Self defense for the disabled


Politically Incorrect
December 26, 2002, 12:00 PM
I was just wanting to know those who have some sort of limitations on defending themselves due to some physical problems.

A few years ago, I was involved in an industrial accident that broke both femurs, my left arm at the humerus, ulna and radias, and a couple metacarpals in my right hand.

I'm twenty-six and in pretty decent shape except I cannot run, squat down like a normal person can, etc. My weakhand is able to shoot mouse calibers such as .22, .25, and .32 auto, but when I shot a 9mm once, pain instantly shot through my forearm (as it did when I tried to pick up my five year old neice on Christmas).

Of course, the state of Ohio has no provision for concealed carry except for proving you had a legitamite reason for carrying in court.

Ohio State Trooper's position on concealed carry is that they do not want anyone carrying even though I had one strapped to my hip when a trooper assisted me when I had a flat tire. He was oblivious to it and had nothing to worry about anyway.

So how do these people expect me to defend myself? How do you defend yourself?

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December 26, 2002, 01:55 PM
Not long ago SWAT had an article Disabled not Defensless.
Lots of good info in the article.
I'd think about a cane
Some form of martial arts designed for your limitations
OC Spray

I'm sure others have ideas or experience better than I. Though I appreciateyour frustrations with the laws of your state, I wouldn't personally advocate getting in trouble by CCW--In your private Abode, depending on state law, with invasions etc., different story. In public--alternate methods.
my .02

December 26, 2002, 02:07 PM
a co-worker of mine is disabled and confined to a motorized wheelchair. she doesnt have a lot of arm strength and she can walk only a few feet at a time before running out of energy. there are paved bike trails around her apartment that she would like to ride on during the summer but due to crimes that routinely happen on them she chooses not to. she likely couldnt use a firearm (of any caliber) reliably.
i encourage her to use pepper spray and have a airhorn with her so that she could at least alert her position to others, should she be attacked.

my mother is another one who doesnt have upper body strength and takes absolutely no precautions. neither does she have an inkling of situational awareness and i constantly have to tell her not to approach certain people or to talk to some who i get 'that' vibe from.

December 26, 2002, 05:09 PM
I survived a partially crushed head (also an industrial accident) years ago; and my partner Susan has accumulated a remarkable list of broken bones...

Shoot comfortable calibers just to refine marksmanship - but when it comes to defending your life, I'd go for an American Derringer in .45lc &.410ga...

Absolutely, the pain will be debiliating, but the goblin will either be very, very dead (maximum range is around 3') - or on fire and screaming louder than you.

A Beretta in .22lr is very acceptable when you have verified skills that see you hitting the tear duct at 15' every time. We compensate for our disabilities by refining the abilities we have, yes?

Susan shoots and carries a .45acp regularly, regardless of the pain - and is astonishingly good! I accept being able to have consistent COM tactical shooting skills, with guaranteed head shots at 20 yards even though I shoot ugly looking groups.

I'd tend to shun pepper sprays as I've personally seen them fail WAY too frequently (and as I have asthma, when the goblin continues to rush me, I'd end up getting the gunk all over me - ending up in a bad way!).

Yoga is wonderful physical therapy - and we both do it to stay limber. You might also see a dietitian to check for food allergies as they can aggravate the onset of arthritis after such massive skeletal damage.

Keep pushing the boundaries - and you may see them a little less inflexible.



Oleg Volk
December 26, 2002, 05:21 PM
I am planning to add an article on "one-armed self-defense" to my web site in January. I've noticed that large magazines and ability to clear malfunctions with one hand help.

Similarly, mild recoil is good. Too bad laws prohibit 15-shot .32 pistols and the like.

December 26, 2002, 05:38 PM
I'm have Neurofibromatosis (a disease that basically causes my nerve tissue to grow tumors) which leads to some deficit in the use of my right arm/hand. Combined with the fact some idiot rear-ended me in August, I'm unable to defend myself. At the moment I can't even run away from someone attacking me and when my family (two small children) goes out in public we are defenseless because of my limitations. The police organizations, Ohio Senate and Govenor Taft should be ashamed of themselves for denying me the right to protect my family. They have bodyguards or are armed as part of their daily work so their decision doesn't effect their own well being. Plus, it takes a hypocrit to deny something to someone while using the same benefit for themselves.

December 26, 2002, 05:42 PM
Trisha: best sig line I've seen in a while.

4v50 Gary
December 26, 2002, 05:48 PM
In training we were cautioning us about approaching disabled folks who were in motorized wheelchairs. We were taught to keep our distance (depends on the circumstances), not to stoop down to the person's eye level to talk, and be prepared to retreat (jump out of the way).

Pepper sprays are a good start. Consider a collaspable baton. The key is not to let your opponent see it. No warning other than a loud "stay back!" Like I told one lady who was being stalked, after they fail to heed it and approach close enough, it's whack time. No brandishing with a warning, just straight whack. Surprise.

Politically Incorrect. It sounds like you've got mobility so in your position I would prefer a cane. Learn how to use it. Col. Rex Applegate taught the O.S.S. hand to hand combat. Some punk decided to mug the old colonel. The colonel used his cane to good effect and walked away while the punk imitated Beatle Bailey.

December 26, 2002, 06:45 PM
Too bad wheelchairs don't have Phalanx defense systems ( wired in. :D

Politically Incorrect
December 26, 2002, 08:27 PM
Thanks for all the post and advice.

I've thought about a cane, but I don't think it would look right for me for at least another thirty years. I don't really limp until the pain is bad. Summers are much more pleasant than these cold winters in Ohio. Perhaps after I'm done with school, I will try to relocate to warmer climates.

I can shoot anything with my strong hand, which is why I own a Desert Eagle. However, my weak hand is good for my P32.

I believe this is a good topic to discuss and I look forward to your article Oleg. I do like the 1911 for its onehandedness which is why the extended guide rod is outside of my Springfield Armory.

I know I'm taking a chance with carrying a firearm as prescribed in the Ohio Constitution, but not okayed by our legislature. After Feely won his case, I decided to go ahead and depend on my attorney to make my case for me if need be.

I also watch where I go to. Your surroundings are as important as your awareness. Just ask Jam Master Jay of Run DMC.


December 26, 2002, 10:10 PM
Over the years, I've tried the spectrum from knives, to chemicals, to hand-to-hand, to club weapons, to guns.
I've never tried the "give them what they want, and hope they don't hurt you". I've never been too good at back-watering.

Guns win EVERY time. All the others fail more often than they work.

The only wheelchair hand-to-hand system I ever saw that was fairly reliably was developed by an former Marine Vietnam vet.

His technique figured an attacker would follow a natural desire to turn his wheelchair over, so his system HELPED the attacker turn the "bike" over. His system insured that when he went down, the attacker was taken down with him.

He would than use superior upper body strength, combat techniques, and sheer vicious ferocity to make sure the attacker NEVER GOT UP AGAIN. It worked.

However, I'd rely on the only SURE defense, which is a firearm. I'd then either wheel or limp my way, (WITH a cane or even a crutch) into court, and see if a jury of my peers would convict me for defending my life from some healthy low-life.

December 26, 2002, 10:22 PM
Just as the defense equipment and methods a fully able bodied person finds most approriate will vary considerably from person to person, so should they when one is disabled, more so in fact.

Not everybody is "abled" equally, nor are the disabled equally impaired. The toughest situation seems like it would be somebody who doesn't appear to be impaired but can't move fast or far, but I don't know....

December 26, 2002, 10:28 PM
Is it legal in your state to carry a Taser "gun" like some LEOs do??

Hope this helps.

Ed Brunner
December 26, 2002, 10:58 PM
I think the key is to take what you have and use it to your best advantage. I have always considered guns to be the best overall personal defense weapon. If recoil is painful, practice with smaller calibers. A larger caliber is of no value if it hurts too much to fire it,
but in times of extreme stress, the pain of recoil will probably not be your first consideration.
Whatever weapon you choose, it is important to learn to use it as well as you can. Your own life is worth it.

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