But What if I Can't Use A Gun Part II
Welcome back to my ramblings, I hope you had a good week. First I must apologize for being so late with this new post. I'm afraid that today was anything but smooth for me, but then again that's the way life is sometimes; and never more so than when you're raising an autistic child. But since it's Friday you came here today to learn more about home and self defense, not autism and special needs; so let's get to it.
Last week (or yesterday depending on where you first read the ramble) I was talking about using non-lethal means to defend yourself and your home. I'm still getting a few people who are a bit upset that I dared to mention weapons, but as I said in that ramble, to really learn to fight effectively takes time and effort. Usually a lot of both, and so we turn to weapons as a way to raise our effectiveness and to try to decrease the amount of time we must spend in training; and they can do exactly that, if you choose wisely. I mean, let's face it. The English (or more appropriately, the Welsh) Long Bow did not go of style with the advent of guns because guns were deadlier or more accurate. The simple truth of the matter is that an expert with a Long Bow can shoot almost as far as a modern rifle and will be just as accurate as well as just as fast as anything other than a fully automatic weapon such as an Uzi or MP-5. Compared to the guns available when long bows started disappearing from the battle ground, a long bow was much faster, longer range, and a hell of a lot more accurate as well. What made the difference was that a good bowman needed to be trained from a very young age and needed to keep practicing many hours a day every day of his life, whereas you could put a gun in the hands of your average peasant and teach him how to use it in a matter of days. So the question then becomes what weapons can the average person who cannot bring themselves to kill for any reason use with little or no training.
Now some so-called self defense "experts" will recommend a variety of martial arts weapons ranging from a kubatan, to escrima sticks, to police batons (also called tonfas). Perhaps the simplest of these is a simple short stick or piece of metal with 2 prongs sticking out that are meant to stick out between your fingers when you make a fist to firm your fist up and give you a smaller striking area which will in turn cause greater pain to whoever you hit. The problem is that if you don't know how to hit effectively to begin with, this device isn't going to do you a hell of a lot of good. What's worse is that almost every other martial arts weapon can actually cause as much damage to the welder as to the person he or she is trying to defend against unless you have been properly trained in how to use it in the first place, and the whole purpose of this ramble is to find weapons you can use effectively with little or no training.
So what would I recommend? Well the simplest and easiest is probably a simple length of hickory or other hard wood in the form of a baseball bat or axe handle. Almost anyone who played baseball or softball can swing it effectively and if you can catch the intruder or attacker by surprise it will end the fight very quickly indeed. If you're defending your own home, it's not that hard to hide around a corner and catch them by surprise; and you can pick one up in any sporting goods department or hardware store. The potential problem however is that all too often it's the intruder who has the factor of surprise on his side.
Another simple make shift weapon that I've heard several police officers recommend is a can of wasp spray. These cans are designed to spray a wasp's nest at a distance of up to 20 feet and will make an attacker extremely sick in a matter of seconds, and even when awakened from a sound sleep by an intruder they are extremely simple and quick to use. Indeed, I know of at lest one former police officer who admits she keeps a can on her night stand for that very reason instead of counting on her glock. The only reservation I have with this is that there is a warning label on every can of wasp spray stating that it is against the law to use it for anything other than what it is designed for, so if your local police are hard liners you stand a chance of being arrested and fined for using wasp spray in this manner. Admittedly it's probably not a very big risk, and I have a hard time imaging my local cops doing that considering they have recommended wasp spray as well; but my cops and your cops may be very different in this regard. So if you're going to use this technique I'd suggest feeling out your local police department first just in case.
The classic non-lethal defense item, and one that is available at almost every sporting goods store and uniform shop is pepper spray, also commonly referred to as mace. These devices makes use of a liquid containing capsaicin that is sprayed out under pressure and is meant to be aimed at the attacker's face and eyes. Capsaicin is the oil that makes jalepenos and other hot peppers hot, and if you've ever absent mindedly rubbed your eyes after chopping one up then you know exactly what the person sprayed with this concoction will experience. Most of them come in canisters that work very much like a can of deodorant does and can be purchased for as little as $4.00 or as much as $35.00 depending on the size of the canister and where you get it. There are two things to keep in mind with these though. One is that some of the canisters can be pointed the wrong way if you're panicked, in which case you're the one who's going to get a face full instead of your attacker. So if you can, get two or try to find a self defense seminar instructor who has access to training canistered so that you can practice with the pepper spray a couple of times to minimize the chance of this happening. The other thing to keep in mind is that they do expire, so you need to keep on eye on the expiration date of your pepper spray and be sure to replace it before it goes bad.
As I said, the classic format for pepper spray is a canister similar to a thin can of deodorant; but recently at least two companies have come up with versions that are shaped something like water guns or flare guns. The first one is the Mace Pepper Spray Pepper Gun pictured here. This one comes with a canister of pepper spray plus a canister of water for training purposes and some models include a built in LED strobe that will help blind your assailant making it easier to spray him as well as giving you a better idea where the spray is going to hit him. What's more, you can buy replacement canisters for the gun so that when the gun has been used or the pepper spray inside has expired you can simply replace the canister instead of replacing the whole gun.
The other one that has recently hit the market is the Kimber Pepperblaster. The Pepperblaster has two single shot canisters so that you can shoot twice if needed and seems to be lower in price than the Mace Pepper Gun. However unlike the Pepper Gun, the Pepperblaster cannot be reloaded so once booth shots have been taken you must replace the whole gun.
Yet another possibility is a stun gun or stun gun flashlight combination. With these the attacker is hit with a strong but breif electrical charge when the studs of the stun gun is pressed against him, often rendering him immobile for several minutes. One I particularly like and plan on buying for my daughter is the Vipertek VTS-193, which is a combination of a strong stun gun and an extremely bright tactical style flashlight. The big disadvantage with these is that you must actually touch your attacker with the business end of the stun gun or else all you'll do is make a load electrical clicking sound.
Now these are not the only possibilities for non-lethal self defense, but this ramble is starting to get a might bit long, so I think it might be best if we ended it here. I plan to add a page tomorrow morning giving links to some of the items I mention in my rambles, so if you are interested in anything I've mentioned just come on back and check the new page out. In the meantime, I'll see if maybe I can continue this ramble at a later date with other neat and nifty ideas for those who can't bear to kill in self defense. I hope you have a great weekend, and remember, if you're going to do something, do it with attitude!
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