When the Jews returned to Jerusalem with Nehemiah, they were returning to a destroyed city, completely surrounded by enemies. The lessons taught in the Book of Nehemiah are just as valid today in either a Without Rule of Law (WROL) situation, or even in everyday life.
Nehemiah 4:23 says “Neither I, nor my brothers, nor my men took off our clothes, each had his weapon; even when he went for water.”
This isn’t bad advice, no matter what century.
The point of the advice is to remain aware and ready to defend yourself at all times. This was referred to by the legend Jeff Cooper as “Condition Yellow”. It means remaining engaged and being aware of the people around you, your environment, and potential issues that may develop, rather than being distracted by your phone or daydreaming.
When I approach a commercial building, like a store or gas station, I glance through the door or windows first, then as soon as I enter I take in the whole scene, noting all potential exits. It only takes two seconds and could potentially save your life.
In a true WROL situation, this becomes even more important. Nehemiah’s admonition to always be armed takes on special significance in the wake of a natural disaster, mass quarantine, power grid failure, or economic collapse.
In urban areas, the average house has about 48 hours worth of food in it. After the ability to quickly restock food from the corner store has gone away, hungry people will get desperate and remaining armed at all times can be the difference between safety and injury, or worse.
In that situation, you and your team should be fully armed and in “full kit” (sidearm, fixed blade knife, long gun, spare ammunition, and RADIO) at all times. When sleeping, be clothed, like Nehemiah suggests, with all your gear within arms reach. Luke 11:21 says “When a strong man, fully armed, guards his house, his possessions are safe.”
I also recommend highly the “3 Blade Rule”. You should always have available in everyday carry (EDC) and on your body in a WROL situation, 3 blades. First, a folding blade knife, which can be carried in a pocket for EDC or on your gear otherwise. Second, some type of multi-tool. For EDC, my Gerber Suspension and my Gerber M600 are in my laptop bag and in WROL, they have pouches on my web gear. The third blade is a full-size fixed blade knife. For EDC, the fixed blade knife is in my “Emergency Egress” backpack in the rear of my SUV (I carry either a Gerber LMF Infantry or my trusty USMC Ka-Bar). With these three blades, you can solve nearly any emergency, self-defense, or survival need.
As far as EDC carry of a firearm, Nehemiah said they carried their weapons everywhere, even to get water and it’s solid advice. There is no purpose is obtaining a Concealed Pistol License and then not carrying a pistol. I recommend carrying whatever your EDC gear is, whether it’s a handgun or a knife (and it should be both) everywhere that you legally can. You can’t possibly predict when evil or flawed ideology will touch your life, so it’s your responsibility to always be ready.
One more point about EDC: Whether or not you choose to arm yourself for EDC, you should ALWAYS carry a first aid kit. If you do choose to lawfully carry a firearm or knife, you MUST carry a first aid kit. Carrying first aid supplies really isn’t hard and can save lives in any emergency. I’ll do a full post on these, but here’s a recap of what I carry and where:
- Laptop bag: Ziploc bag of various band-aids, some gauze, a pressure bandage (for gunshot wounds or any penetrating trauma), a tourniquet, and a CPR mask/gloves.
- Emergency Egress Backpack: Full kit with band-aids, wipes, antibiotic, gauze, pressure dressings, triangular bandage, Cellox, EMT shears, gloves, CPR mask.
- Trunk of SUV: Full Size med kit with multiple pressure dressings, tourniquet, band-aids of every size, combine pads, gauze, triangular bandages, tape, wipes, antibiotic, conforming bandage, EMT shears, minor medications, CPR mask, and gloves.
- IFAK (moves between bags): Full kit like above, but also with Cellox for blood clotting.
The first aid kits may seem to be a bit much, but I’ve been blessed to be able to help injured people at accident scenes many times in my life. Having the right gear and never needing it is FAR better than needing the gear and NOT having it.
Thanks for reading!