If you’re like me, you’ve had a gutful of innocent people being ‘king hit’.
In fact, Professor Gordian Fulde, Director of Emergency at Sydney’s St Vincent’s Hospital, was quoted in The Sydney Morning Herald as saying that on some nights at least twice an hour they treat a patient who’s been knocked unconscious.
Perhaps most disturbing is the common theme of victims having no idea that a punch was coming.
These assaults are surprise attacks on the unprepared and vulnerable, including innocent bystanders or passers-by. The assaults achieve the maximum possible injury with the least possible risk to the assailant. In other words, they’re the acts of cowards.
And what have we been calling these vile acts? We call them king hits.
So what’s a king hit? The term generally refers to a single, massive blow, intended to knock someone out quickly so they can’t defend themselves.
They’re usually (but not always) delivered without warning. They’re often done by approaching an unsuspecting victim, with the goal of surprising the target with the most powerful punch they can muster.
Those kinds of attacks don’t sound very kingly to me.
Now, I’ve heard stories about the term king hit originally being derived from an attack on a real king. But does a thug strutting towards some unsuspecting victim care much about linguistic history? Is he even aware of the implications of cowardice? I doubt it. That’s why I prefer the new term, ‘coward punch’.
What can we gain by calling these attacks ‘coward punches’?
For starters, I believe it’s a clearer description of the crime. Some people have to ask what a king hit is, but a coward punch is, well it’s a punch done by a coward.
Secondly, there exists within the immature minds of some young men – thankfully a minority – a belief that their masculinity is somehow enhanced by acts of violence. As though sneaking up behind someone and punching them is supposed to make women swoon. Even thugs want to be cool but if they earn a reputation for ‘coward punches’ instead of ‘king hits’, then their coolness is going to take a battering. Cowardice is the opposite of cool. Doing coward punches does not make you sound like a tough-guy.