Why I dislike gimmick weapons

Here are some points to ponder. I’m fully on board with prioritizing physical fitness and combatives as part of an overall defensive plan. However, I am all for force multipliers. By most standards my unarmed fighting skills are advanced. While I’ll go for a challenge in sparring, in a street or military situation, I’ll do everything I can to tilt the odds unfairly in my favor. While gimmicky and effective is still something, I prefer common items that have defensive purposes. That way you aren’t freaking out the neighbors with your weird ninja thing. Flashlights are good. So are pens. They both have a practical function and can be used as weapons on demand. Skill and innovation can identify weapons where others do not see them. The author makes a good point about the danger of getting attached to your toys. Have options. Use them as appropriate. – Pahlawan

the street standards

Tactical pens, cleverly disguised saps, modified brass knuckles, and so on.  There’s a whole industry out there selling hidden/disguised weapons to the self-defense crowd.

I like none of them.  I suppose I could be forced to make an argument for them if boxed into an intellectual and tactical corner, but in general they are gimmicks, sold to people who 1) aren’t thinking the problem through, 2) are dazzled by the latest tacti-cool thingy, or 3) are strange rangers, mall ninjas or both.

OK.  Got that off my chest.  Now here’s why.

Many years ago I wrote an article for Combat Handguns (RIP) pointing out that there were six levels of force options that a well-prepared person ought to have available on them.

  1. Verbal/de-escalation skills
  2. Soft empty hand skills
  3. Hard empty hand skills
  4. Impact weapon capability
  5. Chemical options
  6. Deadly force

Let’s set aside the fact that most people never…

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