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Defend Thyself Personal Defense

Four Stabbed in Ohio Office Building, Suspect Shot by Police

by Richard Nance   |  March 19th, 2012 35


Image courtesy of Associated Press

The Associated Press reported last week that a man that stabbed four people in a downtown Ohio office building was shot by a police officer after lunging at the officer with a knife in each hand.

According to Columbus Police Sgt. Rich Weiner, three of the victims are in critical condition, as is the suspect, while a fourth victim suffered only minor injuries.

The incident occurred before 1 p.m. in the building where the attorney general’s office is located.

The attacker, armed with three knives described as “bigger than pocket knives” was disarmed by citizens who intervened. Unbeknownst to them, the man possessed two other knives and according to Weiner, “We do know that one of the good Samaritans that came to aid the first victim, he was stabbed also.”

Jason Jackson, 31, told the Columbus Dispatch that he heard screaming and a security officer directed everyone to evacuate. Jackson saw a man approach officers and heard officers order the man to drop his weapon. When the man lunged at an officer, the officer shot him.

This incident clearly illustrates the dangers that edged weapons pose. While we don’t know the manner in which the knives were employed by the attacker, or many of the circumstances surrounding the incident, this story should serve as food for thought. Motives are starting to surface–the man’s father said his son is schizophrenic and might have been stressed after his aunt told him to move out–but the investigation is ongoing.

What can we take away from this tragedy that would perhaps make us a little better prepared should we come face-to-face with an assailant armed with an edged weapon? For the sake of argument, let’s consider how we might employ a legally carried concealed handgun in a similar incident.

Many people assume that a firearm automatically trumps an edged weapon.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard a fellow police officer tell me, “I’ll just shoot ‘em” when referring to a suspect armed with an edged weapon.  What these complacent officers fail to realize is that even if you’re armed, immediately drawing your firearm is probably not the best response when someone armed with an edged weapon charges you.

If you don’t believe me, you should research the work of Dennis Tueller, whose testing in the early 80s established that the average healthy adult male could close a distance of 21 feet in 1.5 seconds, which is roughly the same time it takes the average person with proper training to draw and fire two center mass hits.

While a firearm enables you to cause damage to your adversary from a much further distance than an edged weapon, in close quarters, an edged weapon can be just as deadly as a firearm.

Keep in mind, an edged weapon doesn’t have to be a knife. It could be a screwdriver, a pair of scissors, a letter opener or even an ink pen.

While this is not the forum to delve into the pros and cons of various edged weapons defense systems, you owe it to yourself to familiarize yourself with what’s being taught.  Resist the temptation to settle on a system based on the skillful demonstration of a master moving at full speed against a half speed, scripted attack initiated by an obedient student. It would also behoove you to steer clear of an instructor who teaches hundreds of edged weapon defense techniques.

Your best bet is to look for the simplest techniques you can find, then with a training partner and proper safety equipment including inert training weapons, put those techniques to the test to see what works for you.

Have you considered how you might handle an edged weapon attack?

  • Heretic

    I live in Iowa. I would not be allowed to shoot an attacker who was armed with a knife. Here, we can only meet an aggressor with the same weapon or less.

    • Hersfelder

      That is absolute BS in my opinion………I would move outta Iowa…….

    • Alan_T

      No offense , but I think you need to check up on your state's statutes regarding deadly weapons and applying force on force . I think you may be confused about escalation clauses .

    • Snowden

      Gee, I can see that one going down, "Hey, you there, the bad guy with the knife. Can you hold that thought while I run get a knife, Perferably one that is smaller, I don't want to offend you by getting a bigger knife than you brought. After all, political correctness says I can't do anything to stop you from killing other innocent folks around here. Soooooooooo are you ok with just waiting a bit while I run to get a paring knife from the kitchen? Sure glad I don't live in Iowa. Isn't that where Radar is from?

  • Karl

    Distance is your friend. A large object between you is even better. Hand to hand against anyone with a knife is last resort and ONLY if they are already on you. IMHO you should always carry pepper spray, gun or not.

  • John

    Keep your eye on the blade stay on the move and but everthing you got to bring the hand holding the blade to the ground. Also, your going to get cut, just how bad is up to you.

    • Alan_T

      You watch their eyes if you're facing the attacker , most will telegraph where they intend to strike by looking at the part of your anatomy they are aiming for , watching the blade with confuse or distract you .

      • Alan Z…

        Absolute nonsense! A sure way to get yourself killed. Keep your eye on the weapon-that's the threat!

        • Alan_T

          You my absolutly nonsensical , opinionated friend have obviously never had any REAL world experience OR instruction in the subject . I , on the other hand , have survived a knife attack twice and I have had professional instruction in unarmed combat . I will match my scars and experience against YOURS any day !

  • Antonio

    Get out of Dodge if you can. The problem is if you're protecting someone, you have some tough decisions to make. Even if you shoot him/her, the time it usually takes for the assailant to go down is more than enough to stab you and/or others, especially if the person is "disturbed," naturally on on drugs.

    I give tremendous credit to the Good Samaritans in this case that risked their lives for other, and my prayers are with them.

  • Good Handloads

    I'm grateful that in SC, a knife is considered a deadly weapon, and if a citizen is attacked by a person with a deadly weapon the presumption is that they intend to maim or kill you. SC also recently updated its "rules of engagement" to the extent that a citizen has no duty to retreat if they are in a place they have a rightful place to be. However, if I'm confronted with a person wielding a knife, I would attempt to retreat, while bringing my pistol to bear. I'm disabled, however, and can no longer run, so if my opponent presses his attack, I would have no other choice but to fire.

    • Lee

      Same here – I cannot run (bad knees), but I'd sure as heck try. The last thing in the world I want (and I'm a licensed CCW) is to be in a gunfight/knife-fight. My first action is going to be to get as far away from the bad guy as possible, as quickly as possible. Shooting is an absolute last resort.

      • Hersfelder

        I, too, have "paratrooper's knees" and cannot really run anymore. That being the case, I always maintain Yellow or Orange SA when I go outside the house. If I am walking around town and see something ahead that does not seem quite right, I will cross the street……I'm not too proud to stay on the sidewalk and approach a nut-case or a group that strikes me as potentially dangerous…….

      • Jeepers Creepers

        In almost all states becuase of your health you can use a firearm against fist or a knife. If you can prove knee operation.

    • Snowden

      God Bless The South!

    • BJC

      I too am disabled and can't run away even if I wanted to. Where I live use of deadly force is warranted when you believe your life or someone elses life is threatened no matter what the perpetrator is armed with, gun, knife, car whatever.

  • Lee

    I agree that distance and objects (larger is better) are your best allies. Shooting an assailant is not like in the movies, where the bad guy goes down instantly. Anybody here hunt? A deer can run a long distance after getting hit by the "perfect" shot from a 30-06. Basically, the shot probably won't stop the guy immediately unless you get a perfect head shot, and I wouldn't bet the farm on getting in a perfect shot, what with all your fine motor skills in the dumper. Distance, and more distance.

  • Mike

    Obviously the answer is to ban knives. It worked so well for the UK. Right guys? Right? Guys…?

    • Alan_T

      Yeah …. yeah right . Don't forget they outlawed sticks too ! ….. That's worked out real well for them . ( cough , cough ) Maybe next our friends in the U . K . can outlaw dirty looks . HAHAHAHAHAHAHA

      ( Just in case anybody doesn't realize it … I know Mike's being sarcastic . )

      • Tommy

        They've already outlawed cross language in this country. So be careful with that sarcasm there buddy.

        • Alan_T

          I'm so ashamed Tommy , maybe I can take sensitivity classes or something .
          Tommy ….. Tommy ….. what … are .. you doing with that blade of grass ? Tommy ? …. NO , TOMMY WAIT , NO ! … PUT IT DOWN ! … I SAID I WAS SORRY ! ! ! Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaargh

  • Gitarzan

    Since this building housed the attorney general's office, I assume it was a gun-free zone. Hmmmm what about knife- free zones. I'm sure they would work as well……

    • BJC

      You are forgetting, criminals do not follow the laws. If you made it a bomb-free zone do you think it would stop a terrorist from using a bomb, no. same thing applies to gun and knife free zones.

  • Casey

    I spent a lot of years studying and teaching martial arts, and currently teach self defense and ccw. Something I was taught early by masters with considerable experience in knife fighting and knife defense is that a knife fighter is far more dangerous than someone with a gun. There are a whole lot of physiological/psychological issues that pop up in a knife fight, like where is it and how many does this attacker have, and how do I handle the shock of being cut badly?

    A truly dedicated knife fighter trains extensively is prepared to cut the opponent without thinking about it (and they know where to cut), and is ready to be cut since their training takes place with "live" blades (so, he or she has been cut numerous times.) Which leads me to say that people and places where the thinking is that it's stupid to bring a knife to a gun fight, and that the guy who has the gun has the advantage, have no real world knowledge or experience. It occurs to me that bringing a gun to a knife fight, especially when the knife shows up as a "surprise", puts the gunner at a distinct disadvantage.

    I guess where I'm going agrees with some of the opinions offered here – the best defense in a knife fight is not being there at all (if possible). There is no question that distance is our friend in the knife world. So, in the case given, the best practice would be to stay as far away as possible – knowing only what we've seen in this post makes us pure speculators at best!

    Thanks Richard for the opportunity!

  • Dlyn

    Check out the videos on the Cold Steel website for an idea of the damage a knife can do. Anyone who says "only a knife" doesn't have a clue.

    • Alan_T

      Damn straight !

  • Jeepers Creepers

    I'm an ccw permit holder in the state of Colorado and have been since 1994. I was also in the U.S. Marines in 1974-75. Discharged 4F. It seems I have a mental sickness that I feel all life is worth less than a cup of coffee. So first off you don't want to make it legal for me to ripe out your life.
    Yes a knife is more deadly than a gun. The gun has more distance. But if you do carry a firearm or knife are you 100% sure that you can kill someone. If not, all the training in the world will not help to protect your life. Straight on face to face a man with a knife or gun doesn't have a change with me if he gets within 5 feet of my body. Yes I'm sure that I can kill some one but the sad thing is. I would really enjoy doing it. But only if the other person will make it legal so I can have some fun. But if he's 7 foot, 500 pounds, and can pick up a car. I'd run like I have never ran before.
    If your not prepared to fully defend yourself to the very end. You should not be harmed at all.

  • Snug

    Having used a knife for defence I know a sharp blade has considerable "pucker power" and oddly seems to be scarier to many than a gun. Twice I had to defend myself against knife weilding opponents,both were young and inexperienced. One was also drunk.In both cases I took the initiative away, got inside and struck first.
    That was more years ago than I wish to recall
    DO NOT TRY THIS,I was trained,in shape ,and young enough not spend time considering consequences.

  • Matt

    Better to be judged by 12 than carried by 6

  • Drjekyl30

    The first thing you do before leaving the house in the morning is pray for God to protect you. If it's in his will you will be protected. Second thing you do is strap on your .45 with +P ammo. Third thing, is if someone is trying to stab you put as much distance between yourself and your attacker as you can, draw your weapon and unload. Shoot the threat until the threat has stopped. No double tap center mass and single to the head, unload til the threat drops. In VA a knife is considered a deadly weapon and you have the right to use deadly force against such attacks. Be safe guys and gals.

  • Tommy

    Also remember that "bullet proof" (resistant)? vests offer little to no protection from an edged weapon. Some of the newer models are a bit better in this regard. This is why knights of old wore chain mail garments, because they do protect from stabbing/cutting wounds. Now all I gotta do is find me a blacksmith. HMMM

    • Alan_T

      That;s why in the U . K . they've outlawed Knight – Killer Knives because they go right through chain mail ! Why , if states make it legal to even think about possessing a Knight – Killer Knife our streets will run red with blood ! It will throw us back to days of Camelot …or .. er … uh.. The Crusades ….or something . Won't somebody please think of the knights ? How many more knights have to die before OUR Government wakes up and outlaws Knight – Killer Knives too ? ! ! !

  • Jstanley01

    In Texas you can use deadly force to stop ANY assault. So good luck trying to get the drop on me if I'm in yellow or orange. And I'm ALWAYS in yellow or orange.

  • Pete

    OMG ban knives now a criminal stabbed someone

    I know sounds stupid doesn't it
    Just as stupid as gun laws because of criminals

  • Breeze

    If I couldn't have a gun, I would prefer to have a stick. (baseball bat, cane, chair, walking staff). A knife needs to used on soft parts of the body, a stick on hard, boney parts. An arm is a hard, boney thing. Then a knee, head, crotch, throat.

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