it so happened ), I beat the idiot senseless with a brick.

    Victims make themselves such. Predators do not want to deal with difficult people like me …

  38. New fire safety rules affecting all non-domestic premises in England and Wales came into force on 1 October 2006.

    A fire risk assessment helps you to identify all the fire risks and hazards in your premises. You can then decide to do something to control them.

    Articles Fire Risk Assessments:
    1. Fire Types & Fire Extinguishers
    2. United Kingdom: Fire Departments
    3. New Fire Safety Rules
    4. Steps Needed For Fire Risk Assessment
    5. Steps Are Needed To Save Lives
    6. Fire Safety Engineering
    7. Safety Rules: Fire Risk Assessment

    Fire Risk Assessments

  39. Funny, that last comment about fire safety in the UK reminded me of when I was living there and doing retail security training.

    The training officer was a retired Royal Marine Warrant Officer. He told us he wasnt allowed to teach us about weapons. BUT, he then told us that at the front of every retail store we would ever work at was the perfect weapon for us. A CO2 fire extinguisher. First, spray critter in face with it. (Wont do lasting damage but will make them blink). Then, use the very heavy metal object in your hands to put them on the ground. Now, wherever I am if trouble starts I start looking for fire extinguishers! Oh, and since my dad was ex Australian Infantry, I was brought up to improvise, adapt and run away anyway.

  40. Two thoughts: I’m well over six feet tall, male, strong. I’m as polite as can be, but people still avoid me when it’s dark or lonely. So I agree that determination is not the only factor, though I believe it is the decisive one if a situation arises.

    Secondly, it’s common around here for retail storefront robberies to include a beating with a fire extinguisher.

  41. “I will tell you this categorically, preparing the mind is as essential as any possible skill you could ever learn or any weapon held in your hand. Your mindset is the dispenser and finisher of the battle you are engaged. When you are thrust into the combat vortex and are at the tip of the spear, your mindset determines whether you win or die!” ~ Jack C. Perritt, STRIKE – CMC

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