One of the things I mentioned carrying in my ATB above is a portfolio. Although I've never been in the Navy and certainly have never been a SEAL, my portfolio has the SEAL's famous trident symbol on it. Why? Because I purchased it from the Naval Special Warfare Foundation, a non-profit organization that supports the surviving family members of SEALs killed in the line of duty. It came with a suitably marked pen which some criminal soul promptly stole when I left my portfolio unattended for a few moments. Since then I've replaced it with a Tactical Defense Pen from Mil-Tac; information below.
My portfolio, although serviceable and well used, doesn't provide any special protections in a threat environment. There are some companies making ballistic portfolios and laptop carry bags, such as the one shown to the right, manufactured from Kevlar and offering Level III ballistic protection. I always knew that the corporate environment could be dangerous, but I always thought it was because of the back-stabbing and toe-stepping that goes on, not the shooting. However, in any of today's urban environments there exists the chance of violence from the criminal element and having a layer of protection from bullets never hurts.
A variation on this theme is the ballistic clipboard. When police officers - and many administrators - do their job, they quite often find themselves holding a clipboard to write reports, take notes, etc. The ballistic clipboard shown offers another layer of potential protection from gunfire, and it incorporates that protection into an item frequently found in your hand anyway. I should note that if you put one of these clipboards, or one of the portfolios described above into your BlackHawk Advanced Tactical Bag, then the bag--typically hanging over your shoulder at waist height or slightly higher--becomes a ballistic barrier. Not that the bag has any ballistic properties, but when the contents do then you're carrying around a compact shield.
That brings me to the Tactical Defense Pen. Now, I've seen the Jason Bourne movies and the fight scene where he uses a good old fashioned plastic Bic pen as a weapon. Cool stuff--unless you're the guy who ends up with the pen stuck in his hand between the middle and ring fingers. But is there a pen designed and better suited for such use? Yes: the Tactical Defense Pen (TDP) from Mil-Tac. Made of aircraft aluminum and designed not as a pen that you can use as a weapon, but as a weapon that also happens to write, the TDP even looks fairly stylish. I keep waiting for Mil-Tac to start engraving them with company logos. Of course, they'll never be used as promotional items unless a company simply doesn't have anything better to do with their money--the TDP costs too much for that. But it can be used as a stylus, and it does write very well. Closed or open with the cap stuck on the back end, this pen makes an excellent stabbing weapon and/or pressure point tool. Closed, the pointed end also serves as an excellent impact tool that allows strength sufficient to break/crack flat bones or penetrate flesh.
For all that, it's just a pen. It's easily carried and used in every environment without causing any alarm. It's available in several colors and actually does write very well. Unlike some of the older ball point pens that seem to streak here and there, leaving white gaps in your blue or black lines, the TDP writes without such breaks.
These are just a few items you can carry in the business environment that allow you to be prepared for threats we never anticipate but that somehow tend to erupt when least expected.