Double Your Chances of Survival

Dear Black Bag Confidential Reader,

I’ve got some big news to share with you today. BIG. Huge.

Starting this Monday, your weekly dose of recommendations and analysis is going to double.

That’s right, folks: Black Bag Confidential is moving to six days a week. You’ll begin receiving brand-new, exclusive content every Monday through Saturday.

So if there’s a topic you’d like to see covered — or a burning question you’d like expertly answered — send an email to

And hold onto your hats, because we’re about to delve even deeper into the best spy and survival tactics out there.

Wouldn’t it be a good idea if car manufacturers redesigned the tongue portion of the seatbelt in a way that it could be used as a glass-breaking tool? Is there anything else inside your car that would work?

— Steve T.

While that’s a good idea, Steve, I’m not sure car manufactures would ever go for it. Which is why I always have a knife or some sort of glass-breaking device close by when I’m driving.

Of course, if you do have a heavy object in your car, you might be able to break the window with it, although I wouldn’t make this plan A. The fact is when your car is filling with water, you typically have less than a minute to get out before it’s submerged, so you don’t want to have to root around for something to free yourself.

I recommend planning ahead by keeping a glass-breaking tool in your glove box or center console in case you ever find yourself trapped in this dire situation. And if the device doubles as a tool to cut through seat belts? Even better.

Or in a pinch, you could try what reader Scot T. suggests below…

A suggestion to include for breaking the glass: The metal poles holding the headrest can be used in an emergency to break the window glass.

— Scot T.

You are 100% right, Scot, and this is a great idea. Thank you for sharing.

I have bought two tactical pens from you already. I keep one on my person at all times as well as one in my car. I was, however, thinking of getting one for all of my siblings and their kids. Do you recommend people of all ages carry these pens?

— Allison W.

One of my favorite things about the tactical pen is that it’s simple to use no matter what your age is.

What I mean is, for the tactical pen to be effective in stopping an attacker, you don’t have to know 50 different ninja moves. You simply jab the attacker wherever possible. This should create an opportunity for you to escape to safety.

I know children of all ages who carry tactical pens, but ultimately, it’s up to the parents to decide at what age their child is mature enough to have this tool and know when to use it. (My 3-year-old son, for instance, is not currently a good candidate for a tactical pen.)

I would point out that another reason to not follow the crowds after an explosion is the danger inherent in a human stampede.

— Greysen P.

You make a great point, Greysen. We have all heard stories of people being trampled during an emergency or, sadly, even during Black Friday shopping. There are some pretty horrific examples out there — like the 2003 stampede at the E2 nightclub in Chicago or the 2009 Millennium Point Concert stampede in Birmingham, United Kingdom.

The reality is a panicked crowd where everyone is trying to make it to the same exit is dangerous enough, but it can quickly turn deadly if you fall down. This is absolutely another good reason to avoid following a crowd — and why it’s important to identify more than one exit at large public gatherings.

Could you please discuss pros and cons of owning a .22 versus a 9 mm handgun for home defense and/or concealed carry?

— Mitch G.

When it comes to home defense or concealed carry, I recommend a 9 mm over a .22 for the simple fact that the 9 mm has more stopping power. Even though a .22 can cause damage and easily kill someone, the 9 mm is still the more powerful caliber.

A 9 mm round can penetrate 12 inches — a full foot — deep. When you’re trying to stop an attacker, you want to effectively damage a critical part of their body. The more force behind the bullet, the deeper and further it will travel and the greater chance it will rip through a vital organ.

In my opinion, a .22 lacks the power to consistently penetrate far enough to cause major damage. I would definitely stick with a 9 mm round for home defense. (I use Speer Gold Dot as my 9 mm home-defense ammo.)

Where do I buy a generator that doesn’t use gas?

— William O.

You can buy a propane generator from most hardware stores, including Home Depot or Lowe’s. I myself own a Sportsman 7,000-watt propane generator that I purchased for around $700 at my local hardware store.

I recommend phoning the store first to see if they have this kind of generator in stock. Otherwise, you may have to special order one. Don’t wait until three days before a hurricane hits to make the call, because you won’t get it in time.

Re: Violent attacks on the rise in the U.S. Wake up, my friend. They are inside jobs whether you want to believe it or not.

— Bill M.

Well… I’m going to go out on a limb here, Bill, and say the intelligence I get is likely better than yours (unless you are in contact with teams of intelligence officers all over the world).

The biggest threats to the U.S. these days are terrorists, North Korea, China and Russia.

Stay safe,

Jason Hanson

Jason Hanson

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