Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Nice thing about being dangerous is...

Not too much. I think babies have it right, the first line of defense is a smile, the second is the loud red faced crying to gather helpful adult attention. I did grow out of the baby thing, and took to being me - fighting wasn't automatically a sin in a boy growing up - so I fought for fun, dominance or fright. I often wished I was still working on that smile, but other boys don't tolerate boys smiling at them... but they respected me when I could take my lumps or dish them out in return. I started carrying knives somewhere along the Cub Scout Boy Scout period, by junior high and high school there was no doubt that I would have a folding knife in my pocket, even owned a switchblade once, but never carried it - that was against the law.

I did get cast out of my second family's home for almost a year, because someone said I had used my knife in a fight or scuffle - I hadn't, and I don't really remember a fight or a scuffle with the people that said I had been there and had pulled a knife. When I was growing up a knife was something a Mexican would use in a fight, and like kicking (before Martial Arts boom) wasn't a MANLY way of fighting. The truth came out and I was re-invited to my second family's home again - which was always wonderful for me.

As an Airborne Artillery First Sergeant I allowed my paratroopers to carry knives and drape them on their combat gear. For three years we never had difficulty doing rigging nor de-rigging our equipment for or on airborne operations. Of course there would be excesses in size of the blades, cost of the blades, numbers of the blades - but I never had a problem with the blades being used in anger or assault of another paratrooper. Two First Sergeants after me didn't change the knife situation, but finally a good First Sergeant showed up and in six months he had them back to a proper size, and number of blades for real work instead of posing as some really bad airborne dudes.

In Hawaii, when my mother wanted to peel an apple she asked for my knife, my brother wondered how I had gotten a knife through the airport security, and I wondered how my mother knew I would have a knife to borrow. Some things are probably certain about some people, and I will have a blade or a reasonable replacement - I have been watching inmates with their house key, what they can cut through is almost amazing... technique not edged. Rogue Gunner has a nice blade and story I think worth the time.

So now in the days of the Second Amendment, and the contest between the gun lobby and the anti-gun gaggles (yes, I am allowed to chose the terms I label them with - they will do it to me) I am still encouraging responsible knife ownership and use. You see, I know about cutting flesh and blood flow - do it every time I really get to sharpening my blades, and I also know that one must get close and personal to fight with a knife - Jim Bowie is one of my heroes, he was great with the blade. The problem I see with pistols, in today's age, is that most people haven't gone to that level where they understand death done with guns, bullets striking flesh and breaking bones, and such -- too much Hollywood, and not enough time in the field taking down animals in the hunt (then picking them up and gutting them or butchering them for food). Somethings just don't happen as cleanly nor as ugly as film has made it.

But to be really dangerous one should know how dead a human will be when shot properly - they won't come back in next week's episode, or the next blockbuster hit - they will be waiting for you when you go to sleep and dream, as you start to accept them being there -- then you will be dangerous.

1 comment:

CTone said...

You know, I've often wondered why the ownership and carrying of knives isn't considered part of the 2nd Amendment. They certainly qualify as arms, and they have unlimited uses.

Some may say that knives, and firearms for that matter, have unlimited nefarious uses, but I disagree. Anything can be used for wrong doing, it's all up to the ingenuity of the user and the evil in his or her heart.

I too have carried a good knife in my pocket almost all of my life, throughout all of my school days, and despite having every opportunity, I have never harmed a soul.

Pity there are some who would take that right away.