by Bradley J. Steiner
I have always been against mace, tear gas, pepper sprays, etc., for self-protection. This is why:
After experimenting with a relatively large number of students years ago, I found that the effectiveness of these sprays was unimpressive. They did work effectively to make some individuals stop in their tracks and cease all action save that of recovering from being sprayed, but well over half were easily able to fight through the effect of the spray and continue their attack. And those who were stopped were in a passive, non-violent state of mind and body.
After studying a large number of police reports wherein officers described their having utilized the spray their department-issued (mace or pepper, etc.), it was obvious that in many cases, the individual who was sprayed showed no reaction to the spray save that of becoming enraged and continuing to resist the officers.
Every police officer with whom I spoke regarding the issue of sprays told me the only reason they carried and sometimes used them was that it was required by their department’s policies, and by employing the spray, they “covered their asses.”
Well, cops might be able to afford this initial effort to stop an aggressor. After all, they carry guns. And, in most instances when sprays were used, more than one armed officer was present; so overwhelming numbers and armed force were available if and when the sprays failed.
Crazy people (i.e., truly insane and frenzied nut jobs) are virtually immune to all sprays. Sprays provide a false sense of confidence when, as is generally the case, private-citizen purchasers believe that “the spray is a great substitute if you want a self-defense weapon but don’t want to carry a gun.” Bullshit.
Over the ensuing years since my dismissal (with contempt!) of self-defense sprays, I have come to see, however, if and when backed up with firearms that may be brought into play should it become necessary, I can see a use for some of the more powerful defense sprays now available.
I began to think about this while observing the insurrectionist mob riots and looting that took place, and that, sadly, still take place now and then in urban America. While shooting rioters and looters is the obvious, sensible best way to stop them, the climate is such in our decaying culture that decent citizens may be arrested and persecuted for shooting these individuals.
Witness the instance when that couple in Missouri armed themselves and simply positioned themselves outside their home to be ready to defend their lives when a trespassing mob broke through the gate and proceeding menacingly close to them. These two completely innocent people – both lawyers, as I recall – were arrested and charged with a felony. They were disarmed by the police (who did nothing to stop the rioting mob), and face the loss of their right to own firearms if convicted of this outrageous charge.
This is atrocious, unreasonable, and contrary to the human right to self and home defense. But the prosecuting attorney where this occurred couldn’t have cared less. Remember, the “law” is merely codified custom; and when those who enforce and adjudicate the law decide to spit on common sense, justice, and basic human decency, well, you’re S––T OUT OF LUCK. Their interpretation of what constitutes justice now overrides objectivity.
Had this couple been my students, they would have been taught NOT to exit their homes, but to arm themselves, be ready, and call immediately for police assistance and not hang up the phone. It would have been, I believe, obviously and incontestably justifiable to use their firearms if the mob broke into and entered the couple’s home.
If that couple exited their home (unwise in any case, but if they had), and if they had been in possession of powerful pepper sprays that they held harmlessly at their sides just in case, they really could never have been charged with any felony crime. If the rodents had then advanced on them, using the sprays to give themselves time to turn around and get inside their home would have been completely legal. Then, once inside their home, they could access their firearms and be prepared should a violent break-in occur.
Now, here is a thought (or more precisely, my thought) regarding sprays. It just might be wise in instances when groups of rioting rodents descend upon an area, for citizens to greet them – in numbers – armed with powerful pepper sprays, and douse the group until they are saturated with the gunk.
Quality sprays will travel 16-18 feet, and since the sprays neither maim nor kill and are legal, citizens using them when defending against attack would not face charges of unlawful firearms use. Of course, in direct defense of life and limb, should that be immediately necessary, GUNS remain the wise option. So, my advocacy of this limited use of sprays should never be construed as suggesting sprays to be an alternative to firearms.
On an individual level, a young lady who is armed with a licensed handgun and a powerful pepper spray might, if she has the warning to see one or more scumbags approaching her with clearly criminal intentions, utilize a spray before the garbage gets within very close range.
This will: a) Disorient him/them for a second or two, and b) Give her a chance to access her firearm. Just possibly, when seeing a gun aimed at them, the trash will think better of attacking this particular lass. That will save her the trauma of needing to deal with law enforcement and the unjust “justice” system because she shot the rats. Still, if the felons continue their advance despite having been sprayed… well… she will be able to deal with that by recourse to her weapon.
You decide. If this makes sense to you, then – with the very realistic understanding of the limitations and shortcomings of spray defense devices, you might see how these might augment your armed readiness to protect yourself.
I can suggest two devices in particular:
Sabre Red Pepper Gel and Fox Labs 5.3M SHU Police Pepper Spray
The input I have received from respectable sources rates those two products as high quality.
Just remember: sprays are not a substitute for firearms, and you want to have a solid backup ready for those limited occasions when you might opt for using a spray before resorting to your gun.
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by Bradley J. Steiner