[This is an archived post from Mad Science Defense, currently on indefinite hiatus, and may not reflect the usual tone and content of Author J.R. White and/or the Storyteller at Large Blog. If you have arrived here via links from a website elsewhere in the tactical and combatives training community, we wish you the best in your skill development journey.]
A Tool for Each Hand
Think about your head for a moment. It holds your eyes, ears, nose and mouth: 4 out of 5 senses, and of course your brain. It’s the wheelhouse, the command center. Damage it and you can affect the senses at least, and deal death at worst.
Now think about your head in relation to your hands. You can protect your head with either hand. If you have something in your ear or eye, you can clean it with either hand. Even a one-armed man can wipe his mouth and blow his nose.
“If you are unable to reach your gun with your off hand, then you should consider having another tool available that you can.”
If we are designed to have such redundancy in the system with regards to our head, perhaps we can apply that idea to how we access our tools and weapons. Your body is built in such a way that if you lose an arm in the fight you can still wipe the blood off your face with the other. Wouldn’t it be nice to access your weapon, too?
Being able to access your firearm with either hand can help keep you in the fight. Of course, guns aren’t the only way to keep fighting. There are also knives and small impact weapons. If you are unable to reach your gun with your off hand, then you should consider having another tool available that you can.
Another important way to protect yourself is by preparing to deal with the potential physical trauma of a violent attack. Winning the fight and surviving to see another day are not always the same thing. It’s not much good to crush your enemies and then bleed out before EMS gets there. So some medical gear, a tourniquet at the least, is something else we should have access to with either hand.
“Think of car wrecks, industrial accidents or terrorist attacks like the Boston Marathon bombing; what will you find more useful then, a tourniquet or a spare mag?”
Lastly (and I really do mean lastly) having a spare magazine that you can reach with either hand is not without its benefits. Just make sure you don’t ditch the tourniquet to carry a spare mag instead. I know a lot of us like the spare mag, and I carry one almost every time I carry a gun. Here’s the issue with the spare mag, though; shooters carry them because they have trained reloads, developed skill, and want the tools available to exercise that skill. Awesome. However, in real world violence you will have more chances to use medical gear than you will a reload. Think of car wrecks, industrial accidents or terrorist attacks like the Boston Marathon bombing; what will you find more useful then, a tourniquet or a spare mag? So if you can carry a reload without ditching the knife or medical gear, go for it, but if not… choose wisely.
So now we have a handle on what we want to carry: Handgun, Knife, Tourniquet, and Reload. You can (and should) carry other things like your phone, keys, flashlight, etc., but the above are the items you want to reach with either hand when possible. Over the course of our next few posts, I’ll share some ways to carry your gear that will allow you to reach it with either hand, or at least have one defensive tool available to each hand.
Until Next Time,