Backup Choices When Guns Are Not an Option
As the name implies, concealed carry is the practice of carrying a concealed weapon when outside of your private residence. The permit is essential to effective self-defense and elevates self-confidence regarding one’s ability to survive an attack.
But with the ongoing gun control debate unlikely to be resolved any time soon, it appears that gun-free zones are here to stay.
What this means to you is that a firearm should not be the only option in your daily carry ensemble.
There are a host of alternative options that deserve consideration for backup carry and a few of the more common ones are discussed here.
Collapsible batons are the modern version of the old-school nightstick. These can be an effective weapon if used properly and in the right dimensions. A baton between 12 and 21 inches is preferred — anything longer is unwieldy and a shorter baton only decreases the distance between you and your attacker. The baton can be used as an impact weapon, but may be more effective on pressure points.
Pepper spray is another option that can quickly stop an attacker dead in his tracks. Pepper sprays aren’t generic; quality varies and it is important to choose your bran carefully when your life may be on the line. Sabre Red and Fox are two of the most effective brands.
However, there are two important considerations about pepper spray: One, they do have expiration dates, so it’s necessary to replace as needed, and two, one in a thousand people are unaffected by pepper spray. For this reason, you should have another backup weapon readily available in the event your run into that thousandth person.
That weapon could end up being a tactical pen or kubotan. These are known as force multipliers and provide additional power when striking. These devices are most effective when positioned at the bottom of the fist and used to inflict maximum pain to the throat, face, jugular, or collarbone area. While the kubotans are generally recognizable by law enforcement, tactical pens are much harder to discern and can usually be carried into most environments.
Knives are probably the most common backup carry option, primarily because of their lethal potential. A good knife training course will focus on the defensive abilities of a blade and de-emphasize prolonged knife fighting. Knives are easily carried, so long as they’re not machete-sized weed whackers that will only draw attention to the carrier.
The last option should also be the least attractive one. Unarmed combat techniques should only be used when all else fails. Most thugs are street savvy and probably bigger and stronger than you. So unless you are spending hours and hours each week in martial arts training, this should not be a viable option. That being said, learning a few defensive moves is not a bad idea for anyone.
Yet none of the alternative options listed above are likely to work if you aren’t prepared to use them when needed, as author Steve Collins explains in his article “Other Than Guns: Tools of the CCW Trade” at USConcealedCarry.com:
“The thought of it repulses most people, yet it is that very ugliness in ourselves that we must bring to the surface — and quickly — if we are going to survive this kind of encounter.” (Read more at USConcealedCarry.com)