Self Defense for a minor


August 12, 2006, 07:05 PM
I've been here long enough to know all (or at least most) of you adults out there have a gun for self defense. My problem is that the 2nd Amendment doesn't apply to me because I'm not 18 yet. I realize the need for effective self defense in certain situations, but the most effective one is against the law for me.

So what should I use for self defense as a minor other than a firearm? I have a pocket knife and, while I'm not going to say I illegally carry that on my person, I do believe that it is better to be judged by twelve than to be carried by six.

What would be the best idea for me around my house? What about when I'm not in my house?

Thanks for the advice.

Oh and by the way, I asked this question a long time ago at and got an answer like this:
Bigun16 - If you're 16, here's my advice: Put the trench coat away, might want to consider stop listening to Marilyn Manson, get a regular pair Nike sneakers and throw out the monkey boots, go find yourself a nice honey and GET LAID. Sixteen is way too young to live in paranoia. You'll have plenty of time to live holed up with many guns & knives later in life.

This is not the kind of answer I'm looking for. It actually offended me pretty heavily.

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August 12, 2006, 07:17 PM
I carry pepper spray, 2 knives, and a kubaton on my keychain.

Everything perfectly legal.

Check out ur state laws regarding knives. Again, mine are perfectly legal in MA (not switchblades, butterflies (and dont meet other criteria), but I can open them about as fast as a switchblade.

In your house, have a rifle or shotgun (semi auto if possible) close at hand.

Now, on your 21'st birthday, instead of going out drinking, go to your PD and apply for your permit!!:D

I'm 16, by the way.

Hope that helps

Josh Aston
August 12, 2006, 07:19 PM
Situational Awareness is going to be your best bet.

Something like this ( a lot more keys. Legal everywhere and not easily recognized as a weapon.

A super bright flashlight like Surefire ( or Digilight ( could come in handy.

Remember though you are the most effective weapon available. Avoid trouble and learn to improvise when trouble does arise. Just about anything can be used as a weapon. Also studying martial arts and taking up physical training (weight and endurance) will increase your options.

August 12, 2006, 07:20 PM
Learn some form of martial arts, get a kubaton and/or a knife and some pepper spray or similar. Are tazers legal for under 18s?

August 12, 2006, 07:32 PM
when i was your age i was 4'11 94 pounds, i can tell you what i did most of it bad. i carried lots of weapons illegally and had a bad attitude. lucky i lived through it. if i had it to do over i'd do the martial arts classes and stay outa a lotta places i went then. and never underestimate the wisdom of "feet don't fail me now" if you think you should haul but you should probably already be moving.its a meaner world than when i was your age. i wish you luck.but try not to self defend yourself into a prison cell over testosterone

August 12, 2006, 07:38 PM
Are tazers legal for under 18s?
Depends on the state.

August 12, 2006, 08:06 PM
How about an aerosol can and cigarette lighter? :evil: :D

August 12, 2006, 08:06 PM
hell, tasers and stun guns are completely illegal in MA

stupid liberals

Also, I believe you can carry anything concealed/open when on your property

August 12, 2006, 08:13 PM
Not sure how it works in your state, but in mine, once you hit 18, there's no laws restricting your handgun ownership. Purchasing, yes--owning/operating, no. Good ol' KY. No federal laws saying someone between 18-21 can't own/operate handgun, either; the only laws on "the books" apply to "minors under the age of 18". I have a .22 snubbie, a BP, and a .357 revolver, and I'm 19--all gifts. Perfectly legal. Can't CCW or anything, but it helps to know the laws.

And yes, I checked them througoughly in an official .gov book of firearms regulations and laws--both state and local. Handy book.

August 12, 2006, 08:23 PM
Good OC spray, if legal for someone your age to carry where you live. Fox Labs is IMHO the best (I'd recommend a 2-oz medium fogger).

Martial arts, practiced seriously. Both for the physical SD skills AND the enhanced situational awareness. Something like Krav Maga might be even better.

Lift weights. It will not only make you stronger and feel better about yourself, but it will make you a less appealing target.

Get some quality running shoes and take up running, both endurance and speedwork. Right now, you have the potential for speed and endurance that would be superhuman for a 35-year-old. Take advantage of it while you can.

Don't do anything illegal. I don't know how juvenile records affect your RKBA as an adult, but you'd hate to do something to screw up your future.

August 12, 2006, 08:30 PM
I live in California, so guns are pretty much out of my picture (for now).

Now, on your 21'st birthday, instead of going out drinking, go to your PD and apply for your permit!!

Oh believe me, I've already planned that out. At 18 I want to get an SKS.

I am 6'0" with shoes on, about 155 lbs., and I'm taking advanced weight training at my high school. I guess you could say I'm physically in the middle.

I'd like to get pepper spray/stun gun, but for the life of me I can't find them anywhere. I'll keep looking around, but it's not been very productive this far.

How about an aerosol can and cigarette lighter?

Hehe. Already got it.

Anyway, I've got my BB gun by my bed but my dad has been talking about putting it back in his safe. I'm going under the assumption that I'm going to lose that.

August 12, 2006, 09:01 PM
your a decent sized young man thats good just don't let some short sucker goad you into something that looks bad for you. if you pound some lil guy even if he started it it looks bad for you. and big guys are always targets for lil guys trying to prove something. you wanna really piss off an older guy? particularly one who smokes? use your youth and just outrun us. like someone said you can smoke most 30 yearolds running backwards.

August 12, 2006, 09:29 PM

Check your state/local laws first; although they'll ship to CA, there may be a law/city ordnance/other piece of local tripe that makes it illegal for anyone under 18 to carry it.

August 12, 2006, 09:31 PM
don't carry in school always a bozo nono

August 12, 2006, 10:20 PM
Stickjockey, I think that link is going to take away at least a couple hours of my life that I should spend doing other things. Thank you. I know some of the stuff on there is illegal here (butterfly knives, brass knuckles, etc.) but some of it may be worth purchasing.

Cassandrasdaddy, you remind me of a time I went to school and opened my binder to find my knife sitting right there in the middle of class. Fortunately, no one else noticed.

August 12, 2006, 10:41 PM
you don't have to do anythjing wrong to be hung out to dry. you are responsible for protecting yourself from the dumb rules today. remember the kid who took a knife away from suicidal clasmate turned it in to teacher? they put him out under zero tolerance. don't let some bozo situation et ya but like wise don't get killed by not being ready

August 12, 2006, 11:31 PM
awareness of the time and space around you, these are key for you , and more important than any weapon you can carry. Another way to say it,spoken from the movie Ronin , by robert Deniro, " I dont go into any situation , that I can't get myself out of!"

August 12, 2006, 11:39 PM
but still true was a show from my youth called julia single mom boy child momma wanted to do the no fighting thing with boy got sage advice from the old doctor "well fighter or pacifist either way hes gotta learn to duck"

August 12, 2006, 11:51 PM
I carry pepper spray, 2 knives, and a kubaton on my keychain.

Everything perfectly legal.

I'm 16, by the way.

I didn't know that a 16 year old could get a card for pepper spray in MA,I assumed that one had to be 18.

August 13, 2006, 12:17 AM
Bigun, if you're in the Bay Area, you might try going over to and talking a bit with WinstonSmith. He's kinda in the same boat you are.

August 13, 2006, 12:24 AM
I didn't know that a 16 year old could get a card for pepper spray in MA,I assumed that one had to be 18.

Ages 15-18 can get an FID card (doubles as a permit for low cap rifles/shotguns) with their parents permission.

August 13, 2006, 12:28 AM
be really careful with pocket knives and such. even if they are technically legal, a LEO still might give you a ration of poo. it has been my experience that there is the law as it is written, and the law as it is practiced, and often they are not the same thing. when i was 16 (6 years ago now) i was in a slightly different boat. i'd say get a cell phone first and foremost if you don't have one, and a kubaton. it looks the least like a weapon. also consider a bit of training with it, a lot of specific fighting techniques have been developed with kubatons, and learning a few wouldn't hurt. next i would say a very bright flashlight, with an aluminum body. i like the fenix 1lp as my everyday flashlight. again a multitude of specific techniques acompany small flashlights for defensive purposes.

to sum up though, everyone here, and not just you, should realize that the best bet of defense is high situational awareness. once you reach an age where more of your rights are 'granted' you can expand your level of preparedness to accompany a broader range of situations, but in the meantime you'll have to make due with what is legally available.

August 13, 2006, 12:36 AM
i am pissed that in todays society there exists the realitythat good young men feel the need to be armed. and i don't fault their asesment of risk either. i worked at a college in dc had a couple students that worked with me as part of their financial aid package. 2 good kids nice young men.we were talking one night and both these kids go strapped. in spite of the enormous risk that creates for their futures if caught. but as the one said no future dead. when i was their age we fist fought. its a shame. but real as can be and a horrible drain on society

August 13, 2006, 12:40 AM
Right now, you have the potential for speed and endurance that would be superhuman for a 35-year-old.

take advice from us older guys, who would give the left one to be your age again. I see way too many teens let themselves get fat and lazy. From 16 to about 25, Man or woman, your body is at its PRIME. I remember when I was 18 I got big into cardio, running 5 miles a day, I got real thin, then suddenly I decided I wanted to lift weight, and I gain 20 lb of pure muscle in 8 month, and this is while I was going to college full time, working full time and partying full time ;) No way I could do that now. You could get into shape quicker and get stronger then anyone over 30. Simply you can just get into running and Pushups if you don't have equipment or can't afford a gym. Get into Martial Arts and avoid Traditional and shoot for more street fighting or combat type classes. I think OC is the way to go. Unless your up to no good and using OC for mischief, I don't see a cop giving a teen a lot of trouble for carrying OC. Knives, Stunguns, and other weapons can get you in trouble. Unfortunately, cops are more likely to harrass teens than adults (most of the time for good reasons) , so you run more of a risk carrying potential illegal weapons.

August 13, 2006, 02:48 AM
Weapons are just tools. Don't worry about that stuff (butterfly knives, nun-chuks, brass knuckles especially, they are no more effective in trained hands then legal alternatives). Focus on awareness/avoidance, self discipline, fitness and some basic self defense.

Jim March
August 13, 2006, 05:09 AM
California knife law doesn't have an age limit attached. Period. There are rules on school carry but they're also age-neutral.

Don't carry on school grounds...but outside of that? Fine, but keep reading.

If you can find a good "cache spot" out of any view on the way to school, and it's a fair ways outside of school grounds, it's legal to stash it there on the way in, scoop it up on the way out. Chased by a gang? You know where to run to. If there's a schoolbus involved, this is OUT unless you stash before then. And it's a good way to lose your piece if somebody spots you...I don't recommend this but it can be necessary sometimes.

I don't know about age limits on pepper for sure. I'll...try and dig it up. Lesse...durn. Banned for minors. See also:

Hit the box for "penal code", enter the following in the search window:


...then hit the first link. Find that specific number in the text that comes up. Screwed.

Do the same thing for the two major pieces of knife law (12020 and 653k, both also in the penal codes - they may not be first on the list, look at the numbers) and there is no reference to age whatsoever, only "what is legal". 12020 is a big horrible piece of junk, to find the knife law bits search for the word "dirk" in the text. There's a simple statement at the beginning on no carrying a "dirk" concealed, and then way down there a big messy description of what "dirk/dagger" means. It cross-references 653k - read that one first, it's simpler.

Now. Let's talk legal use of deadly force for a second.

Basic California law is that you may use deadly force "when in legitimate fear of losing your life or suffering great bodily injury". Entire gang after you? May qualify, depending on various factors including how violent they're known to be. Multiple assailants screaming racial epithets? The theory behind "hate crimes" is that they are more violent in general, therefore the penalties are bumped. Lunatic(s) with weapons? Yeah. Getting kicked and stomped once down, by one or more parties? Deadly force.

You're either in a deadly force situation or you're not. You MUST be able to calmly decide whether or not that's the case, correctly, even when all hell is breaking loose. You also DO NOT chase down people no longer a threat and running away, even if they have your stuff with 'em, that's the number one way people screw up and go to jail for really long stays even when they started out as "the good guys".

If you don't have the self control for that, and that is regardless of your fashion choices, don't carry.

If you do have that control, carry. You will be safer, so will all of society. That is a minority political opinion, esp. in a state like California, but it's the truth.

I've known lots of goths/punks/etc. that I would trust with my back any day of the week. I've known "conformist dressers" that were absolute psychos. Looks don't matter, intent and honor and a cool head does.

If you're a bully magnet, PM me or drop me EMail. That's a whole 'nuther thing.

August 13, 2006, 08:32 AM
Find a GOOD martial arts school and start training! And, even once its legal to carry, keep up the training.

When I was you're age I happened to hook up (through the garage I worked in) with a couple Force Recon Marines, just back from Vietnam. We were all street racers, and they used to also take me to bars (Note: I looked alot older than 16, and back then it wasn't always checked--especially when you walked in with these guys). One of their favorite pastimes was getting drunk and getting into barfights (Hey, you gotta be a little nuts to be a FR Marine in the first place, and I think they missed the "action".) They wouldn't "start" the fight, just provoke it. then once someone went for it they'd finish it...even against 3 or 4 to one odds. So I asked them to teach me some "moves" which they did, based on their training. Which served me well, when I went off to college in Texas, with hair down to my shoulders. I was of course classified as a "hippy", and spent a couple years getting into intermittent fights with the football team. At least until I kicked enough of their butts (the last fight lasted about 10 seconds--I walked away with cut over my eye--he walked away with 2 broken ribs and a shattered wrist. Had plenty of witnesses that said he threw the 1st punch, so I was OK, there....although maybe I did provoke him---just a little). The first rules my buddies taught me is Rule #1: there ARE no rules. If you find yourself in a fair fight, you're not prepared!

Now, all of this is just background and NONE of it is recommended behavior!

But it all lead me to the serious study of the martial arts, which I did from the time I was about 20 to about 30. I started with Karate, and eventually also studied Aikido, Kung Fu and Bando. And, while all give you an amazing array of "tools", and well as a helluve workout, the most important aspects are mental. Some call it a "warrior attitude", or "take no s***". But it will be projected into every fiber of your body, and it will show outwardly. After I'd had a few years of training, I never had ANYONE challenge me. And was, then, still hanging out in the "rough" parts of town...Had more than one confrontation, including one with a group of 7 or 8 teenagers (well, they were probably 18 or 19)...I looked them in the eyes, stood my ground, toold them to take off, and they did. I even knew I'd probably get overwhelmed eventually, but 2 or 3 of 'em were gonna get seriously F'd up. And they knew it, too.

I'm now 51, crippled up with arthritis, and various other health problems (wrecked too many race cars among other things)...And I DON'T carry a gun. And, I would still consider 3-against-me to be afair fight. My martial arts training is so ingrained that its purely automatic. The only difference now is that I would go for lethal blows, rather than dissabling ones...Can't take a chance on an extended fight.

August 13, 2006, 03:58 PM
remember, weapon usage is very far donw the tree of self defense skills.

weapon or no weapon, the most important skills are #1 choosing to not go to dangerous places or situations. #2 once oyu realize you are in a dangerous place or situation, get out immediately.

self defence is NOT about packing a weapon and going to a rave, in case a fight breaks out. Self defence is about NOT going to a rave because a fight might break out.

Serious self defense is not fun.

August 13, 2006, 09:31 PM
any kind of weapon especialy guns are always your last resort, just stay smart and stay away from certain situations, take some self defense lessons so if you ever get confronted you know what to do, the Army trained me all I need to know if some ever gets close enough for hand to hand combat!

where do you live that you need a weapon??? I grew up in Jersey City and I never thought about carrying a weapon

August 13, 2006, 11:38 PM
Well... I'm 49 now and my son is 10. I'm a small guy and so is he. He just started betting interested in Karate - so now we're doing it together. I waited until HE wanted to - when you're ready, you'll know. Maybe you're there now.

I've been training with the local Karate black belts for about 14 years, a couple of times a week. It's good for you - a particular style of martial arts isn't so important as finding the right teachers (sensei).

Been where you been, understand where you are. Army vet and been a shooter since I was 5 years old. Firearms and the other non-firearm weapons are fine things, but some solid martial arts training may give you some peace. If you hang with it, you'll learn the part about avoiding fights - nobody really wins there - and you'll also learn the self defense to where you'll have the confidence you need. Fighting is always the last resort. And as far as weapons go, you're more likely to get into trouble with them instead of get out of trouble with them without the proper training. I have been licensed to carry for most of my adult life but seldom carry because I stay the hell out of places likely to get me into trouble. When I can't avoid that, yeah, I'm ready to defend - but that's a last resort.:what:

I'd go looking around at the local YMCA if cash is tight for you. Also look around to see who else is training in martial arts. Most instructors are happy to let you attend a class or two if you're just curious. Sometimes you can kinda "get the feel" if it's right. Where I live, there's a lot of people who do "community education" in short classes, like six or eight weeks, as well as run their dojos, so you can get a taste of one martial art or another almost free.

Nothing wrong with weapons, been around them all my life, but I can't overemphasize the importance of proper training. It'll do you more good on the inside than you can imagine. Believe it or not, some of the stuff in the movie Karate Kid is correct - rule number one - Don't Get Hit.

Good luck to you. You're in good company here.;)

August 13, 2006, 11:39 PM
Look at this thread for inspiration.

Your best bet as a minor is stay away from trouble and the places you're likely to encounter it. Stick to your studies and home. Learn to not let your temper and your mouth get you into trouble. To prepare for when trouble should track you down sign up for a good solid martial arts program and train hard. I've never been in a "fight", but I have survived 3 street attacks.

August 14, 2006, 01:39 AM
Use what you can when you can as far as handheld weapons go.

But the most important weapons a human has are both eyes and a functioning brain.

Just rembmer this if you suddenly find yourself in a bad way.

"If you can't avoid it ,fight to kill and you might just live through it"

(That litte nugget is from my Gramps)

August 14, 2006, 09:54 AM
Yeah, something else - you may as well look up Murphy's Laws of Combat.
The point is - with weapons - they're either somewhere else or not doing what you want at the moment you need them. The martial arts idea is "empty hand."
If you're looking at trouble long enough to go for a weapon, chances are you're playing there too long. If somebody shoves you in a hallway at school and you whip out your balisong, you're in deep kimchee. YOU can't escalate a fight. You don't ever want to explain to the jury why you did something when you could have walked away.

Train open hand, and like the guys said (and please, do cut us some slack, we're older guys, but memories still work, we were your age once) train hard. Chase girls while you can, 'cause when you get married, your wife will take a dim view of it:scrutiny: Weapons can wait a few years more. Get your mind right with martial arts and maybe get lucky with the ladies.... you can fight later....:evil:

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