Personal Protection Products (Non-lethal)
People have been carrying personal protection for about as long as there have been people. Knives and daggers have been worn for centuries to be used in an emergency. Though knives and daggers may still be used, personal protection products have come a long way. With stun guns, pepper sprays, tactical pens and self defense key chains, the possibilities are endless. If you choose not to carry a firearm or if you're looking to layer your protection with non-lethal weapons, you may choose to add one of some of these devices to your protection strategy. Here's a list of some of the most commonly used protection devices.
Tear Gas and Mace:
Tear Gas is a combination of chemicals used as a spray to irritate the eyes and cause blinding tears. Mace is a trademarked brand of tear gas. Though tear gas can cause up to 30 minutes of blinding pain, I do NOT recommend it because it may not work.
Tear gas can take time to reach full effect, does not work on some animals or intoxicated people (two good reasons to carry defensive spray) which is why I recommend Pepper Spray.
Pepper spray is a highly concentrated formula of oleoresin capsicum made from the oils of the hottest peppers.
When sprayed in the face of an attacker, pepper spray causes irritation to nerve endings on contact. The nasal passages and throat immediately begin to constrict shutting down all but subsistence breathing. Depending on concentration, effects could last 20-45 min. Some Pepper Spray formulas have a UV dye to help law enforcement identify the attacker. Pepper Spray will work on someone under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Various concentrations are available, if legal in your state I recommend getting something with 18% OC (highest available on the market). Most pepper sprays have a range of 8-16 feet, bigger cans may have a longer range. Pepper Spray does have a shelf life and should be replaced by the expiration date or two years from manufacture date.
I do not recommend foam pepper spray because I have been told by law enforcement that criminals have learned to scoop the foam up and throw it back at the sprayer.
Batons and Kubatons
A Baton is a rod made of wood, plastic or metal and is sometimes attached to a key chain. These devices are used by striking or pressing against parts of the body to inflict pain. A kubaton is a baton with a pointed end made to strike sensitive points of the body (as seen in picture below).
Both batons and kubatons require close contact, making them a good layered weapon but not the greatest for primary protection. I do walk with my kubaton in hand attached to my keys while walking to and from my car. To use, hold a kubaton firmly with your thumb over the blunt end, strike delicate areas and nerves (pictured above).
Stun Guns are an electronic self defense device that uses high voltage to stop an attacker. Touching someone with the prongs of the stun gun quickly immobilizes the attacker. However, because the amperage is very low, no serious or permanent injury is inflicted.
The stun gun confuses and overstimulates the nervous system, pushing a high pulse energy through the muscles causing them to contract and work rapidly but not effectively. This causes the body to deplete blood sugar, converting it to lactic acid.
Using a stun gun on an attacker will cause him loss of balance, disorientation and some pain. The extreme shock will not pass between people. Even if the attacker is touching you, only he will feel the shock.
Everyone will react differently to the shock, you must firmly push the stun gun into the attacker and hold it until you have disabled your attacker and can get away. This should take 2-5 seconds which can seem like a long time during an attack. The best places to target are large muscle groups and areas with lots of nerve endings (See photo below).
With stun guns it's important to remember to charge them when you've fired them off a few times or once a month.
Other Personal Safety Devices:
Many other devices are available; personal alarms, self defense key chains, whistles, flash lights, tactical pens, the list of possibilities is endless. Many items you carry on a daily basis could be used in an emergency. While all these things are good, I don't recommend relying on them to keep you safe. Layering your protection increases your odds against an attacker or attackers.
Layering Your Protection:
This is something I can't say enough. Even if you are carrying a firearm, you should always layer your protection. Every situation is different; being aware and able to adapt is key to survival. Part of adapting is having options to protect yourself. Pepper spray isn't the best option in an elevator or on a windy night, but may be in other situations. Having a plan A, B, and C could make a big difference! Even if I'm carrying a firearm I usually have pepper spray and a kubaton on me and a stun gun in the car. There's many reasons to do this, one being I can't walk around with my pistol in hand through a parking lot (unless I want to freak some people out and get the cops called on me) but I can hold a kubaton and small stun gun without anyone taking notice.
Practice Makes Perfect Protection:
"A bad guy isn't going to wait for you to find your pepper spray"
That's what I say when someone tells me they have pepper spray but when I ask to see it they don't know exactly where it is. You need to be able to get to your protection quickly and without fumbling. This takes practice. Breakaway key chains, holsters and items that clip to your belt help keep your protection within reach and easily accessible. With every item you include into your safety strategy, you also need a plan and some practice. How and when will you use it? When wouldn't you use it? How will you make it accessible?
If you need help deciding what would work best for you and how to make it part of your daily routine, message me for a consultation. To purchase personal safety products we discussed you can click the button on the home page or go to ReadyAndArmed.net/Andee
I hope this was helpful in helping you decide what types of protection would work best for you. Remember, awareness is key because without it none of these items will save you. I pray you'll never have to use them. Be safe!