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judyprays's avatar

What would you make of someone who sleeps with a knife under her pillow?

Asked by judyprays (1304points) May 6th, 2010

I’m debating with a friend whether or not this is an indication of issues or just quirky.

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50 Answers

deni's avatar

what strikes me right away is the likelihood of thrashing in the middle of the night and ending up with a knife in your face. i know with the way i sleep, there is no way i would put anything dangerous even near the bed. i’d be dead by morning. and then, why can’t she just keep it on the bedside table? or floor?

ShiningToast's avatar

I would say issues. Unless she is trained in the art of hand-to-hand knife combat, it won’t do her any good. She might as well just use a shoe.

A golf club or even a pistol I could understand, but you have to be realistic to how much a knife will help you.

Unless you’re this cool guy.

WestRiverrat's avatar

Kind of uncomfortable. It is just as close if it is on the nightstand next to the bed. That is where my pistol usually is.

DominicX's avatar


Something like this sounds like it was based on a previous experience with an intruder. Sounds dangerous to me, to be honest.

missingbite's avatar

Many people sleep with weapons. I have never heard of one under the pillow. Mattress yes, pillow no. Is it in a sheath so the blade can’t cut her? I have a gun right next to my bed and my grandmother slept with a Derringer under her mattress for years.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

Previous experience? For protection?

DarkScribe's avatar

If she decides to pare an apple in the middle of the night she won’t have far to go.

I would regard it as indicating extreme nervousness on her part. Possibly something from her past and the knife is now no more than a “security blanket”.

faye's avatar

I would make that she is scared. When I was first seperated i slept with a huge honking pipewrench under my pillow! Now the back door is open all night for the dog!

liminal's avatar

That she is scared and that she doesn’t toss and turn much.

Trillian's avatar

My ex SO did just that on the nights that I was working. He always thought someone would come in during the night and want to hurt him. Nut.

RedPowerLady's avatar

I’m hoping this is a fold up knife otherwise very dangerous. Even fold up is a bit dangerous.

I wouldn’t make fun of someone. I would think they have safety issues but they might be justified. Whatever makes someone safe and doesn’t endanger others is cool with me.

Draconess25's avatar

I had to when I was 13. My brother would’ve killed me if he had the chance.

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CMaz's avatar

Get a gun, knifes under the pillow are just silly. And dangerous.

lilikoi's avatar

Maybe she rents a condo on the ground floor where the landlord refuses to install working door locks, in a super sketchy neighborhood frequented by drug lords, and police are corrupt, and she’s not afraid to use the knife. They say never whip out a weapon if you aren’t sure you can use it, because it can end up being taken away from you and used against you.

Seaofclouds's avatar

Sounds dangerous unless it’s protected in some way (folded up or in a sheath). I don’t think it’s quirky behavior, just something has her spooked enough to feel she needs protection. I sleep with a baseball bat in my bed on the side away from the door, on next to my bed leaning up against the side I sleep on (between me and the door), and I have one down stairs by the front door. A little overkill perhaps, but as someone who was threatened by her ex-husband that he would kill her and her son, it’s what I do when my husband isn’t home. When he’s home, all the bats go in the closet.

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

I sleep with a pistol under mine. Just out of habit and 29 years as an army officer.

wundayatta's avatar

Oh Jeez! When I first saw this, I thought you were asking “Would you make out with someone who sleeps with a knife under their pillow?” That’s a tough one.

I’s think the person had a lot of fears; particularly that they would be assaulted while they slept. I’d wonder if they had PTSD, and perhaps had been raped or assaulted already. Or maybe they’d had a parent who was overly paranoid, or they had some kind of mental disorder that heightened their paranoia. Anyway, I don’t think it’s normal behavior, but that doesn’t make it wrong. There are a lot of people out there who do abnormal stuff, and get along just fine in the world without hurting themselves or others. At least, not hurting them physically.

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

My lady felt safer with that .45 under my pillow. I was her protector.

Draconess25's avatar

@stranger_in_a_strange_land I suppose that woulod be a bit uncomfortable, though. Unless you used multiple pillows….

free_fallin's avatar

I wouldn’t read too much into the psychological aspect behind doing that. I hate guns but I love knives; I have them all over my place, including one under my pillow. If the knife is like a switchblade and not your regular kitchen knife, then there is nothing to worry about with having it under the pillow. Unless, the person has experienced sleepwalking or other sleep patterns that would indicate this being a mistake.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

I keep a shotgun in my bedroom.Tell her it’s more effective ;)

YARNLADY's avatar

I keep mine in a box on the shelf under my alarm clock.

shpadoinkle_sue's avatar

I keep a knife in my my purse. Not the same place, but it’s the idea of being prepared when caught unawares.

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

@Draconess25 I have a thick pillow and I’m used to the feel of it. If the old Colt wasn’t there I wouldn’t feel right.

vbabe96's avatar

I would say the person probably has issues.

Seek's avatar

I slept with one under my pillow for years. Looked like this

I kept it unsheathed, and held tightly in my fist all night. I don’t move in my sleep.

I just never felt very safe in my home, due to various circumstances inside and out, and the knife made me feel comfortable. I don’t think I ever intended to use it for anything, it was more a sort of self-hypnosis. I had the knife, so I was safe.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

Not so great area of town where they live.

Questionable acquaintances.

Previous assault.

I slept like that for a few years and so have many people I’ve known. To my knowledge no one ever sliced themselves up during the night and no one I’ve known who sleeps with a pistol under their pillow or beside on the nighstand or floor has ever had a shooting accident.

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TexasDude's avatar

I’m all for the right to self-defense, so I’m not going to judge, but I do think that a knife is a really, really poor self-defense weapon. One would be much better off with a shotgun and adequate training.

anartist's avatar

She is in the Israseli Army and has mislaid her Uzi.

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

I would infer that this person feels unsafe in their environment and finds it difficult to relax without ready access to a weapon.

I have never spent much time living anywhere that dangerous and threatening. If their fear is realistic where they live and sleep then this may be a rational if not dangerous solution.

If their fearfulness is out of proportion to the actual dangers around them, then I would suggest that they need a better way to cope with their chronic anxiety and constant hyper-vigilance.

jerv's avatar

I would call it ineffective.

I know someone who sleeps with a claymore next to their bed. Why have a two-handed sword like that so close-by? Because the AR-15 lacks the intimidation value and risks killing the neighbors on teh other side of the wall if used in home defense ;)

Compared to that, I must laugh at the knife :D

anartist's avatar

@jerv How charming. An artifact. Is your friend a Scot?

CMaz's avatar

Not to say harming another person is ever easy. But, personally, I find pulling the trigger “easier” then sticking a knife into someone. And, you are more at risk of pissing that person off then stopping them.

jerv's avatar

@anartist Nope. Jewish ex-Navy officer.

@ChazMaz That depends on the gun. Some people get a .22 or (worse) a .25 figuring that it will hurt/kill a person just because it is a gun. Besides, if you get someone on drugs, they may not even notice a gunshot wound or three, and most people lack the skill/discipline to do a Mozambique Drill (two in the chest followed by one in the head) in a life-or-death situation.
However, even the biggest dope fiend will likely notice the sudden removal of an arm or a torso.

CMaz's avatar

All depends on the ammo you use. I have a .22 that will blow a hole in you like a .38.

If referring to a knife, “the sudden removal of an arm or a torso.” easier said then done.

Sophief's avatar

It’s sensible, it’s safety, there are too many bad people out there.

DarkScribe's avatar

@jerv Some people get a .22 or (worse) a .25 figuring that it will hurt/kill a person just because it is a gun.

It is an ideal weapon and it will kill a person. I have a range of weapons and carry a .22 target pistol with a compact laser sight more often than any other. They are light, fast and accurate, one shot will slow someone and make them think twice, a few in rapid succession will kill anyone who is not wearing body armour. Forget Dirty Harry – you don’t need something that can crack an engine block in real life. (The KGB used to use .22s as a side arm.)

The one that I keep for home security has rat shot in the chamber, the next round is a high velocity solid, those after that are hollow points. That way I can “escalate” as I see fit – should the need arise. I won’t ever shoot unless the threat is real, so I do not need to make any shot a fatal shot. I would not expect to be either charged or sued later.

missingbite's avatar

@DarkScribe The rat shot and hollow points are great. I’d think twice about the “high velocity solid” unless you live in the country where it can’t miss and go through a window and hurt someone else. That’s how you will get sued.

On a side note, in my opinion, if you have to shoot, shoot to kill or you will be sued no matter the circumstances.

Seek's avatar

one shot will slow someone and make them think twice

Unless they’re on meth.

DarkScribe's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr Unless they’re on meth.

A laser sight allows extreme accuracy. Even a meth-head won’t move far with a .22 solid through the kneecap. Regardless of other opinions, it is not necessary to attempt to kill. You will not be sued if you are justified in using a firearm. If you are shooting in panic, then you might be sued, but then you shouldn’t have access to a firearm. People who panic are a danger to everyone including themselves.

Even so, such a person will fare better in the aftermath if they have only wounded someone, not killed them. It is a fallacy that a dead person can’t sue. Their estate can, and will likely be awarded more than a wounded trespasser who sues.

CMaz's avatar

Knife under pillow = A piece of Cheese a little wine.

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

I am puzzled that so many of the above responses say nothing about the person to whom the question refers. Many have discussed their guns. I am saddened by the number of people who live in so much fear and distrust that weapons are an integral part of feeling safe at home.
How sad it is that the woman in question feels the need to sleep with an unsheathed knife under her pillow. The risk of her hurting herself with this weapon in her sleep seems very high. I hope that does not happen.

DarkScribe's avatar

@Dr_Lawrence I am saddened by the number of people who live in so much fear and distrust that weapons are an integral part of feeling safe at home.

There is little that is new. Since the beginning of recorded history humans have had weapons for both hunting and defence. There is less need now than there was when man first stepped out of the jungle. Violence is once again escalating, mostly because of liberal and unrealistic attitudes among a very vocal minority with regard to how children should be raised and how criminal behaviour and criminals should be treated.

jerv's avatar

@ChazMaz A 4–5 foot blade will do it a lot easier than a dinky little 12–14” thing that most people refer to as a “knife”.

@DarkScribe What I find disturbing is that people have these weapons yet often have little/no clue how to actually use them. For instance, how many gun owners are shot with their own weapon or have the thing loaded without a trigger lock where their kid can get at it? How many of them could put at least 3 out of 5 rounds inside the 8-ring on a paper target at 15 feet under non-stressful conditions?
The way I see it, if we were raised like we used to be, then the criminals would be a little less daring. I mean, would you go into a house where you knew that the homeowner had a gun and could use it proficiently?
Also, target pistols generally have longer barrels, which leads to more muzzle energy/ The type of .22 I was thinking when I wrote that was more like a derringer.

@Dr_Lawrence I do not use a weapon for home defense; I don;t need to. It’s not that I am a black-belt or anything, I just don’t feel the need for one. Unfortunately, many people (like the OP’s friend) see weapons as a magic talisman to ward off evil. Myself? I see guns as a way to go get my Thanksgiving dinner the old-fashioned way ;)

DarkScribe's avatar

@jerv The way I see it, if we were raised like we used to be, then the criminals would be a little less daring. I mean, would you go into a house where you knew that the homeowner had a gun and could use it proficiently?

The Swiss argument. Every male does national service and takes his weapon home. He re-qualifies with it on a regular basis. Home invasion is not a problem in Switzerland. The same thing happened here. A few years ago they disarmed the country except for a few who can qualify for a licence and now we have nothing but shootings and home invasions filling our headlines.

It seems that the criminals were naughty and didn’t hand their weapons in when asked to do so.

TexasDude's avatar

@DarkScribe, funny how that works, huh?

lonelydragon's avatar

I would presume that she lives alone and is paranoid or has a phobia of intruders. She might need some therapy to deal with her fears.

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