“You Are a Weapon” by Gregor Erdmann

“When you consider a pistol as a weapon, there are characteristics which make it effective in certain situations and useless in others. It has a limited number of shots before it must be reloaded. It inflicts substantial damage but only through a very narrow line. It has a limited effective range due to its narrow attack line. A gun has limited effectiveness in close quarters. It is difficult to use in motion and so forth.

A katana by comparison has a different attack range and can inflict substantial damage in a sweeping arc. It requires more skill speed and strength to use effectively. It is harder to conceal, but can be used almost soundlessly. It is more flexible in it usage than a gun, but there is still only one end that can be held.”

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  1. In most practical situations guns beat blades, or we would still use blades. Richard Burton, the 19th century explorer/adventurer, was also a master of saber. He believed both had a place. But Colts, Bulldogs, Remingtons and Webleys only had six shots; five if you carried an empty under the hammer.

    There is also the training aspect. Bows lost to guns because it takes longer to learn archery than musket. There’s also an elitist/political angle there. Archery empowered the Commons. Swordsmanship is, similarly, difficult to learn compared to combat pistol.

    I am deterred from carrying a pistol in SF by the DA’s promise to prosecute all firearms offenses to the maximum. Concealed carry without a permit, available only to police and the political class, is a wobbler felony. A bad guy would just consider it a footnote to his CV. It would not, however, enhance mine.

    Swords have had a bit of a renaissance in England… because of gun control! Now the Brits are talking about selling only round-pointed knives. I suppose grinding wheels, files and sharpening stones will have to be licensed then.

    Tom Everett (uchideshi, SF-Turk St) was an exponent of bokken for self defense: ‘If you actually HAD to use it, you could dispose of the evidence by having a little barbeque…’

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