Many concealed carry permit holders spend untold hours at the range, honing their handgun skills at drawing, aiming, movement, and of course, shooting. But no matter how adept they become with a firearm, those skills may not necessarily be useful if an attacker decides to opt for a different type of assault; a close encounter of the knife kind.
Knife attacks are on the rise in the U.S. for a number of reasons. The most obvious one is ease of access. Anyone, regardless of criminal background, can walk into their neighborhood Walmart, Bass Pro Shop, or swap meet and pick out their blade of choice, from pen knife to machete.
Unfortunately, there is a far more sinister reason behind the upswing in edged weapon attacks. The terrorist organization ISIS has a predilection for knife attacks, believing it is the preferred murder weapon of Allah, as documented in the Fox News article “Blade of Jihad: Extremists Embrace the Knife as Tool of Terror.”
Radicalized Muslims worldwide are using easily obtained knives to administer “Allah’s will” as witnessed by the September 2014 incident in Oklahoma where a recently fired employee entered the company building, stabbed two females, and then proceeded to behead one in the same style as the sensationalized ISIS internet videos. And in September 2016, an attacker stabbed 8 victims in a bloody Minnesota mall rampage and apparently asked at least one victim if they were Muslim.
So how does one avoid becoming a knife attack victim? Well, according to author Scott W. Wagner in his article “Knife Attack: How Do You Respond?” at USConcealedCarry.com, the key is distance:
“In order for a potential victim to avoid becoming an actual victim, he or she must maintain distance and use it to his or her advantage.” (Read more at USConcealedCarry.com)
In order for a knife attack to be successful, the attacker must be in close proximity to the victim. The attack-free zone is generally considered to be 21 feet. This distance was determined by law enforcement professionals to be the minimum distance required in order to have time to draw a weapon, aim, and fire. The distance would likely be 75 feet or more for someone carrying a firearm under a shirt, tucked in a belt, or stashed in a purse.
There are a few tips that will help increase the odds of surviving a random knife attack for those carrying concealed weapons.
First, maintain a high level of situational awareness when out in public and ask for ID from anyone purporting to be law enforcement or security. At the same time, try to keep your firearm as accessible as possible without making it obvious.
Use some range time to practice weak hand shooting; a random attack may slash your strong hand. Practice drawing from concealed carry positions. Since time is paramount, mount a laser sight to your gun. It will save precious seconds while trying to aim. Finally, watch the YouTube video Surviving Edged Weapons, a law enforcement training classic that describes how to survive a knife attack.
Following these guidelines, along with common sense and a little preparation will go a long way toward helping you survive a random attack, or better yet, avoid it altogether.
The vast majority of concealed carry permit holders do not carry firearms with the hope of one day becoming entangled in a situation where they are forced to use their weapon. They carry weapons to protect themselves and their families, hoping never to use them. As such, many in the concealed carry community arm themselves with alternative or backup weapons that do not employ deadly force.
These weapons are designed as a stop-gap that allow you to draw or retrieve your firearm or withdraw to safety.
Some of these “Plan B” devices include pepper spray, batons, stun guns, and of course, the knife.
The knife is often referred to as a weapon choice of last resort.
Using a knife involves close hand-to-hand combat and in many cases, requires the user to open the blade with one hand while fending off the attacker with the other.
Enter the KaBar TDI Knife, originally designed as a last ditch weapon to be worn by law enforcement personnel behind their duty belt.
The TDI is a small knife with a 2.5 inch blade in a general arcing design. In his article “KaBar TDI Knife” at USConcealedCarry.com, author Duane A. Daiker describes how the KaBar TDI design features give the defender an edge in face-to-face encounters:
“The TDI knife is designed to be carried on your belt, on the weak side, for quick access with your weak hand. Nothing beats a fixed blade knife for quick, no-fumble access. The TDI is a small fixed blade with a very ergonomic handle that makes it perfect for instinctive defensive maneuvers like thrusting and slashing to defend against a close-in attack.” (Read more at USConcealedCarry.com)
Another design feature that helps keep the TDI securely in your grasp is a hook-like groove that runs under the handle where it joins the blade. This follows the curved shape of the knife and not only provides a stronger grip but makes it much more difficult for an attacker to pry open your hand and take the knife.
The overall specs on the KaBar TDI add up to an impressive little knife. Its total length is only 5.5 inches and weighs less than three ounces. The handle is textured Zytel, while the blade is composed of tough AUS 8A stainless steel. The TDI comes in various colors and is also available with a serrated edge. The TDI price range is approximately $30-$40.
The sheath that comes with the knife was designed to be carried on a law enforcement duty belt and may not be suitable for concealed carry. Other more versatile and aesthetically pleasing sheaths are available online. One source is On/Scene Tactical at www.onscenetactical.com.