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‘But I don’t want to carry a gun…’

Q: “If I don’t want to carry a gun, what are some alternative options for everyday carry?”
A: “Having training with no gun is better than having a gun with no training.”

The right to self-defense is not granted by any man, or by any written law. Our 2 nd Amendment does not grant us the right to bear arms. It is intended to be a clear warning to government officials that The People are not their subjects, and to protect the right of every human, endowed by our Creator, to preserve innocent life. Of the technology currently available, firearms are the most efficient and effective tools at our disposal with which to defend innocent life, be it our own or someone else’s.

However, some people choose to utilize other means, in conjunction with, or instead of firearms, to keep themselves and others safer.

We could discuss alternatives to guns such as knives, expandable batons, or chemical weapons like pepper spray. However, to spend much time on those items would really be missing the mark about what it means to be armed. Being armed begins in the mind. Being mentally prepared for violence is far more important than having an inanimate weapon at the ready. It doesn’t matter if you carry the latest and greatest “wiz-bang 5,000.” If you haven’t prepared your mind for tragedy, your tools, no matter how awesome, are useless.

Most fights don’t end with the use of deadly force. Relying solely on a lethal instrument to solve all your conflicts is likely to land you in prison. In addition to your mind, it’s important to train your body. Strong people are harder to kill. Fast people are harder to kill. Fat people might be harder to kidnap, but they’re usually soft targets. Get your body in shape and learn how to fight. You’re far more likely to need basic hand-to-hand skills than you are to need a gun, and you don’t have to be a UFC fighter to effectively defend yourself in most situations.

Carry a bright flashlight. You’re allowed to carry a flashlight almost anywhere. There are lights on the market nowadays small enough to fit in your pocket that are bright enough to turn off streetlights. Lights can be used to locate things, navigate in the dark, signal / communicate, identify potential threats or non-threats, and to distract or disorient attackers. Contrary to some training practices, they can also be effective impact weapons, even if they’re small. Just remember, lights are like tracer rounds. They work both ways.

Carrying medical gear and knowing how to use it is incredibly important. You don’t have to be a medical professional by trade to use basic medical tools to keep yourself or another injured person alive long enough to get to a higher level of care. If you’re going to carry a trauma inducing device, you should probably carry a trauma repair kit too.

When I say medical tools, I’m not talking about band-aids and aspirin. I’m talking about real deal, trauma alleviating tools that aren’t bulky or complicated. Some trauma kit essentials are:

1.) Quality tourniquets

2.) Chest seals (preferably ones that are pre-ventilated)

3.) Compression bandages

4.) Quick clotting hemostatic agents and / or hemostatic wound packing gauze

You can carry these items on your person and never have a problem getting through a metal detector. They can be easily carried in a backpack, a fanny-pack, or even in your pockets. Of the items listed, a quality tourniquet and a ventilated chest seal (or two) are the items I would prioritize over the others.

This brings me right back to the mind. It doesn’t matter what tools you have if you have no idea how to use them. You need training. To get training, you must develop a strong mindset. Mindset is what gets us up off the couch and motivated toward the goal of being the best, most prepared individuals we can be.

Learn how to properly use any tool that you decide to carry whether it be a weapon, a medical device, or something else, so when you’re called upon to preserve a life you will be ready for the challenge.

Should you find yourself in a situation where you’re looking around, thinking “Damn, somebody should do something,” that somebody is you. So be ready. “When it’s least expected, you’re elected.” – James Yeager.

Avoid what you can. Defeat what you can’t.

Please submit your questions to Ryan via email at

(Ryan Barnette is not a licensed attorney and no information provided in “Slicing the Pie” or
any other publication authored by Ryan Barnette should be construed, in any way, as official,
legal advice