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Levels of Self Defense

October 21st, 2021

I would like to start off this article by stating guns are for everybody regardless of sex. One may be thinking right now, “what in the world do they mean by that title?” Well, read on to find out. Important: Nothing in this article constitutes legal advice. Please refer to your federal, state, and local laws when choosing your self-defense tool. One must be of legal age to obtain a firearm. To obtain a rifle, one must be 18 years old in the United States. To obtain a pistol, one must be 21 years old in the United States. On top of this, one needs to be able to pass a standard background check.

Everybody should be taking advantage of their Second Amendment rights. In a country where you are granted the privilege of carrying a firearm, why would somebody not own a firearm? This may raise a few questions and can be argued in either direction. One may argue, “Is it always necessary to use a firearm to defend yourself?” or ”Why do I have to carry a firearm?” The answer is, you don’t. There is an important remark to make before proceeding with non-firearm defense. Not every dangerous situation is a life-threatening one. Similarly, not every situation needs to be escalated to the point where one’s life is on the line: ultimately requiring the use of a firearm. One should always deescalate the situation - better yet, prevent or avoid it. There is a time where it is appropriate to use a firearm. Unless your life is in immediate danger, always use something of lesser force. Use force that equals the level of threat. This being said, there are different levels of threats. What if your attacker doesn’t have any weapons but they are bigger and stronger than you? How do you know when they will stop? How do you know whether or not they are determined to kill you? There is not one answer. Situations are different and there are varying levels of threats. Below are some tools one can use before having to resort to a firearm.

Pepper spray - They usually contain a formulation of oleoresin capsicum (OC) which is a chemical derivative of hot peppers. This compound will cause extreme pain to the victims mucous membranes (eyes, nose, and mouth) and skin. There are many forms of pepper spray such as gel and foam. Like with any self-defense tool, one needs to practice drawing their pepper spray and practice using it. Contrary to popular belief, one will not have an epiphany at the time of the attack and suddenly know how to operate their weapon. It takes practice, getting used to the weight of your weapon, anticipating any splashback (in the case of pepper sprays), drawing your weapon fast enough, so on and so forth. All of this being said, unless you know your attacker has asthma, they will likely live from being sprayed with pepper spray.

If pepper sprays are not your forté, how about knives? One important distinction to make between pepper sprays and knives, - depending on how you use it, knives can be lethal and pepper sprays cannot. They are an excellent choice if one practices drawing their weapon and educates themselves on where to jab. Except, there is one (not so) tiny problem. One has to be in close proximity to their attacker to use it. If one prefers to carry a knife on them, I would at least pair it with consistent self-defense training to know how to act fast and how to escape certain grips. One should also remain in compliance with their local laws on where they can carry their knife and what length blade is allowed. One can also use a tactical pen which holds a similar concept to the knife and it is arguably easier to conceal. Like with knives, in order to use a tactical pen, one must be in close proximity to their attacker to use it.

This next tool is a security system which should be paired with a self-defense tool. There are alarms that one carries on their person and there is also the house alarm. As a layer of extra protection, we recommend everyone have a form of home surveillance and alarm system. House alarm systems main mechanism is as a deterrent. If a criminal is scouting homes to rob and notices you have a security system sign on your lawn and/or cameras, it is unlikely they will want to pursue the robbing of your home. However, In the event of a break-in, these systems are excellent at automatically informing your local police that you are in need of help. They also buy you extra time to hide your family, get your firearm, and prepare for what’s ahead.

These self-defense tools are an excellent option for someone who may not be ready for a gun, is not legally qualified to purchase a gun, or is in a situation where lethal force is not necessary and/or appropriate. It is important to note that not all threatening situations mean your life is at stake. Remember to always attempt to de-escalate the situation. For the intermediate threats, use a combination of the previously mentioned tools. Firearms, require the most responsibility, knowledge, investment, and training out of all of the previously mentioned self-defense tools. When your life's on the line, you need to fight - and hard.

Thank you for reading! Stay safe and be responsible. 


Author: Alexandra Meyman 

CMO, Kind Sniper LLC

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