A backup weapon is any tool that can be accessed, deployed or utilized during a violent encounter when the primary weapon is lost, inaccessible, or unavailable. A backup weapon could be another firearm, a knife, pepper spray or any improvised weapon that is available in the immediate vicinity. The use of a backup weapon must become part of a daily training routine, in addition to training with the primary weapon. One cannot reasonably expect that he will efficiently deploy the auxiliary tool without the proper training. Considering the effects of survival stress, why leave it to chance? I recommend that an improvised weapon mentality also become an integral part of your training. In simple terms, this mentality allows one to perceive all available objects as potential weapons of opportunity. In addition, an individual conditions his mind to be continuously looking for them.
You may ask yourself, should you carry a back up weapon? My answer will always be…absolutely! It is infinitely better to have additional options when faced with the threat of what I call “the three C’s”, Criminals, Crazies or Crusaders, or a worse scenario: a Zombie attack.
There are several reasons that necessitate a backup weapon, and they are skillfully identified by the author of Blue Sheep Dog blog: www.bluesheepdog.com:
- Everything fails! Yes, I agree everything mechanical eventually fails. Your primary weapon system might experience a stoppage of some kind and a backup weapon provides an alternative. Obviously, you should keep your primary system in great working order, but bad situations can and do happen to good people. Heed the message of Murphy’s Law: anything that can go wrong will go wrong.
- You have lost your Primary weapon! As I am known to say, this is a bad day in Disneyland if this happens. During a hand-to-hand encounter, you are furiously fighting and realize that you need to end the situation quickly before you are killed. You attempt to access your primary weapon system and notice it has been dislodged from your holster during the melee–all you have left is your backup weapon
- Accessing the backup weapon is quicker. Sometimes when you are fighting from a position of disadvantage you might not be able to access your primary weapon. Having an easily accessible backup weapon may be your quickest and best alternative. By having this ready alternative, you could quickly shift the odds of winning the encounter to favor you.
Consider the words of Louis Pasteur: “Chance favors the prepared mind”. I do believe he was correct, but I would like to add that chance also favors the trained mind and body.
While anything can happen, theory alone provides flimsy protection in a life and death situation. As I said before—why leave so much to chance? First, select the best backup weapon for your needs. Second, be certain that you know how to deploy the weapon correctly and efficiently. This is only done by seeking the best training available to you and regularly practicing and honing the skills to develop proficiency. Then, and only then, will you have done all you can to ensure the cards are stacked in your favor when the chips are down and the crap starts heading into the fan! It will take some time, effort and commitment to accomplish this goal, but if your life is ever hanging in the balance in a deadly force situation, you will be glad you invested in the equipment and personal development.