Andy Branca, well known attorney and author of Self-Defense and the Law, reminds us that whenever you are carrying a handgun it is important to also carry a less-than-lethal self-defense option. Failure to do so, attorney Branca warns, leaves the legally armed citizen open to an accusation that he was acting the part of the vigilante, the proverbial hammer that went in search of a nail. Andy is an advocate for the small 2 oz can of pepper-spray because it is an effective duel level self-defense tool. In addition to the option of actually applying the aerosol, often its presentation alone can deter an impending assault. Few bad guys who have experienced a prior OC hit are in a rush for a second encounter. An alternative companion tool is the compact high intensity flashlight. As nationally known firearms trainer Andy Stanford has noted, a handgun without a flashlight is only a 12-hour tool. As Andy also point’s out, it is the wrong 12-hours. The flashlight is versatile and invaluable for both mundane chores and self defense tasks. It lets you identify both objects and people from a distance, it can light up dark holes where trouble can hide and it can be a very effective improvised Kubotan or Yawara for those trained in either of those weapons. A third possible companion tool is the small folding knife. A small lock-back folding knife can be both a utility tool and a self-defense weapon. When purchased in some non menacing color it is often overlooked as a self-defense weapon and can occasionally pass into an otherwise weapon free environment. If you do opt for carrying OC, a tactical light or a small folding knife be sure to first locate a qualified defense tactics instructor. Many nationally known firearms trainers are crossed trained as OC aerosol or pepper spray instructors. There are also many edged weapon, knife and counter-knife instructors who offer customized one- and two-day self-defense programs specifically using small (2-1/2 to 4-inch blade length) knives. The list of low light weapon skills trainers who accept legally armed civilians is short but some are available. Andy Stanford of OPS Training and Wes Doss of Khyber Interactive Associates are two notable examples. As companion items to your snub, an OC aerosol, a small tactical flashlight and a folding knife give the legally armed and properly trained citizen a remarkably flexible self-defense kit, the whole of which would fit in the palm of one hand.

X