“Plaxico needs one of these!”
The article, posted on Slate, opens with a story about presidential candidate Rick Perry and whether or not he packs heat while on the campaign trail (Perry declined to comment, but apparently he shot a coyote while jogging last year.) and then breaks down the discreet options for runners carrying guns.
I didn’t think much of the article beyond the obvious–“Who the fuck runs with a gun?”–until today when I turned a corner on the steps I go down and then back up on my run, steps I would assume no one even used if not for the detritus of drunks and potheads, and saw a man walking toward me carrying a long knife with a streak of what looked like blood across his forehead.
My first reaction wasn’t to turn around. Instead, I barreled toward him, fueled by three tablespoons of chia and Girl Talk, right fist clenched as tightly as possible. The man looked at his knife, smiled at me and began waving his other hand, as if to say, “Hello. I am not going to kill you,” and then I noticed his wife, a Hindu woman with a red dot on her forehead, walking behind him.
I was not going to get stabbed.
I passed him, somewhat freaked out, and began thinking about what I would do if I was attacked while running. After a lifetime of burglaries, muggings and other run-ins with people wielding guns or other weapons, I have compiled a mental list of well-thought out methods of escape and/or self-defense when confronted with various dangers (Bear? Smash a rock into its nose. Shark? Eye gouge; hope you only lose an arm in the process. Crazy meth head on the bus? By any means necessary.), but because I’m new to running, I hadn’t worried about my safety while doing it beyond the occasional showdown with an off-leash dog.
So, runners out there, do you ever fear for your safety while running? And have you made any efforts to protect yourself when on a jog?