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The world is demonstrably dangerous. Any possibility of a threat of harm to my children is reason enough for me to be willing and able to defend them. As for my wife, I believe that as a husband, I bear responsibility to her and she to me. I also believe something that I cannot back up with any statistics. A human male does not deserve to be called a man unless he is willing to live, die and possibly kill for the well-being and defense of his wife and children. A woman of character must also shoulder the same responsibility. The Editor of this site refers to people of all colors, creeds and genders who hold this belief as “Armed Intelligentia.” I like that . . .

I enjoy reading and discussing the multitude of facets of gun ownership. I am one of those who carry a firearm every single day.  Yet there remains a few who see people who EDC (Every Day Carry) as Neanderthals that approach every problem to be solved by pounding it with a rock. Well . . .

When it comes to mechanical fixes, I am little better than that Neanderthal. My toolbox has duct tape and WD-40. I stand by the adage that if it moves and it shouldn’t then get the duct tape. If it should move and it doesn’t, well I’m sure you get the picture.

When considering the safety of my wife and three children, I do not limit myself to one or two tools. At the same time, I do not pretend to have an exhaustive inventory. I’m always ready to learn about new tools and techniques from people on this site, and anywhere else. Meanwhile, let’s take a look at the old toolbox:

Tool #1 is a willingness to defend my family with lethal and non-lethal means.  In regards to firearms, I must be willing to kill to prevent harm to my family.  If not, then a firearm should not be in my toolbox.

Tool #2 is awareness. Situational awareness is a tool discussed in another article at TTAG. However, when this tool is used well it leads to my next tool

Tool #3 is avoidance. If I can avoid a threat to me or my family then I always do so. I have done this with the kids in tow. We saw a young man who was mad at the world trying to start trouble with passers-by. We skirted the long way around. I was armed and able to defend if necessary, but it wasn’t necessary.

Tool #4 is appeasement. That word probably chokes some folks. Depending on the situation, give the person what they want provided that you have some surety of safety if you do. My wife used this method a few days ago at Wal-Mart when I wasn’t with her.  She bumped the cart of a lady who turned on her and let loose a whole mountain of verbal abuse. My wife offered what apology she could fit in between the rants and backed away until she could turn away.  ny other response would have unnecessarily escalated the situation.

Tool #5 is less than lethal means – whatever that means. In my case, physical strength on strength can be difficult. I have a chronic disease that limits my ability to grapple with someone. My toolbox is pretty scant in this area. I have chosen not to use pepper spray or Tasers. The local culture in rural Alaska is gun friendly and pro-self-defense. So I rely mainly on my EDC and BUG (Back Up Gun).

Tool #6 is lethal means. My lethal means is a full-size 1911 and a .380 BUG. I train with both a lot. My family members are all familiar with them and shoot proficiently with them. When at home, add a 12 gauge to the list as well. Other firearms remain available to other household members if they are in the safe room.

As a lover of the tools necessary to defend and care for my family, I want to hear your opinions. What tools missed my list? How might my tools be used in other ways?  Because the last tool I will list is…

Tool #7 – Be willing to learn from others. We have a lot of strengths when we come together. There are men and women that post here from various backgrounds, professions, and ages. I believe we can learn from one another. So let’s talk tools…

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  1. I am curious about #5 – why no pepper spray/tasers? I am currently considering whether or not to have these in my repertoire and have read different points of view.

    Thank you for an informative article.

    • I wonder why there is a resistance to carrying pepper spray in addition to a firearm. I posted the benefit of carrying pepper spray on a message board and basically the response was, “I don’t need pepper spray, I got me a gun!”

  2. If I am married, would kill for my wife, but have no kids, can I be half a man? If I follow the teachings of Joseph Smith, can I be four times the man a non-polygamist is? What if I would maim for a girlfriend, do I get any man-points? Sorry, I have a sick daughter and slept little last night, so I feel snarky. I know what you meant.

    • Been there with my kids before. Besides I like snarky.

      Glad you knew what I meant. For others who might not…I think it a lack of common decency and rather inhuman to not be willing to provide for the defense of your family – however it might be defined.

  3. I very much agree with your statement in the first paragraph about being called a man. I have followed that sentiment for as long as I can remember.

    As for tool #5 as I get older I’ve noticed my strength and endurance waning a bit. However, I do know easy targets on the human body for use with pressure points or strikes that can incapacitate someone not hyped up on drugs.

    As for not using pepper spray I’m in the same camp. The reason being the range involved. My thought is that if they are close enough for pepper spray there’s probably not enough time to get it out, a knife is much faster or the pistol. Plus, if it ever does happen that I have to defend to that level I don’t want to be second guessed and asked why not use the pepper spray? If avoidance doesn’t work and trouble is actively seeking me then I really don’t need the intermediate step.

  4. “I don’t need pepper spray, I got me a gun!”
    — Good comment. Way too many gun owners (doing CC or not) take that attitude. A threatening gun and a fired bullet can possibly neutralize a threat or make the situation even worse. It all depends. Then there is the possibility of missing and harming an innocent person and/or not surviving the courtroom prosecution.

    Related to #5 physical strength is self-defense training. The practical and quick to apply Israeli self-defense system of Krav Mega interests me.

    Even Ruger is now offering different varieties of pepper spray. Here is a link to their ‘Ultra Pepper Spray System’; it’s one small unit that includes an alarm, pepper spray, and a strobe light. It can allegedly be used as fast as any CC draw.

  5. Re: pepper spray

    We can only carry so much and have it easily accessible. I take my briefcase to and from the office, but not to the grocery store, the movies, etc…

  6. I don’t carry pepper spray because I don’t trust pepper spray. I’ve seen people who were sprayed with no effect (hard to believe, but true), and I’ve seen the wind blow pepper spray back into the shooter’s face (not with the Kimber Blaster). In an SD situation, I might have a second and a half to assess, deploy and, if necessary, shoot to survive. I won’t waste any survival time on pepper spray.

    I might carry pepper spray to defend my dog, except (i) I don’t have a dog, and (ii) a dilute ammonia solution in a spray bottle or water pistol works very well on dogs and costs 12 cents.

    • For any interested in why I shy from it, I have similar experiences as Ralph.

      Once upon a time, I was a prison chaplain. I saw firsthand and heard the reports of how perpetrators and inmates could take pepper spray and still press an attack to the point of severe damage to the LEO/guard.

      I live in a place where SD is not seen as barbaric. I have no weird laws about magazine capacity or what pound of pull I must have on my trigger. I do not trust pepper spray to deter a determined aggressor. I do not trust its range in comparison to my EDC.

      So that is how I made my choice. I don’t and won’t attack others for choosing to include pepper spray. I think its an individual decision that should be made reasonably and not emotionally.

      • Thanks for stating some real-world experiences with observing the limits of pepper spray. Does EDC stand for every day carry? I am curious then why the prison guards and police continue to carry pepper spray.

        • I can’t say for certain the exact reasons , but I imagine that the police officer must have less than lethal options more often than a regular fellow. A LEO may need to apprehend a perp, when I do not feel a need to often apprehend anyone. I want to be safe – and get away safely.

          I also think that the instances I am aware of are not what always happens. Sprays can be very effective. But when I am limited in my options, I don’t care to have one of them be an option that has at times been less than effective.

          I am also limited physically in some ways. I have an autoimmune disease that has the symptom of chronic pain. I carry a minimum for SD as additional weight adds to the pain and the fatigue that can go with it. I also refrain from grappling and hand to hand as a primary option for the same reasons.

          That’s why I’m glad people are chiming in about sprays because my circumstances are not the standard. SD really needs to be an individual approach to the best options to provide for personal and familial safety.

          And EDC – is every day carry

  7. “A human male does not deserve to be called a man unless he is willing to live, die and possibly kill for the well-being and defense of his wife and children”.

    I agree with that if the family unit is normal or even semi-normal. I definitely agree with you that in all cases a man must be willing to die for his children. I lived in some very extreme liberal cities and states for many years. I’ve witnessed so many good men get knifed in the back by their modern (feminist) wives or the girlfriend ‘baby momma’ or simply live with a nightmare woman that I’m a bit hesitant to broadly support that all real men be willing to die for their wife. Even the USG CDC states that in one-way domestic violence attacks seven out of ten cases are started by the woman against the man. Sorry, for my rant here, yet I guess this is a subject I’m a bit jaded about having lived too long in pro-feminist anti-male cities.

  8. Regarding the pepper spray blow-back concern, there are pepper sprays in foam now. Some have UV dye in the mix.

  9. Bill said “A human male does not deserve to be called a man unless he is willing to live, die and possibly kill for the well-being and defense of his wife and children. A woman of character must also shoulder the same responsibility.” I agree 1000%. While I have not researched the ages of the kids/(adults?) killed by the Norway shooter on the island. One of my first thoughts when I heard of the event was “what did the adults on the island do”? Did they hide? Place themselves in the line of fire? I know for a fact that even unarmed I would have attacked the gunman if for no other reason then I could not live with myself if I had done anything else. Like you said in your post it is my responsibility to protect my home, family, and neighborhood. I would like to know what others out there would do?

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