Look, I get that people are fond of their guns. The street sweeper (which I do not possess) is never more than twenty feet from me at any time, though ammo is hard as hell to get here. Yet sometimes you may need to get down and dirty in close combat. There are a few options to choose from - some legal, some not, depending on where you live.Martial Arts
The fact that spell check tried to change that to Marital Arts twice might be a hint. Don't get me wrong - I am a fan. They are one of the greatest and most fun ways to stay fit ever devised. It is also pretty much the best way to get your ass handed to you on a silver platter. In a close situation, there is no referee. No scoring. Every instinct trained into you is a liability, not an asset.Knives
I don't mean to belittle a thousand bad movies, but you are more likely to slice yourself open with a knife than you are to do damage to an attacker. Knives take practice. Many hours of it to be even semi proficient - as much practice as a gun requires. Sure, they are there in the drawer or the knife rack, or sheathed at your hip, but you ain't going to Rambo someone without some serious training time.Machete
Lets move up the scale to "Now, that is a knife." A machete or one of it's variants seems to be an ideal close quarters weapon. Heavy, gives you a bit of stand off room, can be used one or two handed and it just looks scary in motion. Now, how strong are your wrists?
Even using a machete for it's intended purpose is exhausting in a very short space of time. Your wrist gets tired fast and the blade starts to twist or droop as you swing, meaning you are smacking your target with the flat of the blade. Embarrassing and painful for your attacker, but hardly lethal. Should you manage to hit the person with the cutting edge, you have a better than even chance of suddenly being disarmed as your blade gets stuck. Oddly, the sharper you keep the machete, the more likely it is to get stuck in someone.A Stick
Before you start laughing, stick fighting is an ancient and devastatingly effective art. Look up Eskrima, or the quarterstaff, and no one ever questions you carrying a walking stick or a cane. If it is good enough for Andrew Jackson, it is good enough for you.
Again, it gives you a bit of stand off room, it can be used for jabbing as well as hitting and, as anyone who grew up in the 50's can attest, hurts like hell when it hits.
The only real downsides to a stick are that it needs a bit of room in order to be used effectively and it tends to be made of wood that can break at an inconvenient time.A Log Splitter
We call them a maul here in the UK, for good reason. They are the perfect tool for ruining someone's day.
Back in the day, this was used to take out armored knights
Again, they are slightly heavy and need some room to use, but they have one over-riding advantage. Someone hit with one of these stays hit. Trim the handle down to about 18 inches or so for maximum effectiveness.
So, what is your favorite close quarters weapon?