Lethal vs. non-lethal. That is the main argument for using a stun gun, Taser, or pepper spray instead of a handgun.
We, as a people, abhor violence. However, we see it all around us every single day. It is in the newspapers, on TV, on the internet, in magazines, on blogs, and on and on and on. We cannot get away from the fact that violence is an everyday occurrence in our society. We have been a victim of violence ourselves, or we know someone who has.
After reading a story of a rape, assault or murder we have all asked ourselves what we would have done if we were in that same situation. Usually our immediate response probably would be something like “Boy, I would have killed that guy!” But, when it comes right down to taking a life there is a huge step between getting away from the assailant and actually killing them. Most people would just want to get out of the immediate situation.
This is where stun guns, Tasers, and pepper spray enter the picture. They are considered non-lethal self-defense weapons. Their main function is to stop an attacker so that you can get away from the situation. They should not be used to incapacitate the assailant so that you can then start attacking the attacker!
A person is not considered paranoid or frightened if they are carrying a stun gun, Taser or pepper spray. They are considered prepared. In my years in law enforcement I discovered that those people that gave a little thought to their personal protection, and purchased one of these non-lethal weapons, very rarely, if ever, became a victim.
Each one of the non-lethal weapons mentioned does one job . . . it gives you a good chance of getting away from an attacker. Each weapon is designed to temporarily incapacitate the attacker in some way and to some degree.
The stun gun, when held against the skin of an attacker from 2-5 seconds disrupts the nervous system and disorients the individual permitting you to get out of the situation and run like the wind. Stun guns come in a variety of styles and strengths. The higher the voltage the less time it has to be applied to the skin for the full effects to be felt by the attacker. The power on most stun guns available ranges from 200,000 volts up to 1 million volts. Stun guns come in all shapes and sizes. Some look like a cell phone, a baton, a flashlight, a small hand held rectangle, and some very intimidating looking heavy-duty items with big prongs sticking out of the end!
The Taser is much different then a stun gun. The way it works is the same but how it is used is different. With a Taser you can stop an attacker before he even gets close enough to grab you. The range of a Taser that the public can purchase is about 15’ to 20’. Two small barbs are shot out of a compressed air cartridge and when they make contact with an attacker, even through their clothing, they deliver a jarring bolt of voltage that incapacitates the attacker almost instantly. The recommended way to use the Taser is to fire at the attacker and then run to safety. The C2 model Tasers for the public are now being manufactured in a variety of colors and the shape of one is such that it is non-threatening looking and can easily fit inside a purse or pocket.
Pepper spray has been around for quite some time and can be very effective in disabling an attacker. The main ingredient is usually Oleoresin Capsicum (OC), a derivative of hot cayenne peppers. That’s right, hot pepper! Hence the common name “pepper spray” The pepper spray usually comes in a small canister that can be fit onto your key ring or a larger size that can be carried in your pocket or in an inconspicuous holster. They all have safety latches to prevent accidental discharges. You simply aim the pepper spray at your attacker’s face and spray a stream of the pepper spray.
Having personally experienced the effects of pepper spray I can tell you that the effects are not pleasant. When the OC contacts the mucous membranes (eyes, nose, throat, and lungs), symptoms appear instantly. The capillaries of the eyes immediately dilate, causing temporary blindness. Inflammation of the breathing tube tissues will cause difficulty in breathing; however the attacker will still be able to breathe. It is very unpleasant. Spraying this in the face of an attacker will give you the opportunity to escape from the dangerous situation.
We have talked about stun guns, Tasers and pepper spray and each one of these weapons is non-lethal. They will temporarily disable or incapacitate an attacker. Be prepared.
Consider getting one of these and hope that you never have to use it. It could be your greatest protection. That is no hype.