So, you are ready to begin your new dedication to exercising your 2nd Amendment rights by carrying a legally acquired handgun in a permitted CCW area. You attended the 8-40 hour long class that your state requires to carry your weapon and if not, hopefully you attended at
least an NRA basic pistol class or come from a sufficient military, security or law-enforcement background to where you have at least basic knowledge of your weapon, its operation, limitations, and retention.
You get your carefully chosen weapon, holster, and possibly a second magazine and/or speed loader and hit the road, confident of being the most heavily armed man in the produce section of your local grocery store. You have a checkmark in every box. You have everything covered, right?
Well, maybe not.
King 5 News in Seattle recently (repeated here in the Escapist) carried the story of a CCW holder who carried something extra. After being confronted by an armed assailant at an ATM, the CCW holder, a software employee named Jeff Fletcher produced his weapon and confronted the suspect.
"I told him to drop his weapon, he dropped his weapon," Fletcher said. "I told him to get on the ground, he got on the ground." Minutes later, Fletcher said he remembered he was carrying his father's old handcuffs. That's reasonable. I never leave home without at least one pair, either. He detained the suspect, searched the shooter, and sat the man on the curb to wait until law enforcement arrived.
Fletcher warned against ordinary citizens engaging in this risky behavior, but "to ex-police or ex-army, or somebody who's got sufficient training and who's willing to take on that kind
of risk for their loved ones or their community and has the capacity to do it, absolutely."
Let us talk contingency and liability.
In most CCW instances, you want to use your weapon to as an escape device to get you away from danger. Most citizen self-defense CCW incidents result in the assailant being chased off. In the world of going home to your family, this is a win. So the bad guy didn't get caught? Maybe you have enough information to lead to his arrest and prosecution. Maybe they will be so scared that the next victim of theirs will have a CCW and not as much patience as you did and will go apply for a job at McDonalds instead. The point is, you do not have to apprehend an assailant to walk away from a self-defense situation a winner,-being able to walk away itself is the big win.
However, what if the act of producing a weapon in self-defense during the commission of a felony upon yourself or someone under your protection does not result in the chase-off? What if there are rounds fired? What if some of them are yours and you wind up eliminating your threat? Now an overzealous district attorney will be looking at the shooting to see if you are some modern day gunslinger who was just out to shoot people.
Say the family of the assailant sues you personally for wrongful death even if the DA rules it a self-defense situation. Now you are going to court and a jury will be shown a picture of the assailant in his high school graduation photo, hear about how he was on the honor roll in 7th
grade, and was the favorite darling of his church choir a few years ago. Then the attorney for his family will ask if you had any other means of self-defense or detention of the slain young man other than your pistol. After all, if the only thing you have is a pistol, what more were you looking to do than shoot someone?
Here is the case for your handcuffs. Granted, in most instances you will never need them. In many instances should you draw your CCW weapon it is likely that you will never have to fire it. In some instances, if you detain a suspect for undue cause you can risk false
imprisonment or even kidnapping charges. This cuts the chances of you ever touching your handcuffs down tremendously.
Nevertheless, they are too big, cumbersome, awkward, etc. to carry, you say. Then make or buy a set of paracord handcuffs. They can be used very simply: insert hands to the wrist, tighten, and tie a knot. Can be ideal when tied around a tree, lamppost, street sign etc. You can buy them on eBay or make a pair for about $2.
It is very important that if you carry handcuffs in your EDC kit that you do three things:
1. Check your local laws as far as citizen's arrest. It is very important that if you detain an individual you do it only after you have personally witnessed a felony committed by them and
at no time refer to yourself as a law-enforcement agent or that you are placing them under legal arrest, unless of course you are a law-enforcement officer.
2. If you carry either paracord-type or chain-type handcuffs, be sure that you are able to use them, and practice using them. There are several courses of instruction offered by self-defense and security companies across the country.
3. Know that restraining any individual no matter the reason is not easy and can go wrong in a heartbeat. With the exception of a very small possibility, handcuffing an assailant if you are alone is foolhardy. Preventing harm to yourself and those around you is the primary reason to be a CCW holder, not detaining criminals.
The decision is not for everyone. However, like most of your EDC kit, to some it is better to have it and not need it, than to need it and not have it.