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Discussion in 'Personal Security Devices & Self-Defense' started by NEATO, Mar 31, 2008.
I've been physically threatened twice while carrying my Glock. On one of the occasions, staying cool and firm defused the situation. I think the guy realized I wasn't intimidated at all. He threatened to kick my rear and I told him getting into a fight with me would be a really bad idea. He got quiet, thought it over and apologized.
On the second occasion, I was trying to return a product and the guy at the counter refused, flipped out and asked me if I wanted to "keep my face." I laughed and walked away. Spoke to his manager the next day and got my refund. I'm sure his boss gave him a talking to about customer satisfaction.
I've found carrying weapons has made me calmer and more aware. Carrying something potentially lethal is a responsibility.
Why not just wear one of those big skull, biker style finger rings. It would work just as well as a Comtech Stinger and makes a nice fashion statement. Look around the net, there are some really nice bulbous ones sold by the Harley Davidson types. Also check around the survival gear stores as they also carry a nice line of similar rings made of the finest materials like titanium!
I own one of these "Stingers" as well as the Wild Kat. The legality is dubious in any local in which brass knuckles and the like are prohibited. That is, almost anywhere. NYS goes further in prohibiting "any dangerous weapon." In short, the mere intent to strike someone, even an evil doer is enough to cause them to be considered an illegal weapon. In areas where they are not automatically considered a weapon, the mere fact that you have used it as such could have you in trouble. Remember, in California, there have been prosecutions for having a Bic pen! You can be prosecuted for your intent, your thoughts. How is that for a cynical government?
Mind you if you prevent a mugging, they might not charge you with assault with a dangerous weapon (the politics in all but the biggest cities would probably prevent that) but for sure you would be charged with possession of a weapon.
For most of us, the well made and well chosen alternatives are better. A Mini-Mag? For sure, we all have to see in the dark. A small, innocuous pocket knife? Possibly, but there is the intent thing raising its head. I can just see the DA..."Be careful jurors, this knife is razor sharp and intended to do nothing but kill people..."
Note well however, the use of a Mini-Mag as a kobuton or the use of a small knife is far less intuitive and requires far more skill than wrapping your hand around a piece of plastic and punching.
The Comtech Stinger is more dicey on a legal basis. I own a clear one (less threatening), I carry it around my home area where I am known, but not in areas subject to random stop and searches (like the NYS Northway or a friend tells me, the Adirondacks). For these areas, you are much better off with some sort of rigid, metallic pen long enough to puncture and to replace the Comtech Stinger either a properly sized lathe key or chuck key. For a chuck key, get one that has four keys joined at the base and cut one off. The center already has a hole for attaching keys.
A lathe key need not be altered, so it is probably better. Get one the size of a Stinger.
When I traveled urban areas on foot, I often tried to find an item that would not be enforced as a "slung shot" (a north-american manriki) or similar and never quite succeeded. I did however look into the idea of machining an Orthodox Christian cross into something like a stinger. It need not be heavy, plastic would do and the two or three cross bars would provide a good grip. (I have tried a crude prototype in lead just to try the idea...it will work with tweaking. Keep the top of the vertical short and rounded.)
Of course a friend has often told me, with these improvised weapons or with a knife, if you MUST use it, you should always explain that you took it away from the assailant. Might work. Maybe. Depends if another item is found on the ground. "Uh, I guess he had two knives?"
:welcome: Welcome to EDC Forums, greenmountainbooks.
Great first post and great ideas!
I have a Stinger too and I've also bought a couple of "wildcats" for my wife and some of my women friends ---- of this type.
Link to eBay
They look less conspicuous and look better made too.
Link shortened by administrator. t:
Thank you for the welcome and the kind words.
When I first began to look in the direction of this forum (early '80s) I spent a great deal of time on foot in a dangerous urban area (in transit to and from work in a slightly safer area). It was in Troy, NY which at the time was just becoming a haven for crack dealers and their clientele. (BTW three days after I closed my shop due to the declining neighborhood, a young lawyer was shot and killed less than 100 yards from my door. It happened in mid-day with foot traffic all around. Sure, one less lawyer, but still, it could have been a human being).
I have lately been carrying a T handle tap wrench, well used. New ones can be found in any hardware store. Not as good as a Stinger, but damned close and with a sharp throat if you tighten the collet. Try and claim that it is a weapon! (And I do own a lathe!)
I once machined a heavy brass cross, with the intent of making a potentially potent ...wait for it...rosary. The concept was a slung shot or manriki. I never completed it, but a friend with similar concerns inherited the cross and apparently used it for years as a slung shot. Again...try and inforce a religious item as a weapon!
I have located a source for the Stinger-style item with built in flashlight. They are sold on eBay. I have one coming. Sadly they are only available in black. neverless, with the built in light, the onous is on any over zealous officer to prove that my key light is not an ergonomic key light.
One of these days I will try and machine a cross of Lorraine (like a standard Christian cross, but with two cross bars, the upper being shorter than the lower). If the dimensions are right and the corners are rounded, it should work as a fist-full for sure.
I will keep you advised once I find some appropriate plastic stock.
First a disclaimer. "I am not an attorney, any free legal advice you receive from the internet is probably worth exactly what you paid for it. Nothing"
Having said that I live in Florida, have had a concealed carry permit (now unfortunately expired) and have studied this fairly extensively. The problem is this: INTENT. Any object, in the hand regardless of material construction, designed to impart greater impact to the target can fall under the loose interpitation of a "brass knuckles" weapon.
Roll of quarters, stinger, keychain kuboton, "ninja keychain", mutliple heavy biker rings, etc....
If it can fit in the hand, improve your delivery of force, and/or protect your hands from said impact in essence, can be construed as brass knuckles under the law because of the intent.
IMHO, play it safe gentlemen. Get a good, durable flashlight and use that if needed if where you live is particularly overeager/aggressive in prosecuting its lawful abiding citizens for defending themselves.
Can you still be charged for using a flashlight? YES. Is it possible to still be harassed for having one? YES, but only if the police officer is a grade A tool, or if you shot your mouth off and "disrespected" them.
Kiss @$$, it helps. Swallow the pride. Besides, these people are out there risking their lives on a daily basis and deserve our respect. They deal with the criminal element on a daily basis, expect them to be jaded and mistrustful. That's their job. Most criminals will deny their wrong doings, even when caught red handed.
A flashlight however is legal and justifable. If you get into a situation where you CAN'T avoid conflict and HAVE to use it then I agree with the "better to be judged by 12 then carried by six" mentality
This is how I look at the legality issue. I was in an unfamilar shopping center with my wife. it was at night. We come back to our car, and there were 2 young guys trying to break into the car next too us. They both took off. Lets say they had turned on me, and I had to use an impact device to protect myself. lets say i connect with my keychain sap, and 1 goes down for the count, the other takes off.
lets assume that police will be involved. first thing that i am going to do DISCREETLY is to get rid of the sap before police come. once the sap is gone, i really wont be worried too much.
honestly,if i put him down, i would probably just leave. more than likely, the bad guys would not be calling the police.
People have such a guilty conscience these days. If you are justified in using it then don't worry about telling police the truth. If you whack someone with a bat in self defense then you whacked someone with a bat. It's all in how you articulate your actions.
I know what you are saying but no matter how justified you were in your actions you do have to remember that the law works on technicalities and not discretion, (mainly) just look at some examples earlier in this thread. If it was me I wouldn't feel guilty at all but I would worry about the consequences. Probably best to ditch the weapon and leave IMO.
Im pro self defense as the next person, but that is a really aweful example of defending oneself, even if you ignore the fact he was illegally carrying his gun, he clearly wasnt trying to defend himself. He made statements that at the time he did not think the muggers were armed and he admitted to having taken drugs.
Anyway, if you are going to get what is clearly a weapon then bear in mind you are carrying a weapon, most cops will recognise what it is and if they dont im sure they could look it up if you used one and still had it with you when you were questioned. I dunno if its legal to do so in your jurisdiction but id be very sure it is if you are going to carry one. For instance here in the UK it would be classed as carrying an offensive weapon and you would be prosecuted if you had one in your pocket. YMMV though.
In general id recommend carrying a chunky flashlight if you are looking for a defensive impact weapon, not just because carrying one is legal but it also has a real world function that doesnt involve the really rare situation that you need to defend yourself. In fact, if i were legally able to carry one of these stingers, id still choose a chunky flashlight over it if i wanted to carry for SD. In fact im pretty sure it would be a better defensive weapon, not just in being heavier and solid (you smash someone in the nose with it and he will certainly notice) but the light itself can be used to distract and temporarily blind someone if you are being attacked at night before you apply said flashlight to said bridge of the nose.
In Germany the Stingers are considered to be knuckles and are illegal to own, make, trade whatever.
Agreed, Bernhard Goetz may not be our ideal poster child for self-defense, but if you read the full Wikipedia article and still believe those kids weren't in the process of robbing him, then I have nothing to add that will convince you otherwise. In any case, my point was that if you're going to use a weapon to defend yourself, you should not be surprised if your assailant cries foul, legally.
I cannot argue with the point that they were trying to rob him, but i dont think anyone can argue that at some point he found the line of justifiable self defense and stepped way beyond it, if not earlier then certainly trying to put more rounds into the guy on the floor after checking to see if he was dead seems like a good example of that point.
Theres a lot of other stuff that added to the idea that he wasnt acting in self defense but some kind of twisted revenge like how he left the scene and tried to get rid of the gun, plus like i say he was illegally carrying the gun, but i dont think thats all that huge a deal tbh if the context of the amount of crime in the area was as i read in that piece.
Anyway, i feel this is kinda hijacking the thread with no real point, i guess what im pointing out is its not a good example of self defense and for the robber suing him afterwards, but certainly there will be many cases where the civilian has done nothing wrong at all and still been sued successfully. One could argue he got lucky in the first place to not get convicted of any crime, so to be forced to declare himself bankrupt after he got sued and lost might be a justifiable punishment fitting the crime.
[quote author=LLCoolBeans link=topic=16127.msg207487#msg207487 date=1211053286]
I have not heard of any legislation anywhere specifically targeted against these things. However, some jerk DA could probably twist the law to make this fall into the category of brass knuckles..."
I think many here are missing the legal point well established and well enforced (to my knowledge!) if you intend to use it as a weapon then it is a weapon. In short, no matter how noble your intent and how justified your use, you will end up being prosecuted for the possession of a weapon, even if the use was justified. A friend made the point long ago, that it carries a greater penalty in NYS to carry a blackjack, knuckles or "dangerous knife" than it does to carry an unregistered gun.
The import of this is clear, most of us cannot carry anything designed as a weapon other than perhaps pepper spray (in MA you need a pistol permit, which I have) or a registered firearm (which for most of us is not justified by the level of danger we face daily). This pretty much leaves me with pepper spray (which I do not regularly carry) and an improvised device.
For example, if you drive a none chi-chi car you can keep a couple of legit tools on the front floor of the vehicle. I usually have a gun cable lock hanging from one of the steering column rods. In my pocket I usually carry either a well used tap wrench (the lightest choice when you don't wear a coat) or a universal chuck key with one of the four arms cut off. Both are worn and could easily be in a pocket if you were working on a project. They are less explainable if you are in evening clothes or a suit.
It occurs to me that there are two questions being discussed here. The first involves the "legality" of carrying a stinger and the second involves its legal use defensively.
It seems clear that the device is being manufactured in cute colors and of plastic not only to appeal to female customers but to appear innocuous on a key ring as a curious fob. As i read the reviews on various sites on the web, this clever "concealed in plain sight" attribute seems to be part of its appeal.
In general, I think the law enforcement personell are unlikely to be taken in, and therefore if it were to be used, its purchase and use as a weapon would likely be assumed to be planned. The issue of premeditated use of such a disguised weapon could be difficult to defend against in a criminal prosecution or a civil suit.
A small flashlight attached to a keyring and used as a flail or a Yawara stick would be much less obvious, if we kept mum about it, eh? As a matter of fact, many women's self defense groups publicly advocate the use of keys against assailants.
Knowledge is power.
This is a profoundly naive and dangerous attitude. In short we live in what is very nearly a police state and unless you are a resident of a gated community or Beverly Hills, you can rapidly become the focus rather than the evil doer that you defended against.
I live in an upscale neighborhood, although my home is not exactly Homes and Gardens. A working class friend was visiting who makes his living cutting and selling teepee poles. As we left my front door a police car stopped to inspect us. I am told also that anyone carrying teepee poles is regularly stopped by police on the road.
It is naive in today's climate to believe that because you are not a criminal that the policeman is your friend. He is the friend of a system that is loaded against you.
Gee, thanks for calling me naive and insulting my profession. I know what I'm talking about and speak from experience. Next time you get robbed, burglarized, smacked into in a hit and run, etc, do my brothers in blue a favor and don't call 911. I love what I do and have absolutely no shame in saying so. I perform an important job which most people wouldn't want to do. I've been thanked by many citizens for arresting the person/people who victimized them. And yes, we do investigate things which look out of place. If you only knew how many calls we got because people see mundane things which they think are suspicious you wouldn't make such a comment about being stopped for teepee poles. Or, it someone was casing your house in your upscale neighborhood and were stopped by police I would put money on the fact you wouldn't have such an attitude.