You can spread peanut butter with it. You can slice the sandwich in half with it on the diagonal when you are done...with it. You can open a box with it. You can cut the tape when you are sealing up a box...with it.
We are being dumbed down. We are being turned into a more primitive people because of childish fear and hateful bigotry and stupidity.
Yes, former pro-football "stars" can kill their ex-wives and the friend of the ex-wife with it. Violent, hardcore felons can use it to settle scores or impose their will on their fellow inmates with it. And, yes, as unpopular as it might be in some areas of the Internet to discuss it, it can be used to save your life in a self-defense situation.
I cannot understand the myopia that some people suffer from when it comes to this stuff. Whatever you have available to you, you should be able to utilize for self-preservation. I cannot understand how people can be interested in "survivalism" and not want this capability. Yet, I see it all the time on forums and on websites.
Some of it is simple protectionism. They value knives highly for survival purposes and anything that casts a dark shadow on knives, real or perceived, giving them a bad reputation, is viewed as negative and not only something to be avoided...but attacked. They don't understand that the best way to protect the right to own, carry and use the knives of their choice is to legitimize their other uses as well instead of trying to appease the control freaks who want to ban everything. Because you're never going to sate the control freak's appetite for power.
As Winston Churchill so brilliantly explained the dynamic - “An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile - hoping it will eat him last."
That's why so many duck hunting NRA Members wrote in to The National Rifleman, the NRA's monthly magazine, during the debate over "assault weapons" back in the 1990s, saying that they were going to cancel their membership to the NRA if the NRA continued to protect politically incorrect firearms like "assault weapons."
And, yes, some of them don't like handguns, either. It was "protectionism." Nothing more and nothing less. They hoped to save their precious shotguns that they use to hunt fowl with by throwing the rest of the gun owners to the political wolfpack that is always waiting in the wings to ban another class of firearm until they are all ultimately gone from the hands of the Citizenry.
And this is why you should also not flee in terror from the words "survivalism" and "survivalist." The root word of both is "survival." So, when you acquiesce to the demands of the control freaks and you bend to their philosophy of demonizing the people they wish to control, you give them even more power.
Legitimize survival. We have become so politically correct that we have to defend variants of the word "survival." Don't you find that rather disturbing?
The control freaks will never stop thinking the way they do. You can call yourself a "prepper" or whatever cute term you can think up, it is what you are doing that they find so offensive. Things like "self-defense" and "self-reliance" are anathema to the authoritarian control freak.
Back in December, I wrote this blog entry on Jeff Snyder's incredible essay, A Nation of Cowards." You can find it here.
In that entry, I quoted a website which quoted former Attorney General Ramsey Clark and I shall do so again right now:
"Former Attorney General Ramsey Clark calls gun ownership an insult to America: 'A state in which a citizen needs a gun to protect himself from crime has failed to perform its first purpose.' Clark denounces this kind of society as a return to barbarism, and anarchy, 'a jungle where each relies on himself for survival.'"
Can you believe it? What about survival kits? The same thing could be said. It's an insult to governmental control freaks that you should have the capability of surviving without their help. They want you helpless and totally dependent on them for your every need. That's power.
And so it goes with knives and especially talking about using them for self-defense. There are some people that simply collect knives and they might use them once in a while but by and large, they are nothing more than Lionel toy trains or Barbie Dolls to them. They are some of the most nasty people on forums when it comes to discussing these things. The other main group of people use knives as tools, in their work or out in the woods. Using them for hunting, fishing, hiking and camping. Some of them are vehemently opposed to discussing knives as weapons. While they are a more respectable lot than the pure collectors, they are still getting it wrong.
Of course, there are those that think it's just stupid to use a knife for self-defense. Which, of course, is a stupid opinion to have.
I'm not saying knives are "better" self-defense weapons than firearms. I'm saying they are viable and there are some situations where they are the only realistic alternative to a firearm. Or, if you have it with you because you spend a lot of time in the woods, why not learn to use it for self-defense? Why carry something around that has the potential to do so much more and then just decide not to do it? It doesn't make any sense to me at all.
To be cold and calculating about self-defense, taking firearms out of the self-defense lineup for a moment, it is better to knock someone unconscious quickly than it is to use a knife. A cane or a walking/hiking staff is an excellent self-defense weapon because it has the ability to simply knock an attacker out. You can do the following:
Strike them to dissuade them.
Systematically disable them, up to and including breaking bones.
Render them unconscious.
Choke them out.
The simple cane or hiking/walking stick has all of the utility in the woods that these tools are known for plus they have this incredible capability as a self-defense weapon. The stick also possesses a precious commodity in self-defense: the ability to keep someone at a distance. If you get skilled with the cane/stick, you can do that with all but the most skilled of attackers.
I would much rather face law enforcement, be it a regular police officer or a park ranger, after a self-defense situation and have to explain that I had to thump someone (or multiple attackers) with a hiking stick than use a knife.
This is pragmatic and realistic with all of the fantasy eliminated. Logical and reasonable. But that does not mean that I would not use a knife if I had to. It really doesn't do you any good to be the most politically correct dead person, does it?
So, if you are really interested in surviving whatever life may throw at you, I think you should be able to use anything you can get your hands on in a self-defense situation. Even if you have a firearm on you, even if you have a carry permit, it doesn't matter. Learn to use knives and sticks as well. It only makes sense.
The life you save may be your own.