- When you think about a self-defense tool to carry, you must consider
- Legal ramifications
- Financing the tool and the training to use that specific tool
- How are you planning to carry and deploy the tool when needed
- Finally, after you considered all the previous, what is that best self-defense tool for you?
For some reason people look at me as some sort of cold-weapons-expert; as such two questions I’m often asked are “what do you carry?” and “what do you recommend to carry?”
Let us start with the second question, since that is the more important and interesting one. The choice of tool to carry requires you to consider several issues, the least important of them, surprisingly, and the last one to consider is “what is the best tool for self-defense?”
The first to consider is the legal issue:
- “What can you legally carry?”
different then someone whom tends to travel little or not at all.
Can you carry a firearm? Under what rules and stipulations? What kind of ammunition is legal?
Can you legally carry a blade? What kind of a blade? Is a fixed blade legal? What length? Are folders legal? Is the
locking mechanism for the folder legal? Is the opening mechanism for the folder legal? For good or for bad, legislators at
various places have a response to those questions and more set by various legislation that change across state and
country lines. Here what you are carrying is legal, 5 miles from here you will spend the night in jail for the same tool and
see a judge in the morning.
2. Do you have a viable excuse for carrying this tool?
A gun has one purpose when used – to put holes in the bad guy. You need to be justified and act according to the laws,
and, use legal ammunition. You must also train to tell the legal authorities, which will reach you soon after the shooting,
clearly and concisely, exactly why you made holes in that other person. If you do not know how to do so, or what exactly
are the laws governing justified shooting, do not get that tool until you get that training. It is not enough to point and shoot at paper targets and recite the safety procedure for handling a gun.
Do you have a justified cause for carrying a fixed blade? A folder? Assuming that tool is legal, some countries require a
reason for carrying a legal size blade. In some of those places if your reason is “self-defense”, your tool will be taken from you and you will spend the night in jail and await prosecution. I’m referring here to western, democratic countries, so
something to think about. Again, if you made cuts and holes in a bad person, you need to explain that concisely and
clearly to the authorities when they reach you. You can have a justified self-defense cause to kill a man, and in some
places, if you used an illegal tool to defend yourself, you will go to jail.
Now that you cleared the legal issue, the second issue to consider is financial – more precisely, how much money (and
time) can you reasonably spend on the tool itself and on training?
- As for the tool, if it is a gun, find a self-defense shooting instructor, actually I take that back, find at least three self-defense shooting instructors and ask them what tool based on their expertise best suits YOU. If you can (afford to) reach an expert instructor and ask same question. If you don’t have the means, google it. Some of the best instructors out there write blogs and have free online videos on the topic. You need to find a tool that fits the size of your hands, a size you can carry comfortably and a caliber you can handle and do enough damage with, in case you need to protect your loved ones. This may be expensive but when it comes to a gun put the money in or do not get it. You need to spend money on quality training, spend money on regular training and spend money on quality ammunition for carry. You also need to learn how to keep your gun clean and ready to use.
you like camping and going to the woods. If you need a self-defense carry tool, get something cheap. Make sure it is
sharp. That is it. If you are not SF, if you do not wear fatigues due to your occupation, you are not SWAT, have a bunch of letters on the back of your jacket etc., you don’t need to carry a blade that cost more than double digits at most.
2. Training is both time consuming and very costly. If you do not have the time and money to train, do NOT carry a gun! Do NOT handle a gun. Better yet, stay away from guns. Cold weapons’ training is cheaper but you still need to spend time
and money on training.
Next issues to consider is how are you going to carry and how are you going to deploy?
- Do you have a carry system? Did you spend extra $ to get the most appropriate carry rig to fit you and the tool you are carrying? What happens when you change the type of clothing you are wearing? Does it still fit? Can you carry it wearing jeans? Elegant wear? Khakis? Sport attire? T-shirt? Suit? Dress? Button up shirt? Etc. if you wear the same type of cloths every day both day and night, your problem is what happen that once in a while something forces you to change (which also means you are going to be more vulnerable than usual). If you wear a suit during the day and jeans and a t-shirt at the evening going downtown, that means you need to consider that on a regular base.
- Do you and can you train deployment with your attire?
Finally, after considering the legal issue, the financial considerations, and what can you carry based on your regular attire; it is time to consider what kind of tool is best suitable under all these stipulations. The answer will vary based on the law, finance, habits, physical size, attire and training. There is no “one size fits all” for this question.
BTW, as for the first question people usually ask me; I travel a lot on regular bases, so the answer is: depends where I’m at, the general alert for that area, and where I’m going next.