Tuesday, June 19, 2012
Mythbusters recently did a horrible "21 Foot Rule" test (above). Many things were wrong with it (Adam saw the attack coming, gun was unloaded with safety on, etc) but we get the general idea. A knife-wielding maniac can close the distance pretty fast. More disturbing though, are some of the comments I've seen claiming that you shouldn't try for your gun in this situation, but rather should do karate on the knife-wielding maniac.
The main karate argument is that since you can't fire before you get stabbed, you should just fight the armed bad guy with your Chuck Norris skills.
I, however, say nay. It's fine to practice karate in the garage with your step brother, but in reality, you aren't going to ninja your way out of many bad situations. Especially the 21-foot-knife-wielding-maniac (21fkwm) situation. The pro-ninja folks are correct that you will most likely be stabbed, even if you move your feet. However, I think you're more likely to survive if you shoot the 21fkwm after you're stabbed rather than slap-fighting with him. If you are a pro-ninja person, step back and think. How much juijitsu will you be able to do when you've got a class III leak? It takes a lot less effort to pull a trigger (even on a Ruger) than to wrestle while being stabbed.
The pro-ninja crowd also sometimes uses the 21fkwm scenario to justify carrying a knife as a defensive weapon. And while better than nothing, it isn't better than a gun. To successfully defend your life with a knife, you have to be ready to do an awful lot of work. Hours of karate in the garage, hours of reading biology and physiology books, and hours of watching Cold Steel videos. If you feel like you can take on a crackhead with only a knife, go for it. It probably isn't going to end well for you though.
The 21fkwm scenario can be a fun training event and can really help you train to get your gun into action quickly. When it comes to concealed carry, that's really the key task. These days I primarily train at 7 yards drawing and firing either one or two shots as quickly as possible. I'm trying to get my time to first shot down because that's the most important thing, in my mind anyway. I do some target shooting at 25 yards and beyond, but that's a fairly small part of practice for me.
And to meander back to the whole point, a gun is better than a knife. It just is, and all the Cold Steel ninjas out there need to face that fact.