Sunday, September 30, 2012

Self-Defense: Nonlethal Weapons - Which One Is Best For You?

Until nonlethal weapons such as stun guns and pepper sprays came into being, the main alternative in a confrontation was deadly force. The effectiveness of nonlethal products has helped propel them into the forefront of the mainstream of society. Stun guns and pepper sprays have really come into their own only since the 1980's so they're pretty new on the scene of self-defense.

It's a big decision to make when choosing a product that may have the potential to save your life. So we'll take a critical look at these nonlethal weapons-these self-defense products- to help you decide which one might be best for you.

As a foundation for this discussion, you should know that all police officers have a nonlethal alternative with them when they go after the bad guys. That is part of their continuum of force which allows for the least forceful all the way up to the deadly force as a final alternative.

They must make those decisions in a split second: you don't.

Here we will take a look at the major categories of nonlethal weapons and discuss some of the pros and cons of each to help you decide which one might be the best for you.

Pepper spray is the most widely used nonlethal weapon in the world. It was originally developed for crowd control and the use in apprehension of criminals and is still used that way today by law enforcement authorities. But it has morphed into a prime self-defense product for civilians. One of the reasons they are more popular than stun guns is that it creates an area of separation between you and the assailant. Stun guns require a physical application of the device to the assailant which many people find objectionable. Pepper sprays disable an assailant for up to 45 minutes by causing severe pain, difficulty breathing and excessive tearing of the eyes. They are small and very inexpensive. Many of them have key chain attachments which enables you to carry them with you literally wherever you go.

Stun guns are the second most popular nonlethal weapon. They are hand-held devices that discharge an electrical shock that can disable an assailant for 5 to 10 minutes. The shock comes from stored energy inside the gun from two or more probes on one end. The electricity cripples the body by depleting all the blood sugars so there's no energy left. They are more expensive than defensive sprays but, like them, are close to 90% effective.

Personal alarms are the third category of nonlethal weapons and are really not a weapon but a device that sounds a loud alarm scaring away an attacker and drawing attention to your situation. They are very effective and are generally inexpensive as well.

Our recommendation always has been to carry a pepper spray and a stun device. Use the pepper spray first then if you happen to miss, you have a stun device as a backup.

1 comment:

  1. While lethal force has its place, most situationa can be safely resolved with the use of non lethal tolls. The ones you have mentioned are all excellent alternatives to guns. I am a law enforcement officer but o also educate and empower law abiding citizens with the tools and techniques they need to be victors and not vctims. For more information check out my website at