When I was about fifteen or sixteen, I learned to carry a weapon at all times while driving in Chicago. My dad came to visit us in those days. I hadn’t seen him in two years, so I was pretty excited when he pulled up in his 1963 Riviera. He had with him his new, young wife, who was closer to my age than his, but that’s another story. I got into his car to go for a Chicago Pizza, which he had been bragging about since he met her. Before he took off, he showed us a small baseball bat he kept right by his side, and explained to his California girl that everyone in Chicago has to carry a weapon in their car because everyone fights over everything- road rage, accidents, everything, and anything. And they will jump out to fight you with a weapon too, so your only hope is to have one as well.
It’s true. I remember when I was fifteen, just starting to drive, my uncle (who taught me how to fight and steal) explained the same thing to me. Like my dad, he also carried a billy-club, which he kept in his front seat, at his side for easy access. And I should mention, I have seen my uncle jump out of his car on more than one occasion with club-in-hand, and without club in hand, and even saw him fight a few times. He was the fastest fighter I ever saw at the time, and the toughest guy I knew growing up. (Maybe if my dad was closer during those formative years…)
Anyway, this advice would help keep me safe through the few next years of towing illegally parked cars, and doing repossessions (repo’s). More times than I can count, I’ve had to grab my club quickly and show myself ready to defend. (People can get pretty defensive when you come to take their car.) Thankfully, of all those close calls, I never had to actually hit anybody with it (thank God!)
Of course, my uncles (the one I mentioned, and his even crazier brother) were Chicago thugs who robbed people for a living. But my dad? He was a musician- a laid-back, easy-going guy who I didn’t think was much of a fighter. All it took was one incident for me to see that my dad was a true Chicagoan, and a real man, just like my uncles.
As we were driving along, someone cut us off, and then slammed on his brakes for no apparent reason. Then, he cussed my dad out like it was his fault. We were just putting along doing the speed limit. This guy cussed us out, all up and down at the next red light we stopped at. My dad promptly cussed back, and the guy jumped out of his car with a bottle in his hand. My dad also got out, with his little baseball bat.
In just a few seconds, both men were squaring off in the middle of the street.
The guy held his bottle up high as he cussed out my dad about driving too fast, or something. My dad hauled-off with the bat, explaining that he had a pregnant girl in the car (my soon-to-be wife). His opponent looked at the car sympathetically, and left. Of course, my dads baseball bat was a little more intimidating that his bottle, so that may have persuaded him a bit too.
That day, I learned that my skinny, little dad was a man willing to fight if it came to it. I never knew he was so light on his feet, and quick to respond. When I explained what happened to my uncle later, he told me that when he was a kid my dad was one of the toughest guys in the neighborhood. I never would have guessed.
Since then, I have always carried a weapon in my car- even more than one. I had a club under the front seat, a screwdriver in the door panel, and always a knife in my pocket.
Hey, Chicago is a dangerous place. Are you going to let the bad guys win, or try and make a stand? I’m sure Chicago isn’t the only place with this tradition. In fact, guys everywhere have always kept a weapon at hand, whether at home or on the road. Any real man, or even a boy scout will tell you that.
Is this writer seriously advocating carrying a weapon in your car? You bet. And on your person as well. In fact, you should keep weapons all around you- several easy to grab places at home too- by the front door, by the back door, and in your bedroom. Keep them in a place where you can grab one easily and quickly.
Practice your weapon too.
Hey, road rage happens. Be ready.