Beyond weapons, choosing to go unarmed.

A central place to talk about weapons and armour, as it relates to your kit. This is where you show it of or talk about making it. Discussing the relative merits of types of weapons goes in the WMA section.

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Will Whitfoot
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Beyond weapons, choosing to go unarmed.

Postby Will Whitfoot » Sat Feb 10, 2018 8:30 pm

A topic dear to my heart. Having been in the weapons business for many years and choosing now to go unarmed, both in real life and in cosplay, I find the experience liberating. Quite frankly, I feel safer to "stand down" from being on alert all the time. Perhaps I'm deluding myself and simply ignoring dangers, but in all the years I went armed I never once had to use or even draw a weapon.

I realize many people are just now coming to terms with how they want to live regarding the owning and keeping of weapons. There is one Tolkien passage that has always spoken strongly to me:
Faramir says, (in TTT while speaking with Frodo)
War must be, while we defend our lives against a destroyer who would devour all; but I do not love the bright sword for its sharpness, nor the arrow for its swiftness, nor the warrior for his glory. I love only that which they defend


I know that I did love the bright sword for its sharpness and the arrow for it's swiftness... and glory was always a pinnacle of yearning. But I think Faramir is wise beyond his years, to focus on the purpose of the weapon, not the weapon itself. Having made custom knives nd swords for many years, I find myself now almost completely uninterested in the particularities of what is basically a sharp stick. I can comment knowledgeably on design and materials and construction... but I am not moved emotionally by weapons any more.

In cosplay, my character of Will Whitfoot, Mayor of The Shire, is completely unarmed and harmless. His greatest weapon is eloquent indignity. No much use against orcs I guess... but that's why we've got the Thain down there in Tookland...
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Iodo
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Re: Beyond weapons, choosing to go unarmed.

Postby Iodo » Sat Feb 10, 2018 8:43 pm

Wise word's indeed!
Gimli: It's true you don't see many Dwarf-women. And in fact, they are so alike in voice and appearance, that they are often mistaken for Dwarf-men.
Aragorn: It's the beards.
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Re: Beyond weapons, choosing to go unarmed.

Postby Harper » Sun Feb 11, 2018 1:51 am

---

That is an interesting perspective that I would not have expected from a weaponsmith.
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Re: Beyond weapons, choosing to go unarmed.

Postby Elleth » Sun Feb 11, 2018 3:06 am

I do think I truly understand and appreciate where you're coming from. Like you, I've no wish to carry a weapon in my daily mundane life - primarily because I don't like the hardness of spirit it engenders. There are those meant to be warriors and defenders of the weak.. I truly love and appreciate those I'm blessed to know.

It's not my calling.

That said, even in this comparatively safe modern mundane world I've seen a couple times where the presence of a weapon kept things from being very much worse than they otherwise would have been. Never had to use one, thank heaven, but Eowyn's sadly right that those without swords can still die upon them.

"In world" - I've not given enough thought I think to how safe Dunedain settlements in the Angle are day-to-day.

Drawing from frontier histories, I expect Aerlinneth would have known at least a couple "everyone get inside the stockade NOW" scares in her life, tended injured Rangers limping home, and too often looked vainly for a loved one amongst those returning home.


The mundane world isn't perfect by any stretch, but I treasure the luxury to get by with comparatively so little heartbreak.
Persona: Aerlinneth, Dúnedain of Amon Lendel c. TA 3010.
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Re: Beyond weapons, choosing to go unarmed.

Postby Straelbora » Sun Feb 11, 2018 3:47 am

You know, it sounds silly, but reputation/membership to an organization can have a disarming effect. I've been in some dicey places (from a redneck bar in Appalachia to a remote cantina in the middle of the jungle in the Dominican Repubic, to the last subway car of the night in London and a back alley in Moscow) where my casual mention of being from Detroit made the other guy blink.

Something that, in Middle-earth, the glimpse of a seven pointed star might do.
Vápnum sínum skala maðr velli á
feti ganga framar því at óvist er at vita
nær verðr á vegum úti geirs um þörf guma
Hávamál
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Will Whitfoot
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Re: Beyond weapons, choosing to go unarmed.

Postby Will Whitfoot » Sun Feb 11, 2018 7:34 pm

When I first started entertaining the idea of going unarmed, it was like a risk-taking adventure. Like going hiking at night without carrying a flashlight, kayaking whitewater without a vest, or rock-climbing without a rope. But as I began to follow this path I noted a lightening of the heart if you will.

In financial affairs, there is the saying that if one pledges never to take unfair advantage of another person, then they are protected against anyone taking unfair advantage of them. (Basically the W.C. Fields "You can't cheat an honest man". In the affairs of living I think there is a corollary in pledging never to hurt another person for any reason. It's the nonviolence of Gandhi and King and Jesus.

Of course, they didn't have orcs lurking in the hills.
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Re: Beyond weapons, choosing to go unarmed.

Postby Iodo » Sun Feb 11, 2018 7:56 pm

Will Whitfoot wrote:It's the nonviolence of Gandhi and King and Jesus.
Of course, they didn't have orcs lurking in the hills.

Quite true, but in Jesus' times I'm sure there were plenty of other threats
Gimli: It's true you don't see many Dwarf-women. And in fact, they are so alike in voice and appearance, that they are often mistaken for Dwarf-men.
Aragorn: It's the beards.
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Peter Remling
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Re: Beyond weapons, choosing to go unarmed.

Postby Peter Remling » Sun Feb 11, 2018 11:14 pm

Situational awareness is worth 10 weapons.
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Will Whitfoot
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Re: Beyond weapons, choosing to go unarmed.

Postby Will Whitfoot » Thu Feb 22, 2018 9:34 pm

Sigh... and now yet one more in Parkland. Yet I am not in favor of arming teachers. I'm afraid it would be only a matter of time before someone took a teacher's weapon and used it... or a teacher went "postal". (There is a lot of pressure on them)

But I think there is a way... and it involves unarmed retirees putting their bodies on the line to protect children. I am inspired by the stories of the teachers who acted to protect kids.

Many years ago I read THE GUNS OF AUGUST which recounts in detail the events of August 1914, the opening moves of The Great War, that we now call World War One. The French set up their line against Germany, discounting the possibility that the Germans might a flanking move to the west through Belgium and come at the French left flank. Therefore they put their oldest troops, retirees and old veterans on the left flank, because (as it seemed to the military planners of the time) they were the least capable... the slowest, the weakest etc. But as it happened... the Germans DID wheel to the right and come full force against the French left. And thinking it was a feint, they did not reallocate troops from other areas to bolster the left. But it held... beyond hope and prayer the left held. And later when the stories were being told of the deeds done in that time, it became clear that it held BECAUSE they were older, BECAUSE they had wives and children and grandchildren behind them... BECAUSE they had something worth protecting. It went completely beyond espirit-de-corps and to another level of self-sacrifice and striving.

And so what I'm envisioning is an unarmed corps of us oldsters (Florida is full of them) that are willing to patrol and confront, and put our bodies in harms way if it comes to that. We've already had our kids, they're all grown up now, they don't really need us anymore... no big loss if a few of us fall. It's the young who have too much to lose.

"No greater love hath any man...." Seems to me that it's more important to be willing to die than to be willing to kill.
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Peter Remling
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Re: Beyond weapons, choosing to go unarmed.

Postby Peter Remling » Thu Feb 22, 2018 11:34 pm

Interesting proposition, there would have to be another reason for them to be there then a bullet blockade. How about a mentoring position ? This would put them in the schools getting to know the students and potential issues and giving the students the benefit of their knowledge. All the while they could be running interference should a problem arise.

1) more pairs of eyes
2) easier to establish trust with someone that reminds you of your Grandmother or Grandfather
3) real life experience, not book curriculum
4) a front line defensive force
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Re: Beyond weapons, choosing to go unarmed.

Postby Straelbora » Fri Feb 23, 2018 4:09 am

Studies have shown that, generally, people at the 'grandparent' age onward tend to become more altruistic, more invested in impersonal investment in 'the future,' such as the environment, tutoring poor kids, etc.

What the last week has shown me is that at 53 with an 8 and 5 year old, I find myself thinking more and more about a future after my life, and how it will impact my kids, but that a lot of my friends and family members who are in the mid-60s and older are going against the trend- becoming more selfish, more materialistic, and placing their wealth and creature comforts above all else, with their 'wants' consciously deemed more important than the 'needs' of younger people.

It may be a Baby Boomer phenomenon- a generation that grew up with huge demographic clout in a weird post-WWII economy that hugely favored Americans. (Their contemporaries in China were the Cultural Revolution kids who beat their teachers to death for being insufficiently revolutionary; as retirees, the younger Chinese complain about what enormous jerks they are- there's now a saying, "The old people aren't evil, just the evil people got old.").
Vápnum sínum skala maðr velli á
feti ganga framar því at óvist er at vita
nær verðr á vegum úti geirs um þörf guma
Hávamál
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Will Whitfoot
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Re: Beyond weapons, choosing to go unarmed.

Postby Will Whitfoot » Fri Feb 23, 2018 3:41 pm

Peter Remling wrote:Interesting proposition, there would have to be another reason for them to be there then a bullet blockade. How about a mentoring position ? This would put them in the schools getting to know the students and potential issues and giving the students the benefit of their knowledge. All the while they could be running interference should a problem arise.

1) more pairs of eyes
2) easier to establish trust with someone that reminds you of your Grandmother or Grandfather
3) real life experience, not book curriculum
4) a front line defensive force


Yes, Yes, Yes, and Yes.

Straelbora wrote:Studies have shown that, generally, people at the 'grandparent' age onward tend to become more altruistic, more invested in impersonal investment in 'the future,' such as the environment, tutoring poor kids, etc. .....


I hope and pray and believe that this is generally true. I think there are enough grandparents around with heart to spare but little to do, if they could only be rallied to the cause. The Watchdogs organization is a very good start. http://www.fathers.com/WatchDOGS/watch-dogs-faqs/ but it is a bit limiting. I was actually a charter member of this, as it was started by the principal of George Elementary School, which is just a few hundred feet from me... I can hear the kids playing in the schoolyard as I work. I dropped out when my kids moved on to upper level schools, but it's a template for the idea.

Clearly SOMEthing needs to be done, and I am not confident that it will be the right thing. I live in constant fear of hearing gunfire from the schoolyard, knowing there will be little I can do from here.
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Re: Beyond weapons, choosing to go unarmed.

Postby TaylorSteiner » Thu May 10, 2018 10:21 pm

This whole thread is what made me want to be a part of what you Rangers are. I hope to meet one of you guys one day. As I can see it's not just a fantasy. Makes me proud to be a part of this. I walk taller now.

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