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Reasons to Consider Carrying Self-Defense Knife Instead Gun

Reasons to Consider Carrying Self-Defense Knife Instead Gun

The Basic Principles of Butterfly Knives

Reliable statistics about the lethality of various weapons over time are difficult to come by. Has the spear killed more people than the sword? Has the bow claimed more lives than the humble club? Have mortars proved more lethal in shared numbers than the atomic bomb? Official answers don’t really exist, but most experts agree on one think: Small arms have almost surely proved more fatal than any other weapon, especially if you focus on the 20th century. FBI homicide statistics regularly place firearms at the top of their count. No wonder guns are the go-to choice for self-defense — right?

While no one should discount the advantages of firearms, we’d like to offer another perspective. For many people, knives are an excellent alternative to a pistol, rifle, or shotgun, and this post will discuss seven reasons why you should seriously consider them.

Reason #1: Knives Excel in Close-Quarter Combat

There’s a very simple reason why some experts will recommend that homeowners looking to protect their property should choose a handgun over a rifle or shotgun. The simple truth is that assailants can slip behind a corner and seize the barrel of your gun before you know that they’re there. In an instant, your firearm shifts from defending you to possibly even being used against you. Even pistols can prove difficult to level at an assailant in close quarters. Once you have a knife out, though, an antagonist will have a harder time impeding you.

“Close quarters” is also a lot farther away than you might imagine. The so-called Tueller Rule states that the average person can cover 21 feet in one-and-a-half seconds, meaning that those wielding guns have precious little time to defend against someone carrying a bladed weapon. One study has even suggested that 21 feet is too conservative of an estimation. In many cases where self-defense requires proximity, knives will perform better than guns.

Reason #2: Knives Are Smaller and Easier to Carry

Pocket pistols, derringers, hammer-shrouded snub noses, and other specialty small handguns exist to make it easier to carry a firearm on your person. Still, unless they’re something gimmicky like the infamous pen gun, they’re still typically bulky, heavy, and difficult to make inconspicuous. There’s a reason why specialty vendors sell concealed-carry clothing and bags.

Unless you’re determined to strap a Bowie knife onto your belt, you know that knives don’t have this carrying problem. Even relatively large blades can easily fit in most pockets, and if you’ve picked an OTF to carry, you have a weapon that can deploy in an instant.

Reason #3: Knives Pose Less of a Risk of Accidental Death

Do you remember the comedic NBC sitcom Diff’rent Strokes? While the show based much of its humor on silly juxtapositions, an episode titled “The Peacemaker” tried to tackle the issue of gun violence and featured one character nearly shooting another in a botched self-defense effort. Despite the show’s earnestness, accidental gun deaths are relatively rare in the United States. (There were 535 unintentional gun deaths in 2020 according to Pew Research Center.) That’s a small number — but each life lost is still a tragedy.

Consider this, though: When’s the last time you heard of an accidental knife death? Likely never. According to a 2018 study about single-stab injuries published in Forensic Science, Medicine and Pathology, “There were no cases of an accidental single stab death from a knife in our records. Clinical data on accidental stab injuries was sought via a search of the medical records of a major tertiary referral hospital. A single non-fatal case of an accidental single stab injury from a knife was identified after the conclusion of our study period. Accidental stab injuries from a knife causing injury or death are rare.”

Reason #4: Knives Do Not Require Ammunition

Due to economic issues, natural disasters, worldwide pandemics, and political pressures, ammunition shortages have cropped up in the United States at various intervals, rendering firearms practically useless. Stockpilers and hand loaders may still be able to use handguns and rifles in such situations, but others will be out of luck. Not knife owners, though. Blades require no accessories to operate, and maintenance materials (e.g., oil, whetstones, clean rags) are easy to come by.

Reason #5: It's Usually Easier to Legally Conceal a Knife

This point deserves qualification almost before we mention it. Laws differ from state to state, city to city, and municipality to municipality. It’s your responsibility to know the requirements of where you live and any actions that may cause you to run afoul of the authorities.

That being said, you will typically find that it’s easier to legally conceal a knife than a firearm. Even the strictest areas will usually allow you to carry a blade provided it meets certain criteria, such as blade length and method of deployment. Know, though, that some places make it illegal to bring a knife into places like a government building, a movie theater, a house or worship, or a school.

Reason #6: Knives Have Less of a Social Stigma in Many Areas

Guns of any kind can provoke a negative reaction in other people. Sometimes even the mention of owning a firearm can lead others to recoil in horror, spread malicious gossip, or simply form a bad impression of you in their minds. Some are so extreme in their opinions that even allowing a child to play with a pop gun at the park can lead to finger wagging. Knives (at least the kinds that you’re likely to carry) typically lead to far less drastic reactions.

Reason #7: Knives Can Be Used for Many Different Kinds of Tasks

Unlike guns, which are pretty much only used for target practice, hunting, and self-defense, knives can be employed in a wide array of tasks. Opening packages. Cutting twine. Preparing a meal. Whittling a stick. Such versatility means that knives are implements that people will use in their everyday lives, a kind of flexibility that guns simply don’t share.

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