The Tire Knocker
A reader alerted me to a trucker’s tool called a “tire knocker,” which doubles as a defensive weapon.
A tire knocker follows the characteristics I prefer in a stick –it stresses heft/weight and solidity over reach. I would rather a short stick be short and compact, yet heavy enough to deal a decisive blow.
The question is whether truckers really need a tire knocker, or is it a fanciful name for a weapon? I have a truck-driving friend, but he’s so busy driving that I rarely see him. I’ll ask him the next time I meet him.
In my research some people wrote of having legal trouble with the tire knocker being classified as a weapon. Let me offer some tips:
–If you are a law-abiding citizen, do not give consent to search your vehicle. You are not required to.
–Clean up the weapon by getting rid of handles, the thong grip, or a metal weighted end. While these may be cosmetic, these modifications can make the difference between an illegal club and a legal stick. The more your tire knocker looks like a stick, the better off you are.
–Keep a tire knocker outside of your vehicle cabin, but still accessible to you.
–You may want to go with a weapon that is very similar to the tire knocker, but less conspicuous, such as a heavy flashlight, a tire iron, a crowbar, an ice scraper with a heavy handle, etc.
–There is a world of difference between a cop spying your tire knocker lying on the floor as he pulls you over for a minor infraction, versus that same cop being called out to a roadside parking lot by alarmed citizens who are afraid to see you yelling obscenities and threatening another person while brandishing your tire knocker. In the latter case, expect to see some jail time.
Keep in mind that the tire knocker is a semi-impromptu weapon, a weapon that has another function, but can be used as a self-defense weapon. The key to an effective semi-impromptu weapon is advance planning.
Think ahead: How will you use it?
–Where will you keep it?
–Can you stash several?
–How will you explain it if challenged?
–How will you access it if you need to?