Them: Hey there
Them: I see you have a Bullwhip there
Me: Yes, I never leave home without it
Them: What do you use it for?
Me: All types of things
Them: Like what?
Me: I guess somewhere between a tool and a weapon
Them: A weapon?
Them: Your bullwhip is a weapon?
Them: No it’s not (draws pistol), this is a weapon
Me: That’s also weapon
Them: No, this is a weapon, that that’s a bullwhip
Me: What’s your definition of a weapon?
Them: Something that kills people
Me: That’s a very narrow definition, but regardless the bullwhip qualifies
Them: That can’t kill anyone
Me: Would you like to put that to the test?
Them: What do you mean?
Me: Your pistol vs. my Bullwhip
Them: That’s not a fair fight – I have a real weapon and you have a Bullwhip
Me: (Flicks bullwhip, knocks pistol out of their hand)
Them: HEY! WHAT THE HELL??? That hurt!!!
Me: That wasn’t even full strength, it was only a light flick
Them: So you want to duel huh?
Them: OK, fine – you’re on (reaches for pistol)
Me: (whips pistol out of reach)
Them: Stop that!!!
Me: Stop what?
Them: Stop flicking that thing around and let me get my pistol!
Them: (picks up pistol)
Me: Cracks whip next to their ear
Them: (drops pistol) DAMMIT!!!!
Them: The duel doesn’t start until I say it starts!!!
Me: That’s the rules?
Them: Yeah – when I say, then the dual starts.
Me: OK, but my rule is you have to stand 20 feet back
Them: You can’t reach me that far away
Me: I can, it’s a 20 foot bullwhip
Them: I didn’t know they came that long
Me: I bet there’s a lot you don’t know about Bullwhips
Them: Enough talking – time to duel
Me: OK (hangs bullwhip on belt)
Them: What are you doing??
Me: I don’t need my whip for this part.
Me: Go ahead and start.
Them: You want me to shoot?
Them: I’ll shoot you!
Me: I doubt it.
Them: You doubt it???
Them: May I ask why?
Me: Based on how new and fresh your pistol looks, you’ve barely practiced with it.
Them: Have so!
Me: Have not.
Them: I’ll show you.
Me: Go ahead.
Them: I’ll do it!
Me: I don’t have all day,
Them: You’re asking for it!!!
Me: I am.
Them: FINE!!! (Shoots. Misses)
Me: Oh dear. Would you like to try again?
Them: (Shoots. Misses)
Me: Gosh. This is only 20 feet. Effective range of a handheld pistol is far longer than that – if you’ve go the skill.
Them: I HAVE THE SKILL!!! (Shoots. Misses.)
Me: That’s a 6-shot revolver, and you’ve only got 3 shots left. Might want to take your time.
Them: (lines up shot carefully. Shoots. Misses) DAMMIT!!!
Me: What’s wrong?
Them: This pistol don’t work right.
Me: Are you blaming the pistol for not being able to hit me?
Them: No – I’m flustered is all – just give me a second (Inspects pistol carefully. Lines up shot very carefully. Shoots. Misses)
Me: Still think it’s the pistol?
Them: SHUT UP!! (Shoots. Misses)
Me: One more left – make it count.
Them: (Plants feet. Holds pistol with both hands. Slowly squeezes trigger. Shoots. Misses)
Me: Looks like you’re all out of shots. My turn. (Cracks whip. Disarms. Cracks whip. Shreds clothing. Whips around around neck. Yanks whip.)
Them: (On the ground, choking) I yield, you win!!!
Me: Yep (Helps them up)
Them: (Coughing) How’d you do that?
Them: How often?
Me: Every day, all day.
Them: How do you get so much time to practice?
Me: I’m a professional, and mastering the Bullwhip is part of my job.
Them: Can I see your Bullwhip?
Me: Sure (hands over whip)
Them: HA!!! HERE’S SOME OF YOUR OWN MEDICINE (Flicks whip. Cuts own face) OWWWW!!
Me: Yeah. That’s happens when you get started.
Them: This thing is dangerous!
Me: You said it wasn’t a weapon.
Them. It’s not…it’s just…
Me: …not a weapon you’re used to?
Them: Yeah, I guess.
Me: It’s also not a weapon you know how to use.
Me: And yet you were adamant it wasn’t a weapon.
Them: (Inspects whip closely) It sure doesn’t look like a weapon. It’s nothing but wood and leather – how does this thing work?
Me: You whip it and it does stuff.
Them: No, really – how’s it work?
Me: That’s how it works. Just takes a lot of time and patience to master it.
Them: I bet if you spent that much time on a pistol you’d be better with it than you are with a Bullwhip.
Me: I’ve spent, many, many years using a pistol – that’s why I knew you were no threat at 20 feet. I know what it takes to hit a target at 20 feet with a pistol.
Them: Then why do you carry a Bullwhip?
Me: It’s light. It’s doesn’t set of metal detectors. You can carry it anywhere. It’s a conversation starter. You don’t need a license to carry it. It doesn’t run out of ammo. If someone takes it from me then can’t use it against me. It’s as quiet or as loud as I want it to be, and I can control it’s level of lethality.
Them: Yeah, but you had to spend a long, long time practicing to get that good with it, right?
Them: Most people don’t have that time, and with a little bit of effort can be pretty good with a pistol.
Me: That is true.
Them: So that makes pistols better, right?
Me: Better for most people, not for me.
Me: Because I actually know how to use my weapon, most people just play around with theirs.
Them: Well, most people do, but some people get really good with Pistols, and they could beat your bullwhip.
Me: That’s true. The bullwhip has limitations.
Them: So why don’t you carry a pistol.
Me: I do.
Me: I always carry a pistol. I don’t leave home without it.
Them: I though you never left home without a Bullwhip?
Me: I don’t leave home without either of them.
Them: Well you could have just shot me then!!!
Me: Yes, but that wasn’t the right tool for the job. I only wanted to illustrate a point, not kill you.
Them: So you’re as good with a Pistol as you are with a Bullwhip?
Me: Difficult to compare the two – they’re different. They each have strengths and weaknesses. In some situations, a Pistol is better; in others a Bullwhip. I find the Bullwhip more versatile, however, so I find a lot of situations where a bullwhip is better than a pistol.
Them: So you know how to use a Pistol and a Bullwhip. Anything else?
Them: Like what?
Me: I’ll show you. (Walks to car, opens trunk)
Them: HOLY CRAP!!!
Them: You know how to use all of these???
Me: I’m better at some than others, but generally I’m proficient at all of them.
Them: (Picks up Sniper riffle) Look at this thing! I would carry this everywhere.
Me: It’s very heavy, very loud, doesn’t hold much ammo, and you need to be in a perfect position to use it effectively.
Them: They why did you learn how to use it?
Me: Sometimes you need it. I don’t know when that situation may arise, but it’s better to have it and not need it, than to need it and not have it.
Them: You know, when you first told me you used a Bullwhip, I thought you were crazy.
Me: I get that a lot.
Them: But this is just one weapon in your arsenal – I though it was your only weapon.
Me: Most people react without thinking, so it’s not surprising that someone would jump to a conclusion if that conclusion supported a narrative crafted around not challenging their confirmation bias’ about who is or is-not crazy based on their weapon of choice.
Me: Never mind.
Them: So listen…
Me: I’m listening…
Them: So let’s say that MAYBE – one day – I wanted to get good at the bullwhip, should I start practicing with it now?
Them: Why not?
Me: You’re not good with a Pistol yet. Get good at an easy-to-use weapon before you move onto a more difficult one.
Them: The pistol is easier to learn that the Bullwhip?
Me: Oh yes. Among other things, the Bullwhip doesn’t have a safety mechanism, so if you don’t know what you’re doing you can hurt yourself. You need to get good enough such that you don’t need a safety mechanism.
Them: OK, then after I get good with a pistol, then I can learn the bullwhip?
Me: Depends on your interest, and the situations you think you’ll find yourself in. I wanted to be ready for as many situations as possible, so I learned weapons for all the situations I might find myself in. That doesn’t mean I learned every weapon out there, only the ones that I felt I would need for the things I might find myself doing.
Them: So it’s up to me to pick what weapons to learn?
Them: Can’t you just tell me what to learn?
Me: Nope. I do recommend to learn a variety, however. Don’t just stick with the first thing you learn. Move onto different styles of weapons. Every new weapon you learn will help you see new ways to use the weapons you already know how to us.
Them: OK…well…sorry I tried to shoot you.
Me: It’s no problem. I was never in any danger.