Why I Write About Armed Self Defense (as opposed to unarmed self defense)

Published by the LearnAboutGuns.com Author on September 1, 2010 at 12:01 am
LearnAboutGuns.com > Pro Gun Rights Articles > Why I Write About Armed Self Defense (as opposed to unarmed self defense)

I recently received an interesting email from a reader named Sarah. She asked whether I write about real-life examples of crime victims using either their bare hands or their words to stop an attacker. The answer to her question and my thoughts on the subject can be seen below:

Do I write about unarmed self defense or verbal approaches to stop a criminal?

The short answer is no, I generally do not.  On rare occasions, I will discuss cases where a crime victim has used a non-traditional weapon to defend themselves (e.g. this pizza delivery man who used a hot pizza in self defense).  However, that is the exception, rather than the rule.

Why I don’t write about unarmed self defense

1. I don’t come across many news reports of successful unarmed self defense.

2. I do come across many news reports in which an unarmed crime victim tries to fight back against their attacker, but is unsuccessful.  This is often true even when the crime victim in question had martial arts training.

Why I don’t write about verbal approaches to stop a criminal

1. I don’t come across many news reports of cases where a verbal request that the attacker cease and desist actually helped the victim.

2. Given that many criminals are willing to seriously harm or kill their victim –  even after the victim fully cooperates – this approach seems to be dangerous and often futile.  Indeed, a US Department of Justice Study found that fighting back against a rapist significantly reduced the likelihood that the rapist would complete the attack, and also did not significantly increase the likelihood that the woman would be injured by the rapist.  That same study found, on the other hand, that “the only self-protective tactics that appear to increase the risk of injury significantly were those that are ambiguous and not forceful. These included stalling, cooperating and screaming from pain or fear.”

Tags for this article: , , ,


  • LT Gary M. Smith

    You might add of the futility of unarmed self defense. The average citizen faced with having to engage in unarmed self defense would be better served with running away. I work in a prison and when inmates fight it is quick and savage. They know that to win and suffer the least amount of injury they have to inflict brutal debilitating injury to the other party or parties. They have to experience pain and know how to work through it to keep going. The best self defense courses, including martial arts, don't teach how to work through pain nor do they teach you to inflict brutal debilitating injury. To be effective, any person being taught self defense has to engage in fighting such as boxing or mixed martial arts to gain the experience necessary to successfully engage in unarmed self defense. Japanese samurai in training used wooden versions of their weapons in full contact, no holds barred training combat so that they would know how to react, how to counter and overcome and, more importantly, know what pain felt like and to work through it. This is why at the slightest hint of inmate violence corrections officers call for backup and our self defense is geared toward creating distance so that we can employ our weapons (gas, baton, Taser or guns) or get backup to the scene.

    Another point is that negotiation is best left to the United Nations. Unless you are facing a young kid who has never committed any type of crime, the chances of talking the bad guy out of victimizing you are slim.

    • Leroy

      Hi Lt. Smith, it'sme Leroy from MyGunSpot! What a coincidence bumping into you. Your comments make a lot of sense, I can definitely relate. You all carry Tasers and batons? Cool. We train with an expandable baton but don't carry them.