I am a firm believer that a firearm is the absolute best way to protect yourself, your family and your home. That being said, I know some states have prohibitive gun laws. I also realize that some people just aren’t comfortable with the idea of carrying a gun or keeping one in their home.
This week’s mailbag addresses alternative ways to defend yourself and deter home invaders — starting with the most powerful survival knife ever made.
Take a look.
Are you folks still championing the Guardian?
— Les D.
The fact is a machete is a great survival tool. It can be used to clear brush and chop wood as well as for self-defense. One of the top reasons a machete is an effective self-defense weapon is that you can defend yourself without getting close to your attacker.
In other words, if you had to use a knife, you would obviously have to be right up in your attacker’s face, but a machete lets you keep some distance. Plus, unlike a firearm, a machete won’t run out of bullets.
I recommend looking at the SEAL Saber XL. This kukri-style, full-tang knife is made of military-grade 3Cr13 stainless steel that won’t corrode or tarnish. Plus, the black oxide 751 coating prevents light from reflecting off the blade for added stealth.
What is the best door jamb? Also, what is your preferred guard dog?
— Nils M.
For securing an exterior door to your home, I recommend a product called Nightlock. It sells for about $40 — which is fairly inexpensive considering the peace of mind it provides. Basically, it’s a brace made of solid aluminum that uses the strength of the floor to prevent your door from being kicked in.
When it comes to dogs, I think large breeds are best. You want something that is going to intimidate a potential intruder, which is why I own a German shepherd.
How do I buy a blue ADT sign without installing an entire monitoring system?
— Barry J.
You can purchase alarm company signage on websites such as eBay and Amazon. I know eBay sells one for ADT and Amazon has one for Brink’s — which is another well-known home security company. These are great to have in your yard if you can’t afford a full security system.
Hey, Jason, please let me know where I can get a jig for a good price so I can build my own AR-15, as I already have the video on how to build one. I also need the jig for building my own handgun — also for a decent price. By the way, I will need the lower receiver too in an AR-15.
— Scott B.
The place I recommend is a gun shop here in southern Utah called Dixie GunWorx. The folks there do great work and they operate by the book, so they can help you legally find all the parts you need to build your own firearm. Plus, it doesn’t matter where you live in the U.S. Simply give them a call and they’ll help you get whatever you need.
I have two questions related to communication during a national emergency when cell service is unavailable:
- All family members know where to meet up in case of a national emergency, but there is always the possibility that this might need to change. What would be the best method of communication with family members in the short term?
- What would be the best long-term method to receive status information from the government and/or citizen emergency communications?
— Matt M.
During an emergency, one of the best ways to communicate is with a two-way radio such as the Baofeng UV-5R. Each family member would need to have one of these radios and everyone would have to be on the same channel.
If carrying two-way radios isn’t an option, I recommend leaving a note or setting up some sort of signal to let family members know that everyone should meet at a backup location.
For example, let’s say your plan is to meet at a local school near the flagpole. You might tell your family that if they go there and see a T-shirt tied to the pole, they should move on to a previously selected secondary location. You could go even further and dictate that a blue T-shirt signifies they should go to one meeting spot while a red T-shirt means they should go to another.
To receive the latest information, I also recommend the UV-5R radio. You can program these radios to pick up local emergency channels so you can stay up to date on what is going on in your area.
I am a 61-year-old female who walks with a three-pronged cane due to the chronic debilitating pain of osteoarthritis. I move very slowly and am afraid of being a prime target. How can I defend myself against would-be attackers?
— Martha R.
The best thing you can do to protect yourself is act confident, exercise good situational awareness and carry a gun if you’re able. A gun is the great equalizer. If you can’t (or don’t want to) carry a gun, I recommend getting a stun gun or at the very least a tactical pen.
I live in California. I have a Glock 43 that is my favorite concealed-carry firearm. It is not legal for me to carry this weapon in California and probably never will be. However, with three daughters and a wife, I do like to carry it when we are out and about. My question is should I carry and take the risk or should I not carry and take that risk? Thanks for any input.
— Tony C.
Personally, I wouldn’t take the risk of carrying a firearm illegally. I understand you want to be able to protect your family. But the thing is if you are caught with a firearm during a simple traffic stop, it could lead to serious charges.
My wife is from California. Before we were married, I told her that I would never live in California because of the state’s gun laws. Now, I’m sure picking up and moving isn’t an option for you, but I definitely don’t recommend breaking the law.
As for me, I grew up in Virginia about 12 miles outside of Washington, D.C. I have plenty of friends that carried their guns into D.C., but I never thought the risk was worth it.