While it is very easy to get wrapped around the idea of a gun being the only method of self-defense, a gun is not always the best option or an option at all.
Many places in the United States require you to disarm of handguns, and even pocket knives, before you can enter. Some states make it very difficult for anyone to legally carry a firearm.
In other situations, a gun may not be completely necessary to deal with the threat. This is where other methods, primarily non-lethal, come into play.
Some may choose a non-lethal self-defense options because they live somewhere were legally that is all they can do. Other folk may choose a non-lethal weapon because they cannot ever imagine taking a life, or some are simply not comfortable with a firearm.
Your reasoning is not as important as your equipment. If your weapon of choice fails, then you fail.
Quality is the most important aspect in choosing a non-lethal weapon. You are going to need to spend some money and acquire a quality piece of gear.
Something cheap and made in China isn’t something I’d trust my life too. You never know when that battery dies, that button breaks or that piece of metal will bend.
Stick to brands that Law Enforcement and the military tends to use. These are often expensive, but how much is your life worth? Not all tools are created equal.
When it comes to Stun guns I’d keep to an actual Taser brand taser. The X 26 and C2 actually launch barbs, giving you substantial range over a standard stun gun.
For physical defense, Asp brand batons have proven themselves incredibly easy to carry, and quite the potent defensive tool. This collapsing baton can cause some serious pain, and can easily break bones.
If you are focused on non-lethal then remember that a baton is less lethal, but can still be lethal. Inside the home, you can utilize something as simple as a baseball bat.
When it comes to pepper spray the Kimber Pepper Blaster offers an excellent, concealable weapon that is shaped like a handgun and another shaped like a thick PDA, both can fire two blasts of pepper spray out 13 feet at over a hundred miles per hour.
This speed means the pepper spray isn’t affected by typical winds. They make big cans of pepper spray that you may have seen police using during riots. Those same cans of spray are available to civilians by companies like Sabre.
Use sprays like the Sabre over bear spray, bear spray is about the same strength, but Sabre spray is specifically designed for use against humans. Using something designed for bears might be inefficient as well as placing you in a tedious legal position.
For use inside the home all of these tools are capable but do involve you needlessly exposing yourself to danger. If you don’t have to engage why choose to?
You can purchase something like the Fox Labs Pepper Spray Grenade. You pop the tab and toss the device and it immediately begins expelling pepper spray into a mist. Toss one of these bad boys out of your bedroom door and it will fill the hallway with a nasty pepper fog.
These grenades come in 2 and 4-ounce varieties and range between 15 to 20 dollars. At that price, you can toss more than out your door. Anyone who still decides to charge through will be blind and choking when they meet your taser, baton, or baseball bat.
Next understand how your weapon works, and what you have to do to use it. Gun owners train (Or should train) constantly to ensure they are proficient with their tool of choice. Understand how to remove any safety devices that may stand in the way, as well as how to draw the weapon and get it into action. Also, be skilled in using it. Some weapons require more skills than others, like a baton.
You should also understand the limitations of your weapon. Know how close you have to be to spray that mace. Understand what wind can do to your stream of spray. Understand that your stun gun needs to be regularly charged or the batteries need to be replaced. Understand the effective range, how to actually use it, and how effective it is against one or many targets.
If you enter into a situation where you are completely disarmed, like a courthouse, or a school, you can still defend yourself.
When you are completely disarmed of all purpose built weaponry, you have two options: improvised weaponry and empty hand techniques.
Nearly anything can be turned into a weapon with the proper thought applied. I get a 550 cord lanyard on my key-chain for this reason alone.
Something as simple as your keys can be a painful weapon. Other improvised weapons can include cups of hot coffee, hard-cover books, chairs, scissors, pens, pencils, and even surge protectors.
Improvising weaponry requires an open mind and an imagination. A rolled magazine is a popular weapon for prison inmates because it can be used to defend against a shiv or another bladed weapon. A tightly folded magazine can deliver painful blows to the hand and arm holding the knife, without your hand or arm being in danger.
Always be willing to improvise, identify possible weapons well before a fight. Do not wait for the fight to start before you identify weapons. Identify potential weapons as you enter a room, and realize what you can carry and turn into a weapon.
When it comes to empty hand skills you don’t have to be a 3rd black belt and a certified ninja. Some basic boxing and martial classes can actually contribute greatly to a fight.
You might not be able to do a spinning roundhouse kick, but learning how to properly breathe in a fight, how to keep your guard up, and throw a basic punch. Some of these things can be learned at home, but nothing can replace actual instruction.
Classes and practice are an excellent method to get in better shape as well, and get a little exercise in play. If you choose to pursue these skills past the basics, great, but if not a solid foundation can work wonders.
Remember these skills are perishable, and should be practiced regularly.
Less Lethal is not less effective.
A solid non-lethal weapon provides users with an extreme advantage over nothing, and even a small amount of instruction when it comes to empty hand techniques is much better than winging it.
As with all weapons, tactics, and techniques, make sure it works and works well. Most importantly make sure you know how to use it.