I was recently having a conversation with a reader who lives in one of those states where it is more likely that you will win the lottery than actually be issued a concealed-carry permit. Movie stars, politicians, yes – but regular folks can just forget about it.
I took the opportunity to remind my friend that personal defense is not just about guns. Actually, it is about mindset and using those defensive tools that are available legally. Certainly, guns are an important part of a defensive plan and should be learned and depended upon whenever that is legal. However, guns are only a part of the story.
A person who is serious about personal defense ought to begin by getting into the best physical shape possible. I know that some folks have age and physical problems but that should not stop them from getting into the best shape that their situation allows. I had an uncle whose legs were affected by polio but he had his upper body and arms tuned to perfection. He was doing what he could and heaven help the guy that he got within arm’s reach.
When are dealing with situations where we simply can’t legally carry a gun, it would be nice to know some martial arts. People should select their martial-arts instructor based upon the fact that they are seeking skills that will protect them against real-life attacks rather than taking lessons focused on fitness or competition. If you make this clear to instructors, they will be able to help develop those skills.
Also, where it is legal, a person should make use of some of the less-lethal defensive tools. Pepper spray can be handy. There are also a number of different striking devices that can be used. The key here is to make sure that these devices are legal in your state.
One of the handiest of these is a simple walking cane. The American with Disabilities Act has made it possible for just about anyone to have a walking cane with them. No, I’m not talking about one of those old-timey sword canes, just an ordinary walking cane. If it matters, I happen to prefer the kind with the carbon-fiber shaft.
Next, get hooked up with a stick-fighting instructor. Stick fighting is an ancient defensive art that has been developed in many countries around the world. Again, you want the instructor to understand that you are not interested in competition but, rather, personal defense. Take the training using your walking cane, not the fighting sticks.
It’s unfortunate that there are places, whole states even, that don’t think you ought to be able to carry a defensive firearm, but that doesn’t mean that you have to give up entirely. Find out what sort of less-lethal defensive tools are allowed where you live, pick the one that works best for you and get good with it.
The smart individual gets in the best physical shape possible and makes use of every legal means to protect himself and family. Crooks might think that somebody with a walking cane is just an old geezer that will make an easy target. Crooks can be surprised, too.