Do you fantasize about murdering random strangers who annoy you when you meet them in a public park? No? Great! Congratulations on hopefully being a sane person and a decent human being.
Yesterday I hit a new milestone in my blogging “career.” I got online death threats for the first time. Yay! Lucky me! Well, sort of. The person (whom I will call Crazy Murderous Daddy in this blog post) didn’t actually threaten to come to Latvia and kill me; instead they wrote a description of a power fantasy about how they would enjoy killing me and my dogs. I always expected death threats due to my blog posts about trans issues, but nope, instead a person got pissed off when I wrote that parents have a responsibility to supervise their kids and teach their kids not to touch other people’s dogs without the owner’s permission. Wow! And here I thought that “parental responsibility” is not a controversial subject.
Here’s what I got from them:
And if my child bothers a dog and the owner attacks them, I will entirely disable first the dog and then the owner and take my chances with the authorities, because I consider humans, and especially children, and especially MY children, more important than dogs. And I think you’ll find many, if not most, parents will have a similar attitude. You think you love your dogs? Release one to run barking at my child, but ideally pick the one you like least, because you won’t be seeing it again, or possibly anything at all if I’m carrying anything sharp.
You are a parent with your child. A dog is barking at you while maintaining a distance from you. Not biting. Not touching you. Just barking from a distance. What do you do? Every sane parent in this scenario would take their kid and walk away. When animals maintain a distance from you while barking, snarling, hissing, etc., then in animal language that means, “I am scared of you, don’t come any closer, and go away.” If you don’t further frighten and provoke the animal, nobody will get hurt. Not only dogs behave like this, so do also cats, birds, many wild animals.
But nope, Crazy Murderous Daddy doesn’t actually care about protecting their kid. Instead, they fantasize about murdering everybody they don’t like. Firstly, if you kill a dog in front of your child, the kid will get traumatized. Secondly, if you kill a dog and its owner, your child will grow up with one fewer parent, because you will spend a few decades in prison. This society does not allow people to get away with killing everybody they dislike.
Moreover, attacking a dog or its owner exponentially increases the probability that your kid will get bitten or hit during all the ruckus that follows. You leave your kid alone in order to chase the dog with a knife. Dogs are fast and agile, they will just run away from you, and killing a dog with a knife is very hard. Even if you manage to catch and injure a dog, then an injured and frightened dog is likely to bite anything in sight, including your kid who is standing nearby alone while you are busy chasing a dog.
In Crazy Murderous Daddy’s fantasy I do not resist, and they swiftly kill my dogs and me. They are physically strong, I am weak. They are a skilled fighter, I have never hit anything in my entire life. They are armed, I am empty handed. Basically, they fantasize about me just standing there and patiently letting them do with me and my dogs whatever they want. That’s not how real life street fights work.
As my martial arts trainer drilled into us, people who actually know how to injure or kill others do not threaten, strive to solve conflicts peacefully, and don’t abuse their skills by hurting everybody who annoys them. My trainer always told us to deescalate conflicts. If the attacker wants your wallet, give it to them. Your wallet isn’t worth the risk of potentially getting injured. Can you run away from the fight? Then run. Some stupid notion of honor isn’t worth risking getting injured or killed. Basically, my trainer taught us to fight only when we have absolutely no other choice whatsoever.
Not only catching and killing a dog is hard, provoking its owner further increases your (or your child’s) risk of getting injured. The dog’s owner can be armed. When you attack with your knife, they can pull out a gun, aim at you, and accidentally shoot your kid instead. Or maybe they have some other weapon. Or maybe they are a black belt whom you shouldn’t have pissed off.
No dog owner will ever stand and watch their dogs getting killed. They will probably release their dogs from leashes so that the dogs can try to run away from you. They will call for help and somebody who is nearby could stop your attempted murder. They can call the police.
Or they can attack you and try to fight against you before you finish killing the dog. If you try to kill a dog, even the dog owner who is an elderly lady with a walking stick may demonstrate that walking sticks can be used for beating up people. And while you are busy having a fistfight with a human, your child would be at risk of getting bitten by the dog who is now totally unsupervised and possibly running around. Hell, a particularly desperate dog owner might even grab the kid as a “hostage” and threaten to intentionally hurt the kid unless their parent steps back, drops their weapon, and stops attacking.
In real life, street fights are messy and anybody who is nearby can get hurt. You cannot count on a swift victory with no injuries for your side. Thus starting a street fight while together with a child is incredibly stupid.
In Crazy Murderous Daddy’s power fantasy they had a knife and I was empty handed. Speaking of knives, here are two videos on Krav Maga knife defense.
I have spent a few years of my life practicing this stuff on a weekly basis. If from these videos you got an impression that disarming an opponent armed with a knife is clean and easy for a skilled fighter, that’s not exactly true. It might be doable, but it largely depends on luck. When a knife is involved, anybody who is nearby can get stabbed or cut. I have done enough sparring with rubber knives to know that I absolutely do not want to get into a fight with a real knife. Nope, nopity nope. I’m running the hell away.
Real life street fights are a fucking mess. I mean they are plain messy and unpredictable. Combatants won’t use clean and predictable moves from your martial arts lessons. Anybody can strike anywhere and do anything. And the outcome largely depends on luck. Whoever gets lucky to land a good first strike has an immense advantage. Ultimately, even with no weapons involved, either combatant can end up dead. With a knife, either one or both can end up in puddles of blood.
If you are attacked by somebody wielding a knife, run away. If you cannot run away, your best bet is to try something like this:
Have backup. Have some shields, be they real shields or trash cans or cars or anything. If you attack, use long weapons. A bo staff or any long object that can serve as an impromptu weapon will give you more range compared to the knife wielder. Prioritize disarming the opponent. Hitting their hand might prompt them to accidentally drop their weapon. If the knife is on the ground, take it and keep it away from the other person. While the knife is in their hand, protect your vitals, don’t get in a stabbing/cutting range, maintain the distance.
But really, just run away if you can.
Of course, the chances are that our Crazy Murderous Daddy isn’t as stupid as they pretend to be. Like every other sane parent, they probably would just take their kid and go away from a barking dog. By describing an elaborate murder fantasy with them as the murderer and me as the victim, Crazy Murderous Daddy instead tried to establish power over me, they tried to scare and intimidate me. They tried to make me feel uncomfortable and unsafe. They also demonstrated that they know absolutely nothing about street fights and are bullshitting about a topic they do not understand. Once a person starts learning how to fight, they tend to decide that solving conflicts peacefully might be a better idea after all. My trainer always reminded us the story about a guy he knew who was a martial arts instructor and ended up killed in a street fight due to getting unlucky. Don’t take risks. Don’t escalate conflicts. If possible, run away. And unnecessarily starting a fight when accompanied by a small child is the epitome of idiocy.
Incidentally, no, of course I am not scared. Firstly, Crazy Murderous Daddy doesn’t know where I live. Secondly, thanks to COVID-19, international borders are closed. Thirdly, I know damn well that Crazy Murderous Daddy is all bark and no bite anyway.
What can we conclude from Crazy Murderous Daddy’s boasting and bragging about how they would like to kill me? Some people are so utterly rotten that they enjoy fantasizing about how they would like to kill random strangers or animals. Yuck.
Also, some people (in general, straight cis white men) have a problem with entitlement. If I wanted to murder every stranger who has touched my butt or made a catcall in some public place, I would face centuries long prison sentences. But some people have a disproportionate sense of entitlement, they expect to never be inconvenienced in any way whatsoever, they are used to always getting their way. Thus even a minor inconvenience like witnessing a dog bark at them drives them to a murderous rage and a desire to kill the random stranger whose dog annoyed them.
This, incidentally, is also a problem with USA police departments. American cops have such overwhelming sense of entitlement that they want to kill any random person for even the tiniest offense. That includes also imaginary offenses.
P.S. Death threats are forbidden in my comment section. Crazy Murderous Daddy won’t respond to this blog post, because they are forever banned from commenting here. And if they are clueless enough to try to use a new IP address, I will manually delete any new comments from them and add also their new identity to the ban list. Good riddance!
I would absolutely not trust anyone who chooses to speak so casually about inflicting violence on animals. I have killed a LOT of animals in my life, for research purposes. It’s not something to fantasize about, even setting aside the threats against dog owners and the fact that dogs are part of a person’s family.
You made the right call, that poster would not be a positive and constructive contributor to your comments. He has a history of saying problematic and antisocial things.
Marcus Ranum says
Back in my dog-having days, I had Miles and Jake – who were shiloh shepherds that weighed a bit more than 150lb each. Oddly, nobody ever threatened them or me when they were around. There was one black bear that bumbled into our path and Jake produced a totally terrifying growling sound that I had never heard before, and the bear left politely.
Kids never came up to us, either, which was another plus. Nor did kids’ parents.
You shouldn’t have to upgrade your dogs to tactical models, though. It’s the love in the dog, not the fire in its heart, that we appreciate.
I miss them every day and it’s been 10 years.
Who Cares says
There is another reason to not fight if at all possible.
If by some means you manage to not get wounded to badly then you end up on the police station as well. And you’ll need to prove that you didn’t have a choice to do the damage you did, especially if you have been trained in something like Krav Maga.
Andreas Avester says
Who Cares @#3
Of course. Only USA police officers can easily get away with injuring or killing people in situations where it could be avoided.
Besides, every normal person would feel terrible about having injured or killed somebody. Daydreaming about killing or injuring others is not normal and requires a deeply twisted mind.
If you can get away from a fight, you should, that is indeed the best advice any martial arts instructor can drill into their pupils. I have used things learned in martial arts class twice in my life, and twice just to get out of an attempt at restraining me – after that, it was legging it over the metaphorical horizon as fast as my legs would carry me. I have never regretted that.
On the other hand, the one guy in the dojo who thought that martial arts make him invincible, he has provoked a pub fight and walked around with cracked ribs and blackened eyes for quite a long time after that. I bet he did regret that.
And if a knife gets involved, someone will get hurt. If you are skilled martial artist, you might survive and disarm your opponent, but you will probably get hurt all the same because your opponent will not attack in any neat manner but probably go full caveman. I vaguely remember reading somewhere about an MMA champion who was attacked by a junkie high on amphetamines (the junkie broke into his house at night), and he described how he barely survived because none of his techniques actually worked on a person essentially impervious to pain.
Threatening strangers over the internet is a real low in any argument, even when the threat is posed as a hypothetical as it was here. I think your observation that it was a display of dominance is correct.
Trickster Goddess says
I took Aikido classes for several years back when I was driving taxi in hopes that it would give me some defense skills in sticky situations. Never needed to use them though.
I did appreciate learning the wisdom that a true master of Aikido is one who can diffuse a situation and prevent violence without ever lifting a hand.
The most useful physical skill I learned is how to fall safely. I have used this a number of times in my life. Like the time I stepped off a bus carrying my groceries, stumbled on some construction material and went down. I tucked into a roll and came back up on my feet, still holding all the bags. Impressed the heck out of the driver and onlookers.
This sort of death threat is awful and disgusting Andreas Avester – and its also illegal. I hope you kept Crazy Murderous Daddy details to pass along to the authorities and maybe, I’d suggest better* yet his employers. If he has any?
I think PZ Myers might have had the right idea with a warning on his blog that which went along the lines of if I can remember right (not seeing currently) :
“I reserve the right to publish the names and other details of those sending me death threats.’ Although perhaps not?
In addition to his other obvious character flaws, Crazy Murderous Daddy is clearly a coward as bullies tend to be, given the small breed of dog (Pomeranians right?) involved here. Not only is he murderous he’s also threatening murder against a creature very much smaller and less able to fight back than many other canines which, though many seem to think otherwise (Trump & ilk) actually makes him look less strong and deserving of much less respect than otherwise. (I also suspect C.M.D. here may well be thinking of using firearms thus not having to fight potential martial artists better than him or be concerned about catching a fast moving animal which, again, exhibits insecure cowardice.)
Unfortunately too many seem to confuse “strength” with bullying and dominating those more vulnerable less physically or however able to fight back and defend themselves. True strength in my view is far more convincingly displayed by helping lift up those who are weaker, less capable and worse off rather than dominatingand pushing them about or further down.
* Or more effectively yet given what I suspect may be a lack of police action. I sadly doubnt police will take such online death (and intended animal cruelty) threats as seriously as they should. Not sure about Latvian cops though.
PS. I am NOT a lawyer. Whilst I expect death threats over any medium including online* are illegal in Latvia as they are here and that publishing details of this individual sucha s name and employer probably would be legal; I am not 100% certain of those things so, that’s a fact worth noting I guess. I don’t know whether it would be worth contemplating further action or just ignoring the coward’s illegal and very toxic bluster here.
* I believe (but could be mistaken) that the line in USA and Aussie law involves sending death threats using what they quaintly term in legalese a carriage service?
Andreas Avester says
Trickster Goddess @#6
Yep, that’s a very useful skill.
My Krav Maga trainer actually made us practice running away. He made us practice how to step backwards. He also made us practice how to turn around in order to start running away.
In addition, he also had us practice non threatening body language in order to attempt deescalating a conflict.
lakitha tolbert says
I think what a lot of such people fail to take into account, especially in these little “fantasies” of theirs, is something my mother used to always tell me, when the bullies in school threatened to beat me up:
They got to bring some ass, to get some ass!
People who understand that phrase are never out looking for a fight.
Crazy Murderous Daddy probably thinks his sub-Charles-Bronson-fantasies make him look all cool and tough and apha.
In reality, they make me want to slip his wife and kids the contact details for their local domestic violence shelter. That kind of rage easily finds its target within the family when no convenient outside target is available….