Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Weapon uses for common items

For option 3: fight!
  [vote for,


I ofen weep for the lack of "War Weapons", an idea once posted in which each and every household item had a predesignated use as a weapon, in the event that fighting soldiers exhausted all regular weapons.

— bungston, Mar 16 2009 [edit, delete] /

Once again I was thinking of War Weapons, deleted by its creator after being roundly mocked (or perhaps by the HB admin?). I was thinking of it because recently I have seen posters advising people how to act should a person with a gun enter and begin shooting. They are up next to the fire and tornado information.

Action 1 is run away. Action 2 is hide. Action 3 is fight, and where I work the poster depicts people fighting with ad hoc weapons. One has a fire extinguisher as a club. One man has what appears to be a stapler and a lady seems to be using her cell phone as a club.

Curious, a google image for similar found other suggestions including a chair, a bottle of windex, and a belt.

I worry I do not know how to use a cell phone or a stapler in close combat. What if I reach for the windex but the cordless keyboard is a better choice for me? Is it better to discharge the fire extinguisher at the shooter or use it as a bludgeon?

This public safety bulletin will include commonly encountered items which might be at hand in the need to battle a shooter, as well as tips on how to use them effectively.

bungston, Apr 25 2017

Fight the shooter https://arlingtonva...defight-300x166.jpg
These people have the fire extinguisher, a chair, a camcorder and either a cell phone or a regular phone receiver. [bungston, Apr 25 2017]

Excellent [8th of 7, Apr 25 2017]

Bottle opener https://www.empiret...eer-bottle-opener-1
...... mostly. [whatrock, Apr 25 2017]

Paint them with the fire extinguisher, I say ... Firing_20firearms_2...guisher_20accessory
[normzone, Apr 26 2017]

Cone shell venom https://en.wikipedi...ristics_and_biotech
W-conopeptide ... is the basis of the analgesic drug Prialt ... said to be 1000 times as powerful as morphine [8th of 7, Apr 27 2017]


       Re. your link - I'm not sure those people are attacking the gunman. It looks to me as if they are trying to snatch the fire extinguisher, the chair and other cherished items to a place of safety.
MaxwellBuchanan, Apr 25 2017

       // a fire extinguisher as a club. //   

       Too clumsy. Find a CO2 extinguisher, and unscrew the "horn". Hit the target in the face with a jet of liquid CO2. This will instantly blind them, and may well cause disabling bronchospasm. Keep the valve open until the tank is empty, and they are on the ground. Then, use the extinguisher as a club firstly to smash their fingers*, then either crack their skull (not easy) or put them in a chokehold, compressing the trachea, the carotid arteries and the jugular vein. Keep the hold tight for a count of thirty after they stop struggling - always make sure.   

       // One man has what appears to be a stapler //   

       Not useful.   

       // using her cell phone as a club. //   

       Insufficient mass. Break the glass of the screen, then come up behind them and run the sharp edge over their eyes, blinding them. Then, they're out if action and in a lot of pain - probably panicking too. Grab their weapon and turn it on them, or again use the blade to slash the major arteries in the neck, and the veins and tendons in the wrists.   

       Excellent idea. [+] Send us a draft, and we will be happy to critique it and maybe add a few suggestions. how to make a garotte with the copper core of a mains cable and a couple of marker pens, where to stab the thigh to hit the femoral artery with a screwdriver, throw accelerant over them (some copier cleaners are mostly methanol) and follow it up with a burning rag ...   

       *They can't fight the chokehold with smashed fingers.
8th of 7, Apr 25 2017

       Clearly the best choice is the Post-it Note. Somehow...   

       Paperclips bent into nice A-shapes can sail past the shooter's ear with a standard office-grade rubber band, making them wonder what's sailing right beside their head as a nice distraction.   

       A remote cell phone with a policeman's bullhorn sound as an MP3 file could get an interesting reaction.   

       Does anyone sell a USB flash drive with a built-in folding knife?
RayfordSteele, Apr 25 2017

       Victorinox sell a Swiss Army Knife with a built-in USB flash drive, so effectively yes.   

8th of 7, Apr 25 2017

whatrock, Apr 25 2017

       [8th], after surviving today's simulated deranged shooter drill at work I'm glad you're on our side.   

       Are you?
whatrock, Apr 25 2017

       Surely the first line of defence in an office shootout would be to call in the HR department. Even if the gunman doesn't decide to shoot himself, at least there's a chance he'd take one of them out.
MaxwellBuchanan, Apr 25 2017

       That's a delightful, charming image, [Ian]. You should be really proud.   

       // I'm glad you're on our side.... Are you? //   

       We're open to offers.   

       // simulated deranged shooter drill //   

       We wish to advise that, if we were "on the team", an unannounced test would represent poor judgment, and would inevitably have very unfortunate consequences.   

       We don't take prisoners - unless, that is, they may be useful sources of information; but after interrogation, well, we don't keep prisoners.
8th of 7, Apr 25 2017

       In "fist full of dollars" Eastwood wears an iron plate under his serape. Can't think of any common home item thick enough to turn bullets. Maybe an antique cast iron fry pan, but not current fry pans.
popbottle, Apr 25 2017

       Cast iron has an unpleasant tendency to shatter. In the movie, Clint is being shot at with .44-40 revolver ammunition from a Winchester carbine, non-jacketed lead bullet with a black powder charge; low muzzle velocity, low kinetic energy, tendency to spread on impact. A modest thickness of wrought iron, or steel, would offer a degree of protection.   

       The sheet of steel he uses comes from a wrecked mine truck, so given the era it would almost certainly be rolled wrought-iron plate.   

       Bullet-resistant steels aren't commonly found in domestic situations, and flak vests are typically made using non-woven aramid fibres (kevlar). In fact, it's not so much the parent steel, but the face-hardening heat treatment (as in the case of Krupp armour) which confers its important physical properties.   

       A sandwich of 2mm aluminium or steel sheets interleaved with 10mm layers of thin paper, perhaps from a phone book, might offer some limited protection.
8th of 7, Apr 25 2017

       See, this is why you should always keep handy a can of WD-40... and a lighter.   

       ... or better, a can of White Phosphorus... and a Luger.
8th of 7, Apr 25 2017

       Well yeah, but it looks funny if you keep those in your desk.   

       You know, it's amazing how much information [8th] picks up from behind the Borg tea trolley.
MaxwellBuchanan, Apr 26 2017

       Ah, the good old tea trolley ... a source of impromptu weapons par excellence, indeed a veritable treasure trove ...   

       // it looks funny if you keep those in your desk. //   

       That's very much dependant on where you work, what your job is, and who you are ...
8th of 7, Apr 26 2017

       I've heard that your Rice Krispie cakes are especially feared.
MaxwellBuchanan, Apr 26 2017

       Indeed; one incautious nibble and BANG !, there goes your pancreas - straight into Type III diabetes*.   

       *So dangerous, in fact, that they cause their own special version of the condition.
8th of 7, Apr 26 2017

       I have seen people being terrorised by a rubber sink-plug. Wielded on the end of a chain, like a nunchaku, it's a weapon of great dread.
xenzag, Apr 26 2017

       // simulated deranged shooter drill //   

       I saw one of those going on.. we're not proper employees though, so none of that for us, made me think though. I think the lab-yrinthine nature of work would be helpful, as would the abundant student population, scowling busy people tend to disappear by comparison. I think a well aimed copy of Stryer solves many a problem, above that it's just a choice between the smaller really toxic things and the larger burny liquids.
bs0u0155, Apr 26 2017

       //a well aimed copy of Stryer// Stryer has the density and the hard corners, granted, but in a panic situation the three-volume soft-bound Maniatis is indispensible. The plastic binder is designed to spring open on impact, leaving the assailant thrashing and bewildered amongst a snowstorm of protocols.   

       Of course, if you can subdue the attacker long enough to read to them, the middle chapters of Fersht will render them docile quite quickly.
MaxwellBuchanan, Apr 26 2017

       // smaller really toxic things and the larger burny liquids. //   

       Why take two bottles into the skirmish ? HF does pretty well on both counts.
8th of 7, Apr 26 2017

       I've hears rumours that the back of one particular freezer contains a variety of ion channel blockers/ionophores from the electrophysiology days when "venom" and "vital research tool" were synonyms.
bs0u0155, Apr 27 2017

       This reminds me of Terminal Cornucopia (the project to build weapons out of things you can buy at the airport, airside).   

       Sitting at my desk right now, I would reach for my spray bottle of isopropyl alcohol (which I mainly use for shooting small annoying flies), or my scarily pointy tweezers.   

       Also, that woman in the picture is clearly wielding a jug, not a phone.
notexactly, Apr 27 2017

       A trip around the lab reveals a pretty handy series of implements... A massive adjustable wrench for the CO2 cylinders, the CO2 cylinders, 230l of LN2 and a gigawatt class laser. Admittedly it's only gigawatt because it pulses in the femtosecond range but I don't make the rules on power calculations. I think the room full of cranky alcoholic rats might be the most potent anti maniac system. Although that's a way down the corridor.
bs0u0155, Apr 27 2017

       Chem/biochem labs and mech eng workshops are rich environments for items with serious weapon potential.   

       // when "venom" and "vital research tool" were synonyms. //   

       Well, cone shell venom is being studied as a source of potential high-end analgesia. <link>   

       Then again, if you're dead you can't feel pain, so that's kind of true anyway.
8th of 7, Apr 27 2017

       // when "venom" and "vital research tool" were synonyms. //   

       For a split second I read that as "Vernon" and "vital research tool" and wasn't quite sure what to make of it, but knew that finding out would take more time than I wanted to invest...
RayfordSteele, Apr 27 2017


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