April 14, 2009

The Amazing Rescue or the Sound and Fury of the Pirates of Somalia

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , , , , , , , at 3:06 am by ledefensetech

The drama in the Gulf of Aden ended with three precise shots. Those guys are so good it’s scary. They really are a credit to their service and their instructors.

Which leads me to my next topic. It’s all about training. It doesn’t matter what you do, the more you do of something the better you get at it. Self defense is no different. Personally I’m a big fan of learning unarmed combat, then learning how to use weapons. What you find when you do things this way is that you’ll be able to pick up any type of defensive tool and use it.

Like when I took the conceal carry course in Missouri. The instructor was surprised I shot as well as I did because I told him that I hadn’t shot or been on a range in twenty years. Yep, I hadn’t shot a gun in twenty years. And I hit my target every time. Now could I do what the SEALS did and take three pirates out shooting from a rolling deck. Nope that’s beyond me. I don’t expect any of my adversaries to be more than 10 feet away from me. If they are more than 10 feet, well then it’s time to exfiltrate and find help.

Not that you really want to get within arm’s reach of someone. I’m a small guy so I like to keep people at arm’s length, it’s safer that way. Still it is useful to know some hard takedown techniques in case you ever find yourself grappling with an opponent.

A good self defense video focuses on hard quick takedown techniques that are easy to use.

A good self defense video focuses on hard quick takedown techniques that are easy to use.

Street safe meets the criteria for lowdown dirty fighting. Let’s face it. If someone is grappling with you, they mean to do you harm. It’s not a mistake, it’s not a misunderstanding, they mean to hurt or kill you. One thing you’ll find is that once you start learning from these videos, you’ll start to hold yourself differently, you’ll feel more confident and relaxed, even in tense situations. Predators will sense this and, the human type at least, will move on to a softer target. Of course if they ignore that little voice telling them that messing with you is a bad idea….well they deserve what they get.

Even more than personal alarms, pepper sprays and even stun guns, training will help you avoid most confrontations. The best defense is one that never needs to be used. By keeping your head up and observing the world around you, you stand a much better chance of avoiding or turning a bad situation around, should you ever need to. Nor should you study only one or two systems. The best martial artists I know have studied several different arts through their career. Nor should it be different for those of us interested in personal protection.

A DVD should have simple techniques and be easy to learn and adapt to.

A DVD should have simple techniques and be easy to learn and adapt to.

The Fast and Furious DVD is great because it not only has the simple but effective techniques that are an absolute requirement for defense, but there’s also a great section on improvised weapons. Remember when I mentioned that one of the benefits of training is the ability to use weapons? Well one of the things you’ll find when you begin training is that there are weapons all around you. All you need is an ability to see them for what they really are.

Now if you really want to take control of things, you can look at advanced techniques. These are not for the beginner. It involves things like totally dominating your opponent, stripping guns from them, taking away their knives things like that.

Advanced techniques allow you to toally dominate your opponent.

Advanced techniques allow you to toally dominate your opponent.

This DVD will teach you everything you need to know about advanced techniques for disarming an assailant. Not only does it show you the right way to do things, it also exposes the wrong ways that are shown by Hollywood and other mass media. If you take your cue from TV Land, you’ll wind up gone, just like that. He also shows you how to keep your own weapon under your control, so you don’t get it used against you. Now this is only for people who are willing to use maximum force to stay safe. Still it’s a good skill to learn because when a robber, rapist or mugger pulls a gun the entire threat level of the situation has changed dramatically.

And so we come back to the SEALS and their rescue of Captain Philips. Negotiations were ongoing, true. But those men then made the decision to act threateningly towards their unarmed and bound captive. Decisions have consequences and the pirates found that out the hard way. Sure they come from a country that’s war-torn and schizophrenic, but we all have to choose to do right or do wrong. Those who do wrong are thugs and bullies and they can never stand up to training, discipline and righteousness.

April 12, 2009

C2 Taser – Most advanced Taser on the Planet?

Posted in Safety tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 5:07 am by ledefensetech

Is the C2 stun gun the best stun gun for your money?  It the C2 really a non lethal weapon?  How does a C2 stun gun work?  People have plenty of questions about Taser products and today we’re going to look at the C2 Taser stun gun. The C2 is Tasers replacement of the Advanced Air Taser brand.

This is Tasers premier civilian model of their popular stun gun.

This is Tasers premier civilian model of their popular stun gun.

The Advanced Air Taser is the precursor to the C2 Taser.

The Advanced Air Taser is the precursor to the C2 Taser.

One of the main benefits of the C2 vs the Advanced Air Taser is the size.  It’s much more compact and looks less like a weapon than the Advanced Taser. As I’ve said before, non lethal weapons are preferable to lethal weapons for several reasons.  The most important for our purposes here is the fact that people will hesitate less when the stakes are not so high.  Always remember, it can mean your life when you hesitate, so don’t.

The fact that you have to register the device provides two benefits wrapped into one.  On a personal level, you can be sure that people carrying a C2 Taser are not felons.  That’s part of the registration process, a background check that you complete on Taser’s website.  Second are the ID tags that are emitted from the Taser when fired.  This is more a benefit to soiciety.  If you use a Taser to commit a crime or unlawfully, the ID tags will tell the police who you are and they will come looking for you.  An assault with a Taser is just like an assult with any other type of weapon.  Make sure you use it responsibly.

I do like the fact that the C2 has a trigger cover on the top of the device, so you can’t discharge it by accident.  Plus it lights up to let you know it’s armed as a further deterrent against accidental discharge.

The C2 is simple and easy in design.  The cartridge is loaded in the front, while the rear has a housing for the lithium ion batteries that can power over 50 shots according to Taser.  I’d probably not trust it more than 50 times, mostly because you shouldn’t have to use it that much.  If you do it’s more likely to be over a long period of time so the battery may not have an optimum charge when you use it.  Still, like with any tool you trust your life to, it’s probably a good idea to test it every six months or so.

One of the coolest things about the C2 is the ability to get an LED light attaced to it to provide you with a targeting dot.  It costs about $50 extra, but is well worth the cost in my opinion.  This can help you immensly espectially if you’re in a combat situation and you have to be sure you’re going to hit your target.  Even if you do miss, you’re still not defenseless as the C2 can be used as a contact stun gun provided your attacker still wants to close with you.  They’ll probably think twice after you discharge the C2 at them.

So how does a C2 work?  Well basically it interferes with the nervous system of the human body.  The charge is low enough not to mess with cardiac rhythm, so the C2 is a non lethal or less than lethal device, but powerful enough to interfere with the signals running from the brain to the muscles.  In addition the muslces spasm depleting them of glycogen, which is the muscles energy source, leaving your opponent unable to move.  The effects last for about 3o seconds, giving you plenty of time to get away.  The following video shows the features of the C2:

Taser does offer a replacement gaurantee, so if you do use a C2, seet it down and find help.  After you give your statement to the police, get a copy of the report and send it in to Taser.  They will then replace your C2 for free.  Their philosophy is that your life is more important than a device, so rather than try to get it back, do the safe thing and Taser will replace it.

Now I may get in trouble with the pro-gun crowd, but I prefer a Taser product to a gun when I have to take down a burglar or mugger.  With a gun things are chancy, you may hit a vital spot, you might not.  Plus when you flash a gun you’ve just increased the level of violence.  A criminal now knows they may die and will most likely act more desperately  Plus I haven’t seen anyone who can resist a C2 stun gun.  The following video shows what happens to a UFC fighter against a C2:

What do you think a C2 will do to a punk on the street?

Finally there’s the less than lethal factor.  I prefer less than lethat over non-lethal because you can still get hurt falling when you go down from getting hit with one of these.  Those instances, however, fall into the natural consequence category.  If they didn’t try to rob and steal, they wouldn’t get hurt.  More importantly, by not using lethal force you make it harder for any type of prosecution, be it criminal or civil.  That in and of itself is a worthy goal.

April 11, 2009

More on Pirates of Somalia

Posted in Safety tagged , , , , , , , , , , , at 4:15 am by ledefensetech

Unarmed sailors take back their ship. This is incredible for several reasons. The only downside is that their captain, as fitting a man of his station, ransomed his safety for that of his crew.  It’s telling that he tried to escape, unfortunately he failed. Somali pirates might think twice before attacking a US flagged merchant ship.

What I have a problem with is the assertion that ships have little recourse against pirates. There’s plenty of options a crew has to secure their ship. It may take some retrofitting, but there are many things a crew can do. First is making it harder for pirates to board the ship. I’ve heard of electrified rails, barbed wire or water cannons washing pirates off the ship like vermin. Second would be covering the superstructure with cameras, probably hidden. In conjunction with this, a secure room to which the crew can view the cameras and the crew can take refuge in. While retreating to the panic room, the crew can lay booby traps with pepper discharge, irritants and other disabling methods.

It only makes sense to make things harder for these scumbags. The only reason the engage in piracy is because it’s easier than anything else they could do. Plus the rewards are amazing for people who live in Somalia. With millions being paid in ransom, one successful hijacking can set a Somali up for life. The international community has shown that they are unable or unwilling to do anything about the pirates, so it falls to the sailors and captains who ply the trade lanes to take measures to protect themselves, their ships and their cargo.

Again while criminals might have the advantage concerning initiative, a prepared defender can suck them in and drop them at a time and place of their choosing. All it takes is determination and action when something like this happens.

April 4, 2009

Self Defense Synergy

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 8:27 pm by ledefensetech

One of the thoughts I’ve been having recently is how in a life or death situation you really need to trade space for time.  More so than a gun; alarms, sprays and stun guns can give you the time you need for help to arrive.  My apartment, for instance, doesn’t have much space in it, so I have to be quick when it comes to defending against a burglar or attacker.  The same thing also applies if I’m assaulted or mugged outdoors or in a public place.

Home/Personal Alarms

Door stop alarms are great for home defense or protection on the go.

Alarms are the first line of defense.  Whether alarms on the doors and windows of a home, motion detector alarms in rooms and/or doorstop alarms in the home or personal alarms on your person when outside, a good alarm is critical.  This will either scare your assailant away or tell them that you are serious about protecting yourself.  This should take care of most of the criminals who just want a smash and grab anyway.

One of the things that I like about a doorstop alarm is that you can use it not only to sound an alarm, but also can use it to create a barricade. Remember you’re trading space for time.  Plus the fact that a criminal won’t let something like this deter them from coming into your home or assaulting you tells you something about their intentions.  At this point in time you can pretty much rule out burglary and robbery as motives.  What’s left are physical injury and/or rape.  Which lends itself to a whole different level of threat.

That’s where the next deterrent comes into play.  Since we’re trading space for time, anything which delays an attacker from reaching you or enables you to get away from them is a good thing.  That’s where we come to the second piece of defensive synergy.

Pepper Spray

Pepper spray is great for denying a person access to rooms in your home or breaking away from an attacker.  Space for time.  As I’ve said <a href=https://ledefensetech.wordpress.com/2009/03/26/lets-talk-aboutpepper-spray>here</a> and <a href=https://ledefensetech.wordpress.com/2009/03/29/more-on-pepper-spray>here</a>, pepper spray is a great deterrent against an attacker and gives you plenty of time to get away.  In addition, many pepper sprays come with UV dye incorporated in them so you can avoid the hassle of a lineup.  A simple black-light is all that’s needed to determine who the perpetrator really is.

Fooger type sprays are great for area denial applications.

Fooger type sprays are great for area denial applications.

A large spray like this is p3rfect for home defense and area denial purposes.

A small spray which is concealable can come as a great surprise.

A small spray which is concealable can come as a great surprise.

This should be sufficient to deter all but the most fanatical of attackers.  I can’t believe that anyone would be able to continue an assault after getting a face full of pepper spray.  Still defense it not about I can’t believe or I don’t think.  You have to be sure.  An attacker only has to succeed once in an attack, you have to succeed every time if you want to keep yourself safe.  So now we come to the final tool in the synergy of defense.

Stun Guns

A stun gun will pretty much end any confrontation right there.  I’ve discussed stun guns <a href=https://ledefensetech.wordpress.com/2009/04/04/lets-talk-aboutstun-guns>before</a>.  Depending on the type you get, you’ll either have to get within arms length of your attacker or you’ll have up to 15 feet of distance to play with.  In the end, that’s why an advanced Taser (similar to the ones  cops use) and C2 Tasers are usually the way to go.  Not only do they give you stand-off capability and the ability to control the situation from a distance, in a pinch they can be used as a regular stun gun.

Now as part of the Defense Synergy concept, if you disable someone using pepper spray and want to take them down for the count, now is the time to use the stun gun.  While it would be more prudent to call the police, by this point in time many people would be filled with indignation, anger and, well, how-dare-you-attack-me!  So it’s understandable that someone will feel a desire to strike back against thier would-be attacker.

With a regular stun gun, the effects last for several minutes, giving you time to get away.  With a Taser style stun gun the effects can take much longer to wear off.  That’s due to the nature of the effects a Taser stun gun has over regular stun guns.  Plus with the Advanced Tasers and C2 Tasers, you can pull the trigger three times and set up a cycle in which the perpetrator is actively stunned for 30 seconds.  Then they have to recover from the effects of that, which can take quite a bit of time.  Possibly long enough for you to return with the cops.  Even if the perpetrator is not there when you return, all you have to do is get the police report and send it to Taser and they’ll replace your stun gun <a href=http://www.taser.com/research/Pages/ConsumerFAQs.aspx>free of charge</a>.  Your life is worth more than any tool.  As an added bonus the stun gun will now be ineffective because the Taser is keyed to you by information you provide to Taser when they do a background check on you.  They won’t even be able to buy new cartriges and it will be useless to them.  So by all means, pull the trigger three times and leave it.

The M 18-L is the civilian version of the Advanced Taser M26 used by Law Enforcement.

The M 18-L is the civilian version of the Advanced Taser M26 used by Law Enforcement.

Stun Guns can be useful against surpirse attacks, like when youre grabbed from behind.

Stun Guns can be useful against surpirse attacks, like when you're grabbed from behind.

The C2 is the next generation Taser.

The C2 is the next generation civilian Taser.

Now many might argue that a gun doesn’t require all of these plans and convolutions, but those advocates don’t take several things into account.  First is that anyone can file a lawsuit against anyone in civil court.  Even if the plaintiff doesn’t win, the time, money and effort by the defendant is still lost and the opportunities that otherwise might have been realized are now gone forever.  Second, there is a political movement in this country to reserve all force to the government.  And finally, most people when faced with a live or die situation will, even at the cost of their own life, hesitate.  Due to their natures, less than lethal technology can overcome that natural inclination to do no harm.  Also, in many cases of assault, you may not have time to draw a firearm.  Also when you draw a firearm, that automatically raises the stakes between you and an attacker.  Due to the innocuous nature of many of these tools, they can be brought into play before an attacker realizes what the tool is.  Surprise can be a useful tool in and of itself.  Besides you just can’t beat the 30 second incapacitation that a stun gun brings.  With a gun, it’s always a gamble if you can do enough damage to stop someone before they get to you.

On a final note, you can’t predict crazy so it’s best to have many avenues of defense to give youself the greatest chance of turning the tables on your attacker.

Let’s talk about….Stun Guns

Posted in Safety tagged , , , , , , , , , at 4:27 am by ledefensetech

Let’s define the two most common types of stun guns.  Really when you talk about a stun gun you’re talking about the hand held guns that you have to physically contact someone with in order to get it to work.  The other type of stun gun is what most people think about when they think about stun guns.  Those are the stun guns made by Taser.  So when we talk about stun guns, we mean the handheld ones and the Taser is the “shooting” stun gun.

Now there are two main number you look for when you’re talking about a stun gun.  There’s the volts, anywhere from 50,000 to 1,000,000 volts.  This actually doesn’t tell you much about the tool except that a 1,000,000 volt gun will work a bit quicker than a 100,000 gun, for instance.  Another number to keep in mind is tha amperage of the stun gun.  1 single amp is enough to kill someone.  Most stun guns run at about 3 or 4 miliamps.

Another thing to consider is how strong you are.  It is pssible that a small man or woman won’t have the strength to keep someone from taking a stun gun away from you and use it on you.  There are several styles of stun guns that masqerade as common items like cell phones.  In addition there are multiple use items like flashlight/stunguns.  This can be an advantage in that a potential attacker dismisses or doesn’t realize that an item really is a stun gun.  Since most attackers try to sneak up on someone unseen and grab someone, this can be an effective counter to that kind of a surprise.

Now, one popular misconception about stun guns is that if someone is touching you and you stun them, the current will somehow leap and stun you as well.  The human body isn’t that good of a conductor and the energy from a stun gun is discharged from between the two prongs of the gun.  What happens when a person is hit by a stun gun is that the current travels along the nervous system of the body interfering with the signals between the brain and the muscles.  That pretty much keeps someone from doing pretty much anything while they are being stunned.

The C2 and Advanced Tasers work a bit differently than a stun gun.  First off, they shoot prongs that lodge just under an attackers skin and the current travels along the wire into the system of the attacker.  While a Taser also interferes with the signals between the brain and the muscles, it also causes the muscles to contract and deplete themselves of glycogen.  Glycogen is what muscles use for energy and when that is depleted, blood sugar is converted into glycogen thus the muscles have more energy to use.  Now when blood sugar in the body is depleted, as anyone with diabetes will tell you, you get very tired.  Very tired.  So your attacker won’t be thinking about continuing the attack any time soon.  Plus in a pinch, the Advanced and C2 Tasers can be used as regular stun guns, if you’re grabbed unawares for example.

Now I’m a big fan or less than lethal technology for several reasons.  First we live in a country that has more lawyers per capita than any other country in the world.  So if you go around shooting people, even in self defense, you can expect that sometime you’ll wind up in civil court.  I don’t know about you, but I have better things to spend my money on than lawyers and court fees.  Not to mention that if a judgement goes against you, you’re on the hook for damages that could run to the millions.  Second, when you hit with a stun gun or a Taser, your adversary is going down for the count.  With a gun if wing someone in the arm or leg or even in the torso, they might still be able to come after you.  Third, I also believe that people do stupid things and sometimes they can learn when they hit a brick wall, especially punk kids.  At the very least you won’t have someones death on your conscience.

March 19, 2009

The Perfect Storm of Crime

Posted in Society tagged , , , , at 3:31 am by ledefensetech

There’s a perfect storm brewing.  It’s not a thing of nature or weather or climate.  It’s a thing of men.  There are three seemingly independent situations that are going to combine into the greatest criminal wave to hit this country since Prohibition in the 1920’s or the bank robbers of the 1930’s.

The first theme in this symphony of crime is the current economic crisis, which contrary to mainstream economists, shows no sign of getting better.  Hundreds of thousands of jobs have evaporated in the last few months and, if anything, the number is increasing daily.  Whenever the economic situation gets bleak, rise in criminal activity is not far behind.

The second melody in the symphony is the pending release of people jailed during the height of the War on Drugs in the 1980’s.  Most of these guys were given 20-25 year sentences.  They’ll be due for release over the next few year.  In a normal economic environment they’d be hard pressed to find a job, especially with a felony hanging over them like a Sword of Damocles.  What chance do they have to find gainful employment now?  Not to mention that they’ve spent the last two decades in the real-life version of the School for Scoundrels.  No, they’ll go back to what they knew, drugs now with schooling in how to really be criminals.

The third movement in the symphony regards the forces of Light.  It’s not only the criminals who will feel the consequences of the economic meltdown we’re now suffering through.  Budgets for city and county law enforcement are being squeezed all over the nation due to declining tax receipts.  A friend of mine told me that one of the counties around here are freezing the pay, not hiring any more officers and denying overtime in order to meet budget cuts.  While this might be a good idea in the long term, it has serious detrimental effects when you look at long-term consequences.

First, by freezing pay, you increase the chance that people will choose to do something other than police work.  Especially among the older, more experienced officers and detectives.  This brain drain will take some time to manifest, but when it does the effects will be noticeable with less cases closed and irreplaceable knowledge and skill lost to the next generation of law enforcement.  Second, by not hiring new officers, when crime does pick up, the newly pared down force will need to take up the slack.  But wait, if they deny overtime, who will take up the slack?

When you combine the three factors, more people choosing crime, more criminals getting out of prison and less police on the streets, things start to look grim.  At leas they do if you don’t believe there is anything you can do about it.  The good news is that there is plenty a citizen can do to protect themselves from the coming storm.  Much like preparing for a storm, it takes a little foresight and planning, but even this can be weathered.  We’ll look at how in coming posts.