There has been much discussion of self defense in gun free zones, and it brought to mind one of my favorite low aggro (that is, a tool that doesn’t appear conspicuously aggressive) self defense options: a tactical pen, like my Tuff Writer pen. But, before I give a detailed review on my Titanium EDC Gen 2 pen, I first want to discuss why you may want to consider tac pens as alternative self defense tools.
Disclaimer: The Arms Guide is not a source of legal counsel. If you have any question about the self defense laws where you live, including use of alternative self defense tools, such as tac pens, contact a legal professional.
Ideally, I’d like to carry a firearm everywhere. Guns serve as excellent force multipliers, allowing a naturally disadvantaged victim to stand a chance against a larger, stronger attacker, or even multiple attackers. But as James mentioned in his article, I can’t legally tote my concealed carry pistol everywhere I go. But, what can I carry virtually everywhere? Seemingly innocuous everyday tools like flashlights and pens. Having those items optimized for self defense, should the need arise, improves my odds that much more.
Due to the size and strength relegated to me by my gender, I don’t want to find myself in a hand-to-hand altercation to begin with. But, if a potentially mortal conflict is unavoidable, and all I have at my disposal is a pen, I’m going to use it. When considering a pen as a last resort self defense tool, having certain features will give a tac pen appeal over your average office writing implement.
From my perspective the main benefit a tac pen offers is concealing a self defense tool with a mundane appearance. Tac pens that appear overtly aggressive may still be recognized as a weapon, so an ideal tac pen then would offer self defense benefits (I’ll talk about those below) while looking ordinary.
An advantage a tac pen can offer over your old Bic® is in metal construction. Many tac pens, such as the Tuff Writer Frontline Series pen featured above, are made of strong (the Frontline pens are made with aerospace grade) aluminum alloys. This element makes tac pens strong, but light, which increases their effectiveness as a striking or stabbing implement.
How terrifying would it be to be in a situation where you have to resort to striking an attacker with your pen only to have it slip right out of your hand and drop uselessly to the floor? Having a positive gripping surface is a slight feature, but it does improve one’s ability to hang on to a pen.
Pointed Tip and Base
Now, you may be saying to your screen, “Dest, a pen already has a point. You can just stab with that, if you have to.” This is true. But, what happens if I have the pen capped? If I’m already at the point where I’m resorting to using a pen for self defense, I’m in dire straits indeed, so having the option of striking with a metal point whether or not I have the opportunity—and the wherewithal—to uncap my pen, is definitely my preference.
Finding a Tac Pen
Having the features in mind for an ideal tac pen is great, but pretty useless if you don’t know where to buy one. Fortunately, there are many places to track down a tac pen (or several) to suit your needs. You may only have to look as far as your local gun shop. However, if your gun shop doesn’t offer alternative self defense tools such as these, the Internet is rife with options. I’ve taken a shining to Tuff Writer pens (I’ll elaborate on that in another post), but there are several companies that manufacture tac pens that include the features discussed above, including Uzi, Smith & Wesson, and Schrade, with a myriad of color, material, and finish options, ranging from a modest $25 for a humble, but serviceable aircraft aluminum pen up to a surprising $250 titanium work of writing art. What tac pens do you carry?
Featured image courtesy of tuffwriter.com