08 July 2014

Doing The Things That Make For Peace

News from Baltimore:
After two recent “knockout games” left several people in Baltimore injured, the city’s mayor has decided to speak out. 
WNEW Annapolis Bureau Chief Karen Adams reports that Baltimore City Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake is disgusted by the attacks and says they are not a game. 
“They don’t understand the consequences,” Rawlings-Blake said. “If you knock someone out, you could think its a joke and you’ll hurt somebody – that person could die. And then your life is ruined for some stupidity that you and your friends think is fun. It’s just not worth it.” 
Rawlings-Blake said Wednesday that adults in the city can help to prevent these crimes by being more involved in the lives of children who may be roaming the streets.
I would generally concur that additional parental guidance in the lives of delinquent youfs is a good thing.  I suspect that most of the youths playing the knockout game are children of single mothers, and have few or no positive male role models in their lives, to say nothing of fathers.  This is, of course, mere speculation.  Nonetheless, there is much to be said for increased parental guidance in the lives of the young and restless.

There is also a lot to be said for being armed and dangerous, particularly to the point where youfs are a little hesitant to play the knockout game with you.  To this end, furthering the goal of promoting peace and reducing violence is a matter of arming yourself intelligently and knowing the basics of fighting.

Guns are an obvious solution, but they are not as advantageous as Hollywood propaganda would leave one to believe.  Guns are a deterrent because many people ignorantly believe that guns are a magical tool that can instantly kill anyone with a single shot.  The truth is that it takes a fair amount of training, as well as regular practice, to be proficient at accurately wielding a firearm while under pressure.  In addition, instant kills are rather rare.  Statistical analyses tend to suggest that roughly 33% of shooting victims die from their wounds.  While 90% of gunshot wounds to head result in death, it is usually quite difficult to pull off a headshot in a high-pressure self-defense situation.  Additionally, anecdotal evidence shows that merely shooting someone is not enough to prevent them from attacking you, at least in some instances.  Not only that, guns can only fire a limited number of rounds; once you run out, all that's left is a gun-shaped brick.  Thus, guns are far from foolproof as a method of deterrence.  That is not to say that guns are useless for self-defense, only that they are not a comprehensive solution.

Knives are good option to have in your personal arsenal, in that they enable you to do lots of damage in hand-to-hand combat.  While knives are not as lethal as guns, they are more useful for inflicting lots of damage at close range, and have the added bonus of never needing to be reloaded.  They aren't as scary-looking, generally speaking, and therefore are not as likely to simply scare off would-be attackers.  But if you actually have to engage in violence, they are a better choice in close range action.

Batons are a good choice as well, especially well-designed martial batons.  While they don't do the same sort of damage that knives do, they do inflict lots of pain, are good at breaking bones, and are quite good for close-quarter combat.

Being good at fighting is mostly a matter of being willing to fight, and not being an idiot when you do.  Fighting tends to hurt, even when you win.  As such, it takes some predetermination to know when to fight.  Know when to walk away, and know when to fight.  Some dude jawing at you over some nonsense isn't a reason to fight.  A young thug playing knockout game with you or a loved one is.  There is little point in fighting about stupid things when you can simply walk away.  However, there is no value in trying to walk away from someone who is determined to fight you.  Turning your back on a potential attacker is a good way to get hurt.

The main key to avoiding fighting like an idiot is to know how to use your weight.  If you are much smaller than your opponent, you are best off using your weight to run away.  If you are bigger than your opponent, don't let him use your weight against you (i.e. don't let him get lower than you and knock you to the ground).  The bigger guy can absorb more damage by virtue of size.  The bigger guy can also dish out more damage, again by virtue of size.  This is simply basic physics.

Training to fight is advantageous, though not necessary.  Most street thugs are dumb and undisciplined, which is one of the reasons why they are street thugs.  They convey their status by how they dress and pose.  They try to look and act intimidating, by their actions are generally unable to cash the checks their poses write.  Their bravado tends to be a mask for their cowardice, which is why they run away after they incapacitate their victims.  There is little threat of them getting arrested in the first couple of minutes after their crime, and zero threat of retribution from their victim.  As such, a sufficient display of force (pointing a gun or pulling a knife, or a good rap to the head with a baton) should be sufficient to dissuade them from from further attempts at violence.

If street thugs persist in being violent and conflict occurs, the main rules of fighting successfully are 1) get your opponent on the ground in a prone position and 2) exploit the weak zones of their bodies.  Noses are easy to break, and solid shots to the ears are disorienting.  The throat is also fairly weak, so attempt to punch it or choke it.  Tuck your chin to prevent your neck from attacked and keep an arm or a shoulder turned to avoid blows to your own nose or ears.  a groin attack may be effective, but it is not necessarily the most effective place to attack.  A punch to the solar plexus can often be debilitating.  The main thing is to be committed your actions.  Either be willing to inflict maximal or run away.  There is no point in being half-committed to a fight.

Being armed and having some, even small ability to fight is a good way to deter crime.  While parental guidance in the lives of bored hoodlums would undoubtedly be beneficial, the world is still yet a long way from reaching its ideal state and so in the interim it is best to be armed and dangerous.  Now you know how.