While I realize there are situations when deadly force is warranted as a means of self defense, there are many times when non-lethal means is preferable. One of the main factors to bear in mind is how the law looks at self defense. While state statutes vary on the details, generally speaking one is allowed to use only as much force toward another person as that person is directing at you. In short, if the average person would reasonably feel a specific situation is life-threatening, then deadly force is authorized. If not, then non-lethal force should be used.
There are those who would argue that it is better to just not leave a witness who can say otherwise as to the details of the encounter but as someone who has worked closely with law enforcement for almost two decades now, I can assure you that unless the investigating officer is truly unforgivably incompetent, odds are any ruse will be eventually uncovered. When this happens, you’ve opened yourself up to a world of trouble.
In addition to your properly licensed concealed carry weapon of choice, you should consider adding non-lethal self-defense items.
Pepper spray is one such option. There exists a wide range pepper spray products, varying in size, potency, and delivery methods. Do not get the type that releases a fog or loose spray. You want a stream instead. This reduces the possibility that a strong breeze will just blow the spray back at you. A steam is also far easier to aim.
Stun guns, where legal, are another option. These work by sort of short-circuiting the nervous system with an application of electricity. These work very well, provided they are implemented properly. You need to make contact with bare skin or through very thin clothing. Trying to stun someone through a heavy coat isn’t going to work very well. Another downside is you need to be within arm’s reach of your attacker. Remember, if you’re close enough to stun them, you are also close enough to be grabbed and injured.
Tasers are a third option, again provided they are legal for you to carry. These work by shooting wires with barbed ends at your attacker. The barbs stick into the skin and the wires then deliver a shock. These are incredibly effective. I know a few officers who, as part of their training, were subjected to the shock from a Taser. The video shows them screaming like little girls from the pain. However, Taser units are sort of a one-shot deal. If you miss, or the attacker is able to pull away from the barbs, you’re left with a direct contact stun device weapon in your hand.
The whole point of non-lethal self-defense is to buy you time to get away from your attacker. These products give you that ability.
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