–By Jason Hanson, former CIA Officer and New York Times bestselling author.
On a quiet summer night in Clearwater, Florida, Mr. and Mrs. Steve and Heather Aiosa awoke at 2:10 a.m. to find an intruder standing in the doorway of their bedroom. The intruder, later identified as Robert James Alcalde, began ransacking the bedroom while the frightened couple called 911.
Then Steve Aiosa retrieved his .22 rifle from underneath the bed and went outside to load it. But the rifle malfunctioned and wouldn’t fire. At this point, Heather Aiosa ran from the home to join her husband, the intruder following closely behind.
The criminal tackled Mrs. Aiosa, and a struggle ensued. Mr. Aiosa ran into the house to grab his machete, also from underneath the bed, and rushed back outside. The intruder was still on the ground fighting with Mrs. Aiosa. Mr. Aiosa hacked his legs repeatedly with the machete, causing large, gaping wounds.
Per Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri, “It was a very, very bloody scene.” When the police arrived, homeowner and intruder were fighting over the rifle, so the responding officers stunned the suspect with a Taser. Mr. Alcalde was transported to the hospital, but due to the severity of the wounds on his legs, he was pronounced dead upon arrival.
As extreme as it sounds, Mr. Aiosa did the right thing. He used the necessary means to protect himself, his wife and his property. Who knows what the intruder would have done had Mr. Aiosa not struck him with the machete?
Obviously, this is a great lesson in preparation. Mr. Aiosa retrieved his gun, which malfunctioned, but thankfully, he had another weapon readily available. I’m a firm believer that a gun is the best tool for self-defense, but for this very reason it’s always wise to have a backup weapon. I strongly urge you to consider what other tools you could keep on hand that might save your life. Perhaps a baseball bat, a golf club, a knife or, yes, even a machete.
Now, I’m sure that when most people think about a machete, they picture someone clearing a path through the jungle, slicing away at the undergrowth. It’s true that in many tropical countries, the machete is used as an agricultural tool to clear brush, chop sugar cane, split wood and butcher animals for food. But the machete also makes a deadly improvised fighting tool. In fact, today the machete is still widely used in many parts of the world, both for agricultural purposes as well as for fighting.
Clearly, the machete has many uses, but is it realistic or necessary for you to own one? Obviously, it’s not practical to carry one on you for daily self-defense, but should you keep one in your car or your home as a backup weapon? If you were in a situation such as the Aiosa couple, what would you use as a second weapon?
Would a knife, for example, be a better option? Maybe not. The biggest advantage of a machete is that it allows you to attack from farther away. For a knife to be effective, you have to be very close to the threat, but a machete can cause damage from a greater distance.
Not only that, a machete’s size, makes it very intimidating. An attacker would probably think twice if they saw you wielding such a large blade. A machete would also be a better weapon to defend against wild animals.
And finally, it can still be used for agricultural and other nonviolent uses. If you’re interested in adding a machete to your gear, make sure you purchase a quality tool that will last. Check out the Kershaw Camp 18 Machete, which sells for around $46 on Defender Outdoors or the Ka-Bar Combat Kukri, which is about $75.
There are many different sizes and shapes when it comes to machetes. Shop around to find the best option for your needs. And just like I recommend always keeping your home defense gun loaded, always keep your machete sharp. You never know when you may need this versatile blade to defend your home.
Jason Hanson is a former CIA officer and New York Times bestselling author. After graduating from Radford University, Hanson joined the Arlington County Police Force. Not long thereafter, Jason set his sights on the Central Intelligence Agency. Once he was accepted into the CIA, he made a name for himself and received the CIA’s Exceptional Performance Award twice; once in 2005 and again in 2008. After over six years with the CIA, Hanson left to start a family and founded Spy Escape & Evasion with the goal of teaching men and women how to be safe using secrets and methods honed from years with the intelligence community. Then in 2014, Jason won a deal on the ABC hit show Shark Tank. Jason then authored his first New York Time Bestseller, Spy Secrets That Can Save Your Life, and began expanding his spy instructing company by opening the 320-acre Spy Ranch. To get a free copy of his book or learn more about his training programs, visit www.SpyEscape.com.