By Rick Saxby
It seems that most civilians who have a concealed carry permit these days also carry a folding knife. Some pack a blade just for convenience and others as a personal defense back-up to their pistol. But while plenty people who carry a knife train extensively with their carry pistol, very few have ever trained to defend themselves with their folding knife.
The truth is that most people don’t choose a folding knife as a self-defense tool. They just buy something that’s “good enough.”
I hear a lot of people with CCW permits say that carrying is a lifestyle and they actively avoid places where they can’t carry a firearm. But that’s not always possible.
If you carry legally then there are certain places where you are will have to disarm yourself. Places like:
- Work – most employers don’t allow employees to carry firearms
- Public transportation
- Post office, DMV, Courts and other government facilities
- Sporting events
Unfortunately, most mass shootings occur in places just like these where you’re not allowed to carry a firearm. Many concealed carry permit holders put this reality out of sight and out of mind figuring they’ll just avoid these places as much as possible.
But if all you have under your belt is firearms training and you get into a hostile situation in a place that prevents you from having a firearm with you, then you are truly defenseless – a one trick pony with no backup. That’s where other options, such as a good blade or a collapsible baton (a so-called police baton) can be invaluable.
Studies show that a person armed with a club or a knife can travel seven yards in about two seconds. It takes about 1.5 seconds for a trained person to react, present a firearm and get off one or two shots. Statistically speaking, unless one is very aware of his or her situation and looking for attack cues, an assailant will reach you before you can respond.
I’m not suggesting anyone bring a knife to a gun fight; I’m just saying not to underestimate what someone with a knife is capable of. Especially if they’re actually trained to use it.
The problem is, guns won’t always help. Women between the ages of 16 and 19 have the highest rates of victimization for violent crimes, followed closely by those 20-24. In cases of rape, half the victims of rape are under the age of 18 years. A full third of all the rapes that occur happen to females between the ages of 12 and 17. The numbers say the average rape victim is a teenager.
Here’s the point: by the time women are old enough to legally carry a gun, they have already passed the age when they’re most likely to be abducted or sexually assaulted.
And there’s no shortage of politicians who are dedicated to banning all civilians from owning guns.
Think it can’t happen? Think back to post-Katrina New Orleans.
What if you found yourself in a situation in which you and your family were forced to evacuate your home because of some kind of natural or man-made disaster? What if your guns were confiscated? Or you ‘re forced to shelter in a facility that prevents carrying a firearm?
God forbid you find yourself in a situation where you need your firearm and don’t have it because it’s been taken away from you. But you can’t just assume you’ll never be in that kind of situation.
The only true, practical self defense incorporates using a knife and/or expandable baton training in close quarters situations, along with your firearm. It’s not a cure-all, but neither is a gun. By combining other weapons into your personal defense training, you greatly increase your chances of walking away from a bad situation.
Good quality self defense weapons such as a folding or fixed blade knife or a steel baton can be extremely effective. They allow you an effective means of personal defense in “gun-free” situations and you probably won’t get them confiscated, either. Just be sure to find a good trainer to give yourself the best self-defense options available to you in any given situation.
Rick Saxby was the publisher of fightingphilosophy.com.