Personal Safety Tip Of The Week: What’s Right For Me?
This weeks post is about personal defense and what’s right for you. There is different options for different people that can suit your needs, beliefs and lifestyle. So lets start with whats out there. Let’s begin with chemical weapons. Law enforcement have used this for over 30 years. Most people still call it Mace, but on the market now is pepper spray or O.C (Oleoresin Capsicum), what police refer to as capstun. This is a plant derived substance, basically hot pepper. This is sold everywhere and can be purchased above the age of 18 and no special permits. The sizes of these range from fits on your key chain to what is commonly called many things: moab,mk9 and even cellbusters. A small fire extinguisher, a one pound canister that straps to your leg. The most common size for personal protection is 2-4 oz. cans. Now when its comes to company’s that produce these there is just too many. Coming straight from the source here is the two best company’s: Sabre and fox. This is a very user-friendly option, pull the can out, aim and spray at the attackers eyes. There is many things to think about what happens when you spray this product. O.C spray reacts to all mucus membranes (eyes, nose, mouth) and releases in the air as well as your target. If you have troubles with breathing, this may not be the right choice. In no way will this kill you, but is VERY uncomfortable. Outside it works great because there is plenty of air and space so secondary contact is low. Inside it affects the area you apply it to as well as the space around you, so you will breathe it in and will cause a coughing effect as well as it can start a “burning” feeling on skin. The next thing to think about is this can take time to react to a person and sometimes have no effect at all. If you do use O.C spray I would suggest trying it on yourself to see and feel what it does and how it works. But the best advice I can give when using this in self-defense is spray in the attackers eyes and quickly move or just run away. The attackers focus will be on where you was standing and not where your moving to. The next on the list is stun guns and tasers. Now there is a difference between the two. A stun gun can be bought by anyone 18 and older and has a localized area effect. Stun guns range from less than $10.00 and up. They can be very small and compact. Easy to carry and conceal and straight forward operation. Most units you just turn on, make contact with attacker and press the button. The effect can be small and sends a charge to repel the attacker or hold to the attacker and will render them incapacitated and confused falling to the ground. A taser can vary state to state for laws. Most state will require a background check, classes and sometimes a permit to carry. A taser can be used from a distance and has one effect. It uses electrical current to disrupt voluntary control of muscles causing neuromuscular incapacitation. Tasers act like a gun, aim and fire. Two prongs are shot from the taser and go about 35 feet. These prongs are sharp and can penetrate two inches of clothes. when the prongs leave the taser they are charged with 50,000 volts. When the prongs make contact it lessens the charge, but this only makes it mostly safe. As soon as the prongs stick in, your attacker will fall to the ground and lose all control of there body. This effect lasts under ten seconds and then stops, giving the opportunity to give verbal commands. If they do decide that was not enough and get up, those prongs are still in there skin, pull the trigger again and down they go. As I said, this is mostly safe, but some people have had bad effects up to and including death even in cases with law enforcement. So now we start crossing into deadly weapons. That leads to the next option, impact weapons, mainly batons. These weapons can be very small, less than 12 inches and on a key chain, to over 26 inches and carried in a holster. A baton is compact because in collapses into itself and open with a flick of the wrist or a push of a button. Most states allow the flick to open but requires a permit and training for the push button open. A baton is classified less-then-lethal, but used improperly can be very deadly. Impact weapons is just as it sounds, impact to your attacker. Steel shaft to a fleshy area of the body. This weapon is used to gain control and would not be recommended for use without proper training. The next and last one is a firearm. The easiest to use with the most training needed. Firearms vary so much and really depends on you. From size of gun to caliber of gun to how you carry. A firearm is not a buy and use item. It takes a lot of training and time to become proficient. You need to decide what you will carry and how you will carry. Compact, sub-compact or full size? Open or concealed? Side carry, back carry, shoulder or appendix carry? A huge percent of states allow open carry with no permit. But to carry concealed legally you will need to get a concealed carry permit. Practice and training with your firearm is the only way to prepare. Finding courses is pretty easy and a lot of organizations can head you in the right direction there. NRA, USCCA to name a few. Most people will tell you that just training at a range that shoots straight ahead is ok, but try to find a range that offers a 360 degree course. Prepare to fire a lot of rounds. A good number to consider is 5,000 rounds. But to ease the cost of all the rounds dry fire drills work well. There is many ways to do this. Laser targets is one. Or just the old place a quarter on the top of your slide (for semi-autos) and pull the trigger. The quarter stays on top, it was a pretty smooth pull of the trigger. Many people will say that dry firing a gun is bad for it. It’s not. For guns that have been manufactured after 1975ish, it will NEVER do harm to your firing pin. Take your time picking the right firearm for you. And be sure to get yourself well trained and comfortable with your firearm. Know your gun inside and out.