Weapons are tools to enhance our combat scope, to power us. But inherent faults and our reliance can weaken us and undermine our position.
“Always remember the first rule of power tactics; power is not only what you have but what the enemy thinks you have.” -Saul Alinsky
Weapons are generously covered on this site but something needs to be addressed: to be mindful of the weakness of weapons and how wielding them can potentially weaken you directly as a result.
This is in regards to traditional, literal, physical, personal weapons (guns, knives etc.) – not figurative.
As with any tool, we rely on weapons to gain an advantage or increase efficiency in the relevant action the tools are meant for, in this case combat.
Projectile weapons provide offensive reach and defensive distance, edged weapons provide penetration and precision, and blunt instruments provide force multiplication and improvisation.
These are all enhancements that go beyond our natural abilities or augment them – far from “weaknesses”… that is, when they operate or is operated correctly as well as item availability and deployability. Otherwise they enable weakness.
Or more precisely, exposes our weaknesses or manifests them on the fly on a situational basis.
“All dictators, the rich and famous, to the lowest security guard who holds a gun, easily forget that power is transitory.” -F. Sionil José
By default, weapons give us a true sense of security and actual power – which is potentially infinitely useful. The problem is that they can also give us an overly heightened sense of security and a false confidence of ability. A disastrous recipe for combat deficiency.
Among these weaknesses of combat, there is one that is more strikingly dangerous to oneself:
Complacency. Trained or not, properly equipped or not, a complacent mindset can make your very powerful weapon inert. And therefore, yourself very weak. The very sense and actuality of strength provided by a weapon to the wielder can also provide the greatest weakness if complacency sets in.
A perfect weapon is imperfect if it can not be used. An efficient weapon is inefficient if it can not be used properly. And a weaponized man is impotent when affected by the “weakness of weapons”.
I’m not suggesting removing weapons from your carry, I usually have a duo, but do always keep the mindset of how it can negatively affect you. Perhaps more importantly, to learn to defend yourself or at least feel comfortable without having a weapon.
As they are tools, don’t allow them to control you by false senses of power and grandeur, instead conduct them to create actionable power.
If you’re weak without a weapon, then you are weak.