Not security August 21, 2007 2:16 PM

That table doesn’t provide security. It provides a bit of self-defense.

It’s not security furniture. It’s self-defense furniture.

Russ August 21, 2007 2:21 PM

Good thing I’m not in the UK, my beside table has a more reasonable .357Magnum stored in a handgun safe.

suomynona August 21, 2007 2:28 PM

Great, something else for my attacker to take off me and beat me with….

Mind you, getting their hands on that assumes they made it past the crocodile pit, the electrified fence and my mother-in-law…

avery August 21, 2007 2:31 PM

Realistically the odds of this being used (other than to amuse your friends) are probably pretty slim. That being said, as someone who just spent two weeks beating his friends with sticks, that shield grip looks uncomfortable, hard to keep hold of and, should the bad guy get a hold of the leading edge, like a lever to break your arm with.

I’d rather have two clubs.

bob August 21, 2007 2:41 PM

England should implement tablecontrol immediately! Your government protects you, you dont have any need for this crap! Just raise your taxes some more and crime will go away!

Cam Soper August 21, 2007 2:57 PM


Why bother with the fence and the crocodiles when you have the mother-in-law? I know mine is just as effective by herself without the aid of the other devices. 🙂

Carlo Graziani August 21, 2007 2:58 PM

Looks quite effective to me. You threaten the intruder with a martial furniture attack, wait for him to fall down laughing, and kick him in the nuts.

spider August 21, 2007 3:00 PM

I’d rather have a reverse gun on my bedside table. As a gun int he house will most likely be used against you rather than for you I’d like to include that in the design. Looks like a regular gun, but bullets go the opposite direction.

Murder breaks in, decides to use my gun kills himself trying to kill me.

Josh More August 21, 2007 3:10 PM

Interesting idea, with one fairly large flaw.

In order to be effective, the table would either have to have nothing on it or be capable of being cleared quietly in the middle of the night.

Neither option seems particularly practical to me.

dragonfrog August 21, 2007 3:11 PM

Am I the only one who actually keeps stuff on my bedside table? If I tried to actually use such a thing, I probably wouldn’t make it out of the bedroom, what with tripping over my lamp cord, slipping on a novel or two, getting shards of a broken water glass in my leg, and somehow turned the radio alarm clock on to a country station.

As for the (doubtless to be frequently repeated, since this site has many American visitors) suggestion of keeping a loaded pistol unlocked on the night table – do you really think that’s a good idea? I’m barely coordinated enough to pour coffee in the morning. I’d be likely to blow my head off trying to turn off the alarm clock.

At least with a bat, in the far more likely event that a putative “intruder” was your houseguest padding around the kitchen after a snack, the worst that’ll happen is some bruised ribs and an angry search for a motel room…

suomynona August 21, 2007 3:31 PM

@ Cam Soper,

sorry, I should have been more clear….

The mother-in-law lives on the other side of the crocks and fence… they’re there to keep HER out…

Guido August 21, 2007 3:34 PM

dragonfrog: I entirely agree 🙂 The good thing about that though is, a potential intruder is just as likely to bump into tons of things underway, and you know your apartement. So even without a secure bedside table (let’s just assume it’s empty for the moment, to make it any use in the first place), if he doesn’t have a gun you’re better off than he is.

If he does have a gun, you’re providing more danger to yourself than him if you arm yourself with this thing, as you do look threatening and he’s better off just killing you.

Fred P August 21, 2007 3:52 PM

Frankly, this sort of thing would be far more worthwhile if it also came with a coupon for a few weeks’ worth of training. The average person doesn’t know how to wield a club against a trained attacker, and doesn’t have a foggiest clue of how to use a shield properly. (Mind you, as pointed out above, neither of these appear to be particularly good self-defense items either – I’d prefer a han-bo, or a brace of throwing knives.)

At least within a few weeks, the trainees would learn how to stand, have a clue as to how to move, and get some vague idea how not to attack.

ajd August 21, 2007 3:53 PM

I’m certainly no lawyer but what would the implications of owning this be? In England you can use a certain amount of force in self-defence
“The force used must be “reasonable and proportionate” and that is decided by a jury, which should take into account the difficulty of assessing what this means in the heat of the moment.”( if that doesn’t show up as a link)
This piece of furniture though shows premeditation which might not look good. Of course you may be happy having this discussion after successfully defending yourself…

serbian canadian August 21, 2007 4:17 PM


derf August 21, 2007 4:50 PM

Don’t bring a bat to a gunfight.

Don’t expect this to save you when attempting to defend yourself from SWAT mistakenly breaking down your door at 3AM.

Robert Merkel August 21, 2007 5:45 PM

The Americans on this thread seem to be making the possibly incorrect assumption that British burglars are likely to be carrying guns.

As I understand it, while illegal handguns are a problem there, it’s not sufficiently widespread that run-of-the-mill crooks typically have them when housebreaking.

Harry August 21, 2007 5:59 PM

Wot Dragonfrog sed. There’s no way any table next to my bed would be clear. Where would my books, lamp, clock radio, pen, flashlight, snackplate, beverage, glasses,… go?

Branch Davidian August 21, 2007 7:05 PM


attempting to defend yourself from

I’m not sure I understand. Are you saying we should all be equipped to defend ourselves against a home invasion from the local elite law enforcement squad?

How could violently repelling a SWAT team possibly have a favorable outcome?

NE Patriot August 21, 2007 8:01 PM

I’d far rather be tried by 12 than carried by 6, but as I understand things in the UK at the moment, juries look down on people defending themselves with anything more than a banana.
As to an intruder stripping me of my weapon? Studies show that most criminals are opportunistic, and risk-averse when it comes to their safety: any level of fighting back is much more likely to inspire the thug to turn tail than to rise up and meet the angry homeowner in combat. More to that point, if the homeowner gets any training at all in a self defence tool, he’s oodles more likely to know what he’s doing than the garden-variety thug and will present himself as a formidable opponent.
That being said, I’d rather a baseball/cricket bat by the bedside (assuming the gun was unavailable) than some contrivance such as that table. The spike protruding off the “shield” toward the user gives me pause, as does that spike coming off the baseplate. I’d hate to step on that in the dark.

Messerjocke August 22, 2007 1:56 AM

I´d rather have a live-size “weapons of Moroland” Shield above the bed. Much more choice, and looks better too.

Need to fasten that pretty well though, knives in bed is big no-no.


Kirby August 22, 2007 3:01 AM

“As for the…suggestion of keeping a loaded pistol unlocked on the night table – do you really think that’s a good idea? I’m barely coordinated enough to pour coffee in the morning. I’d be likely to blow my head off trying to turn off the alarm clock.”

Then you definately shouldn’t keep a handgun on your night table. As for me and 80 million or so U.S. gun owners yesterday, we managed to turn off the alarm clock without blowing our heads off.

Anonymous August 22, 2007 3:11 AM


I can only guess that that is the entire point of keeping a loaded gun on your bedside table: to make sure you’re alert before you grope for the alarm clock. An armed society is a very, very wide-awake society, and slightly twitchy.

Toby Stevens August 22, 2007 4:21 AM

It’s rather ironic that it mentions London as the reason for selling self-defence furniture. Defend yourself with that in the UK, and you’re looking at a longer prison sentence than your attacker. The only good news over here is that your attacker won’t have a gun (unless you’re a 16 year old boy in a city gang).

After a friend’s house was broken into, he asked the police what they would recommend. ‘Off the record’ a copper suggested that he choose to store some garden implements under the bed, since they are considered legitimate household items in the eyes of the law, and a gardening fork makes a very effective weapon of the ‘pokey pokey’ variety.

I personally keep a Surefire torch and a powder fire extinguisher handy – a winning combination against intruders and fires. I’d still prefer a .303 Lee Enfield but at least I know my assailant won’t have one either.

Colossal Squid August 22, 2007 6:30 AM

“What on earth is wrong with a trusty sword stick.”
They’re illegal in the UK as are most self-defence weapons. I think we’re still allowed to use harsh language, but I’m not certain.

Anonymous August 22, 2007 6:54 AM

@NE Patriot: THAT explains the Monty Python skit! (where John Cleese repeatedly shows people how to defend themselves from attackers wielding fruit).

@many: I would think the biggest threat would be shooting the alarm clock! I know I’ve been tempted…

ADO August 22, 2007 8:00 AM

Just to clear up a misunderstanding; ANYTHING more severe than a finger wagging and slightly raised voice is almost certain to be considered illegal in the UK, and even this may be considered as assault in some circumstances.

As for garden tools, a man was murdered recently by an intruder who picked up a spade (or is that a shovel in the US?) on his way into the house….

Steve August 22, 2007 8:06 AM

Sword sticks are a concealed weapon. The main reason they’re illegal is that they are concealed. If you want a self defence weapon, technically (very, very, very technical, you will almost certainly not get away with it), carrying a sword in the open is quite legal.

Nick Lancaster August 22, 2007 8:32 AM

The shield is pointless unless you assume the thief/assailant is engaging you with bare fists or a melee weapon.

And, yes, my nightstand has things like a lamp, clock radio, my eyeglasses, pager, and whatever book I’m reading on it. So if the thief is not in the room (and likely to have the drop on me), then he’ll hear a commotion as everything falls on the floor and sensibly depart the premises.

But there won’t be any “Hah! I beat the brigand back with my trusty truncheon!”

Matt from CT August 22, 2007 9:08 AM


At least how I usually see the word in the use:

Spades have a flat edge where they first go in the dirt. Used for loose soil & cleanup.

Shovels are more round then flat to outright pointed where they go in the ground. They’re for digging in hard ground, roots, etc.

Excepting Snow shovels, which are oversized spades 😉

derf August 22, 2007 10:09 AM

@Branch Davidian

That’s the point isn’t it? If you are a law abiding citizen, you have the right to defend yourself against criminals and expect that a warrant would be served via normal procedures. At 3am, you would also expect that someone crashing through your front door would be a criminal and that you can and should defend yourself. Despite the fact that they’re breaking into the wrong house, you have no chance of surviving the encounter if you are holding a weapon or even a TV remote when SWAT swarms in.

bob August 22, 2007 11:56 AM

Back when the USA was a free country and had a consitution the police had to a) have a warrant and b) present it to the accused before arresting him and seizing his property. And they had to have a conviction before they could keep/sell it.

Harpie August 22, 2007 12:40 PM


“If you want a self defence weapon, technically (very, very, very technical, you will almost certainly not get away with it), carrying a sword in the open is quite legal.”

Uhmm.. that sounds quite optimistic to me. My understanding is that penknifes with blades less than three inches long without a locking mechanism are OK. Everything else is forbidden:

That said, it would not surprise me if the police did arrest you for carrying a penknife these days because they want to take your DNA etc.

According to a friend, swords have been quite popular in some parts of Glasgow for a while; presumaby because sword carrying is less harshly penalized than carrying a gun.

Roger August 23, 2007 8:16 AM

  1. The furniture is art. Not serious home security. (At least, I don’t think it’s meant to be serious!) Some of James’ other products include, for example, a pillow with reverse embroidered words so that when you wake up your cheek shows a cheery message to your sweetheart!

  2. The incidence of criminal use of firearms in the UK has doubled in the last 10 years. Just today we are hearing about another tragedy resulting from their now widespread availability even among teenage gangs. In 2006, there were 1,439 robberies at gunpoint in England and Wales, of which 645 were in the victims’ homes. While England is still well behind the US for rate of firearms violence, it has now passed the US for total rate of violent crime. They now even have drive-by shootings in Nottingham.

  3. And no, in the UK non-criminals are NOT allowed to use harsh language anymore:

jdege August 24, 2007 9:44 PM

I’m surprised no one has mentioned that under UK law, this table constitutes an “offensive weapon”.

In other words, it’s just as illegal as having a sword alongside your bed, or a cricket bat, unless you’d just thrown the bat there after returning from a match.

Ian November 20, 2007 3:08 AM

The Law is changing stance, a little, on handling burglars.

You need no longer wait to be attacked, to attack them, yourself, if you genuinely believe that your, or your family’s safety / life / lives are at risk!

You are within your rights, using moderation in force (reasonable force) to use a nearby item to hand, including weaponry or items made or adapted for use as weapons.

Almost nobody gets prosecuted any longer for these encounters in which they use reasonable force against intruders in their homes.

When a case gets to Court (here’s the best bit!) you have NOTHING TO PROVE, YOURSELF!


Proving those is almost impossible. The Police are very much, now, on the side of the citizens in their homes.

(And, Prosecution know that jury members have homes, too!)



“Does the law protect me? What is ‘reasonable force’?

Anyone can use reasonable force to protect themselves or others, or to carry out an arrest or to prevent crime. YOU ARE NOT EXPECTED TO MAKE FINE JUDGEMENTS OVER THE LEVEL OF FORCE YOU USE IN THE HEAT OF THE MOMENT as long as you only do what you instinctively believe is right at the time.

This may still include using something as A WEAPON.

As a general rule, the more extreme the circumstances and the fear felt, the more force you can lawfully use in self-defence.


If you are in your own home and in fear for yourself and others you DO NOT HAVE TO WAIT to be attacked first before using defensive force.

What if the intruder dies?

If you have acted in reasonable self-defence, as described above, and the intruder dies you will still have acted lawfully.

However, the law does not cover you if, for example:

…having knocked someone unconscious, you then decided to further hurt or kill them to punish them;

…you knew of an intended intruder and set a trap to hurt or to kill them rather than involve the police. You CAN be prosecuted for this.

What if I chase them as they run off?

In this situation you are no longer acting in self-defence so the same degree of force is not reasonable. However, you are still allowed to use reasonable force to recover your property and make a citizen’s arrest (e.g. a rugby tackle or a single blow would probably be reasonable). Acting out of malice and revenge with the intent of inflicting punishment through injury or death would not.

Will you believe the intruder rather than me?

The police weigh all the facts when investigating an incident. This includes the fact that the intruder caused the situation to arise in the first place.

How would the police and CPS handle the investigation and treat me?

Chief Constables and the Director of Public Prosecutions (Head of the CPS) are determined that they must be investigated and reviewed as swiftly and as sympathetically as possible. In cases where the facts are very clear, or where less serious injuries are involved, the investigation will be concluded very quickly, without any need for arrest. More detailed enquiries are needed where a death or serious injury occurs.

To ensure such cases are dealt with as swiftly and sympathetically as possible, the police and CPS will take special measures namely:

An experienced investigator will oversee the case.

If it goes as far as CPS considering the evidence, the case will be prioritised to ensure a senior lawyer makes a quick decision.

Last update: 08 February 2005″

Beside that…I am thinking of buying a highly trained attack kitten! You get a free backup Ninja bunny, which is great…except for the thousands of little throwing stars that I end up treading into the carpet!


Simon January 15, 2010 9:58 AM

I’d rather stick some high explosive in my ass, on the offchance someone might sneak past my apartment guards, defeat the keycard access in the elevator and pick the ridiculously expensive lock my wife insisted on buying for the front door and the less expensive lock on the bedroom door.

Then I will simply detonate myself.

Coloradan April 22, 2011 1:13 AM

It is a good thing I don’t have to worry about this because where I come from we have the “Make My Day Law”. A 357 works well.

Leave a comment


Allowed HTML <a href="URL"> • <em> <cite> <i> • <strong> <b> • <sub> <sup> • <ul> <ol> <li> • <blockquote> <pre> Markdown Extra syntax via

Sidebar photo of Bruce Schneier by Joe MacInnis.