Why I hate pepper spray for self defense

Pepper spray Demonstration; U.S. Marine Corps ...

Pepper spray Demonstration; U.S. Marine Corps Cpl. Jerry Syrek, an instructor assigned to Naval Air Station (NAS) Jacksonville, Security Department, sprays U.S. Navy Aviation Electronics Technician Airman Joel Pichardo with pepper spray during the one week Auxiliary Security Force Academy held on board NAS Jacksonville. U.S. Navy photo by Photographer’s Mate 3rd Class (RELEASED) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


It seems these days that many people who formerly paid no attention to the idea of having to defend themselves from a violent person or persons are starting to think that maybe they should.  I agree with them.


Obviously the news likes to pick up on stories and sensationalize them for ratings.  But, it seems that today they have even more stories to choose from.  Because of the seeming uptick in violence many people are looking for ways to defend themselves.  A vast majority of those people are afraid of guns or at least afraid of the stigma related to them thanks to the news, politicians, etc.


So, many will decide to go with non-lethal forms of self defense instead of the dreaded firearm.  What many don’t know is that these non-lethal self defense items also leave a lot of room for error.


Let’s take a look at one of the more popular items for self defense, pepper spray.  Having been sprayed with pepper spray either directly or indirectly on more than one occasion, I can tell you that it hurts.  But, I can also tell you that in the right situation a determined person can also fight through it.


As I write this I’m reminded of a police call I was on a few years ago.  My partner and I were trying to make an arrest on a man that was high on narcotics.  We did everything by the book and were going through the levels of force to try to control the guy and get him into handcuffs.  When the pepper spray came out the fight did not stop.  It just meant that we all had to fight through the haze of burning spray.


I know that there are many instances when pepper spray was all it took to stop a bad guy.  But, there are also many when it did not and only served to make it a little harder to fight.  Personally, I will never rely on pepper spray as the only line of self defense.



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