clues at the scene

clues at the scene

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Gettin' All Sappy

 [ Image removed ... cannot find attribution ]  A sap. It's also called a blackjack.

This is "usually" a less-than-lethal weapon containing a leather-covered weight of some sort. Buckshot, tungsten, a piece of sucker rod, a chunk of cast tire weights. Surprisingly, it doesn't take too much.

The operative use is for the blow to cause pain and discomfort without breaking the skin. Mostly, it happens that way. It's really difficult to result in a depressed skull fracture but the one stuffed with sucker rod will do it if the wielder gets "out of hand" with the device.

Applied to a sensitive part of the victim - the scalp, the face, the ear - it is almost certain to incapacitate anyone who isn't int he business of being hit for a living. Now, your fist will do the same. The sap allows the blow to be delivered without the consequence of putting your wrist in a cast.

On Bob the Baker, it's a great tool. Try it on Bob the Biker and it might not be as effective.

Like I said: it works well against people who are not used to getting hit frequently. Don't think this does any good against a boxer - or in Michigan - an amateur cage fighter. (NYT Sunday last sports section. There is a story there about the underbelly of cage fighting in Michigan that'll make you puke - and not from the fighting description).

Why do I show this?  I gave one to a character. I gave one to a guy who is in the "tough guy" business but should find a new line of work. You hit someone with one of these, it is a bit of a crap shoot. He's going down or there is going to be a real ugly follow-up to your action.

I shared this with a "peacekeeper" once upon a time. You can't just have a bunch of bodies laying around a checkpoint full of holes. Well, you can't do it anywhere there is regular air service ino because that air service carries reporters (unless you shoot a couple of those "too" ... or have the "rebels" do it).

You give a character a less-than-lethal weapon, good on you. Just remember, they don't always work.

That might make for a little fun right there. Nothing like a character waking up on the sidewalk looking eye-level with a tooth and suspecting it might be their own. That's a character building moment right there.

I hope you're keeping your head down. I know you're writing. Go for the knockout blow.

No comments: