Tag Archive for self defense

Random Violence

“Better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it.”

I don’t know the original source, but my old man says it all the time. He’ll say it when we’re trying to decide whether or not to bring something on a trip, or when we’d try to throw away some old piece of junk we found in the basement. It occurs to me, however, that it also applies to self defense.

It drives me nuts when people talk about some act of burglary or violence and say “Oh, that will never happen around here.” I live in a quiet, rural community, and I hear it all the time. I also hear them say “People don’t even lock their doors in town,” and they mean it.

Imagine their shock when a couple teenagers looking for a quick buck went from house to house, going into garages and cars to steal money, CDs, and whatever else caught their eye. Imagine their surprise when two young men, armed and on the run from Georgia, were chased down and arrested in a field on the south end of town. My parents lived in a small, nothing-happens-here town, and the guy renting an upstairs apartment next to them kicked in their front door one afternoon. They were out shopping, and if they didn’t have a dog, the guy could have helped himself to anything in the place.

Any one of those could have escalated to violence. What if someone had been up working late on their car, or sitting in an adjoining room, when those boys broke into their garage? What if those two Georgia boys made it through the field and tried to hide in someone’s house? What if my parents had arrived home while their neighbor was still in the house?

Today I read about Brittany Zimmerman, a 21-year-old woman who was murdered by a stranger, possibly a vagrant. She was beaten, strangled, and stabbed and the police didn’t show up for 48 minutes. The dispatcher didn’t hear anything, so the police were no doubt sent on higher priority calls. If the attacker was a stranger or vagrant as the police suspect, then they may never find the guy, much less figure out why he did it. Maybe he broke in and didn’t know she was home. Or maybe he just felt like stabbing someone.

Not likely? Allow me to share one of the most disturbing videos I’ve ever seen (language NSFW):

This guy just attacks this random car with a crowbar — a deadly weapon — simply to demonstrate how bad he is. How would you like to be the driver? Just sitting there, waiting to pull out of the parking lot, maybe wondering what to do about supper, when bam, some maniac is beating the shit out of your car, and for all you know he’s going to pull you out the door and bash your skull in. 911 isn’t going to do you a lick of good, nobody around you seems willing or able to help, and you can’t even drive away because you’re trapped between other cars.

What do you do? Try to run him over? Fight back? I’d probably try the former first, but that’s not the point. The point is this guy wasn’t provoked. He had no beef with the driver and he wasn’t trying to steal anything. It’s about as random an attack as it gets, and there’s not a damn thing that would have stopped him or defused the situation.

This is one of many reasons I carry a knife. This is one of many reasons I am studying karate. This is the reason I would carry a firearm if it were legal in my state.

“Better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it.”

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.

Packin' Heat

Illinois does not have legislation in place allowing its citizens to carry firearms, but it looks like there will be a ballot item in my county next week that will ask the Illinois legislature to consider concealed carry legislation. I’m going to vote yes.

The first question I’m always asked is “Why do you need a gun?”

For the most part, I don’t. I live in a relatively safe, rural town. But that’s not the point. I think too often people think about where they live rather than where they’ll go. 95% of the time, I’m not going anywhere that I feel I need to be carrying a firearm. I’d never carry to work because I work in a school. I’d never carry to my karate school because there’s no safe way to lock it up while I’m on the mat (and if I have to lock it up in the car, I may as well not carry it at all). However, there are those times I’m in unfamiliar territory or I’m traveling through or visiting an unsafe area that it wouldn’t hurt to have a little reassurance under my jacket.

I think everyone has the right to defend themselves. The Boston Legal clip I posted the other day may be over the top, but I agree with the general principle. The opposition mostly comes with fear and a lack of understanding of firearms.

First of all, the idea that more firearms equals more crime, suicide, etc., has been debunked. I’ll just point you to the Kates-Mauser Gun Report, an in-depth study of firearms around the world, for the numbers.

Second, I do not believe concealed carry permits should be handed out like candy. I assume background checks are a given, so let’s skip that bit. The Woodford County Sheriff stated in a local newspaper that he supports permits and training, and I agree with that. If I have to take a test to drive my car, why not take a test to carry a firearm? The opposite extreme position says that is akin to registration and opens the door to confiscations in the future, but that’s a chance I’m willing to take. Any random idiot can kill someone with a car, and any random idiot can kill someone with a gun. Just as there are people who have no business behind the wheel, there will be people who have no business carrying a firearm.

Of course, I have no illusions this referendum will do a bit of good. Even if the legislature brought concealed carry to the floor, I have every expectation it will be shot down. Chicago has a very strict ban on handguns (not that it’s done anything to solve handgun crime), and with most of the Illinois population living in and around Chicago, they’ve got the biggest voice in the legislature.

Until I move to a state where I can legally carry, I guess I’ll just have to resort to the trusty triangle choke.

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.

Ode to the Cup

The man who invented the athletic cup is my hero.

I did get my second green stripe last night, but then I spent a good ten minutes as an attacker while one of our purple belts demonstrated his self defenses. Several of these involve snap kicks, hammer fists, or rear thrust kicks to the groin.

If I hadn’t been wearing a cup, I wouldn’t need to talk to the doctor about that vasectomy anymore.

Our sensei often reminds us the single most important thing about self defenses is that they work. I don’t care who you are, you whack someone in the nads like that, they’re going to stop whatever they’re doing.

So here’s to you, Mr. Athletic Cup Inventor. Thank you, O Guardian of the Family Jewels, for molding that perfect piece of plastic that lets a man explore total testicular destruction in complete scrotal comfort. Without you, I’m sure the world would be a less populous place.

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.