Traveling Without a Sidearm

Dear Fellow Survivalist;

I’ve long since come to the point where I feel half-naked when I’m unarmed. While I don’t necessarily have a gun on my belt 24/7, when I know I’m not going to be leaving the house, I have a gun in my desk drawer, where I can easily get to it. If I go out, even if it’s just to the corner store, I either put my normal carry gun on my belt or at least grab a pocket gun and skip it into my pants pocket. That sounds paranoid to some, but to you and I, it’s just common sense.

But as we all know, there are places where we can’t carry. While the current trend in firearms laws is going in our favor, that’s also giving impetus to tighten up the laws even more in states which want an unarmed population. That can be problematic to those of us who stand by our Second Amendment rights. Standing out ground, legally speaking, can be dangerous in those states, with the high risk of a vacation in sub-standard state housing, paid for by the state.

This is a rather immediate problem for me, as I’ve already taken one trip this year where I wasn’t allowed to go armed and have two more scheduled where I’m going to states which don’t recognize my license to carry. I have a choice of leaving my guns at home or taking a chance on that state-sponsored vacation.

The first trip I took, was a cruise. Not only can’t you take a gun on a cruise ship, you can’t even take a pocket knife. For that matter, they’re even pretty picky about cigarette lighters, as the biggest risk to ships is fire. The other two trips are to Washington, DC and California, both of which are states which don’t have reciprocity agreements with my home state. Not only that, but they’re states which are actively against our Second Amendment rights. It seems to me like they would just love to catch me carrying there.

Knife laws in those two states aren’t much better. the legal blade length is 3 inches and it looks like they consider any fixed-blade knife to be a dagger. Of course, I can’t take them on the airplane anyway, so that’s probably a moot point, unless I decide to check my bag.

What that means, is that for my cruise and on the two upcoming trips, I’m basically stuck with being disarmed, not something I like. That idea just doesn’t give my any warm fuzzy feelings… or feelings of safety either.

This illustrates why it is necessary for us to be conversant in the use of alternative weapons. While I will take a gun over any other alternative, any day of the week, I’ve run into enough situations where I couldn’t legally bring a gun, that I have sought to make sure that I could use other things as weapons, even things that might not normally be considered weapons.

I can’t carry when I go to Mexico, which I used to do a lot of. One cartridge in your car there is a 20 year jail sentence, let alone having a firearm. The crazy thing about that is that some Americans still carry a gun into Mexico, “hidden” (but not well hidden) in their car. They seem to get away with it, but if one of them geta an ambitious customs agent checking his car, they won’t like the consequences.

My carry weapon in Mexico is a cane sword. I know that doesn’t sound like much against cartel thugs who are armed with military-grade firearms, but it’s sufficient against criminals who are usually only armed with a knife. But as I already alluded to, I can’t carry that sword cane on an airplane or cruise ship; nor can I carry it in California or Washington DC.

As far as I’m concerned, that leaves me in a precarious position, just as it does the people living in those places. Here I’ve taken a page from Jackie Chan’s book, realizing that anything can be a weapon, in the hands of someone who understands weapons. While I never expect to reach his level of expertise wielding a bamboo pole or step ladder, I have worked with various common implements that I’m pretty sure I can hit the bad guy, rather than hitting myself. My laminated hardwood cane (made it myself) may not seem like much of a weapon, but it’s better than going bare-handed. Not only that, but it’s not something that anyone is going to recognize as a cane.

Maybe that cane isn’t the ideal choice for you. I’m not suggesting that it should be. What I’m suggesting is that you spend some time learning how to improvise, using whatever you have at hand. Whether that be a hammer, an umbrella or a shopping bag, think of how you could use it to defend yourself.

Being ready means more than keeping your powder dry and your survival gear close at hand; it means being mentally prepared as well. Part of that is knowing what to do, if you can’t use what you want to. That’s true for weapons, fire starters and sleeping bags. Take some time and think it through.

Dr. Rich


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