When it comes to self-defense a firearm will always be the optimal choice and absolute equalizer. There are certain instances however where a person might not be able to carry. Whether you reside somewhere that has restrictive gun laws or have another reason you will be without your firearm, you should never have to feel defenseless. For most of us, we can feel a little lost when it comes to defending ourselves in situations where we are without our gun. Not everyone is trained in advanced martial arts or possesses die-hard self-defense tactics. Even those who have had some self-defense training might not remember “what move does what” in a moment of shock or panic. In this article we will look at alternative tools you can carry with you if you are unable to carry a firearm. We will also go over some very basic and easy to remember self-defense tactics. It is of the utmost importance to realize that the following options are in no way the same as carrying a gun. As stated earlier, a firearm is an equalizer. The alternatives we will be covering here will not give you the ultimate upper hand in any way shape or form. They can, however, possibly afford you the time to escape to safety and find help.
Most of us are familiar with pepper spray as it is a very common form of protection. Pepper spray is a lachrymatory agent, meaning it stimulates the eyes to produce tears. The main component is an inflammatory oil called oleoresin capsicum. This is the same oil that gives chili peppers their heat, however here it is at a much higher concentration. When a person comes into contact with pepper spray their eyes close immediately. They will experience a “bubbling” or “boiling” sensation, followed by eye pain and possibly temporary blindness. The length of the effect depends upon how strong the spray is. Not all pepper sprays are created equal. I would highly suggest the Kimber PepperBlaster II. This blaster has the highest concentration of pepper spray available on the market. One shot to the face can disable an attacker for up to 45 minutes. This blaster is loaded with two highly concentrated pepper solution charges, giving you a second shot. Each charge can shoot from 13 feet and travels at 112 mph. This is not like other pepper sprays in the fact that it is not designed as an aerosol spray. Because of that it will not lose pressure over time, giving this blaster a shelf life of four years. This is a wonderful option to let you distance yourself from a threat, whether it be a human or an animal and give you time to reach help.
Kimber also offers the Pepper Blaster II Trainer. This is a way to familiarize yourself with how the real product works and to get an idea of its effective range. Although the Pepper Blaster II is basically a point-and-shoot device, someone might lack the confidence to use it if they aren’t familiar with it. This is where the trainer comes in handy. It, like the real one, is a two-shot device (not reusable), but it discharges an inert blue dye, rather than the pepper spray. It is worth remembering that this is NOT a defensive product; it is simply a training tool. As such, it retails for slightly less than the one with the pepper spray.
Most people have a difficult time differentiating between a Taser gun and a stun gun. They are not interchangeable terms for the same thing. A stun gun is a device that uses electricity to cause pain. “Taser” is a registered trademark owned by Axon. It is a specific brand that acts differently than stun guns. The Taser device uses compressed gas to fire two barbed probes towards a target. When the subject is hit by these probes their muscles “lock-up” due to the neuromuscular incapacitation (NMI) the Taser causes. This NMI will immobilize the subject for 30 seconds during which they will be incapacitated, giving you time to get away. Tasers can shoot up to 15 feet from the target and are equipped with lasers that aid in sight acquisition. To learn more about Taser go to taser.com.
In a case where you have absolutely nothing to defend yourself but your own two hands there are three key ways to give yourself the best chance of escape. Warning, these sound graphic and extreme. However, if you are in a life-threatening situation you need to understand you are fighting for your life and if you have no weapon you are at a severe disadvantage. These techniques are highly effective when done properly and can stun your attacker to give you the chance to escape. These are tactics that mechanically disable the attacker.
- Attack the eyes. With a closed hand, thumb extended out a bit further you literally just drive your thumb into the attacker’s eye. Not timidly, but very aggressively and with ferocity.
- Tear the ear. It takes approximately seven pounds of pressure for an ear to be torn off. Grab as much of the ear as you possibly can with your entire hand and fingers. With force tear the ear down and toward you, as if it were a piece of paper being torn from a notebook.
- Stomp the ankle. By stomping the inside of the ankle at a 45-degree angle, the ankle breaks very easily.
Whichever course of protection you decide to go with it is of the utmost importance to educate yourself and train. These are not instant and ready-to-go guaranteed forms of survival. Whether it be a human or an animal threat, if you are a target you are at the disadvantage and on defense. Thoroughly understanding and training with your self-defense choice is crucial. Above all the most important tool you can utilize over anything is situational awareness. With good situational awareness and a complete understanding of your self-defense tool you can walk with a little more confidence and not have to feel totally defenseless.