Personal Protection in a defensive situation
Morality and ethics are very personal and diverse among people and their religion and upbringing. Throughout history men going into battle have dealt with trying to deal with killing another human being. In Lt. Col. Grossman’s book On Killing, he states one has four options in battle; they are fight, flight, posture, and Submit. The same is true in a violent encounter. The person can fight back using every tool available at his disposal. He can flee the encounter and try to avoid the situation entirely. In battle, posturing would be falsely going through the motions of engaging in battle while not intending to shoot the enemy. Someone would be exhibiting a posturing option by holding a weapon to “scare” the attacker into stopping the attack. Submitting, of course, would simply be surrendering yourself to the mercy of the attacker.
Your options for self-defense will be dependent upon where you fall in those four options. You need to have a deep discussion with yourself and decide whether you could morally and ethically take another person’s life in a lethal force encounter.
For personal protection, the most efficient way of stopping a life threatening attack is to use lethal force. Most people who decide that they could and would use deadly force in an attack, purchase either a revolver or semi-automatic pistol. It is highly recommended that you explore the possibility of obtaining a Concealed Carry License for your state, seek professional training, and religiously carry your concealed firearm.
The best way to purchase firearm is to go to your local shooting range and practice with as many firearms as possible to make the best decision. Remember, if you are not 100% comfortable with your choice both confidence in your firearm and comfort in wearing your firearm concealed, you probably won’t carry as often as you could.
Non-lethal options can also be effective. Non-lethal options are for those times when you cannot legally carry, when you are not yet trained, you have ethical reasons, or you don’t believe in the use of firearms.
There are several Categories of non-lethal options.
Impact options – those are weapons that you use to aid in hitting or striking someone. These items increase your ability to impart damage and leverage your advantage to injure your attacker. Usually, these items are very concealable but often need training to learn appropriate strikes. The downside of these is that you often need to be in close proximity of the attacker to effectively strike. A danger that you must deal with is the fact that items could be more readily taken away from you. Examples of Impact objects are: expandable baton, folding knife, tactical light, and tactical pen.
Chemical options – These include active chemicals designed to temporarily blind and choke your attacker. Mace is a brand of Pepper (OC) spray which contains the same active chemical. The effective range for pepper spray is about 10’-12’ and is useful when there are multiple targets. Pepper spray is effective on humans and animals. What is the downside of pepper spray? Some people can continue an attack even after having been sprayed. A windy environment can cause drift of the spray, either causing innocent people getting sprayed or to render the spray ineffective on the intended target. For obvious reasons, it is not recommended to be used on a bus, or train or other public transportation. Most cans of spray will only last for a few sprays. Bee and Wasp spray and Bear spray are also a viable options. The cans usually contain a larger volume and they are often effective up to 35’.
Electrical Discharge – this group includes Tasers and stun guns. A taser shoots out two darts attached to electrical leads at a 7% angle. Both darts must attach to the attacker to have any effect. Effective range is 12’-15’ and you are limited to one or two deployments depending on the make and model of your taser. Most law enforcement uses two deployment models. Tasers can be defeated and are less effective when penetrating thick coats or clothing. Stun Guns are handheld devices that must be held against your attacker. They are often inexpensive. To hinder attackers grabbing the stun gun from you, some models have shock plates on the sides.
Edged Weapons – Everyone should carry a tactical folding knife with a minimum 3” blade. Check your local state laws on types of knives you can carry. When selecting a knife, look for sturdy construction. Ironically, knives are more publicly accepted than guns, even though more deaths are contributed to knives. Within 20 feet, a knife is more effective and deadlier than a gun. Knives and edged weapons can be highly effective in deterring a criminal as most criminals don’t want to get into a knife fight. Remember, you are fighting for your life and to only wound an attacker is a very bad idea. A wounded attacker can still overpower you and take the knife away. Knives can be used for endless strikes or slashes and inflict an incredible amount of physical and psychological pain. It is paramount that you receive training for proper use of any edged weapon.
Sonic Weapons – emit a blast of sound and are not recommended as a sole life saving opinion.
Hybrid Lights – Flashlights, when shined directly in the face can be disruptive, annoying and disorienting. Most good flashlights have strobe and various light output functions. Many also have a bezel for using as an impact weapon.
Next Article: Chapter 6 cont. Firearms as a Lethal Options