I received the following email, and realized that it may be of interest to others:
I am a recent arrival to Virginia and I am much taken with the state. However I do not carry or own a firearm. Is it a must for a Southern Gentleman to possess a gun?
The answer is an emphatic “No – absolutely not.” Gun ownership is a very personal decision, and one that should not be dictated or even influenced by cultural or social factors. You are to be congratulated for having the wisdom to know yourself well enough to make the right decision.
Let me also point out here that deciding that gun ownership is not for you does not relieve you of the obligation to defend yourself and your family and those you love and care for. That is a personal responsibility that cannot be delegated to others. Make no mistake – defending yourself and your family and those you love and care for is a non-negotiable obligation of any gentleman – especially a Southern gentleman.
Just a quick read of the news will demonstrate the need for an effective means of self-defense. Saying that “The meek shall inherit the earth” doesn’t work. When Jesus told His disciples to sell their garment and buy a sword if they didn’t already have one, He wasn’t telling them to use the sword for cutting firewood.
Then said he unto them, But now, he that hath a purse, let him take it, and likewise his scrip: and he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one.
At this point in history, a gun is the best tool available for the job, but there are alternative tools available to you. I like the way another writer put it: “I am not usually armed. I am always armed.”
Shown in the photo on the header of this site is a Colt Mustang with custom rosewood grips and an upgraded guide rod. It has been quite a while since I have carried this one. It is a beautifully made sidearm, but not my best choice at this time. The .380 round is often considered the absolute minimum acceptable power for personal defense, and the smaller magazine capacity doesn’t help things. It is a beautiful gun though. I now carry something with more power and greater capacity
Now let’s look at some alternatives.
The tactical pen can be carried anywhere, and it can be a formidable weapon. In fact, any rugged metal pen can be used, but a purpose-designed tactical pen is going to be much easier to get a solid grip on, and will definitely be the better choice. I found mine on Amazon for just a bit over $5, although I see the current price is about $13 – still a bargain.
An umbrella that is designed for self defense serves two purposes. First, a good quality umbrella is something that every gentleman should own. Second, a strong umbrella can be a very effective weapon. I looked around at what was available and chose The Unbreakable Umbrella. It stays in the car and goes with me any time that the sidearm can’t. It is perfectly OK to carry it on an airliner, in a courthouse, or anywhere else. Be careful in choosing a brand. Like just about everything else, there are cheap imitations that should be avoided. The Unbreakable Umbrella is, for all practical purposes, just that – unbreakable. Take a look at some of their videos to see what “unbreakable” really means.
A collapsable baton is in a somewhat different category from the tactical pen and the umbrella. In many, if not most, places, it is considered a weapon and carrying it is regulated just as a firearm would be.
Pepper Spray and a Taser are two popular options; however, I have only limited experience with pepper spray and none with the Taser. My experience with pepper spray was not encouraging. It was an old can with an expired date on it. Before replacing it, I tried to spray it and all that came out was a little squirt about a foot away from the can. Absolutely useless and quite dangerous if I really needed to use it. The lesson learned is to make certain that it is always replaced before the expire date.