April 4, 2009
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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 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 25, 2009
There are two schools of thought when it comes to protecting your person and your property. One school devotes itself to disguise and hiding the fact that your person and possessions are warded against violence and theft. The other school believes that a “show of force” is a good idea, or not hiding the fact that you have tools at your disposal to defend yourself.
In most cases, the second school carries the most weight in my opinion. Why? Because criminals are naturally lazy. Rather than do honest work, they’d rather take what you’ve worked for. Ironically, criminal behavior rarely leads to riches, plus you have to watch out for treachery. Treachery from criminal “allies” or informants of law enforcement. You can turn this to your advantage.
There are several tools that are useful when securing your person or property from crime. At the top of the list are alarms. Whether on your person or around the house, alarms lessen the amount of time a criminal has to perpetrate against you. They can alert others to you predicament and/or summon authorities. In many cases an alarm is all that’s needed to foil a mugging or burglary.
Assaults and rape are a different matter. While alarms can be useful in summoning help, the fact that a person wishes to harm you changes the time needed to do so. A stabbing or shooting takes much less time than snatching a purse or ransacking a house. In cases like these, pepper spray and stun guns come into their own. Many people may feel hesitant at causing pain to another person. Don’t. By their very actions, these people have forfeited their right to be safe in their person.
At this time peeper sprays and stun guns come into their own. A sensible person should own both and know when to use them. You don’t want to use a pepper spray when firing into the wind for example. Also outdoor conditions like rain can have an effect. Pepper spray is less effective in rain for example, whereas stun guns will work regardless of wind or rain conditions.
This shows an attacker that you’re willing to defend yourself and won’t be easy meat. Using a pepper spray for stand off value can protect you and your stun gun can protect you in close quarter situations.
So these tools provide a circle of protection. The alarm cuts down on the time a criminal has to perpetrate against you, while the pepper spray can be used as a stand off weapon or and area denial weapon. The stun gun can be used as a last resort to incapacitate an attacker, while you run towards help. Do not under any circumstances wait around to see the person taken into custody. Most sprays come with a dye that shows up under UV light, so the police can make identify someone you’ve hit with pepper spray.
In reality you’ll probably only need one or two of these tools. However you can’t predict crazy, so it’s best to be prepared to defend yourself and your home. These tools have a benefit above and beyond the physical protection they provide. In our litigious society you can be taken to court if you shoot and kill someone. By using less than lethal force, you strip your attacker or their next of kin from any pretext they have to try to destroy you through lawyers. In later posts, I’ll go into how and why you might want to use these various tools solo and in conjunction with other tools.