It’s late Friday night and you’re walking to your car after a fun evening with your friends downtown. As you turn the corner down an unlit side street, you see a shadow dart across the wall and hear footsteps. The hairs on your neck stand straight up. You quicken your pace, but the other footsteps speed up as well. You look around trying to make out shapes in the dark, when out of nowhere a fist connects with your cheekbone. The sucker punch takes you to the ground and you can feel your wallet being taken from your back pocket.
Before you have time to react, your assailant has disappeared back into the cover of darkness.
You really could have used a flashlight.
If you’re like me, you typically think of flashlights as something you keep in your kitchen drawer in case the power goes out, or as what you bring along on an infrequent camping trip so you can find your way back to the tent after you take a middle-of-the-night leak. But according to Mike Seeklander, firearms and tactical trainer with Shooting Performance, a flashlight is something every man should have with him at all times. I met Mike over at the US Shooting Academy here in Tulsa to go over the ins and outs of using a flashlight in a tactical situation. Here’s what he told me.What Is a Tactical Flashlight?
In today’s post we’re not talking about just any old flashlight. We’re talking about tactical flashlights. What makes a flashlight tactical? A tactical flashlight is simply a flashlight that’s been designed for tactical (i.e. military or police) use. Many tactical flashlights are designed to be mounted to a weapon for low-light shooting. They’re typically smaller than traditional flashlights, emit much more light, and are made of weapon-grade aluminum for maximum durability. While tactical flashlights are designed primarily for military and police units, as we’ll see below, they’re also a really handy everyday and personal defense tool for the average civilian.
Before we even get into the tactical and self-defense uses of a flashlight, let’s talk about why you should start carrying one even if you don’t plan on using it to thwart would-be attackers. Next to a pocket knife, a small, tactical flashlight is one of the most useful and versatile tools a man can have in his Every Day Carry kit.
I can’t count the number of times I’ve been in a situation where a flashlight would have been handy, but I was left stumbling in the dark. Take the other day for example. I was trying to fix a connection on our TV’s audio output, but I couldn’t see a thing behind the stand. So I had to go rummage around my house looking for a flashlight. I could have saved myself about 15 minutes if I simply had a small flashlight tucked in my pocket along with my knife.