Friday, March 20, 2009


Two things I encounter every workday:

1) Extremely violent mentally ill and/or intoxicated people, most of them much bigger than me.

2) Signs reading "no weapons allowed on premises." (These signs don't have the force of law in Washington State, but they do have the force of lose-your-job. They have no force whatsoever on said crazies, on whom I've found shivs that could butcher a bison.) Not just guns; knives, pepper spray, and tasers are all forbidden.

I really don't want to hurt or kill someone who isn't in control of their own actions. But I want it more than I want them to hurt or kill me.

What're the odds I'll ever truly need a weapon? Eh, maybe not that high. I can't think of an incident yet in my career where it would've been justified. (Although I know the staff at one psychiatric facility in the area have an average of more than one assault per day. Obviously they aren't all life-threatening as we're counting spitting and arm-grabbing here, but still, Jesus.) I just don't like living with rules that make healthcare workers confront violent possibly-armed people with some nylon straps and a "pretty please."

(Also: I'm sick. I had to go home early today because my tummy was so hurty. Wahhh.)


  1. Losing your job beats losing your life, or even a minor appendage like a nose or ear.

    Cary a Taser and no one will ever know unless it comes down to keeping your body intact. Then the job loss is a bargain.

  2. GeorgeH - The problem is that it's very likely that someone will notice in a non-lifesaving situation--I'm not confident I can keep a weapon 100% invisible when I'm not using it. Now I've lost my job without ever getting into a dangerous situation anyway.

    (Tasers in particular are bulky bastards. Stun guns, while less useful, might be a better idea though.)

  3. Also, it's almost more a matter of the rule being stupid than of me personally. The fact that I can violate the policy doesn't make the policy less dangerous.

  4. People who don't live under weapon restrictions often have a hard time understanding why anyone would comply with them. We get the same suggestions living in Illinois from people in states that take a more liberal view toward self-defense.
    "Just carry anyway; that's why it's called concealed."

    The problem is that I'm a lot more likely to be pulled over for a broken tail light, or get into an accident and have some medic cut my trousers off, than to need that gun. Then I'm the felon.

  5. Sounds like my wife's job at the local ER.