When You Can’t Carry a Gun

Dear Fellow Survivalist;

From time to time we might all find ourselves in a place where we can’t carry a gun. This could be due to laws restricting the carry of concealed weapons (even with a license), businesses posting their premises as being gun-free zones, or traveling overseas. In any case, our inability to carry a gun severely hampers our ability to defend ourselves, but we should not allow it to prevent us from defending ourselves entirely.

I travel into Mexico fairly frequently, where I am not allowed to carry a gun. Some might say to go ahead and do so anyway, but the risk of detection by their border patrol is too high. The price for being in possession even one bullet is 20 years in prison. That’s not a price I’m willing to pay.

The obvious answer is to go into Mexico unarmed. But that’s not an acceptable answer to me. Since Mexico can be a violent place, I don’t think it’s prudent to travel there unarmed. However, as a law-abiding citizen, I obviously need to find an alternative to carrying a gun. Granted, whatever alternative I find won’t be as effective as a gun, but it will be better than my bare hands.

This problem isn’t unique to just Mexico. There are also places within the United States, where we can’t carry, such as a courtroom, post office or most schools. There are also states which have more restrictive firearms laws, which keep their eyes open for out of state visitors who might be carrying.

The question then become, what do we do in these cases? Obviously, we need to find an alternative. I personally have three alternatives I use: a fighting knife (this is in addition to my folding knife), a cane-sword and/or a walking stick. The knife is carried horizontally, on the back of my belt, hidden under my shirt, where I can use the element of surprise to my advantage. For the cane-sword or walking stick, I rely on my age and a little acting to make it seem like I need them, camouflaging the fact that I am carrying them as a weapon.

Granted, none of these options are going to do me much good, if I am faced with a pistol-toting criminal. The old saw about not bringing a knife to a gun fight comes to mind. Even so, I’d rather have a knife in that gun fight than be bare-handed. The bad guy just might get sloppy and get too close to me, allowing me to use it.

It may seem odd that I have both the cane-sword and a longer walking stick as options; but that is because it is not legal to carry a cane-sword in all 50 of the states, although it is in my home state. It is also legal in Mexico, which is why I bought it in the first place.

Here’s the thing though; if you’re going to carry an alternate weapon like this,  you have to practice with it and become at least somewhat proficient. It is much harder to fight with a knife, sword or quarterstaff, than it is with a gun. Forget about the idea of fighting instinctively or even the idea of thinking it through when the time comes; you have to have your moves committed to muscle memory, so that you react instantly, when and if the time comes.

This can be difficult to learn, as there really aren’t all that many places which teach knife fighting or sword fighting skills anymore. However, you can find some videos on YouTube, which provide descent instruction and adapt your own training program from them. For a staff, look at videos for fighting with a Bo staff. While a lot of that seems like it is for show (as in the movies), it can still be effective.

However, your greatest defense in these situations is your situational awareness. If anything, your radar should be on high alert, not shut down, when you don’t have a pistol hiding under your clothes. The heightened risk needs to increase your wariness, so that you can use whatever weapons you have to your best advantage.

Remember though, your best weapon, in many cases, is your feet. There is no requirement to stay and fight a bad guy, especially if you’re not adequately armed to do so. If you can outrun him and get away, you’ve accomplished your primary goal of defending yourself. That’s enough. Just make sure you don’t leave any loved ones behind, when you do that.

And as soon as you can, strap your gun back on, so that you can more adequately defend yourself. Meanwhile, be sure to keep your powder dry and your survival gear close at hand.

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