As a career police officer and owner of a personal defense products business, many people often ask me the question, what personal defense product is best, the taser, stun gun, or defense spray also known as pepper spray. Well the simple answer is….it depends.Let’s look at each of the products above individually and evaluate their pros and con’s.First, let’s look at defense spray (pepper spray). Defense spray comes in a variety of applications, styles and sizes. Defense spray has been around for a long time and is currently used by law enforcement agencies across the country today. There are various ingredients being used in the defense spray industry to include CS, CN, and OC. As a trainer in the law enforcement field, I have been sprayed with all three and consistently find that the OC (Oleoresin Capsicum) is by far the most affective defense spray on the market.OC defense spray comes in 5%, 7%, 10%, and 18% (wildfire) concentrations with the 10% solution being the chosen spray for law enforcement use.Pros: defense spray works by spraying the attacker in the face primarily targeting the eyes, nose and mouth. The 10% OC solution attacks the mucous membranes resulting in extreme burning, swelling, drainage, and difficulty breathing. Having OC sprayed in the eyes causes the eyes to slam shut involuntarily resulting in temporary blindness due to the burning sensation. Defense spray is very affordable for those of us with limited budgets.
Cons: Defense spray is a target specific use of force alternative. What this means is you must hit the attacker in the face to get the full effects of the pepper spray. The second issue is the spray should deployed with the wind at the victims back to prevent self contamination.Now let’s look at stun guns for a minute. Stun Guns come in a variety of shapes and voltages. These nifty little personal defense weapons are very effective as well, however, they require the victim to be up close and make personal contact with the attacker to be effective. We will discuss this a bit later.Pros: Stun Gun voltages start around 100,000 volts and go as high as 950,000 volts packing a major punch to the person being shocked with it. Manufactured in convenient cell phone packages, pager devices, and even a telescoping baton application give people a variety to choose from and consider when shopping for a stun gun.Cons: As previously stated, stun guns require personal contact with the attacker for the shock to be delivered. In most cases, my personal belief is that the ultimate goal is to keep the attacker at a distance, so approaching them to deliver a shock just does not seem like a good idea unless the victim has some self defense close quarter training to revert to as a backup plan.Finally, we come to the Daddy of all of the personal defense weapons, the Taser C2 by Taser International. This product is the Cadillac of the self defense industry and has a proven record of effectiveness both in the law enforcement field and in the civilian market. The Taser C2 works by pushing a button on the devise which shoots out 2 small darts from a cartridge in the front of the unit. Upon hitting the intended target, they are capable of penetrating 2 inches of accumulative clothing and delivering a 50,000 volt shock straight to the core of the attacker. This shock is designed to cause TOTAL body incapacitation and the best part is the cycle of voltage lasts for 30 seconds.Now let me try and tell you what this means in simple terms. The story goes like this;Pros: Again in a training atmosphere, I received a shock from a taser to complete a certification so I could carry one on the street as a patrol officer. The shock caused a total lock of all of my muscles causing me to fall to the ground motionless until the voltage cycle stopped. This shock was the most intense pain I have EVER experienced, and I underwent a major back surgery in 2004. I would gladly undergo back surgery 10 times again, before I would take the shock from a taser. I can testify, these things are very effective and in my mind, the only choice for anyone concerned for their personal safety.
Tasers are backed by a 100% replacement guarantee and warranty. If you ever have to use your taser to protect yourself, we replace it free of charge. The only requirement is filing a police report regarding the events of its use.In closing, when you are looking to purchase a personal defense weapon and you do not feel comfortable with firearms, the first step is to take a look at your lifestyle and abilities. If you are a traveling professional who spends a lot of time in a car driving from state to state, well the taser would be my suggestion. It does not require much movement and it can be deployed to any part of the body by pushing a button and aiming the laser aiming devise at the intended target. On the other hand, if you work from home or a stay at home mom, defense spray may be sufficient to obtain compliance from unwanted people knocking on the door. Now if you are simply looking for an affordable alternative to put distance between you and a potential attacker, stun guns have been known to be effective from a distance simply by doing a spark test pointed at the attacker while you tell him “If you come any closer, I am going to shock you and I won’t stop until the police come” usually they don’t want to mess with electricity and they run the other way in a hurry.