Weapons for self-protection come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Stun guns are my favorite, but let’s explore the whole gambit and see what you think!
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Sometimes, violence comes despite the best possible avoidance measures. When it does, there is often no opportunity to summon help. In those cases, a woman is forced to face her attacker alone. Using only her own resources and knowledge to survive. Fortunately, women who are properly trained and confident in their ability to protect themselves can do so quite effectively. This includes educating, equipping, and empowering themselves.
“Fighting back” is a difficult and uncomfortable subject for many women to think about. But it does not have to be that way! The concept is easy to understand. It’s your life or his comfort. He has no right to be comfortable when he is assaulting you. You don’t fight to win – you fight to get away. To get to safety and to find help.
Weapons for Self-protection as a Lifestyle
In fact, fighting back can actually stop the cycle of abuse that often propagates itself. I advocate for a culture where children are taught how to protect themselves and girls are trained in self-defense.
Perhaps if more girls and women were prepared to defend themselves physically, then we could begin to turn the tide of abuse away from children and women in general. Maybe if criminals knew that they could be seriously hurt if they lifted their hands their abuse could be stopped. If even one-third of women carried a protection weapon how much less likely would an attack be? Using weapons for self-protection needs to become a lifestyle.
But fighting back involves more than just a swift kick to the “family jewels”. It encompasses putting yourself in the right mindset and allowing you the right to be safe no matter what. Yes, you’ll probably have to hurt another human being. But you have to decide which is more important – hurting someone else or letting him or her hurt you. I don’t know about you, but I opt for keeping my own life.
Even though each and every situation is different, if you find yourself being attacked or assaulted in any way,
there are some things you can do to protect yourself at most times. and gain the time to get away. Time to get away is the reason for weapons for self-protection.
Weapon for Self-Protection: Knee to Groin
First and foremost, kick him where it hurts. The male groin area is a particularly sensitive area. When you are able to come out with a good swift kick to the testicles, chances are amazingly good that your attacker will fall to his knees in pain. Thus allowing you to get away, out of harm’s way, and find help.
Keys or Kubatons?
Use what you have to defend yourself. When walking to your car, many of us have been taught to place our keys in between our fingers. If someone should accost you, shove the key in their eye or the soft spot just below their Adam’s apple. Then run like crazy!
Definitely not terrible advice, but it has a few flaws. First, the last thing we want to lose in a scuffle is our keys. Second more and more we are finding ourselves with just a key fob. Lastly, using keys to attack may be effective, however, we are likely to sustain injury also from the jagged edges coming back through our fingers when we strike.
Weapon for Self Protection: Spray and Get Away
Most women carry some type of perfume, hair spray, or body spray in their purses. These substances can work in the same manner as mace or pepper spray, albeit with less potency. A squirt in the eyes could be just painful enough to allow you to get away from your attacker.
Better yet, I highly recommend attaining the hottest pepper spray on the market. One with UV dye for identifying your attacker, and most importantly you want one that sprays more than 5 feet. I carry one that goes a distance of 16 feet!
Pepper spray and mace can also be effective tools against a physical assault.
Pepper spray is a natural derivative of hot peppers. The essence is extracted, combined with a carrier and propellant, and put into a spray canister. When it is sprayed into the eyes and face on an attacker, it is extremely painful. However, it does not rely on pain for its effectiveness. Pepper spray causes physical effects even in people who are “feeling no pain” such as drug users or drunk individuals.
Pepper spray makes the eyelids slam shut or spasm, causing hampered vision or even temporary blindness. When even a small amount is inhaled, it constricts the bronchial tubes, causing extreme choking and coughing, though it does not cut off breathing. It is usually effective on most people and animals, including the mentally ill and those under the influence of drugs and alcohol.
Pepper spray comes in various concentrations and various degrees of heat.
If you’re going to get pepper spray, you should purchase a product that has an SHU rating of 1 to 2 million or more. In addition, it should have 18% OC (oleoresin capsicum) that has proven to atomize well.
Pepper spray has been used by police and law enforcement organizations for decades, and it has an excellent safety and effectiveness record. It is probably the best “general purpose” self-protection tool that you can find, though nothing is 100% effective.
In most states, pepper spray is legal to purchase. You can probably find it at hardware stores or firearm retail outlets. This is not recommended as you want self-protection tools that are tried and proven. Stick to a specialist like Damsels in Defense.
Please do understand that the effective use of pepper spray depends on a variety of factors. Police officers do use pepper spray, but they have had a class on how to use it correctly. Factors that influence its effectiveness include the proximity of the attacker, how much spray you deploy, and where you deploy it at. For maximum effectiveness, it should be sprayed in the eyes. Be sure to watch the video for a more thorough understanding.
Weapons for Self-Protection: Everyday Items
Almost anything can be used as a tool against a potential attacker. A pen, a table knife, anything sharp would be effective against your assaulter. An effective impact weapon can be created by placing something small and dense, like a rock into a sock.
The range of potential improvised weapons is limited only by your imagination. But you should not depend on “found” weapons unless your usual tools are unavailable.
More Weapons for Protection: Whistles or Noisemakers
Many people advocate carrying a whistle or personal alarm with you. A personal alarm is a noisemaker, usually battery-operated, that makes a loud, piercing noise when it is set off. Lung powered whistles, often called “rape whistles” also fall into this noisemaker category.
However, some feel that having a noisemaker on your person is an over-rated concept. If you believe that someone will come to your rescue when you blow a whistle or set off a siren, you may be fooling yourself. No, they may not ‘save’ you, but given the intensity of the situation, it is possible you will lose your voice. In addition, sadly, our culture is more and more tuning out human calls for help. The great thing about an alarm or sharp whistle? They are as annoying as heck! Eyes will. turn your way and your attackers way. Will it be enough to scare him away? Maybe not, but most criminals are not wanting to be watched by lots of irritated folks!
Obviously few women would count on an alarm – but it can certainly be a tool in your layered self-protection plan.
That is, we would never bet our life on the hope that someone will hear the alarm, respond, and be capable of stopping the attack. That’s too many ‘ifs’ that are out of our control.
I wear my whistle sometimes and also keep my personal alarm on my self-protection tools set. It is not what I would reach for first – but again, having choices to fit each situation is wise.
Screaming can sometimes be effective since the human voice has an impact that is quite different from a mechanical sound. First, choose to do an activity that will decrease your likelihood of victimization, such as running away, kicking, striking with a Kubaton. Or counterattacking with pepper spray, or reaching for a weapon like a stun gun. But really, you should have a weapon in your handto start with. It is all part of making self-protection tools a part of our muscle memory and daily life.
My Favorite Self-Protection Weapons: Stun Guns and Tasers
Stun guns and tasers are also a well-liked self-defense tool. Stun guns are hand-held, electronic devices designed to deliver an electric shock to an attacker. They are not guns in the traditional sense of the word. A stun gun has two (or more) metal contacts, which need to be pressed against the attacker.
My favorite thing about a stun gun is the threatening noise it gives off – if you get one, be sure to trigger it daily until the sound no longer startles you! Criminals will not know if you have a taser or stun gun, they will simply know you have something powerful and threatening.
Tasers (illegal in my state) propel two metal barbs over a distance of several yards. These barbs, connected to the hand-held unit by wires, are intended to attach themselves to the attacker. These wires are then electrified to incapacitate the assailant at a distance.
These devices (both taser and stun guns) stop attackers by pain, rapid fatigue of their muscles, and/or overriding the body’s neuromuscular system and disrupting voluntary muscle control.
Stun Guns – flashlight, noise deterrent and pain weapon
****You should know that in some parts of the United States, these types of weapons are illegal. If you carry one of these weapons, be advised that it could get you into trouble in certain states.
The stun gun will hurt, and to be effective, with pain, the stun gun, a contact weapon, must be held in contact with the assailant for a number of seconds, or he must voluntarily break off the attack.
The stun guns I carry are also flashlights and add to my situational awareness. Also, giving me a threatening noise should I trigger it and a pain deterrent should an attacker come upon me.
There is a new generation of Tasers that have recently come onto the market. Law enforcement magazines and first-person reports have been positive with respect to the effectiveness of the new higher wattage tasers.
Controversial Self-Protection Tool: Guns
Finally, we feel the need to address the subject of carrying a firearm. Many people, women especially, are uncomfortable with guns. However, proper training and handling of guns make them one of the more effective ways of defending yourself. Indeed, and of intimidating your attacker.
The key to having and being able to use a firearm lies in your training. There are several different kinds of firearms training. There is basic safety and marksmanship training that everyone who has a gun needs, and there is more specialized defensive firearms training that is specifically for those who have guns for self-protection as opposed to hunting, or sports.
Weapons are a Highly Personal Choice
For basic safety and marksmanship, you can usually find good training quite locally. Regardless of what you might think of the NRA, they have created excellent introductory courses. You don’t have to join the NRA to take these courses.
Two courses that are quite good in theory are Home Firearm Safety and Basic Pistol. Whether the courses are actually good in practice depends on who teaches them. You can ask the NRA for a list of certified instructors in your area. You may want to try to pick out a woman if that would make you more comfortable. Or you can go to a couple of local gun shops and ask what instructors they recommend. Additionally, you can call local firearms stores and gun clubs to ask whether they offer instruction.
Weapon for Self-Protection
For defensive firearms training, it is wise to be very, very selective. There are a number of excellent, private gun schools around the country. Additionally, there is a list of gun schools that appears from time to time on the Internet. We can recommend FrontSite for the excellent training. I also recommend that you do your research and choose a school that fits your needs and comfort level.
If you are thinking of getting a gun, get training first. If that isn’t possible, get training a soon as you get your gun. Owning a gun without getting training is like owning a bathing suit without knowing how to swim! You may look good, but you won’t be able to save your own life in an emergency.
The best way to figure out what kind of gun is right for you is to go to a club or take a course. One where you have the opportunity to shoot several different types and sizes of guns. Then you can learn about their differences, what they feel like to shoot, how easily you are able to handle them. In addition, how accurate you are with them. Pinpoint accuracy isn’t necessary for self-protection. But the better you can shoot in class the more confidence you will have in your ability to shoot under stress.
Most gun magazines run frequent articles on the selection of a self-defense gun and reviews of individual firearms. Note that not all articles may be completely objective, so get advice from several sources.
Weapons for Self-Protection; Serious Decisions
We should tell you that should you decide to use a gun, be very aware of the circumstances that surround your use of a firearm. Bare fear (that is, fear alone) is not justification for using lethal force against someone. The fear must be accompanied by circumstances that a reasonable and prudent person would interpret as immediate and unavoidable danger.
If every person who was “afraid” could shoot with impunity anyone who frightened them, the world would indeed be a terrible place for us all!
If you are going to take the strong option of owning and carrying a gun, it is imperative that you obtain very intensive training so you know how to shoot the gun in a variety of situations. You should also be prepared to shoot if you have to draw the gun. A display of confidence and know-how must be present when you are carrying a weapon.
Also, please be advised that in most states, carrying a concealed weapon without a permit is a crime. Above everything else, be sure you have a Firearm Owner’s Identification card (FOID card). The fee for applying is small and it shows that you have had a background check and are eligible to own a firearm.
There’s a lot more to defending yourself with a gun than drawing, aiming, deciding, and, if necessary, pulling the trigger. But those steps are all that most people practice in advance. Unless you practice how to talk to someone at gun point, you could find yourself floundering when you suddenly have to do it.
Meaning our Defense 100%
Try this, right now while you are reading this: imagine yourself in a victim’s position, with the assailant at the end of your gun. Now say, out loud, “Don’t move!” It might feel a bit silly and sound a little weak. Take a deeper breath, and say it again, louder and more firmly, “DON’T MOVE!” Did it come out better that time?
If you make this part of your practice sessions, you will find that it gets louder and better, and you become more confident! That you’d be able to say those simple words even under the incredible stress of an armed encounter.
You can also plan in advance what to do after the encounter is over. You ought to practice turning your head to look around. This overcomes the inevitable tunnel vision that might be preventing you from seeing a second assailant or someone who could help you. And you ought to plan to get to the nearest phone to call law enforcement.
For women with Concealed Carry Permits, having a backpack or handbag to carry your gun in essential.
Practice for Muscle Memory with Your Weapon for Self-Protection
Just thinking about these plans isn’t enough. Going through the actual physical motions every time you “practice” is a must. Right down to picking up the phone, this will help to embed these actions in your subconscious! Your rehearsed actions, in drawing your firearm, and will make it easier for you to carry them out if you ever need to.
Remember, you’ll be running “on automatic”, so you’d better be programmed to do the right thing. If you have no program, you’ll flail around trying to create one. Regardless of your choice of weapons for self-protection, knowing how to use it is essential. Additionally, where it is, and having a plan and comfort level with using your weapon(s) are key to self-protection.