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Self-Protection Gear and why you should consider carrying

Here's a story that hits home to all of us, an occurrence right in my own background. 

I live in a town like many others. It is quiet, upper middle class society with boutiques and specialty food stores and overall a great place to raise a family. What you don't see is a high crime rate, and for most people that live here, you could go everyday without thinking twice about your safety. 

But what happens when that trip to Bed Bath and Beyond for new bedding turns into an unexpected fight for your life? Are you prepared to take action?

It happened in our town, a Thursday evening around 7:30 pm, where a woman was assaulted and dragged from her vehicle while sitting in the parking lot after leaving Bed Bath and Beyond. The assailant proceed to steal her vehicle and luckily she was left with only minor injuries. But this could have had a completely different ending. What are the lessons? What should she have done? What could she do?

While there are a handful of options for women to be able to protect themselves, most aren't actively training on these options, or worse aren't educated on what the options could be. So let's talk briefly about those options and how we are here to help you feel confident in whichever option suits you best.

 

1. Pepper Spray

A commonly accessible item that can be easily placed in a bag or attached to your keys, this device is quite handy if you are in a situation where you have time to pull it out and are a close enough distance to disperse the chemical. Pros? It will effectively disarm your attacker, it is a non-lethal form of self-protection, and it will allow you time to get away. Cons? Some can be difficult to use, so training is a must. Also, the attacker can use it against you if they overpower you and gain control. Being able to still defend yourself while dealing with the sting of the spray is another thing you might want to train for. Third con - if you don't have quick access to the pepper spray, it is useless (some of us have those deep purses filled to the max). Fourth con - if it's in your purse, little hands might get a hold of it and think it's a toy and could potentially harm themselves.

So what is our suggestion? 

Wearing the pepper spray concealed under your shirt in a holster or belly band. When you need to use it quickly, having it accessible is going to be your greatest tactic against an attacker. Training periodically on drawing the container and aiming will be helpful to ensure you are confident when using.

2. Taser

A less lethal form of self protection, tasers work by firing small darts at a target within a reasonable distance. The darts deliver an electric shock, which temporarily incapacitates the target. Pros? Tasers can certainly give you enough distance to protect yourself against harm and enough time to escape and get help. Cons? While created to be non-lethal, cardiac arrest can be a potential side effect of the use of a taser. Also, tasers contain cartridges that are limited and bulky so in a multiple attacker situation, it might not be your best weapon. Third, you do need to train to ensure you can act under pressure and know the distance which is most effective to use against your attacker. 

So what is our suggestion?

Tasers come in a several sizes, some that are small enough to be concealed carried on your person. Like pepper spray, leaving it in your purse can be risky, especially in the wrong hands. Wearing and training with the device will certainly be a great course of action against an attacker.

3. Pocket Knife

Next level up on the use of force continuum, is the pocket knife. They come in many sizes and styles, a knife is great in close-contact attacks and will be able to disarm and injure your attacker. Pros? Easy and inexpensive to purchase, training is minimum. Easily hidden. Simple concept of point and stab. Cons? They might not take down your attacker instantly and ensuring you puncture correct areas will make this weapon most effective.

So what is our suggestion?

 

A pocket knife is also easily concealable, works great if you know the areas that are most vulnerable. They are quick and easy to use and also can contain remnants of DNA of the attacker which can be helpful in an investigation.

4. Firearm

The most lethal form of self protection is the firearm. They come in many sizes, with different ammo sizes and effectiveness, and have the potential to instantly disarm an attacker. Pros? Effective against an attack. Can be used at a safe distance. Cons? Death is a highly potential outcome. Also, a more expensive option with the gun and ammo prices. 

So what is our suggestion?

Carrying a firearm is a big decision, one that carries life and death consequences. Training is incredibly important, to know how and WHEN to use a firearm. Even in self defense cases, you will still need to prove that you acted in self defense and that deadly force was the only option available against your attacker. We certainly suggest choosing a firearm that you are comfortable with handling and training A LOT. You certainly don't want to be the cause of the death of an innocent bystander or yourself. 

5. What about rings, keychain tools, etc.?

Although they might be cheaper and potentially less lethal options, unless you are planning on wearing the rings all day every day, or having your keychain tools at the ready constantly, they may not be accessible during an attack. A bad guy won't stop attacking you to wait for you to find and position your gear correctly. 

 

Having many options is great these days for women to be able to protect themselves. Whichever weapon you choose to use, we suggest that you know the laws in your state with regards to that weapon, train consistently, and conceal carry your weapon. Time is of the essence in these situations, and seconds searching for your weapon in a crowded person could mean life or death.

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