Killer Bows

Dear Fellow Survivalist;

My eye was drawn to an article this week about a bow and arrow attack in Norway that killed five people and wounded three others. Just last week I wrote about alternative weapons and how difficult it can be to determine whether a weapon in an assailant’s hands is truly a deadly weapon. In this case, there was no doubt, as the bow is one of the oldest weapons in continuous use. Were there to be a true SHTF scenario where I had to bug out and live in the woods, my primary weapon of choice would be a bow, not a rifle, although I would back that up with a good sidearm.

I’ve been a fan of the bow for many years. While it doesn’t have the range of a rifle, it has something that a rifle never can… it’s silent. Even a “silencer” (more correctly a suppressor) on a rifle can’t make a rifle anywhere near as quiet as a bow naturally is. Forget what you hear in the movies, a bow doesn’t make that much noise and few people would recognize the sound it does make when they heard it.

It is this characteristic of being quiet that has caused me to choose the bow as my primary survival weapon. On top of that, it’s accurate, the ammo is reusable and one can make their own ammo in the wild, if necessary. I also see it as a good alternative, should the government ever steal my AR-15.

One thing that makes this case interesting is that it is believed to be a terrorist incident. The idea that a suspected terrorist, even someone who is not a “professional terrorist,” but has just been radicalized, would choose to use a bow, rather than a rifle, is surprising. He was apparently walking around downtown, shooting people, so it’s not like he was using a bow to remain unseen and unheard.

The second thing that makes this case so interesting is that Norway doesn’t really have restrictive firearms laws. While they are not exactly the same as ours, they are similar; people can readily obtain and keep firearms. So why would this man select a bow as his weapon?

One big takeaway from this incident is the reminder that you don’t need to have a gun to kill someone. That’s not a big surprise to you or me, but it’s something we can use to confuse the gun control crowd. Just like the man who went after kids in an elementary school in China the day after Sandy Hook, it’s clear evidence that it’s not the availability of guns that causes violent crimes, but violent criminals who do. Guns are merely one weapon they could choose to use. The perpetrators at Columbine High School had homemade pipe bombs that they fortunately never used.

As we all know, removing guns from society isn’t going to reduce the risk of murder; it’s just going to make it harder for people to defend themselves against murderers. Maybe if Hollywood would quit glorifying criminals and giving everyone an unrealistic picture of what happens when a criminal shoots someone, those who don’t know anything about guns would get a chance to learn something for a change.

The big lesson for us is to broaden our expectations of what criminals might do. We are accustomed to keeping our eyes open for others carrying guns but that’s not enough. Apparently the criminal element and even potential terrorists are becoming more creative in their use of weapons. From trucks to bows, literally anything can be turned into a weapon. So we shouldn’t be looking for guns, we should be looking for people who are behaving in a way so as to indicate that they might be considering criminal action. Those are the dangerous people out there.

At the same time, we should work on our general weapons skills; not just gun skills, but the ability to use whatever comes to hand as a weapon. We never know when we might be faced with a situation where we can’t use our sidearm to defend ourselves. All it takes is a crowded room to make that happen. In that case, we need to be as creative as those criminals, with the exception that we choose weapons where we can be selective in who we hurt. Blowing up a room isn’t an option for us; stabbing the bad guy with a meat fork is.

For us, it’s all about proper training and preparation. That’s where we start and its’ something that never really ends. Just like keeping our powder dry and our survival gear close at hand.

Dr. Rich

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