Pepper Spray, Tasers And Guns, Oh My!
Pepper Spray, Tasers And Guns, Oh My! avatar

First of all, I’m a woman and also a big chicken. All of you macho guys out there (thank God for you!) will probably cringe at the following content, so here is your opportunity to bail out and read a different article here at Survival Blueprint. I’m sure Dave or Mike will come up with something more suitable for you macho men soon…

Couldn’t resist staying, huh? Alright – Self-Defense.

Yep, that’s where I’m going with this today. As I began considering this subject I wondered if a gun was the only real way to defend your self if all Hell broke loose. In the very worst case, it probably is. Personally, having not grown up around guns, I’m not really confident with them yet. I never even knew we had one until my Dad caught some boys peeking in the window and came flying out of the basement with a shotgun yelling “get out of there!” Yes, it was VERY effective and I never did figure out who those boys were.

I’ve shot a few different guns with the boys from time to time, but I’m scared of the damage I could accidentally inflict on someone (including myself) and they always seem so heavy (yes, I need to find the right gun, keep shooting and all that will go away, I know). That being said, I wanted to satisfy my curiosity and do a brief study about what other options there are for people like me.

Let’s start with the obvious: According to the United States legal system, every individual has a right to self defense. In other words, if someone is attacking you or your personal property, you have the right to defend against the attack. While defending this attack, you also have the right to engage in violence for the sake of defending yourself or the life of someone else.

In order for your rights to self-defend to hold up in court, most of the time the violence has to be proven to be directly proportionate or comparable to the threat that was experienced by the person. If you continue to attack after the threat has ceased, then a simple act of violence is taking place and you are skating on thin ice. By the way, I’m not a Lawyer, so I’m not going to be responsible if you decide to go Rambo on anyone. If you need more info, go check it out.

Now that I got that out of the way, here is a list of information showing a few common self-defense approaches:

  1. Guns: If you have one, you had better know how to use it and when it’s appropriate. Of all the options I’ll list here, this is the Big One that can end a life. Take this weapon very seriously and get some professional training from someone who is a seasoned gun owner, ideally a tactical firearms instructor. The most important part of gun training is not to help you with your aim. It’s to help you know how to use your gun in a safe and reliable way for effective self defense in the future. Hit the gun range as often as you can and get a Concealed Weapon license if you want to carry a handgun with you – this of course depends on your local laws so go check them out. If you are going to do it, do it right and legal.
  2. Taser Gun: This weapon fires barbed wire projectiles which administer an incapacitating shock.These is the main difference between tasers and other electroshock weapons such as stun guns and allows you to be further away from an attacker. This distance is ideal
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    for those who have little ability to defend themselves against a larger, more agile or aggressive attacker. Once fired, the tazer barbs embed into the skin of the attacker, still attached to the conductor wires back to the hand unit which houses the battery. The electroshock is then administered immediately, causing immediate immobilization by causing all the muscles in the attacker’s body to cramp, dropping them like a sack of potatoes. This gives you ample time to escape to a safe location.  Some units allow you to administer “back up” shocks as needed to control or further incapacitate your attacker. Tasers are ideal for those looking for a weapon with stopping power that does much less damage than a hand gun.

  3. Stun Guns: This is similar to the taser, but is a contact-based weapon that requires continuous and uninterrupted contact with the intended target. Many experts have expressed concern that some models of stun guns do not offer the protection needed to stop an assailant. They warn against the use of poor quality stun guns with a strong aggressor in hand-to-hand combat situations as they may not pack a punch or respond as quickly as other models. If you are considering the use of a stun gun, make sure you know how to use the weapon properly. Be sure to read as many product reviews as possible, as well as try out a few different models. While a large one might be appealing, if you can’t handle the weapon comfortably, you’ll have issues defending yourself against an attacker. You could order one online, but you may want to be able to hold it first. Look at a sporting goods store. They do come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes like guns, prods, and even small lipstick-shaped devices. Many are designed for keeping in a purse or backpack.

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  4. Pepper Spray: No, this is not a new way to season a salad (although, that might be cool!)  This concentrated liquid has been used for years as a way to defend against attackers as large as grizzly bears! It comes in a wide range of concentrations, sizes and even “pretty” containers that can attach to your keys. I have one, but I’ve never used it and hope not to. (By the way guys, they do have camo covered canisters on Amazon just for you- pink camo is available for the ladies as well.) The advantage of pepper spray for self-defense is that it can be carried easily and usually can shoot about 8ft away. Hopefully you are upwind of your attacker otherwise you’ll get it as well. There are also pepper spray paintballs that can be fired from a paintball gun. Well worth the price and you can find them on Amazon.com with the link to the right. Many types of pepper spay contain dye as well, which assists police in finding an attacker. Check out some of the great Pepper Spray Deals online.
  5. Personal Alarm: These are ideal for children and the elderly, but are carried by people of all ages. Runners often carry the sound alarm due to its ability to scare off dogs and wild animals, as well as muggers and thieves. They are ideal for emergencies, and can easily be carried on a key chain and attached to a purse, clothing or laptop bag. These devices are activated with the push of a button and produce an ear piercing sound that will bring attention from close and far away. The advantage of these alarms is that when they are sounded, they will bring lots of awareness to your location and allow the police to find you. The goal is to scare off potential attackers and bring help as quickly as possible, and will likely prevent the confrontation all together. Be sure to get a few different sizes of alarms. Some are better used during jogging, while others are ideal for people who walk alone at night or across a college campus. The alarms are usually very reasonably priced.
  6. Improvised weapons: You can’t always be prepared unfortunately. For these situations, you might need to find an improvised weapon to help you get out of a dangerous environment. Improvised weapons can work just as well as typical weapons when used properly. By definition, an improvised weapon is any device that is not typically thought of as a defensive weapon, but can be put to use for that purpose. Most of the time, improvised weapons are used in real-life situations by individuals who are
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    savvy enough to use these items in new ways. Typically, improvised weapons are items like golf clubs, pool cues, baseball bats, umbrellas, beer bottles, hammers, kitchen knives, shovels, hot water, or a rock – remember David & Goliath? Even a tightly rolled magazine can be a very effective weapon. There forms of martial arts or self defense training that will teach you how to use common household items during an attack. By learning this ahead of time, an individual can use this knowledge to get out of the situation as quickly as possible – think Jason Bourne!

  7. Unarmed Self Defense:Unarmed self defense can keep you safe when you lack any weapons or other items.This is the worst case scenario. There are many different styles of martial arts. Many of these are used mainly for show and sport, while others focus strictly on practical self defense and can even be deadly. Escape should be the main goal of self defense, not necessarily winning the fight, although at times, incapacitating your attacker is the only way for you to survive. A good practical martial arts instructor will customize training to suit the needs of the students. For example, the elderly are taught different techniques than children. This ensures that each student learns how to fend off an attack quickly and easily. From local schools to online materials, there are a lot of different ways to learn – however, reading a book isn’t enough. However you choose to learn these skills, you need to physically practice them to develop “muscle memory” so that your body will automatically respond without you having to think about it. Learning just one simple technique could save your life.

So, there you have it. I think I want the pepper paintballs first, then a taser gun, follow it with my pepper spray and then learn how to feel good about a shotgun. Do you think I could get Dave & Mike to let me test the taser on them? Gotta make sure it works, right?

Maybe not, they are both too good at this stuff and I would probably end up on the floor screaming “UNCLE!” with my arm in a Kimura. Tricky boys, I guess I better add some MMA or Krav Maga to my list.

Be safe and learn how to protect yourself – you never know when you may really NEED it!

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