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There are some countries that is consider "dangerous", which I will not specific it.

My main question is whether is it best practice to buy a weapon to protect yourself and people who accompany you during the trip?

Assumption: If the country allow one to carry a form of weapon.

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    This question is the very definition of "subjective/argumentative". Mar 5, 2013 at 1:16
  • @NateEldredge Nobody cares if they like the question. Mar 5, 2013 at 18:21
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    @Zurechtweiser: liking a question and a question being subjective or argumentative are not the same thing at all. The latter are specifically not acceptable on the Stack Exchange network. Check the FAQ. Mar 6, 2013 at 1:06
  • As it stands this question is opinion-based and therefore OT here but it could possibly be rephrased like: "Is there any (statistical) evidence that bringing a weapon during a travel expose you to a lower chance of being victim of a crime?"
    – Geeo
    Dec 11, 2013 at 8:21

2 Answers 2

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Defense in general:

You will not be able to defend yourself in any situation if you are not trained for it, as described by TransTerra. That goes for weapons just the same as for martial arts. And that goes beyond being able to shoot a weapon and knowing Karate. It means to be familiar in situations where you would use the weapon and when it comes to contact sports you will have be trained in a full-contact form. The civilized ways of shooting at a range or friendly judo fights are in no way anything that helps you when you get a shotgun held in your face while stopping at a traffic light or if someone grabs you by the neck while flashing a knife while you are looking at a shopping window. Or if a hooker drops you drugs into your drink.

On top of that, a lot of crime in the world is not a 1:1 issue but an issue of gangs operating. So you have to be able to deal with other people in the background as well.

Weapons and traveling:

You will likely have issues crossing borders with weapons. Airplanes and other tightly controlled transport make it basically impossible. You would have to buy one locally and then somehow sell it again before you leave.

Security while traveling:

There are of course many dangerous countries, but the issue with security in other countries is not so much about how well you are equipped or how well you can fight. The issue is much rather when to expect what from whom and how to behave. And for this, you will have to know the country, if not the city itself. While you are discouraged to stop with a car at a red light in some south American countries, some places in Africa are much more an issue of happily waving to the gangs in the street so they know you have seen them. In France it is simply about not using PCs in a Starbucks terrace and in Japan not get drunk in certain areas of the city.

In my experience it is much more easy and simple to stay out of trouble then to be prepared for it. Travel guides as well as local people can often advise you very well where not to go and what not to do.

If you are a high net worth individual you are even then in most cases better off to stay low key if that is possible than to hire guards. In many countries, hiring guards implies an armored car or even traveling by helicopter only. If you can credibly wear a cheap jeans and T-Shirt and leave your diamond watch at home, you will have a higher chance of staying out of trouble than if you have 3 armed men following you.

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    and another point: just because carrying a weapon is legal somewhere for residents/citizens does not mean it's legal for visitors/tourists.
    – jwenting
    Mar 4, 2013 at 7:13
  • @jwenting: true, USA being prime example
    – vartec
    Mar 5, 2013 at 11:18
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Being Ex-Military I can tell you from experience that if you carry a weapon you need to be trained or at least familiar with it. Most importantly you must be WILLING to use it without hesitation. If you can honestly check those boxes then yes bring your weapon of choice!

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    +1 for training. In my opinion, the training provided by years of Aikido is far better than a weapon.
    – mouviciel
    Mar 4, 2013 at 3:00
  • agree with Aikido approach. Mar 4, 2013 at 6:37
  • is there a reason to make your answer "community wiki"?
    – Dirty-flow
    Mar 4, 2013 at 10:43
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    Keep in mind that in many jurisdictions, having training in any martial art, including weaponless ones such as boxing, can lead to more serious charges against you even if you were defending yourself and you end up injuring the other person! Mar 4, 2013 at 23:26
  • indeed. Or even defending yourself at all, even accidentally hurting an attacker can lead to arrest and being charged with assault. Famous case in my home town had a home owner arrested and charged with "causing a dangerous work environment and assault" when a burglar stepped on a skateboard sitting in the hallway, fell, and broke a leg. Extreme case, but such things do happen, no need to draw attention to yourself by beating the living daylights out of someone trying to mug you.
    – jwenting
    Mar 6, 2013 at 9:27

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