December 11th, 2011 06:13 PM
19 y/o looking for the right thing to carry.
Hi, I'm a 19 y/o that lives in Pennsylvania (coming up on 20) and recent...developments in my life have put me at odds with a multitude of people. The kind of odds where if I walk around at night, I have to look over my shoulder to make sure I'm not about to get jumped. I don't live in a particularly bad part of town, and while I'm in Officer training for the Army people seem to think I'm "scrawny", even though I can bench about my own weight. I just don't "flash" my strength...I've gotten into a few fights, and I spent a few nights in prison (expunged) for bad choices when I was younger. I have been involved with the "wrong crowd" in chicago, but I want to better my life now. I don't want to resort to threatening someone, or being the person that makes the first move in a fight. I want to be a reactive combatant, if such a thing exists.
Sorry for drawling out my life story, but upon hearing that what would be best for me? I haven't researched gun laws at all, and I don't know how easy/hard it would be for me to carry. I really, really am in fear now. Not enough that I could bring anything to the police, but enough that if something happened to me my close friends would know why.
I've been in fights where knives where drawn, I have used "brass knuckles" (which are illegal so out of the question, but I didn't know what when I carried them...the stupidity of youth), but I've never done anything more than that.
I'm not sure if pepper/OC spray (I've done a little research) would be best for me though. I really need something that would make attackers stop attacking me. I've been thinking of a Kubotan...not sure if it will be enough though. Any help is greatly appreciated. I sincerely thank you.
December 11th, 2011 06:24 PM
Ok...couple of things to start....were you in prison? Or jail? There is a difference. I ask because you may or may not become eligible for a permit when you turn 21, depending on the charges, regardless of expungement. How are you in officer training in the Army? Army ROTC? Have you disclosed your arrests to them?
Now, in terms of your problem...you've indicated you've been in fights and you have a multitude of people who want to beat you. You have to ask yourself, Why does everyone want to beat me down? It sounds to me you have a temper problem combined with something else... The first thing I'd advise you is to settle your temper and walk away from fights...and avoid those areas where you might be confronted. Given the limited information we have, I'd say go with pepper/OC spray and an escape plan.
- know the difference
is a fancy name for crappy fighter
You have never lived until you have almost died. For those that have fought for it, life has a special flavor the protected will never know
December 11th, 2011 06:25 PM
Sounds like you should wait to carry, your past doesn't leave much for me to think you're mentality is ready for the responsibility and it could get you into serious trouble.
My advice, move far enough away so that your past can be left behind, get on with your life changes and in the meantime learn the laws of your state.
December 11th, 2011 06:35 PM
BEFORE YOU DO ANYTHING ELSE-- get out your Kindle (you can download a desktop version for free) and buy "Little Black Book of Violence: What every young man needs to know about fighting."
You've been in fights, you've been in jail, and by now you should know that you want none of that. It is likely your own behavior that has gotten you into trouble in the past, whether you realize it or not, and it is what will get you in trouble in the future if you don't learn differently. If you hang out with stupid people, go stupid places, and do stupid things, you get stupid unfortunate results.
Since you feel you must carry something for protection, I like the idea of pepper. It is quite effective and at least is not something that will normally be construed as a lethal weapon--- like brass knuckles, kubaton, knife, even a flashlight. Be sure you are allowed to have it in the city where you live.
Just curious-- and PM me if you like, where do you live and who are you in trouble with? Over what?
It sounds from your comment on "officer training" that you are a college student. Well, last thing you want is any more arrests. That will kill your chances of actually becoming an officer. Along with that comment--- STAY IN SCHOOL.
And whatever you do, don't play with guns. Don't illegally possess one. Even if you don't get caught on that charge by itself, you will be tempted to use it to defend yourself, and the end result will be very very very very very very very very
bad. Even if you are right, you will come close to throwing the rest of your life away. Somewhere here on this board is a sad story of a Temple University 3rd year Law Student who used a gun to defend himself. He won the fight, and almost lost the rest of his life--though he was found not guilty in the end. You can't count on being that lucky.
If the Union is once severed, the line of separation will grow wider and wider, and the controversies which are now debated and settled in the halls of legislation will then be tried in fields of battle and determined by the sword.
December 11th, 2011 06:38 PM
At your age, and since you have been in trouble, I'd say spray and a cell phone might be your best bet.
December 11th, 2011 06:43 PM
This, and a vigilant approach to consciously avoiding people, places and situations which might precipitate trouble.
Originally Posted by multistage
NRA Endowment Member
December 11th, 2011 06:44 PM
I know of no states that will let you carry legally, unless you are 21. A 'gun' is not always the solution, and it is SURE not the solution for "fights". Stay out of fights, change where you are going and who you are going there with if necessary...
cell phone and pepper spray seems the best advice.
I don't make jokes. I just watch the government and report the facts. --- Will Rogers ---
Chief Justice John Roberts : "I don't see how you can read Heller and not take away from it the notion that the Second Amendment...was extremely important to the framers in their view of what liberty meant."
December 11th, 2011 06:58 PM
First - welcome to the forum! I see that this is your first post: glad to have you here. You'll find a LOT of wisdom here.
Quick answer: Move and start fresh. Gotta do both: looks like you had trouble in Chicago and then moved and did it again. That raises concerns that you need to change who you are (you moved once, but brought YOU with you - might need to change YOU).
Your history suggests bad choices with a desire to make good choices: bravo! But 'til you're secure in who you are as a good-choice-maker (and reach legal age to carry), I would go with the pepper spray, a cell phone, and ABOVE ALL avoid the times and places where you might get jumped. Again, the easy way is to move (with respect to the current crowd), but you're going to need to make serious changes to who you perceive yourself to be and what you consider to be 'a fun night out'. The easiest fight to win is one which you don't go to.
December 11th, 2011 07:38 PM
Welcome. You mentioned in your post that the matters weren't enough to go to the police over. Well, if they aren't enough to get the police involved then you shouldn't need a gun involved.
It couldn't hurt to make a simple over the phone report to document your position.
Don't believe what you hear and only half of what you see!
December 11th, 2011 07:46 PM
As an Officer Candidate for the United States Military, getting into fights can be considered conduct unbecoming, and is a poor example for the people you will eventually lead.
Stay out of trouble, away from stupid people, alcohol and drugs, and stop hanging out with those who do them.
If you are going to have trouble when you go out at night...
Stay Home and Study. You will get more done, be a better example for people and have more prospects for promotion and eventually your choice of women (for good or ill...).
December 11th, 2011 08:08 PM
You've received advice that can save and change your life.
If I were you, I'd take Hopyard up on his offer to discuss this in greater detail offline.
'Clinging to my guns and religion
December 11th, 2011 10:36 PM
Thank you all for everything you said.
I was in jail, I realized I should have edited my post ever I...well, posted it. It was a bad decision when I was 17, and I wasn't formally "arrested" because of the situation, but I was held in custody until my parents could come get me. So they didn't have any place to take me but jail.
I chose the ROTC program because I want to change my life. I want to better myself and get discipline and respect and inner-strength, something I've talked to numerous people in the Army about and I believe basic training/hard physical challenges are just what I need. I feel life has been too...easy for the things I've done.
Anyway, I respect everyone helping me out. I'm surprised I was not judged more...harshly. I'd gladly talk to anyone else more indepth about this. Perhaps carrying a defensive tool is not the right thing to do...I got into fights when I was younger because I really thought I had something to prove.
The reason I'm preparing for something now is because I made a large group of racists mad, and they apparently don't take kindly to that kind of thing...but I've heard nothing from them. It's all word of mouth, from people that I trust, that these people do not like me. I've seen posts on facebook (not my facebook) about people saying I "should be beaten up" etc. etc...which is just strange attempts at cyber-bullying perhaps? I've handled conflicts poorly in the past, but I'm trying to better myself because 1. I don't want to go back to the places I've been because of my poor decisions 2. I'm trying to join the military to better myself.
Also, I forgot to mention that I believe the reason people want to "beat me down" as someone put it is that my morals are a bit stricter than others. I follow a very, very rigorous moral code that doesn't really have any "grey" in it. So, I condemn people quickly. This is something I've been trying to work on but I just can't respect a obvious racist, that when a person of another race comes to them for business, they act like they are not a racist. Lying and Racism bother me, so people that conciously do both bother me...a lot. I try not to confront people about their poor decisions anymore though, like I said I haven't done anything "bad" in the eyes of society for almost 4 years. I'm "violence" clean. I used to have a horrible mood/temper problem, but that has been fixed in the past year. It was related to emotions I had not let out about family problems, that I took out on my peers that got on my bad side. Like I said, it has been corrected.
I keep reading all the posts and I don't think I could stress the fact that while I used to be very easily offended and get to the point where "all I see is red", I think it's over. I'm not sure how to explain it, and maybe I shouldn't ever carry a gun, but I don't think I'm like that anymore. I cannot drawl out my entire life story over a few posts like I said, but I can't allow my past to dictate my future anymore.
P.S. I wear a lot of rings...I once was friends with someone that said that rings can deter someone from fighting you. Is there any law against wearing rings? They are steel, and would be very painful to be hit with...Thanks again for all the help.
December 11th, 2011 11:06 PM
I hope you take this the right way because it's meant with sincerity and gentleness in mind. You need to grow up a tad before you consider toting around a weapon. While your perceived code of conduct may be admirable, it take a big man to voice his opinion in a quiet professional manner and even a bigger man to know when to walk away. You clearly haven't learned that lesson yet, even though you've been schooled a number of times. I'm from Chicago myself and the "classroom" here can be unforgiving.
Lesson 1- watch where you're hanging.
Lesson 2- watch who your hanging with.
Lesson 3- talk like your talking to you mother.
Lesson 4- learn to bite your tongue and walk away.
Forget the weapons for now until you can conduct yourself as an adult. I think your decision to join the military is very wise and will get you on the right path. Good luck on your future endeavors and keep your nose clean until then.
As for the rings, those are just silly. They will get you robbed faster than being a deterrent from a neighborhood tough.
Go White Sox - Blackhawks. :)
December 11th, 2011 11:18 PM
Painful for both of you. Rings can buckle.
You will not be judged harshly here, as you are young (as were we all). You have made some bad decisions. As have we all. It is not about what you have done. It is about what you now will do. The keys are anonymity and invisibility. This is tough to do at your age, as I well remember. If you wear rings, do so because you want to, not because they will give you some edge in a scrap. Don't walk around with this "I don't want to fight you but BY GOD I WILL!!!" aura about you. Be invisible. Do not confuse this with cowardice. At this point in your life, you want to advance. Pride can be severely expensive. Study, complete your plans, and succeed. Learn control. Do not lose your temper. It gains you nothing and can certainly cost you everything. Best of luck.
December 11th, 2011 11:27 PM
Take what I say with a grain of salt. But as far as I know, and you'll have to do research yourself on the matter for details. Open carry in PA without an LTCF is legal at the age of 18. You're allowed a gifted firearm from a family member, as long as you're legally allowed to posses a firearm (with your "record", that might be a "grey" area since I'm assuming, some or all of your issues happened pre-18?) . You cannot buy your own or conceal carry with an LTCF until the age of 21. Open carry without an LTCF limits you to carrying ONLY while on foot. You're not even allow to have a firearm in your car, even unloaded UNLESS, you're going directly to or from a gunshop, range, etc. You can not carry during a state of emergency without an LTCF either (which I believe we're still in because of the flooding MONTHS ago... ). For more information, do your own research. I'm not an expert in law.
My two best friends were caught shop lifting before the age of 18, were arrested and had fingerprints taken. They are both capable of buying firearms legally in PA. Though they were both "put into research" during their background check, everything eventually checked out and they were allowed to purchase.
Otherwise... I'd carry either pepper spray of some sort, a folding knife of your choice or maybe study martial arts.
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