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In Brad’s most excellent interview with Massad Ayoob, the gun guru advises every member of your home defense team to keep a handgun handy. And a long gun (one per participating friendly). And, one presumes,”spare” ammo. And a really bright flashlight. And a knife. And a camouflaged tactical pen. Well, I’m not so sure about the literary (literal?) eye-stabber. But where do you draw the line? As TTAG commentator Magoo might say, why prepare for a war that never happens? Of course, a lot of these tacticool tchatchkes are nothing more than fashion accessories. If the Magpul iPhone holder above was bullet resistant, then it would be cool. Or would it?

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  1. While all of what Ayoob suggests does seem like a lot of, er, michigas, it certainly doesn’t hurt to make sure to have enough defensive equipment and training for everyone in your home. I’m not sure the 5.11 gear and daily-wear BDUs are necessary, but why not be prepared? I don’t think I’ll be ordering that tactical pen, though, for a while.

  2. I personally find that tacticool is perfectly fine, as long as you keep it in perspective. For example, I like the Mossberg chainsaw. Why? Because it’s awesome. Not because I want to use a pistol grip shotgun for home defense.

  3. There is a line between being practical and tacti-cool. I think that a long gun, handgun, flashlight and knife are a completely legitimate and necessary items in the repetoire of anyone looking to defend themselves and their families. You won’t find me without, at a bare minimum, a knife and a flashlight. I’m on the fence about tactical pens, but I can see usefullness for when I’m in a situation where even a knife is a no-no, which happens all too often where I live.

    When you start branching off into Magpul cell cases, every article of clothing you have, including shoes, is 5.11 and your home defense weapon is tac’d out with Aimpoint M68’s, PEQ Modules and night vision optics, you’ve hit tacti-cool. Average Joe does not need, nor can he afford, those things on a weapon he is using to defend his family. Unless of course he finds himself constantly besieged by mujhadeen outside his suburban home.

    That being said, I’m just as guilty of this as all of us are. We all like to add on accessories and tinker with whatever we can, whether it be cars, guns or personal items. It’s just in our nature. There’s no way in hell I’d say no if someone offered me an AR with that package I described above. You’re prepared either way. I definitely beleive that being prepared for what may never happen is just common sense. I guess it just depends on how cool we want to look when it all goes down.

  4. Just be clear, Massad said he did NOT carry a tactical pen, but carried a couple of regular pens, and two flashlights. He mentioned that he had found that anything advertised as “self-defence” or “tactical” was apparently on the TSA radar, so I presume that a tactical pen would be on that list. I never seem to get to the airport far enough in advance that I can afford to get out of line and take a hike back to the car, so I typically leave anything that even might possibly raise the ire of TSA (including nail clippers) or check them in my bag.

  5. When the items have a legitimate use, I say, why not? I typically carry a knife, light and small multi-tool. It’s crossing over from prepared to mall-ninja that I assiduously try to avoid. Because it both looks douche-y and can attract attention from those you’d rather not.

  6. There’s a fine line between tacticool and tactifool. I think it’s somewhere around the age of 25.

  7. Knives and the like are one of the things I think people often overlook when it comes to concealed-carry laws. I feel safe enough in my area and in my traveling habits that I don’t feel the need to carry a gun all day, but the laws in my state limit conceal-carrying decent knives. So if I want to feel safer but not “endanger society by carrying an evil gun,” and instead want to just carry a knife, I CAN’T.

    Bonus points on that for carrying some kind of utility knife, getting stopped by the cops for whatever reason, and then saying it’s even in part for self-defense. By saying that, I just admitted to carrying a concealed knife weapon, which, like I said, is illegal. Moral of the story? If you carry one of any kind, check your knife laws, folks. Even a Swiss Army Knife can get you in a lot of trouble if you say the wrong thing about it.

    I can’t carry a decent knife concealed, and I can’t have a stun gun, but I can walk around with a .44 magnum on my hip without a permit if I want. Go figure.

  8. Thanks for the name check.

    Just for the record, I’m not advocating that we ignore any threats; only that we accurately evaluate and prioritize them. I don’t wish to disappoint anyone, but the chances of being attacked in your home by ninjas (recent example cited in another blog entry) are not terribly great. Unless you pissed off a 16th century Taira warlord, in which case the safe play is to try to patch things up. Kiri sute gomen.

    At this time I also wish to assert that I am totally opposed to anything camo, with two exceptions: hunting clothing and beachwear. And please: don’t over-accessorize. It’s a matronly look, not terribly flattering.

  9. I have every point covered and then some. I have several tactical pens with a “letter opener” under the cap. I also carry two G2 pens at all times. These lil suckers can ruin the badguys whole day (i.e. neck and eye pokes). I also have a several stun guns, but my favorite is the stun flash light. It’s really bright, and it well truely “light up” your life if you get zapped.

  10. Magoo just admitted that there is a chance of being attacked by ninja’s in your home. The chances of being attacked by ninja’s may not be terribly great, but it would be even more terrible if it did happen and you were unarmed. Even if the ninja’s kill me, I at least had a fighting chance, or I could be a sheep and make Magoo happy.LMAO

  11. I never understood the infatuation with Ninjas. Just because they hang out at shopping malls does not mean they attack private residences. But I guess you can never be too careful…

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