Friday, August 24, 2012

What if you cant have guns?

Hi Fernando, I have been reading your blog for over a year, and just
bought your book. I really loved it!
You strongly promote gun ownership in your book and blog, and
unfortunately that doesn’t work for me… I live in a first world
country where gun ownership is restricted to begin with. And, I live
in a small and isolated community of about 2000 people that has a
strict bylaw stating no one is allowed to have a gun in the community
of any sort, period. People have had their guns confiscated and never
got them back. If I had $100k, I might be able to launch a
constitutional challenge, but I don’t. And, there hasn’t been a gun
crime here in 30+ years at least, so most people here strongly support
the rule. It’s a small island with no animal predators, so there is no
issue with wolves or bears or anything.
Anyways, long story short, in absence of guns, do you recommend any
other range weapons such as a bow or crossbow for home defense
(obviously not EDC)? Or just sticking to some good knives?
Would appreciate your feedback. Thanks!

Hi Craig, your question is the reason why I wrote so much about using a knife for defense in my book, “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse”. Everyone has a 10” “Chef” knife in their kitchen and its legal everywhere.
Now, before I answer your question: ANY gun is better than no gun at all. Double barrel shotgun? Legal nearly everywhere and heck, until very recent times it was favored by police officers as the go gun for entry before going to their sidearms. Of course, today you have better options, but still, any gun, a 12ga shotgun, a 22LR carbine, anything is better than no firearm at all, and the case where no gun is available is very rare. Remember there’s a world of a difference between banned and “restricted”. Restricted means there’s hope, it shouldn’t stop you. Join a hunting club, shoot skeet for a year, if there’s ways of doing it that should be your goal. If guns are simply out of the question then a crossbow would be better than a bow. It requires less skill to use and has the more simple point/shoot user interface.

80 Lbs Self Cocking Crossbow Pistol Cross Bow 15 Arrows

Barnett Jackal Crossbow Package (Quiver , 3 – 20-Inch Arrows and Premium Red Dot Sight)

The problem here is that they cant be left loaded so you’ll need time to get a bolt set, they tend to be bulky (at least the powerful ones are) and you only have one shot that will be of limited efficiency compared to say, a shotgun. I would complement the crossbow with edged weapons. A Cold Steel spear would give you great range, they are used for boar hunting and would mess up a home intruder nicely. Finally machetes and other big knives are pretty effective as well, but you have to get very close to use them.
Cold Steel Boar Spear, Ash Wood Handle 95BOA
Cold Steel Boar Spear, Ash Wood Handle 95BOA
I try to be careful about these questions because too often people get the wrong idea, and they start talking about bows, knives, swords and ninja stars when firearms are perfectly legal to buy.
This lady that called during a certain radio interview I did, she said she was practicing with her crossbow for defense because it was more silent and the bolts could be used again… Lady, you’re not a 17th century ninja . And why do you need stealth for self defense? The louder the better when someone breaks into you property and you want everyone and their uncle to know about it so that they call the cops or come in your aid. She sounded as if she lived in Louisiana, get a freaking gun for crying out loud!
Having to get by without firearms is bad, but while you always have some option for defense, don’t forget that “hard to get” is a world of a difference from “impossible to get”.
Finally, I leave you with this thought. You mention people getting their guns confiscated and never getting them back. You have to ask yourself this question and make up your mind about this. Is that all you’re risking? If my choices are being armed and risking losing a 500 USD gun if I ever have to use it, to me that’s 500 USD well spent. Even if it means a fine, 10.000 bucks worth of fine if I ever end up using it, my life is worth that and much more. You mentioned 30 years without a crime. That’s great, hopefully you have it and never have to use it and no one will ever now. Most important, you never TELL anyone about it unless they end up knowing because you use it to save your live. If a gated community has policies like that, I’d just risk it none the less. My life and the life of my family is worth much more even if chances of needing it are unlikely. That being said if that’s not the case and you really cant have a firearm the above applies.
Good luck!!


Anonymous said...

One thing the poster could consider is MOVING. Why live where you're deprived of the most effective means of protecting yourself? More broadly, how viable is long-term survival on a small island in a total collapse? If they're developed, usually such islands can't support their population without significant shipments from the mainland.

Anonymous said...

An 18" machete would remind most bads guys of a previous engament elsewhere.


Anonymous said...

More practical than a dedicated spear is the cold steel bushman knife, which has a hollow cyclinder for a grip and can easily be made into a spear with just a broom handle.

Anonymous said...

I live in a country where firearms are restricted. Indeed, restricted doens't mean banned. It took me two years or red tape, lots of paperwork and patience, but I now own a legal 9mm.

Anonymous said...

I live in a country where firearms are restricted. Indeed, restricted doens't mean banned. It took me two years or red tape, lots of paperwork and patience, but I now own a legal 9mm.

londonerguy42 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
londonerguy42 said...

Every time I speak with someone here in the UK about gun ownership I get the "but there's no reason to own a gun - only crazy people do that". Trouble is that it's too late when people realise how wrong that is. People change their minds when I remind them that not everybody is able to run away or to learn martial arts - guns level the playing field for the weak and disabled.

I recommend the film "One Hundred Mornings" as a way of looking at the survival benefits of gun ownership: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/One_Hundred_Mornings

Double Tapper said...

Generally, what I have found to be the case is that weapons are available. Certain types at any rate. In the UK you can own a shotgun. Excellent weapon for many purposes. The problem comes in their use. Now that is highly restricted in many areas. Shoot a criminal and YOU go to jail. The UK and Oz have become famous for that.

Anonymous said...

I did archery as a hobby a long time ago (and for quite a time).

My comment to the author's answer:

You should never underestimate the lethality of arrows, they were more than adequate for waging humanity's wars for thousands of years! (I consider you were talking about hunting tips and not field points). With the correct equipment, it is easy to take down massive game with a crossbow or bow (game you would normally hunt with rifles and shotguns!).

Please do forget about these pistol crossbows. I tried them and even the 30$ are too much for what they do. They say 80 pounds draw weight but the arrow begins to drop massively after only a couple of meters. These contraptions are the epitome of cheap shit, unreliable to the extreme and outright dangerous to the user and bystanders. Really do forget about them and never look back.

Anonymous said...

I shoot bow and crossbows, and I would almost lean towards recommending a compound bow over a cross bow.

The compound bow does take more practice than a crossbow, but you can get pretty effective for self defense range shots in a weekend. Even folks with out much arm strength can get by with a youth type bow. Remember, you’ll be using it at much shorter range than is typical for hunting.

Another advantage with a bow of either type is you probably won’t need to go to a range to practice. You can fire away for hours in even a small back yard, and even indoors in the right setting.

Yes, sharp broad head points are probably best, but they can be dangerous in a stressful situation (or even a non-stressful one, as I’ve cut myself a few times). But for self defense, even field points can be effective. I would expect stun type tips to serve a useful roll too, possibly even in a mob type situation where you want to lay down a warning (much like a rubber bullet in a shotgun)

The big downside to the crossbow is that it takes longer to cock and load, and as you said, you are usually limited to one shot. A compound bow with a quiver can shoot repeat shots surprisingly fast, with a little practice.

Arrows for bows are also usually heavier and longer than crossbow bolts, so they can actually have better knockdown power and range.

The only advantage the crossbow has, IMO, is stealth. Since it can be cocked in advance, there is less chance of being detected as can happen when you need to draw a regular bow. But your first shot better be a good one! I’m 6’2’’ 200 lbs and I can’t cock them by hand. I either need a winch or double pull type cocker.

And even mid powered bows of either type will punch through most body armor.

So even if you do own guns (I’ve got plenty), bows can have some very useful niches.

Anonymous said...

"She sounded as if she lived in Louisiana, get a freaking gun for crying out loud!"

I'm proud to be from Louisiana, and will take this opportunity to inform you that gun ownership is not just accepted but expected in our great state. There's a reason why it's called the "Sportsman's Paradise"-everyone hunts! If the woman in question was talking about sniping bad guys with bows and arrows, it's probably because she would be sitting in a tree on a deer stand silently picking off the intruders a la Sgt York.

Anonymous said...

Your comment about Louisiana is asinine. Louisiana is not the backwoods, hillbilly, inbred state where everyone is related.

I respect your opinions, but flat out insulting an entire state is beyond ludicrous.

We believe in the 2nd amendment much more than your socialist state of argentina. People in Louisiana, for the most part are highly familiar with most types of firearms as the majority of the citizenry hunts at some point in their life.

Anonymous said...

I think there is a distinction to be made between a cane, walking stick without handle, and club. For example a thick walking stick for hiking through the woods can be used to shove people away, knock people out, and when the other person has a knife or stick at range it can be knocked away. but a good knife is good at close range but in my experience machetes tend to be dull and clumsy and better for clearing brush. I prefer a good belt knife.