man with sword
Previous Post
Next Post

By Mike McDaniel

Many readers are, I’m sure, familiar with the Tuelller Drill.  In 1983, police officer Dennis Tueller conducted research that revealed that an assailant armed with a knife can close 21 feet and inflict deadly wounds on a police officer before he can draw, fire and hope to stop the attacker. Obviously, an attacker armed with a sword can do the same at greater distance or in a shorter time due to the length of their blade.

It might seem counterintuitive to some, particularly if they reflexively consider the Second Amendment a menace. But this knowledge absolutely refutes a fundamental gun control argument: without guns, violence would be greatly reduced or eliminated. Some civilian disarmament advocates suggest that if only there were no guns, there would be no gunshot deaths.

Radical gun control and confiscation, of course, would disarm only the law-abiding. Only criminals and governments would retain firearms, and history reveals gunshot deaths would continue at very high levels; the only difference would be the people doing the shooting.

Governments with a monopoly on lethal force inevitably use it against their citizens, as there is nothing to restrain their worst, most authoritarian impulses. And of course, criminals are always as armed as they please.

Just for the sake of argument, though, let’s consider what a world without firearms would look like. Would violence really be substantially reduced?

At the battle of Marathon in 490 BC, as many as 6600 were killed within five days using weapons no more modern than spears and swords. At the battle of Actium in 31 BC, using the same kinds of weapons, as many as 7500 were killed in a single day (almost twice the number of Americans killed in the entire Iraq war).

At the battle of Hastings in 1066 AD, as many as 6000 died in a day. At the battle of Agincourt in 1415 between 7100 and 10,500 died.

All of these men were killed and wounded without the use of firearms. Their most advanced personal projectile weapons were bows, but edged and blunt trauma-producing weapons accounted for much of the casualty total.

It takes only seconds and an internet connection to find thousands of people killed or wounded with knives even today. But to extend the argument just a bit further, consider these recent cases (just the last few weeks) of crimes committed by people wielding swords. Yes, swords.

Missouri: Woman smiles in mugshot, accused of killing boyfriend with sword on Christmas Eve

Her boyfriend, 34-year-old Harrison Stephen Foster was found in the basement and pronounced dead. He had been stabbed three times, according to police.

Wilson allegedly told police she and Foster took meth earlier that day. She claimed Foster had been harvesting body parts and had “several other entities living inside his body for the past several months.” By stabbing him, she was “setting him free,” Wilson claimed, according to police.

New York: Greek-American Man Fatally Stabs Partner with Sword in Queens

The NYPD said that Ikonomou “stabbed his girlfriend to death with a sword and stuffed her in the closet of his apartment before calling cops to falsely report a robbery.”

The police described the process of discovering the tragic scene in the Brentwood, Queens apartment, saying that the case came to light after Ikonomou’s mother had decided to visit her son because he had been unresponsive. She immediately discovered the situation and Ikonomou was incredibly unstable and appeared to be intoxicated.

New Mexico – Las Cruces man pleads guilty for killing mother with sword

According to the arrest affidavit, Hunt woke up around 4 a.m. and began contemplating the way his mother treated him over the years in July 2014.

Sometime before 7:30 a.m., police said Hunt went into his mother’s bedroom with a long sword which he used to strike his mother’s hand and head, the arrest affidavit.

Hunt’s 31-year-old wife and their two children, ages 8 and 9, were in the home.

These happened just within the last few weeks and there are thousands more examples like them. Edged weapons — swords — can also be used in self-defense:

A Georgia man is facing charges after allegedly molesting his girlfriend’s 5-year-old daughter, according to police and media reports.

The child’s mother reportedly caught her boyfriend, John Lawarren Williams, in the act when she walked in on Williams allegedly assaulting the child in her Twiggs County home, WMAZ-TV reported.

The woman grabbed a sword that was in the home and slashed Williams as she tried to stop him from leaving while she called police, according to WMAZ.

The wars in the Middle East and Afghanistan taught us many lessons, but one is particularly applicable to this issue: even essentially medieval craftsmen can produce modern firearms like functional AK pattern rifles.

Consider this passage from a 1922 book regarding Afghan gun makers:

“The villages of the pass are famed for a strange industry — the manufacture entirely by hand of rifles and ammunitions, especially rifles, to the eye so like the products of European arsenals as to deceive all but experts. For these, since they are comparatively cheap and serviceable, there is a ready sale all along the border.”

Fast forward to 2012:

“We met a local gunsmith, Farid Shah from Zarghoon Khel, Darra. This man has a workshop set inside his small shop and has a single helper. ‘I produce Kalashinkov (AK-47) rifles and 12 gauge shotgun rifles in the Kalashinkov design,’ said Farid Shah.

Replying to a question about the quality of his guns, he simply said that his guns were no match for the Russian, Chinese or Pakistani guns produced in Wah Ordnance Factories.

‘A gun made manually from ordinary steel manually cannot match a gun produced in a well equipped factory from weapon grade steel using computerised machines,’ claimed Farid, adding that his guns were bulky and since there is no standardisation in the workshops, it is not possible to replace parts.

Hence, if something goes wrong the entire gun has to be thrown away.

‘This gun costs Rs12,000 a piece and takes 10 days to complete. But we cannot produce quality automatic weapons. Locals know it that is why no one would buy a Darra made AK-47 rifle in Peshawar or the rest of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P).”

Even with these drawbacks — by western standards — there is a real market for these guns.

Firearm technology is ubiquitous. You can build a functional firearm with about $20 and a quick trip to your local Home Depot. And that’s to say nothing of the expanding technology of 3D printing.

Even if gun-grabbers’ wildest dreams were realized and every gun in America somehow magically disappeared, it would take very little material and time to produce new firearms. It would take even less time and materiel to produce swords. The armament genie is well and truly out of the bottle…and has been for centuries.

As has always been the case, it isn’t the weapon that kills, it’s the human being who decides to use it for evil. Gun control has always been a quixotic attempt to somehow harness and alter human nature. Because it is invariably focused on depriving the honest and law-abiding of the means of armed self-defense — not “getting guns out of the wrong hands” — it has never worked. And it simply never will.


Mike McDaniel’s home blog is Stately McDaniel Manor

Previous Post
Next Post


  1. My cousin killed a guy with a machete for not turning off the TV before the guy fell asleep.
    That’s just to damned picky.

  2. “If Only We Could Make All The Guns Disappear . . .”

    these people never stop lying. they don’t want to make guns disappear, they want to make YOUR guns disappear.

    • Reminds me that I’ve always wanted a tomahawk, but for some reason have yet to buy one.

        • I’ve seen The Patriot. I also want one of those thingies that Chingachgook used to kill Magua in Last of the Mohicans.

    • I have several.
      The best part is the savings on hearing protection and range fees.
      Also, very fast reload times.
      Don’t buy cheap ones.
      They work, but like the handmade firearms, not very well.

  3. “a fundamental gun control argument: without guns, violence would be greatly reduced or eliminated”

    you have to understand these people – to them, you not doing what they say is violence, but their violence is not violence. so in their minds, they’re absolutely right, and you arguing against them just proves it.

  4. What’s with that pic?

    Looks like a pissed off Audi salesperson after the buyer passes on the BS paint sealant option.

  5. “Marathon … Actium … Hastings … Agincourt”

    you should list some asian battles. 100,000 per engagement was common. europeans never exceeded those totals until wwi.

    • I was disappointed that Cannae was not mentioned;

      Polybius writes that of the Roman and allied infantry, 70,000 were killed, 10,000 captured, and “perhaps” 3,000 survived. He also reports that of the 6,000 Roman and allied cavalry, only 370 survived.[75]

      Livy wrote, “Forty-five thousand and five hundred foot, two thousand seven hundred horse, there being an equal number of citizens and allies, are said to have been slain.”[76] He also reports that 3,000 Roman and allied infantry and 1,500 Roman and allied cavalry were taken prisoner by the Carthaginians.[76] Another 2,000 Roman fugitives were rounded up at the unfortified village of Cannae by Carthaginian cavalry commanded by Carthalo, 7,000 fell prisoner in the smaller Roman camp and 5,800 in the larger.[76] Although Livy does not cite his source by name, it is likely to have been Quintus Fabius Pictor, a Roman historian who fought in and wrote on the Second Punic War. It is Pictor whom Livy names when reporting the casualties at the Battle of Trebia.[77] In addition to the consul Paullus, Livy goes on to record that among the dead were 2 quaestors, 29 of the 48 military tribunes (some of consular rank, including the consul of the previous year, Gnaeus Servilius Geminus, and the former Magister equitum, Marcus Minucius Rufus), and 80 “senators or men who had held offices which would have given them the right to be elected to the Senate”.[76]

      Later Roman and Greco-Roman historians largely follow Livy’s figures. Appian gave 50,000 killed and “a great many” taken prisoner.[78] Plutarch agreed, “50,000 Romans fell in that battle… 4,000 were taken alive”.[79] Quintilian: “60,000 men were slain by Hannibal at Cannae”.[80] Eutropius: “20 officers of consular and praetorian rank, 30 senators, and 300 others of noble descent, were taken or slain, as well as 40,000-foot-soldiers, and 3,500 horse”.[81]

      Some modern historians, while rejecting Polybius’s figure as flawed, are willing to accept Livy’s figure.[82] Other historians have come up with far lower estimates. In 1891, Cantalupi proposed Roman losses of 10,500 to 16,000.[83] Samuels in 1990 also regarded Livy’s figure as far too high, on the grounds that the cavalry would have been inadequate to prevent the Roman infantry escaping to the rear. He doubts that Hannibal even wanted a high death toll, as much of the army consisted of Italians whom Hannibal hoped to win as allies.[84]

      Livy recorded Hannibal’s losses at “about 8,000 of his bravest men.”[85] Polybius reports 5,700 dead: 4,000 Gauls, 1,500 Hispanics and Africans, and 200 cavalry.[75]

      • Carthago delenda est. Over 100,000 killed, about 50,000 sold into slavery, and an untold number starved to death. Not a single gun involved.

  6. I took up fencing, once, but could not see how chain link could be practical for self-defense, and especially not for concealed carry.

  7. Hannibal killed 50,000 Romans at Cannae in a single day – not one of them a ‘gun death’. The Romans slaughtered or enslaved (mostly slaughtered) over a million Jews and leveled (literally) Jerusalem in 70AD without a single ‘gun death’. Ghengis Khan…

  8. Great idea! Criminals will never think of using knives, hammers, swords, rocks, sticks, cars and bombs as weapons!!!

    F’ing idiots

  9. If guns are the problem, then the private armed security guards hired by gun control advocates are part of the problem. They don’t believe their own propaganda. Why should we? Oh, I forgot. Their rules aren’t for them.

  10. Been a number of years since I actively trained in a Dojo, but, I think I can still use a sword if I had too. My own ancesters raised a lot of hell and killed a lot of people with nothing but axes, swords and spears. Of course they had their longships as well, but that just made them a bit more mobile. As a collector, I do have things other than firearms in the collection. I also use a bow and a crossbow for hunting. Could easily use either for offensive, or defensive measures as well.
    If, as is stated in the title, the guns all disappeared today, there would be someone on the phone or searching the net looking for a way to bring firearms in from other parts of the world. Or looking for detailed plans and blue prints to use to machine parts to make firearms. The gun genie, as well as the other assorted weapons genie’s are long since out of the bottle.

  11. To be fair, if ALL guns disappeared, these miltoast, smart-mouth, bony ‘men’ would cease to be relevant and their wives would leave them.

    Then again, you’ll likely get the same result if ALL main stream media dissapeared. We wouldn’t be living in clown world either…

  12. “Man fights with his mind. His hands and his weapons are simply extensions of his will, and one of the fallacies of our era is the notion that equipment is the equivalent of force.” Jeff Cooper.

  13. There are two kinds of objects in the world. One kind comprises objects I know how to use as weapons. The other kind I haven’t figured out but I’m working on it.

Comments are closed.