Dear Fellow Survivalist;
I don’t know if you’re part of the prepping and survival community, but a lot of us who carry are. As with any such group of people, there are certain topics that come up over and over again, with different people taking a stand for or against the topic. Some of the reasoning people have behind their viewpoint is well thought out and interesting, and then there’s the rest. We won’t talk about them.
One of the topics I see over and over again, is the idea of using alternative weapons, some of which are rather crude homemade ones. I can see where such weapons might be of use, in a post-disaster dystopian world, where guns and ammunition are not available. But considering how much ammunition most serious gun owners have on-hand, especially after all the shortages we’ve encountered, I don’t expect to live long enough to be in a world where things have become so bad that ammunition isn’t available. I’m sure there are politicians who would love to create that world; but the Second Amendment has served as a strong bulwark against those attempts.
So, getting down to a more practical basis, is there any time when using those alternative weapons would be useful in a home or personal defense situation?
Let me start by saying that I wouldn’t want to do that, unless I had to. Most criminals today are armed, other than burglars and those who break into cars, who expect to find the houses and cars they are breaking into empty. Carrying a gun, while committing a crime, can be more of a handicap, than a benefit, increasing potential jail time. Having to use that gun makes the problem exponentially worse.
Leaving those criminals aside, I can’t think of any situation where I might be facing off against a criminal who isn’t armed with a pistol. With that being the case, I can’t see where using a bow, sword or club is going to put me on equal footing with them. Considering that they are already breaking the law, I don’t want to trust to their discretion in not shooting if they get the chance. I especially don’t want to trust in my ability to use that alternative weapon, no matter what sort it is, to overcome them and their firearm, even if they are a lousy shot.
Having said that, I have to realize that there are times when I can’t carry my pistol, leaving me unarmed. That’s not a situation I like to find myself in, even though I often don’t have a choice. There are still places in this country where we can’t carry, even with a license.
I really had to face this issue a number of years ago, when I was traveling into Mexico a lot. This was during the time where the cartels started kidnapping and killing people, so the idea of going unarmed wasn’t all that attractive. However, it’s highly illegal to carry firearms into Mexico, to the point where being found with just one round of ammunition will get you a 20-year jail sentence. The idea of spending 20 years in a Mexican jail doesn’t appeal to me any more than being shot by a cartel gunman, so I left my guns at home.
But that still left me with the problem of defending myself, not only from those cartel members, but from normal thieves as well. Fortunately, the thieves don’t usually have guns; but a bad guy with a knife can ruin your day too.
The solution I came up with may sound a bit crazy to you; but I was trying to remain within the confines of Mexican law. For dealing with common criminals, I decided that the best I could do to defend myself against a knife, was a bigger knife… a bit of a Crocodile Dundee sort of answer. So, I bought myself a sword cane. Yeah, I know that sounds a bit ridiculous, but who’s going to expect an old man using a cane of having a sword hidden inside it? The only time I had to pull it, the thief decided it was a good time to be elsewhere.
That sword cane wasn’t going to help me deal with the cartels though; they’re armed with firearms, often fully-automatic firearms. A sword cane might help me defend myself by getting them to laugh, but that’s not much of a defense.
On the other hand, I was driving a ¾ ton custom van. Since the greatest chance of a confrontation with the cartel was on the open road, I would be in that van. While a van isn’t much of a weapon against rifles, my chances of busting through any blockade were at least fair. Since shooting at a moving vehicle with any level of accuracy is difficult, the chances of them hitting me were slim.
Don’t get me wrong; I’m not saying that a vehicle is an ideal weapon. What I am saying is that anything can be a weapon, in the hands of someone who understands weapons and their use. If I can’t carry the weapons that I want; I’ll figure out the best I can do, turning whatever is available to me into a weapon. It might not be ideal; but it’s certainly better than not putting up a fight.
Being prepared means more than just having the right tools, it means having the right mindset too. That’s really what keeping your powder dry and your survival gear close at hand is all about.