Courtesy of Gabe Suarez, one of the greats in reality based self protection:
Carrying In The Non-Permissive Environment
First of all, nothing in this article is to be construed as an advocating of violating any laws. This is presented for those who may be interested in the academic nature of such studies and for education purposes only. There now that we got that clove of garlic out in the air, let’s get into the meat of the material.
This will be controversial, but I think it needs to be written. I have students all over the world, in some very dangerous areas. In many of those places, there is no NRA, CCW Laws, Second Amendment, or even recognition of Human Rights. The danger is real and I’m regaled with stories of brutality from infant rape to post-kidnapping dismemberments and other grizzly stories that would drive any sane man to carry weapons, regardless of the local laws, and be prepared to use them violently at any moment. The danger is even more real if you are a pale-faced American in our current age of drug wars, terror wars, and renewed anti-Yankeeism. Can this info be misused? Anything from beer to baseball bats can be misused. The bad guys already know this material, and it is part and parcel of their bad guy skill sets. Heck, who do you think we learned this from? Our friends who were once on the opposite side of the legal lines.
When Operating and Carrying Weapons in A Non-Permissive Environment:
First of all, be low profile. Try to fit into your environment. Don’t dress like a Yankee. Avoid loud clothing with bright colors or patterns and instead go for muted earth tones. Avoid the scruffy look as well. In general, neat, clean people get overlooked, dirty scruffy unshaved people get a second look. Avoid American brand clothing such as things with flags or slogans. Again, the entire idea is to dressed in a way that you can easily be overlooked.
If carrying a weapon, dress to hide it. No one looking at you should have any idea that you are carrying a weapon. Photographer vests from Royal Robbins may look and be the rage on the cover of Bitchin Guy Magazine, but you may as well carry openly because everyone knows its covering a gun. Same goes for baseball hats representing American tactical companies such as Glock or “certain shooting schools”. If it marks you as an armed American, do yourself a favor – get rid of it! Real operators are invisible, not poster boys for the American gun industry.
A note about weapons. Pistols of course are a fine choice if you can have one. If not, at least have a knife. Either bring one with you, or get one locally. If you cannot find a knife, get a screw driver a nice sharp Phillips screw driver. The idea is to have something with which to fight. Usually someone will bring up the idea of O.C. Spray. Well, here is my opinion on it. In the USA, that may be a fine idea due to various social issues, but with or without it, you must have something to back it up. You cannot OC three guys wanting to “stomp the Yankee”.
In this environment the idea of less lethal is secondary to having the ability to inflict instant and overwhelming damage on those who attack you.
With regard to firearms, there are some choices which are better than others. Avoid extremely expensive or “personalized” guns. Carry Mexican style. That is holster less. Why? Because if you need to discard you pistol to be instantly unarmed and not one to be paid attention to, the empty holster is as telling as the gun that it carried.
Something that is often done by those who venture into such environments routinely is to wipe all fingerprints off the cartridges and reinsert them into the magazines with gloves on. It is also interesting to note that polygonal bores such as found on certain pistols do not mark the projectile as do standard lands-and-grooves barrel. The end result is that it is more difficult to determine from which pistol a certain bullet came.
With regards to knives, they should be very very sharp and not used for routine day to day chores. They should be hidden and remain hidden until they are needed. I’ve seen guys whip out a $300 custom folder when some soccer mom asks if anyone has a knife to open a box of cookies. Stupid.
The knife should be inexpensive and easily replaced. The idea that you may have to ditch your knife should be remembered before you choose between that high dollar custom and the Spyderco Endura to carry in the NPE.
Finally, above the software and hardware is the background work. Have a plan, and follow it. If something goes wrong it should not surprise you but rather you should have thought of it before and planned for it. Be smart, be low profile, but be ready. Your safety and that of those around you whom you care about is in your hands alone. No one else will come to help you at such times. Bottom Line - Be Armed At All Times