knife knives bladed weapons
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By Warren Lind

More than one-third of all U.S. homes have at least one firearm. But there is another weapon that is in 100 percent of all homes: bladed weapons.

Knives are the most common, but this also includes hatchets, axes, swords, kukris, machetes, tomahawks, spears and the list goes on and on. It’s unlikely that the average citizen is aware of the vast diversity of bladed weapons, which are probably mankind’s second weapon development (following the caveman’s impact weapon, the club).

If you talk to many police officers, most will tell you they would rather be shot than stabbed. If this seems strange, consider the differences between gunshot wounds and those from bladed weapons. When some people are shot, they don’t even realize it and keep on fighting. It’s not unusual that police must shoot suspects multiple times to end the fight, especially when the suspect is mentally ill or under the influence of illegal drugs. On the other hand, cuts—even minor ones—are very painful.

When gunshots hit the extremities, they may not be fatal. They can also create the classic “through and through” wound when they enter the body on one side and exit from the other, without hitting an artery or vital organ. Some bladed weapons are capable of chopping off an extremity (or even a head) with one blow; thus bulletproof vests offer little protection.

Second, bladed weapons can easily sever an artery in a leg, arm or neck: unless medical intervention is immediate, the person will bleed to death very quickly. Third, bladed weapons can pierce a vital organ. Last but not least, a puncture wound to the chest can cause an acute pneumothorax (collapsed lung), which can be fatal.

From John Lott, PhD . . .

For the average multiple victim Chinese knife attack since 2010: 4.4 people were killed, and 14.5 injured.  Excluding the Kunming Railway Station attack the average is: 3.1 people killed and 8.6 injured. If you look at all the cases where at least 4 people were harmed the average attack had: 4.7 people killed and 15.8 injured.


Bladed attacks occur all around the world but are rarely reported extensively in our mainstream news media. Britain, with its strict gun control laws, has seen significant increases in knife attacks over the last several years.

Terrorists have discovered the lethal combination of vehicles plus hand weapons, running as many people down as possible, then getting out and shooting or stabbing survivors.  Such attacks have occurred in Europe and the U.S., and I expect these to increase due to easy access to both vehicles and knives. And the largest terrorist acts are still being accomplished with explosives, and fire.

Serial killers frequently prefer knives as there is no forensic evidence left behind such as bullets or shell casings and no unnecessary sound when they’re used. Bladed weapons are cheaper and easier to obtain than firearms, and don’t require the rigorous licensing process for purchase or permitting to carry. You’re very likely face an attacker armed with a blade during a robbery, rape or home invasion.

Massad Ayoob’s core advice about knife fighting can be paraphrased as: You may well kill your attacker with your knife, but he won’t die until 3 hours after he has killed you. I carry a “Missouri legal” folding knife, but see this as a last ditch self-defense tool should my gun, pepper spray and impact weapon all fail…all highly unlikely.

Mass shooters can be stopped by determined unarmed persons, either when their guns jam (as they often do with inexperienced shooters), they run out of ammo, or they have to reload. If the defender knows how to properly grab a pistol, it can’t fire the next round.  There is also a physical limit to how many guns and how much ammo one person can carry. By contrast, bladed weapons don’t usually break, they don’t jam, they don’t run out of ammo, and they never need not be reloaded.

Imagine trying to stop a determined attacker who has a bladed weapon in each hand and  a few more on his body. I don’t see how, unless you have a gun and he’s farther away than 21 feet. Pepper spray may slow him down and allow you to escape. However, criminals who are highly motivated, under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or mentally ill can attack right through both pepper spray and TASER charges.

Despite the lessons of the “21-foot rule” by police officer Dennis Tueller, the media and public are still under the delusion that an attacker with bladed weapons should be reasoned with, shot with pepper spray or TASERed, as if responding with a firearm is somehow disproportional. If ignorance is bliss, then these ignorant advocates of “non-lethal means” are hoping that God really does protect fools.

Some bladed weapons like Tanto knives and tactical tomahawks, can break through auto glass and even cut through the steel doors of cars like a table knife cuts through butter. Also, there are knives make of nylon that can be sharpened and aren’t picked up by metal detectors. If you think you’re safe in a “NO WEAPONS ALLOWED” zone where every visitor has gone through a metal detector, think again.

Crime is caused by defects in morality and mindset, not by weapons. Pens don’t cause libel and neither knives or guns kill people. Murder has been with us since Cain killed Abel. Those who want to protect themselves and their family should be on guard against criminals and terrorists who utilize bladed weapons, not just firearms or clubs.


Warren Lind is a retired licensed clinical social worker and former security officer who writes extensively about crime, survival, and self-defense.  He is a member of too many pro-2A organizations to list.

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  1. The MSM never reports on anything that deviates from the chosen narrative.
    You’d think “grenade amnesty” in Sweden or their 100 bombings in a year would be both unusual enough and shocking enough to warrant a passing mention on the evening news but, alas, it all goes unreported because it would harm the nonsensical idyllic perception we’re suppose to have of Sweden and may make us question the net benefits of open borders and prohibition in our own country.

  2. 2 good reasons to have a bayonet on your 12 gauge.

    1. In case you run out of ammo or it jams.

    2. In case your bayonet gets stuck in bones.

  3. “On the other hand, cuts—even minor ones—are very painful.”

    Not always.

    A *very* sharp blade can cut, and you won’t feel it, for a few moments… 🙁

  4. I’m reminded of the shower scene in Psycho.

    Every kitchen in America has deadly weapons in them. They can be purchased at almost any store and can even be bought by any 12 year old with just a few dollars to be shipped directly to their door from a website. I see cool looking made-outta-crap knives at headshop gas stations for cheap all over the place. Combine any piece of metal and a sharpening stone (or just a rock) and you can make your own.

    The problem as I see it is that it all gets lost in the noise. Having a pic like that for this article ends up not even getting noticed with all the crazy ads TTAG puts all over the place. It’s like that everywhere.

  5. Walk in a Harbor Freight and walk out with a machete, ice pick, box cutter, etc. for less than $10 including tax. And like the article said, knives are silent. On the other hand suppressors make noise and require spending ridiculous money and jumping through hoops just to own one…which is why I own nasty knives and no cans.

    • “…which is why I own nasty knives and no cans.”

      Nasty knives for a nasty woman… 🙂

  6. The same week as the Sandy Beach School mass murder a man in China attacked a school and stabbed children and all of them survived. Proving that yes China’s gun control laws worked and saved lives because if the Chinese lunatic had had an assault rifle none of the children would have survived.

    Only 3% of mass murders are stopped by a civilian with a gun. MSNBC.

    More people die when they try and save their wallet in a robbery than when they give it up. Study by Stanford University.

    You are 35 more times likely to have a suicide when there is a gun in the home and 3 times more likely to have a homicide. Study by Stanford University.

    Most murders are husbands killing wives.

    John Lotts books and writings have been debunked by all of the experts in crime and gun control. Lott is an abject liar and a charlatan. Lott panders to the uneducated of the Far Right, which includes them all and he makes a lot of money doing it.

    • dacian, dacian, dacian. Must you prove every day your lack of intelligence and education? And defending red china’s laws? That’s low. Even for a fuck tard such as yourself.

      Tell the 13yo in AZ that just shot a home invader how dangerous it is to have a gun in the home.

      I cannot wait for the people’s tribunal to have you fascists in the dock to face justice.

      • All I gotta say to dacian is “Gimme your money please.” With the caveat, ” If you tell anybody. I’ll be back.”
        Sht, why stop at dacian’s wallet, I’ll take your house your car and the wife your always taking about beating on.
        Sounds Good

    • dacian, is collecting lies and regurtating them with that one brain cell you have left a hobby or is it that it makes you feel relevant in that empty court-ordered ankle-bracelet restricted world you live in?

      you told some whoppers this time.

    • just a sampling of his previously debunked lies…

      “You are 35 more times likely to have a suicide when there is a gun in the home…”

      debunked previously and here is a clue why…

      over 40 % of homes in the country have a firearm….”35 times more likely” would be ~500,000 gun suicides annually. where are they?

    • I know John Lott. He knows research and statistics (I have a background in this myself). Marxists like you cherry pick and taint research with the outcome they want. You are a liar and a propagandizing Marxist machine. Lott on the other hand has something you don’t have: integrity.

    • dacian just can’t help himself. He speaks like Joe Biden. I feel for both of them, one is elder abuse and the other is self abuse.

    • Are you willing to test your claim it is better to be stabbed than shot?

      By using yourself as the test subject?

    • “Only 3% of mass murders are stopped by a civilian with a gun.”

      YAY! I get to use a communist talking point!

      If the right to bear arms saves just ONE LIFE it’s worth it.

  7. As with firearms, a knife is a tool. It becomes a weapon when the person holding it chooses to make it so.
    My everyday carry does include a couple knives. An old GI K-Bar on my left hip and a liner lock in my right front pocket, as well as a multi-tool in my left front pocket. The K-Bar sees the most use around the farm. Just for general utility use. Or could be used for sticking a hog should I shoot one, trimming vines, cutting rope, harvesting vegetables, or in a defensive role if needs be.
    There was a murder on the local news a couple days ago. A stabbing. But, the graphic was a silhouette of a handgun with the word murder under it. Just the mindset of the media. Murder or crime always has to associated with guns, even when they know no firearm was involved. Next little fact is there are more murders involving edged weapons than the scary semi-auto rifles the fools demand we give up.

  8. there are ~1,500 (getting close to 1,600 daily – knife use among criminals is increasing) criminal knife attacks against innocent victims daily across the United States.

    in 2022 it was ~1 300 daily, in 2020-2021 it averaged 1,200 daily.

    ~88% of violent crimes criminals use knife/sharpened/pointed, blunt, or hand/feet weapons as the weapon of choice for their crimes.

  9. I have a number of edged weapons that will kill with a single blow, and others that will easily stab through and through. The fact is that we had a few thousand years to perfect bladed weapons for the tactics and armor of the day.
    But at the same time I recognize that many many knife homicides involve multiple stab wounds, and that many people who are stabbed, even multiple times, survive. (It always amuses me when someone’s throat gets slit, as frequently occurred in game of Thrones, the victim almost immediately slides to the ground dead, which is not how it really happens. It takes a while for the blood pressure to drop before the victim loses consciousness.
    Finally, police soft body armor is not knife proof, which is why the police always fear a man with a knife.

    • Re vests, unless it includes a spike rated insert it is at best moderately slash resistant and barely stab resistant (clip point profile particularly sucks to deal with) as to the spike rated inserts they are great in that they work but like the vest add weight, hear, loss of flexibility, and only protect what they cover and are more often seen in corrections. Saw a sword attack last year multiple multiple detached limbs yet victim survived.

  10. In reality you can disembowel a person in less than a second with a sharp blade,
    England banned firearms but now faces massive increases in knife crime, to the point of offering “Knife amnesties.

  11. Been saying my whole life that I’d rather catch a round then be stabbed. Punctures and cuts are just plain nasty and often devastating. Plus, your average city ER trauma doctor will be far more experienced and adroit treating a victim with multiple GSWs, than a repeated stabbing victim, a gnarly avulsion of a limb, partial decapitation, machete hacking, etc…

    My all hell breaks loose pack has a world class tomahawk affixed for a reason. If it’s going to be a bloody, up close and personal street fight, a full on caveman battle to the death situation….I’m straight swinging and hacking savage style.

    PS- If you really, really want to know about how depraved and brutal gang use of blades can get, research the term “bagging” in the UK, specifically London. My God!

    • Bowie knives were particularly brutal and historically paired well with various hand axes. Someone did a write up on basic techniques using both from a martial arts approach and I will need to find and reread them as it was a fun read.

  12. Hey America
    Who needs a knife when you can have a rusty e-tool?
    Not the current all metal crappy ones – I mean the Vietnam AMES model with the wooden handle that always slapped your leg when LRRP’ing.
    Sharpen the edge and it will cut a head cleaaaaaaaaaaaaaan offffffffffffffffff.

    • I’ve got a 1964 issue, it’s got a pick on the back.
      Showed it to a marine vet one time, he got a glazed look in his eye and started digging a hole in my floor. Fcked the floor all up before his wife got him calmed down.

  13. My primary knife EDC is the glock survival knife. It’s as long as their bayonet. But has saw teeth on one side and a regular knife edge on the other.

    It’s handy for slashing through brush while walking the dog.

  14. This article touches upon an incredibly disturbing and disconcerting fact: anyone can purchase steel flat stock, a hacksaw, and a metal file for about $20 (okay, maybe $30 now thanks to inflation Bidenomics) and make a devastating short sword capable of inflicting fatal wounds in a large number of people in a very short period of time–and silently of course.

    Yes, the potential for bad actors to harm innocent victims with edge-weapons is ginormous. Plan accordingly.

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