Last night as we were closing up at work, I got into a debate with one of the other servers...the same one who told me having a gun is stupid. She was voicing her opinion that a knife is a better self-defense weapon than a handgun. Her reasoning is that a handgun is more likely to be used against you. And if it's used against you, you have a better chance of survival with being sliced up than being shot. I posed the question, "Why is a handgun more likely to be used against you? A small compact or subcompact is no bigger than a knife." She said, "Because someone can grab the gun without being hurt. You can't grab a knife blade without getting cut." I went further to explain that over 80% of people shot by handguns survive, and that handguns are super-lethal monsters that movies and the media make them out to be. She said that a person can survive lots of knife cuts. I assured her that if someone was attempting to kill her with her own knife, they would put a nice incision right across her throat, and bleed her to death in less than a minute. I also reasoned that to take a weapon away from you, a BG has to be within his own arm's reach. You can shoot someone outside of your circle, but to use a knife, you have to be nearly in arm's length. Also, most people can avoid a swing with a knife or have the knowledge to deflect or block the motion. You can't do either with a bullet that's going 800+fps. Even with that, she still said she thought a knife was a better SD weapon than a handgun. She also said she didn't want to kill anyone, and have to live with that for the rest of her life, and that I didn't either. I made it clear that anyone who tries to severely injure me or kill me will be shot, and if they die, I will have no remorse.
I thought about it for a bit. I think her perception of a handgun versus a knife is that a handgun will kill while a knife will not. Being that that's what she believes, joined with her unwillingness to take a life, even if her life depended on it, that would pretty much rule out what she believes to be the deadlier weapon.
I asked three other girl servers about a handgun versus a knife for SD tonight when we were rolling silver. They all said the same thing. "A knife because a gun can be used against you."
Trust me, I'm all about someone carrying a weapon they feel comfortable and confident with. Someone who is not comfortable carrying a handgun is more a danger to themselves and everyone around than without. But barring the issue of being a safe concealed carrier and the issues contained within, how would you all respond to someone saying that a knife is a better SD weapon than a handgun? Not a better weapon for that person because they're scared of guns, or the like, but in general. If someone stated that "a knife is a better than a handgun for SD" as a general concept, how would you respond?
I personally feel a handgun is better. Yes, it is deadlier than a knife in trained hands, assuming you're not only measuring the lethality of outside-head-and-COM shots versus deep throat slits. I have no qualms about taking someone's life if they are endangering mine, and I would have no problems living with it knowing that had I not taken their life in SD, they could've taken mine. I also know that when one shoots in SD, they are legally justified in shooting until the attack has stopped, and until the attacker has shown full intentions of retreating or is retreating, or is physically unable to continue the attack. If they turn and run, you can't shoot them in the back. However, if they continue to attack and show no signs of discontinuing their actions or do not discontinue their actions, they're not physically unable to continue the attack until they're unconscious or dead. Either they stop what they're doing by their own accord, or they're stopped by unconsciousness or death.
I think a lot of people (like my co-workers) who claim a knife is better are referring to their own personal usage of either, and in reality, they would probably swing a knife to defend themselves, but would not pull the trigger of a gun because they were scared they might kill their attacker. In a "kill or be killed" situation, I will kill unless I'm unable to. I may not have more than a few shards of ice in my veins, but someone trying to hurt me makes me mad. Someone trying to kill me would do nothing but enrage me, and I wouldn't think twice about killing someone if that's what it took. Please don't jump to conclusions and assume I'll go shooting anyone and everyone who place any kind of threat on me. But in that given situation, I would choose to kill over being killed.
Unfortunately, there are very few, if any, occurences of a situation being entirely cut and dried in real life. Nobody truly knows if and when they'll die. Given that situation, I believe most would answer, "I would kill, not be killed." However, that all boils down to survival of the fittest, and the fight or flight response. Some just don't have a fight response in them, and even if their flight response was not an option, they wouldn't fight back. And a lot of those that say they would kill probably wouldn't as they wouldn't want to live with it for the rest of their lives, and that fear of the afterfeeling of killing someone would prevent them from acting, much like a person who draws their gun and points, only to drop the gun and break down in tears because "they couldn't bring themselves to kill someone." I think the girls who opted for a knife would fall into that category, or at least perceive themselves to. In the real situation, they might choose to take a life to save their own.
If you've seen the SAW movies, you'll know they are along these lines, but are more focused on self-inflicted pain to survive. But it's very similar in the sense that it poses the question, "how far are you willing to go in order to survive?" I'm not sure I could saw off my own foot or gouge out both my eyes, but I am morally justified in taking a life to save my own, if that's what it takes and comes down to.
How do you all think the survival instinct and evolution tie in to SD, how we act in SD, and what we choose to protect ourselves in SD?