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Carrying a weapon

Old 02-02-09, 09:32 AM
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z3px
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Carrying a weapon

I'm going to be starting a commute through a rough area of town and was wondering what people carry for protection, or if you feel that it's needed. I'm thinking about carrying one of my 9mm pistols after I get my concealed weapons permit.
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Old 02-02-09, 09:44 AM
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If I was going to bike jack someone, I wouldn't give them enough notice/time to pull out a gun. They would see an innocent looking person going about their own business, and then suddenly find themselves on the ground... Do you practice quick drawing, while falling?
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Old 02-02-09, 09:48 AM
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Pepper spray is a good idea, that's probably what I'll end up with.
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Old 02-02-09, 10:08 AM
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Old 02-02-09, 10:43 AM
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Originally Posted by AlmostTrick View Post
Do you practice quick drawing, while falling?
I've got it combined with a shoulder roll. 98% of the time I can come up on my feet and shooting.
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Old 02-02-09, 10:49 AM
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This is such a militia type mindset. Even though you may have the right to arm yourself you also have a "duty to retreat". That is, you can't disregard other, reasonable actions and then claim self-defense if you shoot someone. My suggestion would be to take another route or use a non-lethal means of self defense.
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Old 02-02-09, 11:11 AM
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Would somebody please put either the Captain Picard with his head in his hands or some generic "no, not this * again" thing up? We manage to get a couple of threads about this a year and they're all the same.
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Old 02-02-09, 11:13 AM
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Old 02-02-09, 12:08 PM
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Originally Posted by z3px View Post
I'm going to be starting a commute through a rough area of town and was wondering what people carry for protection, or if you feel that it's needed. I'm thinking about carrying one of my 9mm pistols after I get my concealed weapons permit.
The really smart thing to do instead of carrying concealed is to avoid the area of danger.

The downsides of concealed carry are just to many to list for normal people. Not good at all.
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Old 02-02-09, 12:16 PM
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It's astonishing to me that the first piece of advice given by many is "Don't ride your bike there."

A "duty to retreat"? You have got to be kidding me.
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Old 02-02-09, 12:22 PM
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Old 02-02-09, 12:29 PM
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Old 02-02-09, 12:37 PM
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take some common sense with you.
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Old 02-02-09, 12:41 PM
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It's astonishing to me that the first piece of advice given by many is "Don't ride your bike there."

A "duty to retreat"? You have got to be kidding me.
OK, go be a vigilante or get yourself killed-you're right.
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Old 02-02-09, 12:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Lot's Knife View Post
It's astonishing to me that the first piece of advice given by many is "Don't ride your bike there."

A "duty to retreat"? You have got to be kidding me.
He's not kidding. There are only 15 states (AZ being one of them) where a person does NOT have the duty to retreat before responding to an attack with deadly force.

I wouldn't consider carrying a firearm while riding because I've been victim to a bike-jacking. There isn't time to respond in the situation I was in: Riding between a line of traffic and a line of parked cars, and all of a sudden *WHANG*. When I came to, the guy who was waiting with me for the ambulance to arrive said that some kid hit me with a 2 x 4 from between a couple of parked cars. Kid made off with my courier bag, but my bike was too big so he ditched it and ran. I'm sure if I carried a firearm, he'd have stolen that, too.

My suggestion is also to avoid the area if possible.
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Old 02-02-09, 01:26 PM
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Situational awareness keeps more people out of harms way than what they may or may not be packing.

A "reasonable and prudent" response is usually your best course of civilian response, this is not always retreating but retreating is usually one of the considerations.

And what some might consider a rough part of town others might consider it to be a normal neighborhood, just depends upon what you're used to.

As to any further discussions of this, there are better places to discuss it.

edit to add a pic, because we all like pics:

Not mine, but imagelinked from here: http://www.montanascabbards.com/images/bike1.jpg
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Old 02-02-09, 01:51 PM
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I've biked through some pretty dicey areas of DC (Anacostia, the infamous Trinidad, Brookland back when it wasn't nice, and some fairly high-crime areas not too far from the Convention Center and around Howard U). I've been doing this for about 12 years, spanning the time when DC had a much higher crime rate than it does now. I've had a handful of scary encounters in which a weapon would not have done me a darn bit of good. The only thing that saved me in each instance was common sense and the ability to ride pretty fast. I've witnessed shootings, robberies, and a host of other crimes, most of which did not put me in any direct danger.

I don't know where you are, but generally speaking the crime in "rough areas of town" involve drug dealing and crime that is targeted towards gang members and known entities who live in the area. Generally speaking, when coming through on a bike, you're going by so quickly that most won't have time to even react and do more than yell something at you (that's been my experience at least).

In my experience, the much smarter thing to do is craft your route so that you avoid known problem areas. Talk to your local police, explain your situation, and see where the really dangerous areas are. Drive through in a car and note the areas where large groups of people are hanging out and then create a route that avoids those areas. In DC, for example, you know the "bad" areas by the amount of people hanging on a corner. If you see more than two men hanging on a corner in the middle of the day or you can see active drug dealing, that's an area to just avoid. That is generally the tactic I follow and it has served me well. I scout out areas in a car and then avoid them whenever I'm on bike or walking/running. If I happen into an area that gives me a bad feeling, I don't go back there. Stay away from secluded areas or places where there's lots of people hanging out but not a lot of traffic. For example, I often opt for the more congested Georgia Ave in DC instead of some side streets where there is lots of gang activity. I would rather deal with the heavy traffic than the groups of men and dealers whom I know have quick access to weapons and are not afraid to use them.

Your gut is a good indicator for recognizing where the "bad" areas that you should avoid. Listen to it. You have fear for a reason and it's an instinct you should pay keen attention to in ANY environment that you're in, including the concrete jungle.
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Old 02-02-09, 01:55 PM
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situational awareness, killing someone because they might steal your bike is a hell of a choice.
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Old 02-02-09, 03:00 PM
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It is my opinion (meaning I am not bashing any one )

Not a good idea.

+1 for Situational awareness is your best defense

When this fails or there is a blitz attack, the majority of people are not going to be able to rapidly and effectively utilize a weapon (gun, bicycle pump, pepper spray, amonnia in squirt bottle

Using/displaying a weapon will generally result in a binary result...the situation will defuse or it will escalate. More often than not it will escalate. and if it escalates the result will be not good for all. The legal jeapordy depends on the state, but can be pretty severe, even if the shooter was "right" they could be legally way wrong. (i.e shooting was justified, but shooter violated carry laws...jail time) Worst case is tragedy when there is a mistake.

The defensive/scare power of a pistol is often overrated...it ain't the movies. Watch mythbusters on the power of bullets knocking a person over....it doesn't happen. Years ago the standard recommendation for self defense for a .45 If you are dealing a with a real criminal element or someone out of their head on meth....they don't care, have seen worse, have survived bullets, etc.

Effective shooting in a stress situation is really hard. Look at police statistics on how many times shot are fired without a hit. This is with people who train for the situation on a regular basis.

For the record, I like guns and shooting, I was qualified as expert rifle and markman pistol in the coast guard, I shot with a rifle club when i was 12, got my own .22 when I was 14, I was a member of the NRA. I believe that there is a limited right to own and shoot guns (limited...ie no one needs a full automatic weapon.....no matter how fun it is to rock an roll) but that the need to carry for self defense is completely overblown and more a result of the coolness/macho factor. Kind of like when a buddy brought me a switch blade from Afghanistan when I was in high school 30 some years ago, and I would carry it around for "protectio" in the little home time I grew up in, knew every one in, and hadn't had a fight in since i was 9. No need, just 'walking tall"
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Old 02-02-09, 03:01 PM
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I carry Chuck Norris on my handlebars.
He's always looking for an excuse to leap into action.
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Old 02-02-09, 03:30 PM
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I wouldn't carry a gun because I know I might use it. I would rather just let them take the bike. Imagine what would happen if you killed a person even in self defence. Your life would be completely different after that. You would probably have to go to court for years and years afterwards.

I woudn't advise carrying anything more lethal than pepper spray.
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Old 02-02-09, 03:34 PM
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I just don't live my life in fear


Originally Posted by bigbenaugust View Post
Would somebody please put either the Captain Picard with his head in his hands or some generic "no, not this * again" thing up? We manage to get a couple of threads about this a year and they're all the same.
How's this?

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Old 02-02-09, 03:35 PM
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If you wouldn't go thru a neighborhood without a weapon why would you go thru one with a weapon? If you don't carry every day then riding your bike should be no different. Just my $.02
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Old 02-02-09, 03:50 PM
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Originally Posted by d2create View Post
I carry Chuck Norris on my handlebars.
He's always looking for an excuse to leap into action.
I tried that once, but my bars couldn't hold that much awesome and my whole bike broke. I think I'll be OK if I back off a bit and get an XtraCycle with Steven Segal riding on back.
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Old 02-02-09, 04:06 PM
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Originally Posted by CliftonGK1 View Post
I tried that once, but my bars couldn't hold that much awesome and my whole bike broke. I think I'll be OK if I back off a bit and get an XtraCycle with Steven Segal riding on back.
You might need the assistance of some sort of gas powered engine if you plan on hauling that much weight.
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