Tuesday, November 16, 2010

What to do if guns are not allowed?‏

I live in a place where it is impossible to get a gun license.  I have extra strong doors and windows.  I also have 3 dogs, security cameras, lights, and 4 crossbows with laser sights and dear hunting tips on the bolts.  These are 150 lbs pull compound bows and when I tested them on goats they where very effective.  

I fear the dollar will collapse.  My blog is howfiatdies.blogspot.com.

When guns are not an option, what do you recommend?

Thanks much for all your info.  Loved your book and it helped me get into buying gold scrap (see http://gold.ai) which I think will be a good area if paper money fails.

  -- Vince

You’re from Anguilla?!
I had to look that one up, its amazing how the internet interconnects people from some of the most distant places.
Sounds like you are doing pretty well, hope the gold business is working out for you. If you started when I first published my book I can’t see how it could have gone otherwise, gold prices have been going up ever since.

Its no secret that I’ve been wanting to move to US for years now, but apparently unless you cross the border illegally and plan on becoming a leach, sucking tax payer’s money you’re not that welcomed. I understand though, why would you want a self employed tax payer when you can have yet another illegal with ten kids? I’m not quitting yet but without a sponsoring company it wont be possible, so I’m considering other options. At my age and with a young family I’m not yet planning to retire so I’m looking at the first world country options I have left and most of them have banned guns, the idea of self defense simply doesn’t compute with these people. Yet there’s that little problem called reality. You’re walking home and get jumped by a couple guys, explaining to them that assaulting law abiding citizens isn’t legal wont make them disappear in thin air as if by ban magic, you still have to defend yourself. What to do in a country where the right to preserve your own life has been banned?

First of all, get to know the law and both carry and keep at home the best tools such law allows. A weapon is anything that increases your potentiality for defense and attack, so that includes a gun, knife, pen or brick. You can’t carry anything at all? Even a thin metal Cross pen can be used to cause serious damage if needed to defend yourself.
Divide this into two categories: what you’ll have with you at all times, and what stays in your house for home defense. This may not sound like much of a big deal when you can’t own firearms, but it gives a new sense of purpose to it, you will practice with what tools you have available and your brain will react according to it.
For home defense it sounds like you have what you can within your means. I wouldn’t want to depend on crossbows but its better than nothing. Don’t underestimate the usefulness of a large cook knife. Effective with some training, legal all over the world and it wont run out of ammo. These you will keep at home and learn how to use. 
UK Penknife, Gray FRN Handle, Drop Point, Plain 

When it comes to tools for defense that will be carried, that will depend on your own laws. A locking blade is preferable but sometimes its not legal. If nothing else, a metal pen can be used as a stabbing object. In this case you will depend heavily on training so as to use the improvised weapon to its full potential. Its important here to understand what you can and what you can’t carry. If for example you only have a metal pen available, then your training will mostly revolve around quick stabs. If you can legally carry a locking knife, they you can combine that with slashing. If the knife you have does not lock, then in a desperate situation you will use it for slashing but knowing it can close over your fingers at any time.
Hope that helps a bit, take care!



Anna said...

Keep trying on your plan to move to US, most of us real Americans are very unhappy about our current immigration policy and keep trying to elect people who will do something about it. I have a parent who went through that process, wish there was something I could do to help.

Don Williams said...

1) That's not a knife -- THIS is a knife:

check out the video.

(Note: Contrary to Hollywood movies, Thrusts often don't stop
a fired up enemy -- according to records of ancient duels. Cutting off his head, arm or leg does.

Plus you often don't have room to prance around. This is why the military went for sabers, hangers, cutlasses and not the sissy rapiers or smallswords.

2) The cutlass would probably be largely for home use, depending on your national laws. For drives to the grocery store, how about taking up softball?


Anonymous said...

Have you considered moving to Uruguay? You've touted Uruguay before in your blog, and it seems to be much better off than Argentina is. so you might consider that. You also might consider Brazil, what with its expanding middle class. Yes, it's still violent, but any country that has a middle class that is expanding as fast as Brazil's is likely to see violence go down as more people are given hope by the economic boom.

Argentina, OTOH, has been so badly mismanaged for so long that I doubt it will ever recover. The US is likely going down as well, unless the cartels of the super-rich can be broken and manufacturing brought back. What with bankers having an iron grip on the electoral process, I don't see a president being elected who can do what Andrew Jackson did in 1837 and break the finance cartel. The US seems to only welcome those willing to be slaves for the super-rich, overwhelmingly rural Mexicans who can easily be manipulated. We don't seem to want anybody else.

Anonymous said...

FerFAL, a point of semantics:

Gold is NOT going UP in price.

After all, gold is... the golden standard, standard by which all currencies are judged.

Fiat currencies are going DOWN with respect to gold. Gold is timeless wealth.

BTW, here's a cute explanation on "Quantitative Easing". http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PTUY16CkS-k&feature=player_embedded (Don't worry, Goldman $achs has got your back(s)... and your money.)

gaga said...

If you have the option to get a EU passport which I beleive Ferfal does with his Spanish grandparents), it gives you the right to live and work anywhere in the EU. It also helps with obtaining a time limited work permit in the US (this is a reciprocal arrangement, US citizens can work in the EU).

Permantly moving to the US is a well nigh impossible task for qualified, educated, solvent european. Unless you get sponsored (which isn't impossible) with the many US companies in Europe.

But there are countries in the EU that allow weapons and consealed weapons. For instance, the Czech Republic allows consealed weapons for self defense. It has a good economy, borders German, Poland and Austria so you can communte to well paid work there (no border controls of course) and intends to join the Euro in the near future.

The point is; there are options available

Vincent Cate said...

I am not really from Anguilla, but I moved here 16 years ago and it has been home since then. My wife is from here.

I read your book about a year ago and got into gold just a couple months after reading it. Had to order some stuff.

A crossbow is very accurate for home defense type distances. And there is no law against these here. With a laser sight it does not take much training. And dear hunting tips kill very humanly (fast).

There also is no law against having a sword at home. If an attacker has a knife and I have a sword, it seems I should have an advantage. I imagine a guy with a knife seeing me with a sword would think the next house would be easier. But the question then is, what type of sword? And I don't think there is any local training (small island). Could I get useful skill from videos and practicing? Any pointers? Are there many swords in Argentina?

Thanks much!

Will England said...

Resume? You have enough readers I'd imagine someone could find a job for you and get their HR department to fill out the paperwork.

Don Williams said...

Re Vincent Cate's query at 3:58 am:

1) The naval cutlass was shorter (2 feet) than the land sword (3 feet) in order to work well in the tight quarters inside a ship or in a crowded melee on deck. This makes it more suitable for home defense.

2) The Cold Steel 1917 cutlass I cited earlier is a copy of the US Navy cutlass design adopted in 1917 and used up until the end of WWII.

3) There are several military manuals for the naval cutlass
available for free on the Internet. While the technique has
always been kept simple it was more complex around the end of
the 18th century and then made even more simple later. My impression is that the military did not go in for prolonged dueling --because it was a good way to get stabbed in the kidneys in a melee --but rather focused on taking out the enemy immediately.

4) One place to start is with the 1813 British Navy cutlass drill developed by Harry Angelo -- scion of the Angelo family that had been Swordmaster to the British Royal Family for three generations.

a) This Cutlass Drill was based on the Angelo Hungarian and Highland
Broadsword Exercise -- available here:

(See last slide -- earlier ones show guards)

b) The Angelo Cutlass Exercise itself is here:

(Click zoom button in upper right to enlarge)

c) My understanding is that after Angelo's death, the Royal Navy
simplified the cutlass drill in 1828 to three guards with a riposte thrust after every parry. As illustrated in this midshipman's manual:


5) The US Navy had a similar cutlass drill. The 1869 Drill and the 1904 simplied version are here:


The best stroke is the slicing draw stroke --vice the chop or
thrust --
and the moulinet technique helps with this.

6) The US Navy cutlass of 1917 was itself a copy of the Dutch
Klewang, developed for counter-guerrilla warfare in the
jungles of Indonesia circa 1899. The Dutch Klewang had
openings cut in the guard which the Cold Steel copy also has
--whereas the US Navy cutlass had a solid guard.


The original 1917 cutlass and Dutch Klewangs are
sometimes available on Ebay for around the same cost as the Cold Steel copy. Note that their Fuller (the groove down the length of the blade) is broader
and their width tapers from the hilt to the tip --they
are therefore several ounces lighter.

Don Williams said...

Cutlass (continued)

5) The US Navy had a similar cutlass drill. The 1869 Drill and the 1904 simplified version are here:


The best stroke is the slicing draw stroke --vice the chop or
thrust -- and the moulinet technique helps with this.

6) The US Navy cutlass of 1917 was itself a copy of the Dutch
Klewang, developed for counter-guerrilla warfare in the
jungles of Indonesia circa 1899. The Dutch Klewang had openings cut in the guard which the Cold Steel copy also has --whereas the US Navy cutlass had a solid guard.


The original 1917 cutlass and Dutch Klewangs are sometimes available on Ebay for around the same cost as the Cold Steel copy. Note that their Fuller
(the groove down the length of the blade) is broader and their width (seen from above ) tapers from the hilt to the tip --they are therefore several ounces lighter.

DaShui said...

I've been to Anguilla, hasn't everybody?
Great beach.
How about StMaartin?
Close-by, I remember they had silencers for sale in the shop windows. Or American Virgin Islands?

Don Williams said...

PS to Vincent Cate:

A cutlass may seem obsolete in an age of firearms.

But a class IIIA body armor vest with kevlar helmet would protect you against pistol and shotgun bullets.

A groin apron and kevlar face mask attached to the helmet would provide even more protection.

The US Army Interceptor body armor adds a ceramic plate to the chest to protect the heart/upper lungs from even rifle bullets.

Unknown said...

Swordsmanship is one of my hobbies and I would like to second what Don has said. If you want a blade to be your primary defensive weapon then you want a certain type of blade (and very much want to avoid other types).

In short, you want something heavy enough to cut through dense tissue but light enough for you to move quickly. You need something long enough to give you reach on somebody wielding a knife but short enough to use in the hallways of your house. You want a handle that is capable of protecting your hand.

An old marine-style cutlass would be a very nice weapon for home defense if you must rely on an edge weapon for security. It is short enough to use in your hallways, strong enough to withstand some abuse and still function, heavy enough to be capable of real damage, and light enough that someone of only moderate fitness can use them for at least a minute or two without tiring. Also, the cutlass has the weight more toward the tip of the blade so that it takes less effort to slash, which is what you want to be doing unless you are fighting a master swordsman.

Jack said...

Ferfal - You get asked about "What to do if guns are not allowed?" a lot, doesn't anybody ever read your archives? lol

Don Williams - Thanks for all your info!!! I spent an enjoyable afternoon researching all the sword info. I've been looking for a real (antique) sword for years, but haven't found a good one at a decent price. I found the Cold Steel 1917 Cutless for $158. I've put the Cold Steel 1917 Cutless on my birthday/christmas wishlist. :)

Joseph said...


Perhaps there is a defense academy/business that would hire you. You most definitely have some unique qualifications. Many instructors are skilled, but I doubt many have the real world experience you do.

Anonymous said...

EU papers? ..then check out New Caledonia. Seriously.

Forget the fascination with guns
and check out a place that's a cross between California and France.

Vincent Cate said...

thanks so much! That is really a big help.

Don Williams said...

You're welcome , Vincent.

I don't want to do adverts for Cold Steel but I forgot to mention that Cold Steel has a training DVD on "Fighting with the Saber and Cutlass" -- see

I haven't seen the DVD so I can't vouch for its content. You may be able to find a used copy on Ebay.

Footwork and balance are important -- it helps to tuck your butt in so your spine is straight.

When you step forward, slide the front foot along the ground and slap it down before shifting weight to it. Practice moving on wet grass -- once you fall on your butt you will see what I mean.
Move first one foot then the other --don't cross your feet.

I think that the overextended lunges and fleches of sport fencing leave you way too exposed and cause falls on rough (realistic) ground.

gaga said...

New Caledonia is interesting. There are other tropical French departments that an EU passport gives you residency rights.


Réunion looks interesting for instance.Its fully part of the EU.

Vincent Cate said...

I am 6 foot 4 inches tall and 240 lbs. I am in reasonable shape (4 sons keep me busy). I live in a geodesic dome without any hallways really. Could a longer sword make sense for me?

Anonymous said...

Hi there!
I wouldn't advise l'Ile de la Réunion for residency; there's hardly any work there! Unemployment is a big problem.

In Europe it is not forbidden to posess firearms. There are laws, sure! But For example in Germany, Belgium and Holland, you can join a shooting club and then getting a licence to possess a firearm in your house.

I guess it must be the same in France, but Spain I don't know.

Unemployment rates are pretty low, even during the crisis. Murder rates and home invastions are much less of a problem than in the US (there are very few guns around here... ).

You often say that Europe is too socialist. That may be. But recent elections throughout Europe tend to head more right-conservative than socialist. Left is losing ground by the day.

The downside is arms regulations, and more strict home-defense laws. On the other hand, the threath of home invastion, robbery and murder are very slim.

You're self-employed, that's good. But suppose your website doesn't provide enough income some day; once unemployed you're not left to die on the streets in EUrope. Every country has its way to support unemployed people. Holland is pretty good at it.

I'd say it's an open door for you and your family.

Good luck,
Ed from Europe

Unknown said...

Vincent Cate:

Not really. The only reason to have a longer sword is to have reach on an opponent also wielding a sword. This only matters if both of you are very good at dueling with a sword.

Otherwise, the shorter weapons are easier to handle, less energy consuming, and your family can use them as well if for some reason you cannot. Even if you are 6'4" tall, your spouse may not be or your children may not be.

My favorite sword has a 31" blade and is usually called a Normal long-sword (ambiguous name). I would pull my El Hombre folder before I'd pull that sword. The long sword just isn't a defense weapon.

Anonymous said...

Re Vincent Cate at 5:58 pm

1) One rule of thumb I've seen is to grasp a yardstick, hold it pointing downward by your side and adjust the grip so that the other end of the yardstick is around your ankle (i.e, an inch or so above the ground.) This gives you the maximum length of a sword to use.

The 25 inch blade of the 1917 cutlass would give you superior reach over the likely weapons of assailants -- knives and machetes.

However, a longer sword might help keep multiple assailants at bay -- if they all get too close they can mob you. But it seems to me the only way to deal with that situation is to preemptively attack each enemy in progression -- i.e, strike one in front and then pivot to attack the one advancing on you from the rear then defend against the one on your flank.

Which means you are trying to move your sword in tight quarters even if you are outdoors. Which gets us back to Nolan's point that shorter swords are more easy to maneuver in that case.

Maybe you can get a piece of steel rebar (used reinforced concrete, 1/2 in diameter) and see
what length meets the right balance --between length and ease of use --for you personally.

But I suggest you first review the manuals and determine the various stikes/techniques you prefer before you try determining the length.

Another manual you might examine is Sir Richard Burton's 1876 "A New System of Sword Exercise for the Infantry" --available online
at http://ejmas.com/jnc/jncart_burtonnewsword_0200.htm

Don Williams said...

1) I am not an expert in the merits of various swords but
will simply note some of the information I have on the subject.

a) The Roman gladius was adopted by the US Navy for use
as a cutlass in 1841 but was kept only for 19 years before
being replaced by the saber-style 1860 model. The 1860 model
was kept in service for 80 years although the 1917 model
was developed to gradually replace it. (The full tang grip
of the 1917 with riveted side plates would have held up
better in long term sea storage than the rat-tail tang
embedded in a wooden grip of the 1860. But the blades of
the 1860 and 1917 models were very similar.)



b) The Roman gladius was also adopted by the US Army for
infantry NCOs in 1832 but was kept only for 8 years --although
it lingered on in the artillery troops for several decades.


c) The gladius only has a 20 inch reach (versus the 25 inches of the
1860 and 1917 cutlasses ) and yet the gladius weighs as much
or more and does not have the hand protection.

d) The gladius cuts with a chopping motion -- it does not
have the slicing cut of the curved cutlass. The gladii with the
weight balanced back toward the grip (wide blade at the hilt, narrower
toward the tip) for easier wielding sacrifices some cutting

In contrast, The 1917 cutlass has weight toward the tip for
more effective cutting --the same principle used in the
highly effective Pattern 1796 light cavalry saber which in turn
was derived from the Indian Tulwar.


(When Napoleon's French cavalry whines that your weapon gives
you an unfair, criminal advantage then you know you have a
good weapon.)

Don Williams said...

(continued )
2) This brings up the issue of which is better -- the cut or the
thrust. The ancient version of the unending 45 vs 9mm debate.

a) The cavalry were predisposed to favor the slash. For the good
reason that if you thrust a sword into an enemy horseman passing you at 20 mph combined speed, you are likely to have your wrist broken if you don't let go of your sword. Which leaves you screwed either way in a cavalry melee.

b) On the ground, the argument against the thrust is that it doesn't always work. In the heat of battle, you run the enemy through but discover to your surprise that he doesn't STOP immediately.
In fact , your enraged enemy is embracing you and has 30 seconds
or so to cut your throat and stab you in the heart several
times to take you with him. In his book "The Secret History of the Sword", Christoph Amberger notes several cases in which this occurred
(p.33-45, 101, 105 )

c) In his 1599 work "Paradoxes of Defence", George Silver argued
strongly that the cut was superior to the the thrust being introduced
into England at that time by Italian fencing masters.

d) Plus the cut lets you attack the enemy's wrist and legs. In fact, the Romans used the gladius to cut the enemy's knees or ankles if the enemy defended his stomach/breast from the thrust. A tactic that is still useful today if an enemy shows up wearing body armor, possibly looted from a police station.

Anna said...

Hi again, just to clarify - I am not necessarily in disagreement with people who think that you would probably be in better financial straits if you did not move to US, but I understand and I think you do too, that there are other intangible reasons to move here, which a lot of people don't understand. I am a half&half american, and in college I hung out with a lot of foreign students and for some reason they all thought that the only reason to move to US was to get a nice car, phone, clothes, MTV lifestyle, and other nonsense.

There is more to it than that and you seem like you are well aware of those things so I won't belabor the point. So yes you might be better off financially elsewhere but it is still understandable to want to move to US. Because being better off financially isn't always the meaning of life.