Pepper spray is the most common non lethal form of self defense used by women. As a law enforcement officer, it is my go-to for suspect compliance. There are several reasons pepper spray is so popular. Some of these reasons are: affordability, portability, legality, effectiveness and ease of use.
Pepper spray is very inexpensive. There are a multitude of models available for under ten dollars. For less than the cost of most take out meals, you can purchase a self defense product that may save your life.The cost of a defense spray is directly related to additional features the unit may have as well as the amount and strength of the oleoresin capsicum present.
The more expensive models include blinged out styles designed for fashionistas. But even the bedazzled pepper spray is less expensive than the cost of a date night at the movies. Other models have secondary features such as being encased in a keychain baton or velcro handholds which make it easy for joggers to carry. Even the most expensive, larger models which are designed for home protection won’t break the average budget.
The best selling type of pepper spray are the ones you can attach to your keychain. Women are most vulnerable to attack in parking lots, when entering or exiting their vehicles, and when going into their homes. These are all times when you normally have your keys in hand. This is the reason keychain self defense units are popular – because it is readily available when you need it the most. There are other models that can be carried in situations where discretion is important. Some of these are disguised as lipsticks and pens. Either of those models can easily be carried in a pocket or purse.
Unlike stun guns, pepper spray is legal in all 50 states. However, Michigan and Wisconsin have restrictions on the types that can be carried. New York and Massachusetts also have restrictions on where they can be bought. Some cities also have additional regulations, so check with local authorities if you have any question about carrying a defense spray in your municipality.
The main reason pepper spray is so effective is because it is an inflammatory agent. It causes the membranes to swell. The eyes involuntarily swell shut and temporary blindness is experienced. The throat constricts and breathing is difficult. In effect, all but life sustaining breath is eliminated. The body begins to spasm and there is normally an onset of coughing fits and a runny nose. The skin begins to feel as if it had been set on fire. Most often, panic sets in, intensifying the physical effects. The effects can last anywhere from 10 to 45 minutes, with diminished effects lasting several hours.
Another reason it is highly effective is because it does not rely primarily on pain compliance to work. In other words, even if the person being sprayed is under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or has somehow had their pain receptors damaged, pepper spray will likely work. The subject will be incapacitated.
Ease of Use
Using pepper spray does not require any special training. Simply point and spray. However, it is always a good idea to practice using an inert, water based pepper spray. This will create muscle memory that will enable you to use it during crisis situations.
With all these benefits, it is no wonder that pepper spray is the most popular alternative to lethal self defense available.
Wendy Megyese is a Deputy Sheriff and a Self Defense Expert. Her passion is educating and empowering law abiding citizens with self defense tools and techniques so they can be victors and not victims. Visit her website at http://www.bestlinedefense.com to find the best self defense and survival products.
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