Statistics confirm that 1 in 4 Americans will be a victim of violent crime. Think about it, everyday we turn on the television what do we see and hear about. Someone was raped, someone was shot, someone was killed. The fact is crime is all around us. It doesn’t matter if you live in a rural area or the inner city. Now add on the fact that tens of thousands of people are losing their jobs and the economy is in a serious recession. The end result will be an increase in crime.
We owe it to ourselves, family and friends to make sure we take a proactive approach to crime in our communities. In my opinion the best thing we can do is to invest in non-lethal self defense products. This includes products such as pepper spray, stun guns, tasers, and personal alarms. These products are typically hard to find and not readily available in stores.
Each of these products have been proven effective against “would be” criminals. Pepper spray is a very good option, it is inexpensive and works very quickly when used correctly. The active ingredient in pepper spray is Oleoresin Capsicum (OC), which has replaced tear gas in law enforcement arenas. Tear gas was proven ineffective against persons who can not feel pain. Many individuals under the influence of drugs or alcohol do not feel pain, thus tear gas will not work. OC on the other hand is an inflammatory agent that debilitates very quickly.
OC works on the membranes, eyes, nose, mouth. First, it causes temporary blindness by constricting the capillaries in the eyes. The eyes clamp shut, even if they try and pry them open they still can’t see. Second, OC produces coughing and discharge from the nose and mouth. Finally, the lungs and respiratory system are targeted making it very difficult to breath. The affected person(s) will be temporarily restricted to life support breathing. These effects last about 30 minutes, giving you plenty of time to get to safety.
Pepper spray or mace is available in several spray patterns. Which is best? If you live in a “windy” climate you’ll want to stay away from the cones, or foggers. If spray directly into the wind, self contamination is very possible. If wind is a factor purchase a stream pattern.
Stream patterns will give you more range, anywhere from 6 to 30 feet depending on the model you choose. The stream is propelled in a straight line, it comes out hard and fast. The downside to streams is you are forced to be accurate. In other words you need to aim for the eyes, nose, or mouth. Practice with a stream spray is very important.
The fog or cone spray is great for crowd control or use against multiple attackers, in ideal situations the fogger is the way to go. But again if you live in a windy climate you need to be aware of possible “blow back”. Accuracy is not a concern with a fogger.
You will also want to look into the the self life of pepper spray. Depending on the product you can expect to get 2 to 4 years of self life. This means you will need to replace your spray every 2 to 4 years. The manufacturer should post the expiration date or date the product was manufactured. If they don’t DO NOT purchase. The contents may be ten years old and totally ineffective.
A good spray will also contain a “marking dye” which is a dye that will help law enforcement identify a criminal. The dye cannot be washed off, it will remain on the assailant for approximately 10 days!
I encourage you to get yourself and your loved ones a good OC pepper spray today. Learn to use it correctly. Finally, practice, practice, practice. God forbid you have to use it, but if you do you’ll be much more likely to use it effectively.