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Old 10-25-02, 04:39 AM   #1
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Cyclist Self-Defense and the Law

I was having a discussion with an ex-police officer about various means and methods of personal defense. I explained that I will carry a telescopic baton in my car from time to time and that if necessary, I'd have it with me while riding my bike. He explained that having one in your car is acceptable and legal but that by having it while on a bike may get into the area of carrying a concealed weapon, although he wasn't completely positive. I do not have a CCW permit, I rarely feel the need for defense on the bike, but should I feel anything to the contrary, I'd rather have something than nothing and I found this news a little upsetting. How do U.S. laws pertain to personal self-defense and cycling? Is a bike considered a vehicle in this context, i.e. like a car - an extension of your home, where weaponry is permitted without a permit - or at that point are you a pedestrian concealing your weapon? Is this different from state to state?
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Old 10-25-02, 04:45 AM   #2
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I have often wondered why so many people on this board feel the need to carry weapons for "self-defence" when they ride. I have also often wondered what is the point of carrying them, given that a gun, baton or anything else is never going to be able to physically stop a car anyway. Personally, I'd rather avoid confrontation of that kind.
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Old 10-25-02, 04:58 AM   #3
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Originally posted by Chris L
I have often wondered why so many people on this board feel the need to carry weapons for "self-defence" when they ride.
You should see some of the places I ride. Get a flat in one of these places and you'll need to be ready for anything.
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Old 10-25-02, 05:18 AM   #4
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Frist - Chris, yes you should avoid conflict. However, given that if you still want to have a weapon it should be your right.

B-N-D There is no U.S. law it's by state or in some cases county. here in Virginia we passed a state law because the county laws were too diverse. So we have a "shall issue a permit" law. This means you can get a permit to carry a conceeled firearm if you are not a fellon, under a cout order,... It says "firearm". I'm legal carring my gun, but not numchucks and I don't know about a baton (although I know some folks have them.

The ansswer is to ket a book (or go to the library) on the laws of your state and look. Anything else is a gambol. A gambol is ok too as long as you are doing it with full knowledge that it is a gambol. There is, in most states, a law of least consecquences, i.e. you broke a law, but by doing so prevented worse results. So if your illeagle weapon saves the judges baby from a rabid dog you are pretty safe.

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Old 10-25-02, 07:33 AM   #5
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Originally posted by Chris L
I have often wondered why so many people on this board feel the need to carry weapons for "self-defence" when they ride. I have also often wondered what is the point of carrying them, given that a gun, baton or anything else is never going to be able to physically stop a car anyway. Personally, I'd rather avoid confrontation of that kind.
As stated above, you may not appreciate where some of us ride, Chris. If I get in the unfortunate situation where I feel that I'm in mortal danger, I want to have the right tool for the job.
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Old 10-25-02, 07:44 AM   #6
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Chris, I think B-N-D is referring to legitimate self-defense situations like being accosted while changing a tire or just riding through a bad neighborhood, not taking a whack at a car that passed too close.

And just to clarify, thumping a car that passed too close is not self-defense. Self defense is protecting oneself from an imminent threat. Once the threat is passed self defense is no longer justified. In fact, if the "threat" has already passed by and you take some action, YOU become the aggressor. Something to think about.
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Old 10-25-02, 08:45 AM   #7
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Good comment Rainman. When I teach a firearms safety course I stress that and also get folks to read a book by Massad Aaoob "In the Gravest Extreme" Which goes into detail of how people did or did not get into trouble for "self defense" actions. Anyone contemplating carrieng any tool that could be used as a weapon should read that book.

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Old 10-25-02, 09:05 AM   #8
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A U-lock makes for quite a bruise.

That being said, I know nothing about US law. Canadian are not allowed to carry concealed weapons. However I bike through some dodgy places and always know that my cellphone and lock are close by.

Thumping on cars? Be my guest! Just don't come crying to me when the guy runs you over or something (you know people and their cars ). If danger is imminent I can understand the thump. If you want to yell at the drive, just yell! Even better, wish a pox upon his household.
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Old 10-25-02, 09:16 AM   #9
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You can probably find the applicable state laws if you root around Georgia's web site. Frankly, I hold a rather dim view of Georgia's Attorney General Baker, his underlings and the GBI, but I won't bore you with a long explaination Anyway, for other non-lethal means of self-defense, there's always pepper spray or U-locks. I doubt you'd ever get cited for carrying a concealed U-lock.
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Old 10-25-02, 09:26 AM   #10
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[i] for other non-lethal means of self-defense, there's always pepper spray or U-locks. I doubt you'd ever get cited for carrying a concealed U-lock. [/B]
Pepper spray has had mixed results. As have other non-lethal items. You would never get cited for a U-lock - unless you used it as a weapon. Then some lawer could try to make it look like you were carring it "looking for trouble" if the person that attacked you then tried to sue you for something.

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Old 10-25-02, 11:49 AM   #11
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Telescopic baton! I've never heard of this thing. I just had a look at some via google.

It looks that one has to be really strong and fast to use a telescopic baton.

I would suggest a pepper or CS spray in pocket and a modern light alloy knife in the tool bag for a really bad situation - like a pit-bull grip. Or meeting a bear cub on a trail (I had it in PA, but, fortunately, without a confrontation).

It is important to remember that having a weapon is often useless, if one is not trained to use it.

The most dangerous are those seconds when one pulls out a weapon and prepares it for the usage. So simple training of pulling the weapon out is very important.
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Old 10-25-02, 01:12 PM   #12
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Originally posted by joeprim
Good comment Rainman. When I teach a firearms safety course I stress that and also get folks to read a book by Massad Aaoob "In the Gravest Extreme" Which goes into detail of how people did or did not get into trouble for "self defense" actions. Anyone contemplating carrieng any tool that could be used as a weapon should read that book.

Joe
Joe, great book. I'd also suggest
Handguns and Self Defense, "Life Without Fear" by Mike Dalton and Mickey Fowler...ISBN o-9610954-0-7

It covers Lethal Weapon and when to use it.
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Old 10-25-02, 01:17 PM   #13
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Originally posted by Bumbaclat
Thumping on cars? Be my guest! Just don't come crying to me when the guy runs you over or something (you know people and their cars ).
That was my point. Yuo can have a gun or a baton or whatever, but none of that will be of any use whatsoever if someone decides to run you over. And to be honest, I can't think of too many things that will motivate someone to do that more than having a gun pointed at them.
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Old 10-25-02, 01:51 PM   #14
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That was my point. Yuo can have a gun or a baton or whatever, but none of that will be of any use whatsoever if someone decides to run you over.
The wide angle digital video camera with loop of about 3 minutes could record the behaviour of motorists and by this protect against being run over by the mischievous motorist.

So far such a device would be too expensive, but in couple of years it may become feasible.

Like military say that modern weapons are about information.

Someone is run over, gets into hospital, recovers, views the video record from this device, notes the plate number, takes a telescopic baton, and makes a visit.

The shortcoming may be that the mischievous motorist may want to return and destroy the record. Then there would be no recovery anymore. Hm...
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Old 10-25-02, 02:02 PM   #15
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In Iowa a person is allowed to carry a collapsable baton a stun gun or tazer, and pepper spray and conceil them with out a permit. The reason is they are all considered less then lethal. As long as they are used in self defense there is no problem. But once they are used for assault by the person carrying them then that is when that person can get in trouble.
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Old 10-25-02, 02:08 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally posted by Chris L
I have often wondered why so many people on this board feel the need to carry weapons for "self-defence" when they ride. I have also often wondered what is the point of carrying them, given that a gun, baton or anything else is never going to be able to physically stop a car anyway. Personally, I'd rather avoid confrontation of that kind.
You my friend must no be from NY.

In NY there is a possiblity of 5-6 guys confronting you at anytime anywhere to take that $2000 bike away from you.

Sometimes avoiding confrontation is easier said than done.

I carry mace and a knife
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Old 10-25-02, 02:36 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally posted by joeprim
Good comment Rainman. When I teach a firearms safety course I stress that and also get folks to read a book by Massad Aaoob "In the Gravest Extreme" Which goes into detail of how people did or did not get into trouble for "self defense" actions. Anyone contemplating carrieng any tool that could be used as a weapon should read that book.

Joe
Yea excellent book.
I wish I could have attended some of his classes.

last nights `crime watch' on TV featured an old crime with a young man getting stopped by a motorist, threatened for money and ultimately stabbed. He managed to cycle to a nearby house and died later on the way to hospital.

The trouble with being on a bike is that for a greater part of the time we are often `out in the sticks' on our own with no help or witnesses nearby. cyclists are very vulnerable to attack by motorists. I often think I should take a weapon with me for self defense. It only has to be one time..maybe the last time!
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Old 10-25-02, 03:37 PM   #18
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I'm not worried about people in cars, it's the people on the street I worry about. I live in gangland and pass through pimp-and-ho city on my way to cracktown. I don't particularly like gangsters, pimps, prostitutes or crackheads yet these are the people I am destined to encounter once I wreck or get a flat.
I will do absolutely anything to avoid a fight. I will always run first. But I'll also be prepared if I've run out of options and someone is trying to hurt me.
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Old 10-25-02, 05:23 PM   #19
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Ah the urban environment. ...Sounds absolutely charming.

mine is the open countryside often without a single dwelling for several miles. It can be just as scary as the inner city sometimes.
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Old 10-25-02, 06:35 PM   #20
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Originally posted by johndoe
You my friend must no be from NY.

In NY there is a possiblity of 5-6 guys confronting you at anytime anywhere to take that $2000 bike away from you.
I suppose we all face choices about where we live.
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Old 10-25-02, 09:02 PM   #21
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Always obey the laws of your jurisdiction, but just between you, me and the internet, It's better to be judged by 12 than carried by 6.. for my part, I have a CWP and my daily carry is a USP .45 -- yes, even under the jersey.

That being said, I add a number of pithy little observations I've picked up along the way.

1. It's better to be judged by 12 than carried by 6.
2. "A gentleman will seldom, if ever, need a pistol, however, if he does, he needs it very badly." Sir Winston Churchill
3. Good judgment comes from experience. Most experience comes from bad judgment.
4. "If you're not shooting, you should be loading. If you're not loading, you should be moving. If you're not moving, someone's gonna cut your head off and put it on a stick." - Clint Smith
5. God doesn't throw the first punch.
6. You lose points if you have to thump 'em.
7. "We aim to please ... but shoot to kill!"
8. "I do not love the bright sword for its sharpness, nor the arrow for its swiftness, nor the warrior for his glory. I love only that which they defend." --J.R.R.Tolkien, The Two Towers
9. and the various rules for a gunfight, edited for pref.:


1. Bring a gun. Preferably, bring at least two guns. Bring all of your friends who have guns.

2. Anything worth shooting is worth shooting twice. Ammo is cheap. Life is expensive.

3. Only hits count. The only thing worse than a miss is a slow miss. However, a critical corollary here is that you cannot miss fast enough to win.

4. If your shooting stance is good, you're probably not moving fast enough or using cover correctly.

5. Move away from your attacker. Distance is your friend.

6. If you can choose what to bring to a gunfight, bring a long gun and a friend with a long gun.

7. In ten years nobody will remember the details of caliber, stance, or tactics. They will only remember who lived.

8. If you are not shooting, you should be communicating, reloading, and running.

9. Accuracy is relative: most combat shooting standards will be more dependent on "pucker factor" than the inherent accuracy of the gun. Use a gun that works EVERY TIME.

10. Someday someone may kill you with your own gun, but they should have to beat you to death with it because it is empty.

11. Always cheat always win. The only unfair fight is the one you lose.

12. Have a plan.

13. Have a back-up plan because the first one won't work.

14. Use cover or concealment as much as possible.

15. Flank your adversary when possible. Protect yours.

16. Don't drop your guard.

17. Always Tac load and threat scan 360 degrees.

18. Watch their hands. Hands kill. (In God we trust. Everyone else, keep you hands where I can see them.)

19. Decide to be AGGRESSIVE enough, QUICKLY enough.

20. The faster you finish the fight, the less shot you will get.

21. Your number one Option for Personal Security is a lifelong
commitment to avoidance, deterrence, and de-escalation.



best regards,

--alex.
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Old 10-26-02, 11:15 AM   #22
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In NY there is a possiblity of 5-6 guys confronting you at anytime anywhere to take that $2000 bike away from you.
Ok, Monsieur Pantalones Intelligents, whaddaya gonna do, huh? Shoot one or 2 of the guys? That still leaves 3 or 4 of them ready to not only take your bike, but now wanting to kill you, too!

It's blatantly obvious that you don't live in NY, because you don't know the cardinal rule about muggers:

Nothing you own is so valuable that it is worth getting killed over.

OK, say you have a gun-make it a small gun, say a .22 pistol. Where are you going to keep it? In the back pocket of your jersey? Isn't is going to flop around too much? In your wedge pack? Securely strapped to your handlebars? How quick can you draw it while you are riding, then? The answer is this: You can't draw a pistol quick enough! It's useless!

Of course, once the bike gets stolen, the criminals now have your pistol. Now, your legal firearm becomes an illegal gun. They may even shoot you with it! Thaks a lot!

On the other hand, a can of pepper spray is very light, and clips easily to clothing, pump straps, etc. It's easy to use, and at least as effective as a club. It's also legal, non-lethal, socially responsible, and inexpensive. you stand probably as good or better chance of escaping "5 or 6 guys" with a can of pepper spray than with a revolver. It's also an effective deterent on dogs, which are probably not quite dangerous enough to warrant a bullet.

For those prone to over-reacting in stressful situations, a can of pepper spray will do much less damage than a bullet. This might mean the difference between being admonished by the police, and doing 5 years for reckless endangerment.

In summation, only a fool or a sociopath would carry a pistol while riding. You might, possibly be able to justify carrying a firearm stowed while touring, but never just for riding. For those who are actively looking for something to shoot at, I'd suggest joining a reputable gun club, and leaving the pistol at home while riding.
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Old 10-26-02, 11:32 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally posted by goodcatjack

my daily carry is a USP .45 -- yes, even under the jersey.
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[/i]best regards,--alex. [/B]
jeez you carry a concealed .45 on your bike !??
what kind of a neigbourhood do you live in for chrissakes?
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Old 10-26-02, 12:16 PM   #24
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As stated above, you may not appreciate where some of us ride, Chris. If I get in the unfortunate situation where I feel that I'm in mortal danger, I want to have the right tool for the job.
You know I have walked and ridden through some pretty tough neighborhoods. I went to high school in the inner city of Cleveland. And I have never carried a weapon with me and I live to tell about it. There are random acts of violence which there truly nothing you can do you usually don't get a chance to use your weapon and they can take it from you and use it against you. Your best defense is to act like you belong exactly where you are be confident and do not be afraid, and oh yeah no staring and mind your own business. Thats just my $0.02 worth
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Old 10-26-02, 01:51 PM   #25
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Originally posted by D*Alex
Nothing you own is so valuable that it is worth getting killed over.
Not all criminals are like those stereotypic benevolent NY street gangsters. If seeing softness and keys, they demand to show the way to one's apartment?

Does anyone has any practical experience with pneumatic pistols?

I own pneumatic rifle, which was produced in Spain. When I shoot into a thick book from a close range the bullet penetrates through several hundred pages. I can not go through so many pages when I hit the same book with a knife with all my strength.

This pneumatic guns are not considered as a weapon and do not require a legal permission.

I shoot once from an automatic pneumatic pistol, which was produced in Russia. It differs from a rifle that it can shoot all 13 charges one by one very quickly.

But I do not know how this small bullets will work through winter clothing. Wait a minute, I can make a test on a dummy tomorrow ...
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