You’ll find few self defense instructors that advise you not to carry a firearm. As an instructor myself, I too advise to carry one assuming it is legal and you’ve had the proper training. There are many instances when you may not be able to carry a firearm or even use it.
There are those situations, events and even locations where you can’t carry a weapon, whether it is getting on an airplane, visiting a government building or even entering some businesses. Therefore, I would suggest that you have alternate weapons on your person.
I’m still taken by surprise by some who carry, and they can’t remember the last time they actually fired their weapon, much less did any kind of functional training.
In addition, not every situation should have you pulling your firearm, ready to shoot rounds off to neutralize the threat. You must find the right weapon, for the right situation. That is why carrying different weapons on you is a smart and savvy choice. Think of it as a police officer, as they don’t have one weapon, but several to deal with different types of scenarios.
Let’s cover three optional Every Day Carry weapons, and talk about each of them. The three weapons are a tactical pen, folding knife and pepper spray. First, I wasn’t always the biggest fan of the tactical pen, until I saw Jason Bourne take out a terrorist hitman with a ballpoint pen, in the movie Bourne Identity. Then I saw the TSA make almost everything unacceptable and illegal to bring on a plane flight. The fact is there are those hyper protective locations where you need a “tool” to use as a non lethal weapon, and the tactical pen can pass through almost all of them.
Next is a “folder knife”, which is different from a “fixed” blade knife. I suggest a folder pocket knife, because of is concealability mainly. Having one with around a 4-5” blade is perfect where it is small enough when folded, but still long enough to fight effective with. Having one with a clip, so you can clip it to your pants or belt makes it easier to find and pull out when the time is needed.
Thirdly, I would advise to carry pepper spray. It is a unique projectile weapon which effects an attacker with continuous pain. There are several out on the market, but I would once again find one which is small and easy to carry. I’ve seen large canisters bigger than a grown man’s fist, and that just isn’t practical to carry on a regular basis. There are several smaller units which can be placed on a keychain or even hidden in an item which looks like a pen. Because of the type of this non lethal weapon is a projectile, I would find one which can spray someone at six or more feet.
These three Every Day Carry (EDC) weapons give you non lethal weapon options, covering each category of weapons: impact, edged and projectile. The unique thing about this combination is that it gives you a variety of solutions to account for different kind of threats. Obviously using a knife can be escalated to be deadly, but using pepper spray may be used simply as a deterrent. Either way, these give you additional options to choose, if using or even pulling a firearm is not an option.