GearHow ToSurvival

How to Protect Yourself When You’re Not Allowed to Have a Weapon

When I see and hear about terrorist attacks, in particular, in countries where people are not allowed to have any weapons, it makes me angry. Protecting yourself, protecting your family and your home — isn’t that a God-given right? If a government takes away your right to protect your own body, then what other rights, really, do you have? How do you protect yourself when the law denies you the right to have a weapon of any kind?

We have friends in Europe and I’ve wondered how they might possibly defend themselves in a terrorist attack. I know one guy in England who told me that he worries about sharps — knives, machetes, even swords, as attack weapons. No guns? No problem for criminals and terrorists. Knives are easier to hide, anyway.

At the most basic level of self-defense, situational awareness can keep you out of a lot of trouble. Israelis have been living under the very real threat of terrorism for decades and the Israelis I know have a sixth sense when it comes to noticing anything out of place — people, clothing, eye contact, movement. That has to become second nature and thankfully, it can be learned, and taught. Two books that have been helpful to me and my wife are The Gift of Fearand Left of Bang. If you have kids and want to learn more about protecting them, read Protecting the Gift.

(The author of The Gift of Fear and Protecting the Gift is, ironically, very anti-Second Amendment. Normally, I’d never recommend a book promoting that viewpoint, but he’s so right about everything else, that the books are worth reading.)

Being aware of surroundings is important, but there may come a time when you have no choice but to physically defend yourself. A single mom I know challenges her teenage daughter every so often, “Look around and tell me what you could use as a weapon RIGHT NOW.” She does this everywhere. Restaurants, grocery store, everywhere! I’ve played this game many times myself and look for not only weapons but exits, places to conceal or cover, in the case of gunfire. I’ve measured the thickness of a table top with my eyes — could I pick it up and throw it? I’ve been in bed, ready to doze off, and thought, “What would I do if I heard glass break on the other side of the house and heard someone in the kitchen?” Then, I have trouble going to sleep.

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