Sunday, December 15, 2019

Where I Stand Is Behind A Few Layers of Kevlar

"It's disarming to be armed"
 - Kevin, from "Fall; or Dodge in Hell" by Neal Stephenson

The Second Amendment to the US Constitution was ratified on this day, 228 years ago. (Yeah, I actually got lucky that Dec 15 falls on a Sunday this year.)

I used to be very much on the side of "more restrictions and regulations equals more safety," but I've long since switched sides. When it comes down to it, most of the people who use guns for the purpose of hurting other people don't come by them legally. So all rules and regs really do is make it more difficult and complicated for the responsible citizen to get their hands on one.

Not that it matters. From the perspective of this old IIWK, I shouldn't even get a say in the matter.

I personally don't like guns. I don't like how they feel or how they smell, and I really don't like that it takes very little skill to hurt someone else. I much prefer weapons that require training and study.

If you mishandle a knife, or bo, or tunkwa, or any of hundreds of other weapons that are normally limited to those who practice martial arts, you're more likely to hurt yourself. It's only after extensive training and a hell of a lot of practice that you get into the realm of hurting others.

I like knives. I know how to handle a bo without hurting myself, though I'm not to the point of hurting or defending myself from others. I love handling my tunkwa, but I still hurt myself sometimes. I'd love to learn johyo, if for nothing else than because I can easily assemble a makeshift  one out of gear in my camping kit. I don't like nunchaku, and have no interest in sais, swords, or kamas.

But the true fact of the matter is that knives are pretty easy to maintain skill, easy to learn, they're easy to carry legally, and they're a lot easier to use as something other than a weapon. And I have too many hobbies already.

When you come across someone carrying a gun, you never know what's in their head or their heart. You can't tell their skill just by looking. And even knowing a lot about their gun (sorry, not a gun enthusiast, don't know the terms) doesn't imply skill handling it; they might just be a fanboy (or fangirl, I don't judge). But if someone is carrying a johyo openly, you can be pretty sure they know how to handle themselves.